Dachshund Rescue of North America
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Rocket Tag #11363
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Story submitted 2021-05-28
View Rocket's Profile

01/13/2009 to 05/22/2021
Age: 12 years and 4 months
Today an angel on earth became an angel in heaven. Fluid on his lungs made
breathing difficult. Rather than try to drain it which would only be a temporary
fix and he would still have cancer on his heart, I decided the best decision was
to help Rocket cross the Rainbow Bridge. Everyone in the room was in tears
(his vet, Margie and me); however, Rocket was without pain.

Rocket, my beautiful black and tan long-haired dachshund was bred and
raised by Joan Kelly in her home. His father is Shadow and his mother was
Nutmeg. He is survived by his litter-mate sister, Cammie and brother from an
earlier litter, Hank (furbabies of Melissa Nelson). Rocket was given to DRNA
(Dachshund Rescue of North America) due to a divorce, and he became a foster for Sheryl Runz. We
struck up a friendship when her husband, Glenn refinished my front door and he noticed that we had
dachshunds in common. My dog Max passed away in January 2016 and in October of that same year,
Rocket became Sheryl’s foster; so, she checked with me if I’d be interested. At first, I was hesitant
because I had a lot of freedom without a dog, and I was partial to smooth-hairs. I asked if I could take
him on a trial run for two weeks. He had me after one hour. Thank you Sheryl for the joy you helped
bring into my life. This dog could potty on command and knew basic
obedience. He also was gentle to a fault and loved everyone; except for
maybe a Leonberger who backed him into a corner at the library.
Despite his calm manner of never barking during a KPETS event, he
barked at anyone who entered our home or yard until I said it was OK
and then he gave them kisses as if he was with an old friend…a lot of
unconditional love all rolled up in 14 lb. He loved sleeping in the big
bed, sitting with the wild rabbits in our yard, chasing squirrels up the
trees, his rabbit friend Creamsicle, running with my neighbor’s son JJ
and his Boxer Jagger, swimming at the doggie swims, riding shotgun
with mommie, and sitting with anyone but me during our weekly dinner
and a movie with Rob and Margie (I think he thought he was doing a
KPETS visit with them this past year)

Rocket was the best dog anyone could have ever had. The fact that he was
my dog is a treasure I will always cherish. Everyone who met him fell in love
with him. He embodied the word “compassion” as he sat in lounge chairs with
chemo patients at Sechler Cancer Center while they received their infusions or
in his stroller greeting those who were waiting for their loved ones in the
great room. He didn’t care about your political party or where you
worshipped. He only cared if you petted him and had a kind heart, maybe
even gave him a biscuit or two. There wasn’t a sad day when Rocket was
around. He was known as “Rocket Man” by Dr. Ludwig and the business wing
ladies were his favorites. They had the best bacon-flavored treats. Because
his foster Mom, Sheryl worked there, I decided we should become a therapy
team with KPETS first and then Wellspan so that he could see her regularly as well as help others. This is how Rocket’s journey into becoming a therapy dog began. During the
summer of 2017 we attended an AKC obedience class run by Terry Hilton which helped to give him
experience around other dogs and to reinforce basic commands. He was a quick study and won the
prize as the quickest sitter. He passed the group and visit evaluations and became a KPETS canine
representative within two weeks of our orientation in late November 2017. Our first visit was on
December 7th at LVC to help students distress for finals and later we visited Juniper Village on Christmas
Eve. He dressed up as Santa Claus. He frequently dressed up for his visits and won numerous costume

In all, Rocket amassed over 600 volunteer hours for KPETS. Apart from
visiting local colleges during finals week, he also visited nursing homes
and was a regular at Juniper Village, Elmcroft, and Spang Crest. He even
visited a 98 yea-old man at Lancashire Terrace who had lived with
dachshunds for 50 years. Rocket was involved with Paws to Read at the
Myerstown Library and was on the support team that visited Warwick
High School when tragedy struck. He was involved in programs at many
elementary schools: South East, Cornwall Elementary, and Northside
(Palmyra). Rocket has been to three funerals to give comfort for the
death of a: KPETS member’s mother, a cancer patient and a staff
relative. He was at Philhaven Hospital where he was involved with a
suicide support group interaction and staff appreciation meetings.
Rocket was a KPETS representative at Healthy Kids Day at the Lebanon
YMCA and also involved with Girl Con an event run by the Central Penn Girl Scouts in Dover. Rocket did
a fundraiser at the Lancaster Barnstormers and became a model for their advertisement for Pup
Packages. For two years he portrayed Ready Wrigley at the PA State Farm Show for the PA Dept of
Health and comforted children as they got their flu shot. He’s done fundraising and education projects
at the Hershey Bears games, the Annual Dachtoberfests in the area, It’s a Pets Life in Lititz, and the
annual Doggie Easter Eggroll in Jonestown. Rocket has represented KPETS at Bark for Life events in
Hummelstown and Lancaster. He has snuggled with young children at SARC; however, most of his hours
(over 200 hours) have been with Sechler Cancer Center/Good Samaritan Hospital.

He loved his human completely and cried with joy when I returned home after going out. Even in his
poor health his last night, he comforted me—a therapy dog until the end.
He became my rock during COVID; my house is quiet now. I think I see
him out of the corner of my eye but then I realize he is in heaven free of
pain. I take solace in knowing that’s a good thought. Rocket leaves
behind a very sad but grateful mommie. I truly believe that dogs can
make us better human beings. I know mine has.
For that I am most appreciative.
Cyndi Boehler-Walsh