Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Goodbye Old Friend

(Roxy on the right, Lucy on the left, enjoying a Lake Tahoe swim.)

We lost a dear family friend yesterday. Dear little Roxy, my daughter's fourteenth birthday present. She was quite the personality. She "talked" - loudly and often. I can still hear my husband trying to shush Roxy, who was very loudly voicing her appreciation of going for a run, early in the morning as he was leaving the house. He was worried she would wake the neighbors. She was that loud.

She was the last puppy from a litter that should not have been. Her mother had been over bred, and when we arrived to see her, it was clear the family had been living off breeding their dogs. They lived in a tiny trailer in a small town 60 miles from Reno. Their children's beds were in the living room. Roxy was supposed to be a blond lab, but we found she was more red, and had a white splotch on her chest. We were assured that it not be a problem unless we wanted to show her. She was only going to be my daughter's pet, so we gathered her up and took her home. We knew full well that getting our money back, if there were a problem, would not be in the cards. We knew we shouldn't encourage such bad dog breeding. But she was already here, and we knew we could give her a good life, which was not assured if we left her behind for a better bred dog. No, not assured at all.

She was sweet, and we loved her dearly.

She was also naughty. Chewing through our beautiful Rose of Sharon, the big stalks belonging to our wisteria, and numerous other plants. We finally had to put chicken wire around all the trunks. Marley had nothing on Roxy. She was also a very industrious digger, excavating cavernous holes wherever she lived. She was busy, busy.

When we moved from Portland to Minnesota a few years ago my daughter decided to keep Roxy with her in Portland while attending college. I can still remember Roxy staring out the window as we drove away, wondering why Lucy was going and she had to stay. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do - leaving my children and Roxy behind as we moved 1800 miles away. But Roxy loved going to college. Stories abound of her leaving my daughter in the bedroom after a night of college partying to rejoin those still having a good time - all the while my daughter thinking she was sleeping in her bed. Roxy routinely slept in our daughter's bed when given the chance, the only clue being a warm spot right in the middle. She was also found on the couch - a big no no - by roommates on more than one occasion. Sneaking out and cleaning the counters of anything edible - including whole loaves of bread - plastic and all, was her favorite pastime. She loved beer, long runs, pizza, going in the car, garbage of any kind, swimming, all meals and snacks, and most of all - my daughter.

Our girl, home for the holiday, was getting bad reports all weekend. Roxy, the victim of bad genes, or so the vet said, was going downhill fast. After many vet visits, and thousands of dollars, the end was forthcoming. Our little girl was about to face life full on. After fighting with the vets to keep Roxy from suffering, and getting very little support, it seemed nature would take it's course. Her sister and brother-in-law were doing their best to keep Roxy comfortable until she could get home. Bless their hearts.

So dear little Roxy, the naughtiest dog we have ever had, as well as the one with the biggest personality, ended her struggle. My youngest, with her sister, took her to the vet for the last time. She fed her spaghetti, and spent the day home from work. Just as she did when we were still taking our daughter to soccer practice, Rox loved being with her person.

She was adored for eight years. She had the best food money could buy, warm/soft beds, exercise, experiences, and most of all - love. Rest in peace Rox, and say hello to Lady, Winnie and KiKi, okay?

54 comments:

sas said...

oh so sorry to hear of your loss. roxy will be tearing up the green fields on the other side I am sure :)

Natalie said...

I love the naughty loveable ones. Bless you, Roxy, beautiful girl, for making a statement.

Love to the family, Nancy, for missing a special girl.xx♥

Ladybird World Mother said...

Oh, sad,sad news. Hugs to you all... its' such a gap when such a personality, called a Dog, leaves us. xx

Lydia said...

O what a wonderful tribute to a perfectly naughty perfectly lucky dog. It read like the best in the "Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul" series of books. I'm so sorry for the broken hearts there, especially your daughter's tears, but jeez you guys gave Roxy the best home imaginable and there should be no regrets.
And this... forget about all those lonely-hearts want ads!:
She loved beer, long runs, pizza, going in the car, garbage of any kind, swimming, all meals and snacks, and most of all - my daughter.

CrazyCris said...

sigh!

no more suffering is good, right? it's always hardest on those left behind...

hugs to the whole family!

Missy said...

What a sweet story-love the bit about the partying....hilarious. So sad for you and your daughter as losing a pet is so hard.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

What a beautiful tribute to a beloved companion pet. Hugs to you all. So sorry.

Gaston Studio said...

Tears sprang up about your losing Roxy but I know she had a wonderful, happy life with your family.

One day, hopefully, puppy mills (however small) must be outlawed in every state!

The Good Cook said...

Nancy - I am so, so sorry for your family's lose. Giving your heart to a pet is one of the best and worst things. My beautiful KC died a year and half ago after a brief but terrible illness, our vet told me one of the most endearing things at the time, he said, "the reason they don't live long is so you can have more than one amazing animal in your life"... yes - you and your family will fall in love again. One day. I now have Holly Bear, my naughty one. Bad Dog, Bad seems to be my daily mantra - but I wouldn't have it any other way...

Thinking of you and yours...

John Atkinson said...

