Rocky needed a fighting chance. Two years ago, just before the holidays, Jim Cone of Milwaukee, who volunteers for Rhodesian Ridgeback rescue, got word about a dog at a Wisconsin humane society shelter.
Cone, 69, looked Rocky’s picture up on the Internet, and quickly determined that the 8-year-old was a Ridgeback in aspiration only. His pendulous ears were just not right for the breed. “He was brown,” says Cone fondly of the main quality Rocky shared with the South African lion hunters.
Still, Rocky’s story struck a soft spot. According to the handwritten letter that had accompanied him to the shelter, he had been adopted by two women, likely a mother and daughter, and had lived with them for a number of years. Then tragedy struck, and their home went up in flames. Rocky pulled his two owners out of the burning house, with one clinging to his big, bushy tail so fiercely as he navigated the thick smoke that at one point veterinarians worried that it might have to be amputated.
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