The Substance of Faith

The Substance of Faith

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TV with Rocky

Rocky is half Yorkie and half something else.  His coloring is from the Yorkie side, but his coat is tight and compact from the unknown branch of the family tree.  If you put a leather vest and cap on him, he would look like an Ewok from The Empire Strikes Back.  My wife wanted to try it just to see, but I put my foot down.   His personality is all terrier.   He’s stubborn, territorial, and fearless, particularly when he watches television.

Our old Springer Spaniel never paid attention to the TV, but Rocky watches it all the time.  He recognizes and dislikes football.  He also recognizes characters and commercial jingles.  We know because he dislikes horses, cows, cats, and other dogs.  He attacks the screen when they appear.  If he is in another room when he hears the music from a particular furniture commercial he comes running to attack the TV because one of their spots had a puppy in it.

Since Rocky came to live with us after my father-in-law passed away, our TV habits have changed.  Fortunately his dislike of football expresses itself in TV-aversion: he goes into hiding, under the bed or in the closet as soon as he hears crowd noise.  I can still watch The SEC on CBS, or he might have had to find another home.  In fact, I agree with Rocky about Georgia, Tennessee, and Mississippi State football.  He dislikes their mascots.  I dislike them as rivals.  Uga drives him wild.  Sic ‘em, Rocky.

Gone from our viewing, however, is the annual Westminster Kennel Club Show.  I miss hearing the club announcer say, “This is Bichon Frise number four.” Perhaps Rocky is angry that WKC does not recognize Ewoks as a registered breed.  Gone also are western movies, particularly the ones about cattle drives.  Horses and cows together are a very bad combination.  This means no more John Wayne movies or reruns of a young Clint Eastwood on Wagon Train.

Rocky’s greatest dislike on TV, however, is the AFLAC duck.  I find the voice annoying, but I can live with it.  Rocky, on the other hand, barks long after the duck leaves the screen.   He even recognizes some of the dialog in AFLAC commercials, barking before the duck ever appears.

I mentioned Rocky’s prejudice in a sermon and Dan Colwell,  a local AFLAC agent, gave me a stuffed duck that said the company name when squeezed.  Notice the past tense because Rocky killed that duck.  Like our old Springer killed a baby bunny, Rocky shook the duck to death – or at least until he broke its voice box and the stuffing came out.  If you’ve ever seen a retriever that can’t stop chasing a ball, you have an idea what Rocky was like with the stuffed duck.  He couldn’t stop.  When he couldn’t bite the duck the right way to make it speak, he would put it in his mouth and run it into the wall.  Once he got it to say “AFLAC” he started shaking it again.  I told Dan about the death of our duck and Rocky is now killing his second duck.  Thanks, Dan.  The only way to make Rocky stop is to hide the duck.  A stuffed animal that has spent a long time in a dog’s jaws of death is a nasty toy to pick up with your bare hands.  You may have guessed that Rocky’s least favorite favorite moment in college football is the AFLAC Trivia Question, which brings him out from under the bed every time.

Rocky also dislikes the Chick-fil-A cows. If you’ve seen the commercial with the cow in an office building, Rocky recognizes the elevator “ding” and comes running to the TV before the cow moos.  His fearless defense of our home must work because we have no cows at our house, although five walked down our street a few weeks ago.  No fooling.  They walked into our neighborhood and passed our house.  I have pictures.  Good, dog.

Neighborhood cows never came near our house

Neighborhood cows never came near our house

We tried replacing the stuffed duck with a stuffed cow after going to the Kick-Off Classic last year, but Rocky wasn’t interested. Nothing is as satisfying to him as shaking the duck.

This month my wife is taking a girls’ weekend with some friends.  Rocky may get a vacation to the kennel, courtesy of me, while she’s gone.  I want to finish watching True Grit that I recorded months ago.  It was sponsored by AFLAC.

 This story appears in the “Our Town” section of the June 15 edition of the Rome News-Tribune

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Very true and very funny!


June 15, 2013

I’m glad to have a witness!


June 15, 2013

Laughed-out-loud hilarious!! Not only bc I’ve heard the stuffed duck thing from the AFLAC side already; I’ve also met the cows. When I lived on Mimosa, they woke me up one night moo-ing outside my window. Shoulda had a Rocky.


June 19, 2013

I’d be glad to loan him out, but Cherry won’t let me. I’m glad he could give you a laugh.
Thanks for stopping by.



June 19, 2013

tears streaming down my face laughing…what a funny story. hope y’all are having a wonderful time

Ashley E

November 29, 2014

Glad you enjoyed it. Sad to say, since I wrote that post, Rocky has developed cataracts. He doesn’t see the TV as well and does not respond to the sound of the duck as he once did. Even dogs get old.

We had a great time in Spain and I plan to post a few impressions this week.

Thanks, Ashley.


November 30, 2014