A Tribute To My Childhood Dog

This isn’t meant to be a sad story, even though it has a sad ending. The journey it took to get to the end was full of love, laughs and fun. As hard as it is to lose a pet, I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. I was beyond blessed with the perfect dog named Roxy.

Meeting Roxy

Roxy as a puppy.

Roxy was born in 2003, which would mean that I was around 6 years old. That being said, I can’t clearly remember how we came to rescue Roxy. All I know is that we rescued her and took her to my father’s fire department where he worked and the rest was history. She always had so much energy. She was constantly running around our large backyard, sometimes even jumping clean over our extremely tall fences. She was a spectacular dog.

She was my constant. She was always there for me growing up and always had so much love to give to everyone. She never bit anyone, was never aggressive, and always listened to commands. There wasn’t a single person, family or friend, who didn’t adore her.

Roxy and I when I was in elementary school.

Growing Up

Like Bella, she was there for me from elementary school up until college. She was there since I was 6 years old until I was 21. That’s a really long time and I am incredibly thankful for my time with her. She had a really full life of camping and exploring and meeting all sorts of dogs. She had countless walks to burn off her energy and so many play sessions in the house with me. She was also given tons of treats. She was even blessed by a priest when I was in Catholic school and we had “Pet Blessing Day”!

Roxy and me on “Pet Blessing Day”.

When we got our dachshund Bella, there was no need for adjustment. Roxy took her in with so many kisses and so much love. They truly were sisters. They always knew when the other wasn’t around and were pretty much always in the same room, unless Bella was sleeping in my bed with me. During the last several years of her life, Roxy would always soak Bella’s ears in her wet kisses every single morning like clockwork. The two were inseparable.

Growing up, I also had several guinea pigs (6 at once, to be specific). Roxy adored the guinea pigs. She never ever tried to hurt them. She just always wanted to be in their presence and sniff them and give them a bath in kisses. She truly loved everyone and everything.

Roxy and “her” guinea pig.

While Bella shaped my photography more, Roxy was also one of my subjects for practice. She had more energy than Bella, so she required more effort to get her to stand still for long sessions. Nonetheless, she was still an amazing help to my hobby. I also got to spend a lot of alone time with her and bond with her while taking photos of her. I make my mother personal calendars every year for Christmas. In 2017, I took an entire day to photograph Roxy at a nearby beach to make a calendar all about Roxy (since we knew her time was coming to an end). It was still the best thing I ever did with her.

The Ending Of Her Life

Her life was long, but that didn’t make saying goodbye any easier. In the summer of 2018, I got a call from my parents about her failing health. For the first time in her long life, she had a seizure. It took away her quality of life. By that, I mean that she could no longer walk. Mind you, this dog was running around up and down mountains until that point. When I got the call and how she needed to be put down so she was no longer in pain, I dropped everything to make sure I would make it up to spend time with her on her last day.

I don’t go home often since I’m in college but seeing her in that poor state of health destroyed me. I sat on the bathroom floor where she was, unable to move herself, and just cried with my head pressed to her forehead. I apologized over and over that I couldn’t do anything to take away her pain and keep her around longer. It felt like my entire body was breaking down as her head laid in my lap while she struggled to breathe.

On her last day, I did everything in my power to make her feel loved. My boyfriend, my father and I took her to McDonald’s. We got her a McDouble with only meat, cheese and ketchup with a side of large fries. We sat in my pickup, her and my boyfriend in the back seat, and she ate the entire burger in one bite. We all fed her fries one by one until she had her fill. Then we went back home until her appointment at the vet.

As difficult as it was to say goodbye, I’m so thankful that I had the chance to do so. While I tried to make every time I had with her happy and memorable, I loved being able to give her a wonderful final day. I even had my good friend from high school, who is a vet assistant as she gets her veterinary degree, to help put her to sleep.

This tribute isn’t for her ending, but to remember everything that came before that. This tribute is to make her memory last longer than she did, because she deserves that. She touched many lives and made people become dog lovers. She was the first dog to show me what unconditional love was and I am eternally grateful to her.

2 thoughts on “A Tribute To My Childhood Dog

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