Sign In

Retired Military Dog

June 8, 2020

He’s not your typical war veteran, but Loki’s family says he is a hero.

Loki is a dog. The 12-year-old boxer and rottweiler mix was a military police dog who served two tours in Afghanistan and now is retired, but he continues to give back.

“We didn’t want him to retire and get depressed,” Tina Rockenbach, Loki’s new owner said.

Loki came to live with the Rockenbach’s in February. His previous owner, who was also his partner in the military needed a new service dog and was hoping Loki could retire, spending the rest of his days sunbathing and playing with Rockenbach’s kids.

But Loki had other ideas.

“The first time we took him to the cemetery, we were going to visit my mom’s grave,” Rockenbach said.”The first time we took him to the cemetery, we were going to visit my mom’s grave.. he was just attracted to the veteran’s section… so I took him over there and he just seems to understand.”

This isn’t the only time. Once, when Loki was at the vet, he wouldn’t leave until he greeted a man in the waiting room. Loki placed his head on the man’s lap.

Later, Rockenbach learned that man was a veteran.

“He just has this connection to them that I can’t understand but I can see,” she said.

So Loki is now in training to get his therapy dog certificate. He’s already trained well in commands and has no behavioral concerns, which make him the perfect candidate.

Once that’s done, he’ll visit veterans weekly at care facilities in the area.

“It’s just a gift we can give back to them,” Rockenbach said.

Because Loki knows all too well what it’s like to serve. He’s even earned a Purple Heart.

“”He had alerted to a landmine and went to check it out and someone remote detonated it, he jumped and pushed James out of the way and took the bulk of the blast,” Rockenbach said.

James, who is Loki’s former partner and owner survived the blast and so did Loki. Though he still has scars on his chest.

Tina believes, Loki has some PTSD because of incidents like this.

“He’s seen a lot of things, done a lot of things,” she said.

She says during thunderstorms and fireworks, sometimes Loki is who needs the comforting. But she said it’s all worth it.

“Ironically I think he’s done more for us than anything,” Rockenbach said.

Register Your Dog

  • Most Recent News

    Former Victoria man’s diabetic alert dog helps him get back to life

    When Luke Hengen’s diabetes worsened in his early twenties, it stripped him of the outdoor activities where the country kid felt at home. Countless wilderness adventures and years of hard-fought football games took a toll on his body, to the point where he could no longer sense when his blood sugar was too high or […]

    Read more

    Students Get Therapy Dog

    When middle school students return to class on Jan. 11, they’ll find a new face at the door: Daisy. Daisy is a therapy dog and the personal pet of Rob Kreger, principal of the Rock L. Butler Middle School. The five-year-old golden retriever is not a school pet or mascot, but rather a working dog […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogtor

    Last March, Caroline Benzel, a third-year medical student, began to notice the stress and discomfort her nurse friends were feeling from the pressures of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. “[Personal protective equipment] can be really rough on the skin,” Benzel, 31, tells PEOPLE. Benzel and her 3-year-old Rottweiler, Loki (who’s also a therapy dog) hatched a […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Pups

    When Stanley the miniature fox terrier’s owner passed away, the little dog started a ‘paw-some’ new role – bringing puppy love to some of the Gold Coast’s oldest residents. After Carinity Cedarbrook Diversional Therapist Julianne Staff adopted Stanley, he began visiting the aged care community at Mudgeeraba as a therapy dog. Therapy dogs help to […]

    Read more

    Puppy Cams

    A nonprofit is providing an unusual form of therapy for those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic – puppy cams! “You spend five minutes with a puppy and try not to smile,” said registered nurse Robin Lingg Lagrone. Lingg Lagrone says watching little furballs wag their tails and prance on their paws helps […]

    Read more

    Pet Committee

    When Moore County’s school doors were abruptly closed earlier in 2020, two- and four-legged volunteers from the Moore County Citizens’ Pet Responsibility Committee (PRC) were in their 12th year of presenting a six-session Pet Responsibility Education Program for fourth-graders. The PRC quickly shifted gears and placed its program materials online as part of a home […]

    Read more