‘So gentle and sweet’: Abused dog found abandoned at Edgewater park

CHICAGO — A dog who was abused and abandoned will hopefully be on the mend soon after being found by a Chicago woman Monday morning at an Edgewater park.

It was a typical morning for Brianne Coleman who was walking her dog Zeus at their favorite spot — Berger Park.

It was time to go home when Coleman noticed Zeus fixated on the rocks on the north end of the park.

“He wouldn’t leave so I walked over there to see what he was looking at,” Coleman said.

To her astonishment, an adorable dog was looking back at her curled up between the rocks.

Coleman immediately snapped the above picture and posted it in various Facebook groups trying to find the dog’s owner.

Coleman said a younger man came by and was able to pick up the dog, now named “Rocky” for his fighting spirit and the location, off the rocks.

“He was very careful,” Coleman said. “Rocky didn’t put up a fight. It was like he was yearning for him to pick him up. His back legs were dangling — I knew something was broke and I thought he was paralyzed.”

Rocky wasn’t paralyzed and Coleman at first thought he may have been hit by a car. However, two different veterinarians said the dog has been a victim of a “long pattern of abuse” due to broken knees and ribs that have since healed. They also believe he was dragged at some point and is malnourished.

“He is an absolute lover boy who likes to give kisses and feel touch,” Coleman said. “He likes when he has paws on top of your hands. He’s so gentle and sweet and didn’t even cry.”

Rocky wasn’t out of the woods as x-rays showed that his hips are currently shattered. He ended up Monday at Veterinary Emergency Group in Lincoln Park and is getting his first of two hip surgeries Tuesday at Veterinary Specialty Center in Bannockburn.

  • Rocky’s x-rays
    Rocky’s x-rays
  • Rocky’s x-rays
    Rocky’s x-rays

It wouldn’t be possible without the generous help of Rich Heath, of Andersonville. He saw Coleman’s post right away and messaged her saying he can help out financially.

“I questioned humanity at such a high degree because I couldn’t believe what happened,” Coleman said. “But by the end of the day, my hope in humanity was renewed just by the generosity of people in our neighborhood — it’s remarkable.”

Rocky spent the night with Heath and his wife Monday night before his vet appointment in the suburbs.

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“I saw the post and I saw the picture of him,” Heath said. “My wife and I for years have had labs and I have a sweet spot for Labradors. It made me sick.”

Rocky had a nice quiet night with the Heaths and their Labrador Islay.

“He is a very sweet and affectionate dog,” Heath said. “He leaned up against my leg hungry, almost desperate for touch. He’s been abused and it makes it more crazy or even wonderful that he’s very trusting of humans. He’s not terrified of our dog. He’s got a great spirit (and what happened) is sickening.”

Donations have been pouring in Tuesday. Nearly $10,000 has been raised for Rocky on GoFundMe as of publication.

After being reimbursed, Heath told WGN News all money will support his rehab and any funds leftover will be donated to a rescue organization.

Heath said adopting him is a possibility, but they just want Rocky in a happy home. He has a message for the person responsible for Rocky’s abuse.

“I just don’t know how you can live with yourself by treating an innocent and harmless animal that way,” Heath said.

Rocky will have a long road to recovery, but there’s no doubt the special dog will persevere.

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