Rocky and Mandy Walls

Sit a spell and give me a good brushing, please I'm the best emergency backup dog in the world!

Rocky, the flat coat retriever on the left, is 15 now and suffering from arthritis as do many of us in our golden years. Says Danny Walls: "He is perhaps one of the luckiest dogs ever, because he was not supposed to live very long. He was a medical research dog when I first met him and was scheduled for a terminal experiment. The person who was to conduct the experiment said he had a dog that was just too beautiful to use and would I like to have him. I said yes, Rocky was reprieved and has had a very good life since. He is a cancer survivor, and has the sweetest personality of any dog I have every known. In his youth he liked to run and play, now he loves to sleep and have his coat brushed."

Mandy was, in a Dave Barry sort of way, Danny's emergency backup dog. He got her to be company for Rocky and they were inseparable for the past eight years, until her death in 2003. She was part chocolate lab and part something completely different. "She was extremely loving and affectionate but terribly jealous and had to be petted any time Rocky was petted. She loved playing tug-o-war with a piece of rope and carried it around with her wherever she went outside."