This is sad and your loss is felt. I'll love my Norma Jean, a Jack Russell Terrier, a bit more on our walk this morning in memory of Roxy.

Jennifer said...

The loss of a loved pet is always so difficult. Love to your family during this difficult time.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

My heart goes out to you and your daughter. Losing a pet is so hard. I experienced it twice last year and then again this year with my daughter. Even knowing that we will experience this.... we still can open our hearts to love another pet.

DJan said...

So sad to hear of your loss, and you said it well when you told of your daughter's grief at having to go through this. Loss is part of life, but a part we must suffer through. Blessings sent to you and yours today...

wendyytb said...

Such a sad day for you folks......a story told so many times and in different ways...by those who loved their pets.

Sounds like Roxy had a wonderful home.

Brian Miller said...

so sorry...i had a dog named hobo once when i was a kid...i would ride on his back when i was really little...i even had a stuffed animal that resembled him...

sounds like he had a good life...and i am sure he enjoyed the spaghetti. smiles.

willow said...

Lovely tribute to your dear Roxy. It's been two years since we lost our big yellow lab, Ralphy, and not a day goes by that we don't miss him dearly.

ellen abbott said...

It's really hard losing a loved dog.

Rain said...

OMG...that was so touching. I'm tearing up! I'm so sorry for your loss! xxx

Pam said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. Losing a pet is so hard. They love us and give us so much.

Whitney Lee said...

I'm so terribly sorry. I'm not sure how people go through this again and again. I know at some point we will experience the same thing, and it will be like losing a person. I am sending warm thoughts to you and your daughter.

Marguerite said...

So sorry for your loss and nice tribute to Roxy. Will keep you in my thoughts. Hugs to all!

Marlene said...

Oh Nancy...I write this with a huge lump in my throat..I know the loss well. reading this brings to mind all the lost companions of my past..and I still feel thier loss..I am sorry for your loss and I fully understand....You gave her a good life. Last year my friend of 19yrs a Corgi named Siah left us..Our angel without wings .

Meeko Fabulous said...

Oh Nancy! I'm in tears. I'm so sorry for your loss. Our "pets" become such big members of our family, worming their way into our hearts, don't they? Big hugs to you.

JC said...

I am so sorry for your lose.
What a wonderful life she had.

My dog, Bella, came from that sort of set up. He paid for some of his d's college by breeding labs.

Bella is also 8. Not doing too well. I actually watched her yesterday and thought that her time was being cut short.

But, what a time my Bella & your Roxy have had ...

Josephine said...

I'm sorry for your loss (and your daughter's). It reminds me of that movie though, All Dogs Go To Heaven. :) I'm sure they do. And from what you wrote it sounds like she's had a great life. What more could a dog want?

Will your daughter get a puppy now? Or will she take the time to mourn for her loss? Or will she do both at once? :)

Land of shimp said...

What a wonderful story about Roxy, may she have gone to a great reward, and my you see her again. She was a well loved dog in life, that's clear.

Very touching, and very reminiscent of the dogs we have all known. The suspicious warm spot in the bed made me laugh, as that happens around here with our cat, and he'll stare back with a "I have no idea to what you could be referring. Certainly that has nothing to do with me. I'm offended." sort of look. Meanwhile dogs have that "I'm so happy to be busted! Love me, love mmmmmmeeeee!" look when confronted.

I'm sorry you lost Roxy, but I think she had a very happy story. Certainly better than the opening chapters would imply, eh?

We had our own, "Okay, this is a puppy mill dog." Scout, a "UKC" (yes, you read that right) Scottish Terrier. We knew we shouldn't, but she was already here on this Earth, and she was very, very sick. We thought, "Well clearly, she needs us!" and poured thousands into saving her.

She breathed her last on December 22nd last year. Also a victim of bad breeding, liver failure.

"Well clearly, she needs us!" really was, "Oh so clearly, we needed her."

Blessings.

scarlethue said...

So sorry for your loss. Take comfort in the good life that you gave Roxy-- she couldn't have asked for any more than that.

Phoebe Miriah Kirby said...

It's so hard losing a pet... People just don't understand sometimes. They are like your children with their own personalities and emotions.

My dogs are both 8 yrs. old and losing them would break my heart. I would need weeks to recover from such a huge loss.

I'm so sorry about her. Give your daughter lots of hugs and kisses. :(

Jeninacide said...

She definitely left her mark on the world and on our lives.

I could see her aura around her in the hospital room yesterday- she was ready to move on, and she went so peacefully. <3

Hilary said...

Oh Nancy, I'm so sorry for your family's loss. Tears welled up as soon as I saw the photo and post title. That rascal of a dog sure had loving, wonderful people in her life. Those big personalities leave the biggest holes. Hugs to you.

Lily Robinson said...

Funny you should bring up Marley... Mr J and I just watched this movie. We thought it was a happy comedy. I cried for three days, flooded with memories of my 'best dog ever'. I'll take personality over perfect anyday!

Roxy is lucky to have been in your family. RIP Roxy.

Ermanno Gioacchini, director, dramatherapist said...

