Ryan Showalter described Rock as a "love-them-to-death type of dog" that was good with strangers rather than the "protector of the house."
A 10-month-old Labrador-pit bull mix, Rock slept on Bianca Alakson's pillow at night.
"He's just my baby," she tearfully told WDIV-TV in Detroit. Now all that's left of Rock is a box of ashes, a paw-print mold and a bloody collar after police shot and killed him in the couple's back yard around midnight Sunday.
Noting the remnants of their puppy, Alakson told the station "when this came today it hit me even worse."
Police in Redford Township, Michigan — about 16 miles northwest of Detroit — said they received a call about a fight and were pursuing the suspect on foot through yards in the neighborhood where Showalter and Alakson live.
Police said they saw the suspect through a window in the couples's house, approached the back fence bearing the sign "Beware of Dog" and opened an unsecured gate. An officer said he was charged by the dog.
Fearing for his safety, the officer fired once at Rock. When the dog continued to advance, the officer fired again. When Showalter heard the "pop pop," he told WDIV he went outside to question police. "You guys just shoot my dog?" he said he asked.
Showalter said police ordered him back inside his house, noted he was "resisting arrest" and then handcuffed him for interfering with a police investigation.
"I was breaking down hysterically in the back seat of the cop car," he told WDIV. "I didn’t know what to do.”
It's not clear if any repercussions await Showalter since Alakson bailed him out, but police told WDIV concerning the shooting that "everyone here loves animals. It's the last thing we want to do. But we have to protect ourselves."
TheBlaze on Wednesday contacted Redford Township Police to find out if the suspect they were pursuing was, in fact, in the couple's house or has been apprehended, but the message wasn't immediately returned. The couple has another dog, due to give birth to puppies — Rock's puppies — in a couple of months.
This story has been updated, noting the couple's other dog will give birth in a couple of months, not in days.