Few people know the untold story of Roxie. It would have been a secret that I would have taken to my grave, but today I will tell it because Roxie has passed away.
She was a young dog just over a year old when she first started coming here to board with us. Some people are intimidated at first, I was too because she was the first Doberman I had really been around and she was so big compared to my dogs… and then she showed me her heart which was also big and we all fell in love with her right from the beginning. At first, she was so shy with all the dog activity around the farm, when the dogs would run full speed, she would run to me and stand by my side for protection, which she got or so she at least thought. In just a few days, she was one of the pact dogs, but a little different, just a tall muscular Border Collie with short brown hair, cropped ears and no tail. She loved to play in the water and would bite at it as she swam and even go after the jolly ball, not always getting it, but she tried.
One of the fondest things I remember about her visits, she would lope with the other dogs as they ran. She had a beautiful stride and it was so amusing to watch the whole pack run through the woods and Roxie would stand out because of her stature. She was quite a dog and I loved her…
Two events occurred because of her and the first was life threatening for both of us. Roxie is the unknown dog that I wrote about that fell in the lake and I went through the solid ice to rescue her. She was trapped nearly 30 feet away from shore and couldn’t get out, so I went in after her. We both made it out but not without bruises and cuts. For me it created the bond for both of us that a situation like this can cause. I never told her owner because I didn’t want them to worry and never mentioned who it was publicly. It was our secret, the one thing I was going to carry myself. The last time we kept her, her owner was picking Roxie up and mentioned that she had just taken her other dog to the Vet for a routine exam. Her other dog had tested positive for a treatable tick disease and she suggested that I get my dogs tested too, which I did. Roxie then went home after our goodbyes six weeks ago and that was the last time I saw her, little did I know... Doc tested negative for that disease but tested positive for Heartworms. I had no intention to test my dogs because they were being treated and were fine or so I thought…Did Roxie’s visit save Doc’s life? I actually think it did because early detection is critical. I called the owner this last Friday when I heard the sad news and told her how I felt. I spoke in broken phrases because I was so upset. I did tell her about Roxie falling through the ice because I felt she needed to know. Later that same day I got an email back from her…”Don't you think it is funny how things work? You saved Roxie's life on that frozen pond and in return she may have saved Doc's life.” No truer words were ever spoken.
It is funny how things work. Sometimes we see it but I imagine most of the time we don’t but this time I did. Roxie would allow me to pick her up by her front feet and kiss her face and rub her belly at the same time…she was quite a dog. What’s also strange, Roxie and Doc were best friends and would run together and wrestle and scamper through the woods, Roxie loping all the way.
Roxie had a real job. She was a guard/protection dog at a scrapyard and we called her “Roxie the Junkyard dog”. According to her caretaker, every morning when the staff would arrive, she would meet them with a “Chuck-it Ball Launcher” in her mouth and every day, they would play before work. This Friday morning, they didn’t play, she had been hit by a car and nothing could save her. She was just two years old and in her two short years, she touched many lives. She was quite a dog and we loved her and will surely miss her.
As I sit here, Doc is still being treated for Heartworms and is sitting next to me because he needs to be quiet. Every few minutes he sits up just to make sure I’m close and usually I command him to “Lay Down” but today, I didn’t. I looked into his loving eyes and thought about Roxie loping through the woods with Doc and happier days. I gave Doc a big hug and couldn’t help but shed a tear. Good bye Sweet Girl, I will never forget you…and thank you for all you did with us and helping Doc…Meet you at the Bridge for your belly rub… Ken
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