Rocky the Dog: A Neighborhood Mascot in Lexington, Kentucky

Lexington has a slew of weekly local events designed to both entertain + bring like-minded citizens together. We do our best to share those events with you on a daily basis.

Neighborhood associations do the same thing, but on an even more hyper-local level — bringing together neighborhood residents to create an even greater sense of community.

That’s how the “Rocky the Dog” project came about — a small group of community members from a neighborhood association coming together to beautify their neighborhood, in a unique + quirky way.

“We had this little traffic island in our neighborhood that was just a disaster,” said Melanie Roederer, the Manager of Rocky the Dog. “It had been accidentally run over by cars + all of the boxwood plants were half dead.”

Melanie + a few other individuals decided to renovate the space, ripping out the old boxwood plants and building a limestone rock fence, a style popular throughout Central Kentucky.

“While we were working, my husband said, ‘ya know — if you turn that rock over, it would look like a dog,’ recalls Melanie. “So I put ears + eyes on it and we moved it to the front of the island where it was more visible.”

Thus — Rocky, the new neighborhood mascot, was born.

Today, Rocky can be found dressed up for just about any occasion: back-to-school, Labor Day, football games, even the Olympics. You name the day, and he’s probably dressed up for it.

Melanie recalled to us a few of her favorite Rockies:

  • “Plymouth Rocky,” for Thanksgiving
  • “Hockey Rocky,” for the Olympics
  • “Jockey Rocky,” for Keeneland

“We never expected Rocky to become so popular. People just got really involved, leaving flags near him for Memorial Day + children love leaving painted rocks,” said Melanie.

Rocky’s wardrobe has grown so large, that he now has a full neighborhood committee formed around him, ensuring that he keeps putting smiles on the faces of all that cross his path.

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