Roch: A Man, a Dog, & a Saint.

Once upon a time, there was a man who decided to go into business with his dog, she was a good girl, people liked her wherever she went, and she was always happy to see them which made her a fantastic travel partner. A black labrador with an adventurous spirit, the dog had a simple dream – to dive into every body of water she could find, be it a lake, sea, or ocean, and the man promised her that they would travel the world together to swim on all of the water they could find.

Their journey took them to diverse locations, and alont the way they stayed in different kinds of hotels and accommodations, some friendly and welcoming, others not so much. Despite csalling themselves 'dog-friendly', many places were not as accommodating as they advertised. Sometimes there was no green for her to sprinkle on, sometimes it was a struggle to find somewhere to stay, and sometimes she had to stay in her room on her own after learning that dogs were not allowed in the 'dog friendly' hotels public spaces.

Sometimes she was turned away for being 'too big', despite being quite a small labrador, but the final straw was when she was turned from a dog-friendly hotel because the hotels one dog-friendly room was occupied.

Frustrated yet determined, the man and his dog decided to turn their negative experiences into something positive, they pledged to create the most dog-friendly environment possible, and together they created the Roch Standard. The name 'Roch' was not a random choice; it is a name which carried profound significance.

Roch de Montpellier, Early 16th Century, Normandy, France

The Patron Saint of Dogs, St Roch of Montpellier, was a wealthy nobleman from the 14th century. His life took a turn when he lost his parents at 20, leading him to renounce his privileged life. Roch distributed his wealth among the poor and embarked on a life of service and humility, donning the simple attire of a pilgrim, before setting off for Italy on a pilgrimage to the Vatican.

Along the way Roch encountered numerous Italian towns ravaged by the plague, and driven by his compassion he stayed to heal the sick using what have been descriped as miraculous healing abilities, earning him reverence as San Rocco.

However, in assisting plagiue victims, Roch himself contracted the plague. Instead of seeking help, he crawled into a forest and made a shelter, preparing to meet his end. But fate had different plans. A dog stumbled upon his shelter and somehow understood Roch's critical condition, and the dog began bringing him bread stolen from his master. The dog licked his wounds and through his unwavering friendship provided Roch with the emotional support and hope that he needed to survive his illness and find a way through.

Roch's story exemplifies the spiritual connection between humans and dogs, symbolizing the depths of their loyalty, companionship, and healing power.

Inspired by this enduring tale, the man and his dog christened their venture Roch in tribute to the saint and his extraordinary bond with his canine savior, they dreamt of creating a world where the ties between humans and their dogs were not merely tolerated but valued and encouraged.

Roch's journey is a tale steeped in faith, fellowship, and the profound love that exists between humans and their faithful canine companions. Inspired by the saintly spirit of St Roch, our ambition is to be a beacon of compassion and service in the world. Our work embodies principles, such as stewardship, charity, and love for creatures. By fostering an environment of inclusivity and respect for our four-legged friends, we honor the sacred bond humans share with their dogs.