Nothing is stronger than the bond between a boy and his dog. That is how nine-year-old Lex Peck feels about his dog, Rocksy, who suffers from a condition called Mitral Valve Regurgitation. Mitral Valve Regurgitation is a condition where the heart’s mitral valve doesn’t close properly. This condition permits blood to flow backwards into the heart, which can cause inefficient blood flow (mayoclinic.org). For Rocksy the beagle, this condition was deemed to be terminal. For Lex, this means providing Rocksy with the best quality of life possible.
Lex has always been a rock collector. So, when Lex received a rock tumbler for Christmas, he started his own company, Lex’s Lucky Rocks, to earn money to buy and provide for his very first dog. Lex got to work, tumbling rocks for a months before he made his debut at the Kankakee Collector Con in 2018. With his earnings from his rock business and the money he put aside from birthdays, chores, and lawnmowing jobs, Lex purchased the necessities for his future pup, including bowls, a collar, leash, and a dog bed. With the basics covered and a stream of income to provide for his new dog, Lex began the search to find his new tail-wagging best friend.
“Lex had been wanting a puppy and had been to pounds,” his father, Andrew Peck said. “But when he met Rocksy on the Amish farm…it changed everything. Lex saw how bad of shape she was in, she had signs of malnutrition, showed signs of abuse, and just needed someone to love her. It was love at first sight when Lex found her.” Lex paid $50 to the Amish farmer for Rocksy and took her home that day. When Lex brought Rocksy to the vet they discovered her heart murmur. Rocksy had x-rays and the Peck family discovered she had Mitral Valve Regurgitation. Lex was sad his new friend had a “broken heart,” but he was determined to care for her.
Through his business Lex has been able to provide Rocksy with the three medications she requires, her x-rays to monitor her condition, and the special soft food she needs as part of her diet. Lex travels all through Illinois to sell his rocks. In 2019 Lex will attend cons, flea markets, and festivals in Kankakee, Decatur, Bloomington, Arthur, Watseka, Findlay, Sullivan, Tuscola, and in Indiana. His father describes Lex’s incredible work ethic, “Lex does all the rock polishing himself, switching out different grits each week until the process is done. Lex helps paint and put together the Lex’s Lucky Rocks’ Pet Rock. Lex also helps assemble the other homemade items. Lex is the owner and operator and ultimately has the final decision on the products of Lex’s Lucky Rocks. Lex even picks out items that he has to buy to resell to keep up with demand. “
Lex sells rocks he polishes himself, the “official” Lucky Rocks, along with geodes, stone animals, pet rocks, amethyst, fossils and much more. Andrew said about Lex’s entrepreneur spirit, “He tries to find and make as many of his products as possible but as the news has spread of what he’s trying to do individuals have sent him items to resell. Over the past several months Lex’s business has grown and continues to grow.”
Recently, however, the Peck family has found that Rocksy’s condition can be repaired through surgery. “Mitral Valve Surgery would fix her heart and from what we’ve been told she will be off all medications and her heart would be repaired,” said Andrew. Rocksy has been thriving under Lex’s care. “She has become used to attention, gained weight, and is over all doing good. However, she has the issue with her heart and the only way to fix that is with surgery. Medications will not save her life, just prolong it and the veterinarians cannot give us a timeline.”
The family would have to travel to the University of Florida for the surgery to be performed on Rocksy, as it is not yet available in Illinois, and the cost will be about $40,000. However, the price of surgery has not detoured Lex. “Lex tries so hard to provide for her care and has set a new goal of getting Rocksy the surgery that would save her life. Any money Lex gets goes towards Rocksy. He says he understands that her heart is broken but he will try his best to get her the surgery. Lex has now told my wife and I that he wants to sell all his toys and video games for more money for his dog,” said Andrew. Through Lex’s Lucky Rocks and a Go-Fund Me, the family hopes that Rocksy can be saved.
But Lex isn’t the only one in the family with an entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to a good cause. His seven-year-old sister, Arianna, has started her own business, A. Button Girl. Arianna had been attending shows with her brother and mother when she decided to get in on the action. “Arianna and I were inspired by friends of ours who operate Fuzzy Fish. They sell buttons, magnets, stickers and more. Arianna knew she loved pin back buttons from collecting them over the years. After getting her first button maker and getting tips from Fuzzy Fish, she started making buttons to sell. Her business has grown very slowly but we plan to roll out a new display at the Strawberry Jazz Festival,” said Andrew.
Her button business has been a perfect outlet for her art. “Arianna and [I] sit together to make the designs. Arianna has ultimate approval of how things turn out for her display. Arianna does the bulk of making all the products but when big orders come, she recruits Lex, mom, and dad to help her. Arianna has always loved art and has even come up with her own monthly button club and she includes an exclusive art button that she hand draws,” said Andrew. A. Button Girl also sells magnets, bottle openers, earring sets, hair bows, compact mirrors, and key chains.
Arianna also found a furry friend in the last place she expected. “Arianna hadn’t really had any plans to adopt a dog. We just found her and knew she needed us, and we needed her,” said Andrew. “We found Arianna’s dog at a local garage sale, of all places, and the person selling the dogs knew us. Lex wanted to save another dog so bad and there was an Amish gentleman standing waiting to see if we were going to take her or not (he even had his checkbook out). We told Lex he has so much on his shoulders with Rocksy, so Arianna stepped up and promised to take care of her.” Arianna has been able to provide for her dog with her business as well. “Arianna loves spoiling her dog. She pays for Bark Box every month, pays for treats, and donates some of her money. Plus, she helps Lex. Arianna loves her dog and loves to take her places and thinks of Cringer as a fox.” Charities that Arianna supports includes iCare, where she sponsors a cat and a dog, the Children’s Advocacy Center of East Central Illinois, Hands 4 Paws, and the Lovington Library.
The siblings rescue work goes beyond caring for their own dogs and monetary donations. “They have helped rescue a dog that went to an animal rescue to find its forever home. Lex and Arianna love helping all kinds of wildlife. They’ve helped rescue baby rabbits, turtles, and even birds. If we find an animal in need and can help in any way, we do our best. Lex has told me he wants to help other dogs like Rocksy. They have a dedication to help animals and others. They volunteer helping with local activities.,” said Andrew. “This beagle and the dog Arianna rescued has changed how the whole family works together and looks out for each other, these kiddos are amazing.”
You can find Lex’s Lucky Rocks and A. Button Girl at the Strawberry Jazz Festival in its new location this year, North Field Square Mall, in Bradley. The Festival will be held Sunday, June 2, 2019, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information about the Strawberry Jazz Festival, check the Facebook event page.
You can also find Lex’s Lucky Rocks on Facebook and Instagram @LexsLuckyRocks and on Etsy. Find A. Button Girl @AButtonGirl on Facebook and Instagram and on Esty. To donate to Rocksy’s GoFund Me click here.