(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?