From the moment I met Rocky, our American Bulldog, it was love at first sight.
He was a year old at the time. The dog trainer who owned him threw a tennis ball, and Rocky raced after it, caught it in midair, then ran toward us and spit the ball at my feet. I knew he was SPECIAL from that moment on.
Rocky would follow me around the house as I went about my day, raising my two toddlers. At night he wouldn't go upstairs until I did; he'd just wait at the bottom of the steps (occasionally giving a heavy dog sigh) until I was ready to go up.
In 2004 I got the news no one can ever prepare you for: I had a rare form of cancer called Synovial Sarcoma.
For the next 3 years, I endured cancer treatments, surgeries, and a severe medical mistake (when my test results were mixed up with another patient's, I was told I had breast cancer; after a mastectomy it was discovered that I didn't).
Rocky never left my side.
My mom used to know when I was coming home from a treatment at the hospital - because whether it lasted 8 hours or 1 hour, Rocky would be sitting by the front door waiting for me 15 minutes before I actually got home. Every. Single. Time.
When I was sick, sometimes it felt hard to relate to people. I didn't want to be the person who made other people sad. Rocky never looked at me with a worried face or asked, "What do you need from me?"
He was always just happy to see me. He was always just glad I was home.
When life throws you a sucker punch
When Rocky saw me, his tail would spin in an actual circle, like a propeller. I never thought anything of it - it was just part of his personality.
Then I learned that a Propeller Wag is an indication that the recipient is extremely SPECIAL to the dog. The fact that Rocky really only wagged his Propeller Wag for me touched my heart.
Rocky lived for 14 years - an incredibly long life for a bulldog. When we had to put him to sleep, my heart broke. Rocky was the person I had come home to for so many years and I still choke up when I think of how SPECIAL we were to each other.
gifts from the heart
Because of everything I've been through, people often come to me and say, "My friend has cancer," or "My neighbor is going through a hard time" - and then they ask, "What should I do? What can I give them?"
I created Propeller Wags specialty gifts because I wanted to fill that gap. When people find out what a Propeller Wag is (and often realize that their dog does it for them and they didn't even realize what it meant!), they light up. They understand that a Propeller Wag gift is more than just a card or a stuffed dog - it's a sign of unconditional love.
And channeling Rocky's unconditional love into the world feels exactly right.