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Mantecan holds garage sale for pets surgery
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Saturday was a typical winter day in the valley - cold and foggy with a bit of a shower. But that did not stop Denise Brosio from holding a garage sale.

This was, after all, a fund-raiser for her beloved black Labrador, Rocko.

The five-year-old canine, described by Brosio as more of “a companion than a guard dog,” has developed tumors that need to be surgically removed. Two local veterinarians that she has consulted for the surgery told her that the operation alone would cost her between $550 and $750. That does not include any hospitalization.

“That’s to have everything removed,” Brosio said of the operation that Rocko needs.

The family pet has three tumors that need to be removed: “one on his right leg from above the breast to the armpit the size of a softball, and two on the chest cavity (with) the third one (located) internally,” explained Brosio who is a stay-at-home wife and mother.

Brosio has been informed that the surgical procedures would take two to three weeks. “He’ll be under heavy sedation,” she said.

To save money on the post-op vet hospitalization, Brosio said, “they’ll let me take him home with a (protective) cone.”

Rocko weighs about 100 pounds, but that does not faze Brosio at all when it comes to taking care of her beloved pet after surgery. She said she’ll even carry him around the house when necessary. She was also told that the surgical stitches would be removed in two weeks.

“It’s going to be a long ordeal,” Brosio said of Rocko’s post-op recuperation.

Her first garage sale fund-raiser for Rocko’s surgery did not do well as she had hoped, perhaps because of the inclement weather, she said.

She is considering holding another garage sale when the weather improves.

“I’m doing it so as not to put him to sleep. I love my dog, that’s why I’m doing the fundraisers. I have a bucket that I call Rocko’s Bucket (for donations),” she said.

Brosio said that the veterinarians told her the tumor that’s inside Rocko’s chest cavity could turn out to be cancerous. But, said the mother of two, she wants to give her pet a fighting chance at life.

“I’m Grandma to Rocko,” she simply said of the dog that came to their lives when it was just eight weeks old. Her older daughter bought Rocko as a puppy and later gave him to her mother. The daughter, who is now grown, lives in Modesto.

Brosio said Rocko is not a mean dog and is very friendly. But he is also a good guard dog, she said.
“The only time he barks is when somebody walks by (the house) and he doesn’t know them,” Brosio said.

She said one person who came to the garage sale told her to call the radio KAT Country. They may be able to help her “find a vet that will do the surgery for free,” Brosio said.

She did not say whether she would do that, though.

“It’s sad, because I love my dog and he’s young,” she said of the ordeal facing Rocko. But, she said, she is determined to keep on trying to raise money for Rocko’s Bucket. Despite the tumors, Rocko is mobile and has a good appetite, she added.

“I’ll do anything I can do for my dog,” Brosio said.

For more information on how to help with the Rocko’s Bucket fund-raising, call (209) 665-4420.