Rocko’s Bucket List: Mesa FD Gives Terminal Pooch Special “Fire Dog” Treatment

Rocko doesn’t have that much time left, but the shelter staff and volunteer who love him are making sure that time is filled with fun, adventure and belly rubs.

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Rocko is likely already into his final weeks, but mercifully, the cheery mixed-breed has no clue. He’s still busy being a dog. And the folks at Maricopa County Animal Care and Control, employees and volunteers who love him dearly, have taken it upon themselves to create a Bucket List and help him really enjoy his last weeks of life.

Rocko’s first go-round at MCACC came when his original owner was moving and could no longer take care of him. Last March, he was adopted, but returned a month later. A second adoption came to a close when the new owners realized he was sick.

A smiling Rocko enjoys the ride. His foster dad says his current quality of life is good. He has no idea he's sick.
A smiling Rocko enjoys the ride. His foster dad says his current quality of life is good. He has no idea he’s sick.

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Staffers hoped it was nothing serious — just allergies — and he was treated for such while comfortable in the care of a foster parent, but when his skin sores persisted, further testing revealed that Rocko was suffering from lymphosarcoma, which is incurable.

Drugs have been helping slow its progress while alleviating his symptoms, but their effectiveness is fading. Those who love him know it’s only a matter of time before his quality of life declines.

And so Rocko’s Bucket List was born.

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Last Friday, they scratched off one of its items with the help of the Mesa Fire Department, which graciously took him for a special ride in their fire engine. More adventures are on deck for the pooch over the next several weeks.

Details about other items on Rocko’s bucket list are still being worked out. The shelter staff is hoping that people will hear about his story and offer to help with suggestions, thereby providing Rocko with a unique roster in his final weeks. They’re looking for high-profile things that would let the dog be the star.

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