Meet Rocky, finalist for Milk-Bone national spokesdog
December 15, 2008
By David Hayes
Dan Connolly and his girlfriend Cory share custody of their dog Rocky. If the three get lucky, Rocky will be shared a lot more in the near future with the rest of America.
It seems a last-minute idea to enter a contest has landed Rocky in the top 100 finalists as a potential “spokesdog” for Milk-Bone, commemorating the company’s 100th anniversary.
Cory, who lives in Los Angeles full time, rescued Rocky, a 6-year-old boxer, from a shelter when he was 2. Since she and Dan have dated, they’ve shared Rocky, who stays in Issaquah when Dan’s in town at his software company.
“She’d heard about this contest, but I had Rocky with me at the time,” Dan recalled. “So, I took a photo with the camera’s remote of him and me.”
In the photo, Dan is playing his guitar, serenading Rocky, who is staring intently at Dan. For the “moment’s description,” Dan wrote: “Rock is many things — amazing companion, music critic, clown, teacher — to name just a few. He’s a great example of how we should all just simply shake off the bad moments and start new. Sounds crazy, but Rock inspires me to be a better person.”
Dan got the entry in just under the deadline, and the next week learned he was already in the top 100.
“I would guess there were not fewer than 100,000 entries,” said Dan, 42, an ex-Navy diver, now aspiring musician with an album coming out next month.
A winner will be picked in January, netting the owner a $100,000 prize and requiring the dog to make six appearances for the company.
“Rocky is very reflective, like most dogs are,” Dan said. “He’s got good energy, gets hyper psyched up. I think he’d do just fine.”
But he knows Rocky is up against some stiff competition. Many of the other finalists show photos of their pets doing tricks and just looking way too cute. Rocky, Dan said, doesn’t really have many talents.
“He just chills and listens to me play my guitar. That’s his only trick,” Dan said.
Which is rather ironic, since Dan used to teach sea lions to perform tasks for the U.S. Navy.
“I used to teach sea lions all sorts of tricks,” he said. “I should be able to do something with Rocky, like sit on the toilet.”
He also acknowledges that the other owners may also have an edge on him when it comes to a final decision by the company.
“There’s these girls kissing their dog,” he said. “This one girl, she’s 6 or 7. She’s really cute. She’s going to be my biggest competition.”
On the Web
Although public voting for the Milk-Bone finalists is over, you can still see Rocky and Dan Connolly together at http://milkbone.icmodus.com/?id=8559.
Reach Reporter David Hayes at 392-6343, ext. 237, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.