I would like to thank the Post-Gazette editors and writers for their very respectful and moving coverage of canine Officer Rocco’s story over the past week or so. In addition, Rob Rogers’ Feb. 3 cartoon poignantly reminds us that the love our own animals have for us often goes unacknowledged in the grind of everyday life. Indeed, the love bond that can form between humans and their animals probably comes closer to what is called “divine love” than anything else experienced here on Earth, for it is so often “unconditional” in nature. Our animals love us despite our swings in mood or temperament, and as in Rocco’s case, will sacrifice themselves to protect us if need be.
Rocco is indeed deserving of people paying tribute, and it is a better day when humans acknowledge how indebted we often are to the other creatures that share our universe.
Recently I received pictures taken by an undercover reporter of dogs being skinned alive (too costly to sedate them) for the black market fur trade. It broke my heart to think of how humans could be so cruel to their fellow creatures. Then came Pittsburgh’s response to Rocco’s heroic actions. Humans lined the way and saluted as his flag-draped body was carried from the animal hospital. My heart was filled with hope again, and I am proud of all the Pittsburghers and indeed all the people who have expressed their love for and thanks to Rocco.