People & Their Pets IV
Jennifer Starr Perez
Jennifer Starr Perez with Rocky
(John Bouma Photography)
An average day with your dogs would entail... Rocky has developed my personality. Seriously, he could be my kid, if he were human, that is. So, what that pretty much means is that he loves to sleep in (under the covers, head on pillow, thank you very much!) and then spend some time walking under the sun. We spend a lot of time together since I take him everywhere within walking distance with me and he's very social. A great part of living on Miami Beach is some retailers allow dogs in so he gets to tag along when I go shopping, a favorite spot being Walgreen's. The people there are always so lovely and give him tons of attention. He loves the beach and he gets really excited about running on the sand but is completely horrified by the ocean. Rocky also has a mountain of toys he enjoys playing with every day and brazenly shows off to visitors. He has this one particular toy that's really old and a bit disgusting but that he likes to bring out and place on a poor, unsuspecting guest's lap, watching and waiting eagerly for them to throw it so he can fetch.
What was the last thing you taught Rocky to do? I was recently finally able to get Rocky to give me his paw. He's very well-trained in every other way- "Sit", "Stay", "STOP IT!!!"- but I thought it would be fun if he could do this, too. With the help of doggie treats, he finally did it! I was a very proud mother on that day.
What is funniest thing Rocky has ever done? I can't think of the funniest thing I've even seen him do, but I can tell you about a couple of funny things Rocky is famous for. It's a bit graphic so bear with me. Sometimes, after Rocky lifts his leg to pee and relieves himself, he does a handstand. By this I mean he literally pushes both his hind legs up in the air and over his head for a second and then drops them back down. Strangers walking around always laugh when they see this because it's just so weird!!! He's been doing it since day one. He's like my little yoga dog! It's hilarious! Another thing that's funny about Rocky is that he reprimands my cat, Pia, if I get angry at her for clawing the furniture or whatever. She runs when I yell and he chases after her until she's under the couch. Then he'll strut - yes, my dog struts- around the apartment, looking extremely pleased with himself.
If you could swap roles with Rocky for a day, how do you think he’d handle being you and vice versa? Oh I think we'd manage just fine. I would be thrilled to lay around comfortably all day, being told how cute I am and being spoiled rotten. And since Rocky is already naturally adept at looking bored when he is not interested, he would make an amazing Devil Wears Prada-style editor.