...your story made me sad, even if you do not know about me -right now I have visited your blog, cause you are a Metamorphosi's fan-today she tells about...compassion. It's really true that the first day we were born is also the first day we were dying too; life teaches us constantly and the pain will sew together with our little big gains. I'll give you my best wishes for a happy time, which can be expanded as the feeling of heaven and life that you express. Hug

A stranger friend

Shrinky said...

I am all choked up reading this, my heart aches for your loss. What a beautiful tribute you have written to her, and what a wonderful life she led. Guess she packed double-years into the time she was allowed, she certainly seems to have brought a lot of love and light to you all.

(Hugs)

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

I just lit a candle for her. May her passage be illuminated and may she find her way back to you and your family soon.

Alaine said...

So sorry to hear that. Dog is God backwards; they're all little gods and it's so heartbreaking when they go.

whalechaser said...

It is so, so painful to lose a loving pet. Hugs to you at this very sad time. I looked at the comments that others had written and totally lost it when I got to the one by Good Cook. You see I just lost my dear KC bird (after having him for seven years) and I got stuck in the comment. It looks like something I may have written but it has only been a month for me. I finally "got it".
But, lost it again when I got to the part about not having them for too long so you could love another. Wow.
Well, I hope another loving dog is in your future. There is nothing like animal love.
Whale

Mental P Mama said...

Weeping. What a wonderfully loved dog. She is in good company at The Rainbow Bridge. Hugs to you all.

Erika C. said...

So sorry to hear this! I remember when we had to have our dog put to sleep. It was now over 10 years ago, just after my first child, my daughter was born. Our dog, Timothy, a Kerry Blue Terrier, couldn't walk or eat or do much of anything and was clearly in a lot of pain. But somehow he seemed to hold on until my daughter was born. It seemed like then he was ready to go.

But is was so hard. I do feel for you.
I haven't been writing in a while but am back.
warmly,
Erika

Elizabeth Bradley said...

I'm sorry you lost Roxy. These much-loved pets are with us such a short time. I have inherited my daughter's dog, Oliver. She's just graduated from design institute and unable to care for him. I call him The Blonde Dog. He's a pill but The Husband and him are madly in love. It's really a bond I don't dare mess with. I'm afraid Oliver owns a giant piece of The Husband's heart. They do that to us. Don't they?

Herrad said...

Hi Nancy,
Thanks for sharing your memories of Roxy.
She sounds like a wonderful dog, a great character.
You will miss her lots.
Best way to help ease the pain is to tell esch other stories about her.
It helped us when Daisy died.
Love,
Herrad

Bogey said...

I feel your pain Nancy. Perhaps Roxy can join Casper up in Doggie Heaven where they can now run pain free, bark until they are hoarse and eat until the cows come home. Keeping the happy memories alive means she will be with you forever. Hugs to you my friend.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Such a wonderful tribute to a wonderfully, naughty, personable dog. Farewell Roxy. Look up Georgie Girl & Gisele at your destination. They'd love to know you.

Jilly said...

I'm so sorry. Losing a pet is losing a family member and it's heartbreaking. I hope she's in doggie heaven having a good ole' time.

linda said...

she will be meeting up with a whole bunch of scott doggies, I am sure :)

this is so hard, like losing a family member for sure....you are in my thoughts, I know how dreadful it is....

blessings...

Rob-bear said...

So sorry to hear about Roxy. Condolences all around. We've had to go through the same process on several occasions. In the end, it is the appropriate thing for the pet, but it is never easy. That pet is really a member of the family -- like any parent or child, or whomever.

Blessings.

GutsyWriter said...

That photo is so great. I can see the dogs smiling like little kids. I just found your blog and wanted to leave a comment. Dogs are the best companions.

Deboshree said...

Oh dear..It must be terribly sad and hard for all of you.
I know how it feels when we lose a pet 'coz they are not just animals. They become a part of our lives and shape the way we live.

Take care
Love
Deboshree

Jo said...

Aw... Nancy, I'm so sorry for your loss. It's just awful losing a beloved pet. She knew she was well-loved.

GYPSYWOMAN said...

what a beautiful loving tribute to a wonderful bright loving roxy! all the star candles are lit for her in the skies! thinking of you -

Ruth said...

Poor sweet Roxy. It sounds like she had a good life with you.

(No worries about the little blog name meme, Nancy! If someone had asked me to do it, I don't know how I'd have remembered. :| It was fun, sorry to miss your story about it though.)

ds said...

So sorry to read of your loss, so eloquently written. Roxy was clearly one of the best dogs ever. Thank you for sharing her.

~JarieLyn~ said...

Oh Nancy, I have tears in my eyes. So sorry to hear about Roxy. She is in Rainbow Doggie Heaven now but still a sad story. Hugs!

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

My sincere condolences on the loss of the lovable Roxy. It is never easy loosing a dear friend whose only request is a hug and a pat...unconditional love all the time...

Spiritual Journey said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. The last dog I cared for died 10 years ago and since then, I never had a pet. When a beloved pet dies, something churns inside you that the thought of loving another one who would eventually grow old and die afterwards is kind of unbearable - well, that's how I see it. Maybe when the time comes when I can dwell on the good times with a pet, then I'll have a dog.