Eight Years

by | May 1, 2016 | Blog | 10 comments

How long did it take to build:

  • The Eiffel tower?    Two months and five days.
  • The Empire State Building?    One year and forty five days.
  • The Golden Gate Bridge?    Four years, four months and twenty three days.
  • The Hoover Dam?    Five years.
  •  K9 ROCKY: A Cop Without A Badge?     Eight years.

Eight years! Workers on the Eiffel tower fumbled around with 2.5 million rivets to fasten the structure together while I had a 26 letter alphabet to perpetually scramble into different sequences to create Rocky’s story.

My blackest moment is feeling life exit Rocky’s body as I cradled him in my arms. A piece of me went with him. Initially, writing about him brought just the slightest sliver of comfort and I slowly learned that the more I wrote, the better I felt. Several months after his death, my obsessive writing morphed into a hefty 220+ page book.

But, the cobbled script was far from being good enough. Rocky deserved better.

I toiled over the words… the sentences… the paragraphs… the chapter titles …and deeply questioned my ability as a writer. And, while constantly tinkering with the script, I realized something. Although Rocky’s breath no longer fogged my face in the mornings and burying my fingers in his beautiful fur were forever gone, I could still spend time with him by continuously trying to improve his story.

Having never given a fleeting thought of ever being an author, I questioned what to do with Rocky’s so-called book that sat quietly as a file in my computer? Although I was too humble to accept it at the time, people frequently referred to him as a “great police K9.” Books strictly dedicated to the entire life of a police K9 are scarce and one about a great K9 may be nonexistent since the definition of greatness is quite opinionated. It took months of laboring on his life before being slapped in the face and accepting that Rocky truly was a great police K9.

Dubiously, I entered the script in a non-published book competition and was stunned when it took first place. I gave credit that the content about an incredible dog was the award winning attraction and not my attempt of being a polished writer. However, winning that contest sparked an even greater energized effort into Rocky’s story.

Years passed by as I struggled to see Rocky’s book being published. Many times my efforts floundered, but Rocky never gave up and I refused to give up on him. I owe it to him. Plus, people need the opportunity to know him, all of him.

Rocky was an incredibly driven personality who performed some remarkable feats while working as a police K9 and he received noteworthy recognition. And, due to the craziness we shared, our bond became something unimaginable. I am the common man who was blessed with such a treasured relationship with a magnificent animal.

Now, the countdown is only months away until my fingers will touch his life in the form of a book. I have wistfully dreamed of the moment and cannot wait to tell him, “There, I did it!  I hope I did your life justice. And, by the way, I still painfully miss you…”


  1. Susie McF

    This is awesome Darren, I’m teary from reading this blog, can’t wait for the book.

    • Darren M

      Thanks for the comment Susie. Just some last minute polishing and Rocky’s story will soon be off to the printer.

  2. Erin F

    Congrats Darren! This is wonderful. I can’t wait to read the book!

    • Darren M

      Thanks Erin–I hope Rocky’s book is worth the wait!

  3. Kathleen M Ashpaugh

    Love the website. I’ve been looking forward to reading the whole Rocky store for several years and am excited about the upcoming book release. I know Rocky is smiling with that twinkle in his eye. Congrats!!

    • Darren M

      Thank you Kathleen–after all these years, Rocky’s story is finally only a few months away!

  4. Kevin Hodson

    I can’t wait to read it! From reading ‘Eight Years’, it’s obvious how much heart you have in it. Thanks for doing what you do and Rocky for doing what he did! He’s with you still to this day.

    • Darren M

      Many thanks Kevin–It’s looking like early to mid-August for Rocky’s big debut.

  5. Jane Bach

    Darren, this is wonderful news! Niels and I send our warmest congratulations! We look forward to reading the book–and we’re so glad you kept on writing.

  6. Jane Bach

    Darren, Niels and I are so pleased to know your book will soon be out.
    Warmest congratulations! We look forward to reading it!


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