Joel Rockey, executive director of One Last Treat

Joel Rockey—executive director of One Last Treat, a nonprofit founded by a group of veterans whose mission (carried out by veterans who volunteer) is “to provide comfort, compassion, and one last treat to severely at-risk and soon-to-be-passing animals”—discusses his own history, including growing up with various animals, but at that point, being indifferent to them. img_2475He recounts his military career, initially serving as a Navy corpsman as part of traveling the path toward his true objective: to work as a medic in the Marines. During his combined five-year stint, he did tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and felt the virtues of a six-month transitional period between his discharge and returning home. Still, when he did get home, Rockey reports, he contended with some of the challenges that veterans often experience in the transition from beingaaeaaqaaaaaaaaxvaaaajgfkztu5nwe4lwrlnwytngfmmy1in2ezltiwowqxmjblotliza-png in combat to being at home, including being bothered by crowded rooms. He describes, partly owing to that sort of struggle, how the seeds of One Last Treat were sown, and the first animal was a blind, deaf pug that was roaming the streets of Detroit. Rockey recounts how helping that pug, the way a lot of fellow veterans were img_0408struggling the way he was—very much feeling less important and needed than they did while serving in the military—and recognizing a need to care for senior dogs all merged in what became the mission of One Last Treat. While acknowledging that One Last Treat is a nascent organization whose operation is largely confined to the Detroit area, Rockey outlines some scenarios on how they currently help senior and ailing dogs—and sometimes their families—including when that animal is facing euthanasia. (,


ALSO: I spoke briefly with Sue Pike, a Reiki Master and Animal Communicator—and monthly guest on Eluv’s show, “Ultrasounds,” Thursday nights on WMNF—about her visit to Tampa, in which she was to again appear on “Ultrasounds,” and do a variety of Reiki sessions, pet readings and more. (,

COMEDY CORNER: Sean Donnelly’s “I Love My Bulldog,” (

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals

 NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: We didn’t play Name That Animal Tune today.


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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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