Friday, November 2, 2007


My family adopted/rescued ROXY from a private shelter almost 12 years ago. When we got her she had been placed and re-adopted into a few homes and already had puppies that had been taken away from her. She was only a year old. A black lab / Weimarenar mix, she was the largest female lab mix I had ever seen. She was 90 pounds and all muscle with tall, long legs, a long body, a tall, stout chest, and she had the softest ears I have ever felt on a short haired dog. Her coat was naturally shiny and she had these glowing golden brown eyes - one of her Weimarenar traits. She would follow you from room to room just to be near you and she still does that today. You can kiss her face over and over, lie cuddled practically on top of her, and she always comes when you call her. She loves going for walks and loves going for rides even more. She's super quiet (except when she's sleeping and snoring) and barely ever makes a sound or even barks, but she makes the cutest howling sounds whenever she hears an ambulance or fire truck nearby.
The first time I took a nap cuddled next to her with my face nuzzled into her neck I knew it was love. She's the only dog I've ever owned who would even let me do that. Why other families who had adopted her rejected her I will never know or comprehend. After all these years ROXY is getting old. She's approximately 13 - really old for any dog, but especially for a large one. She's slowed down considerably. Some days she has more pep and other days she's a bit pooped out. Her favorite place to be (besides lounging on one of our couches) is to sit perched on the porch or just inside the entryway to the house and just observe the cars and people going by on the street. When she was younger, if she saw a squirrel whiz by in the yard she would take off like a rocket. Now she just watches them walk on by - not enough energy to be the pursuer. About five years ago she started developing these tumors on both sides or her body. After running blood tests, the Vet informed us that surgery was risky for ROXY. My Mom had just died and the thought of possibly losing ROXY's life to remove the tumors wasn't worth it. And the thought of ROXY possibly dying right after my Mom probably would have killed my Dad. So we decided to let ROXY live out her life as long as that was going to be and not have her suffer through surgery. Well now it's five years later and ROXY has lots of tumors and cysts all over her body. The largest one on her left side is about 12 x 12 inches and hard as a rock. The tumor is stealing nutrients from the rest of her body so her weight drops little by little and she keeps getting skinnier in the middle. Sometimes the tumor affects her appetite and she doesn't want to eat much. On days that she does want to eat her dog food, I give her a bowl of my Peanut Butter Puffins cereal followed by a milk chaser - one of her favorite meals. She's been an amazing companion as I've grown from 25 to 37. ROXY isn't pure black anymore - she's earned her gray hairs - and her white eyebrows are the cutest. I'm just happy to still have ROXY here. I cherish the days I have with her.

Roxy Going For Rides

Dad, Lydia, Roxy, 1966 Buick LeSabre photo by Hugh Hamilton

Roxy Sleeping

Roxy Lounging

Roxy & Dad at Lake Balboa

Lydia & Roxy

Roxy Portrait - 2005

Update: Roxy died at home on December 7, 2007. I was at her side comforting her and she went quickly. That she survived to the ripe old age of 13 (very old for a large sized dog), and despite all the tumors, is a testament to her strength and strong will to live. To say she will be missed is an understatement. I now have a new dog in my life, another rescue - Lucy, a 2 year old boxer/lab mix. As this post is a tribute to Roxy, I will elaborate on Lucy in a future post.

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