Hello Dr. Annie,
Thank you so much for your kindness. I still miss Roxy’s presence in our home. I’m not sad, but there are times I definitely miss her. This past Christmas I noticed her absence, since she was always hanging with us opening gifts, or sleeping at my feet under the dining table while we enjoyed our meal.
This year my son, who you did not meet, gave me a very touching gift. I had no idea what it might be, then as I tore off the wrapping, there she was… A canvas print of Roxy, resting after a a very long hike. I remembered the day I took the picture, she was resting in the sun on top of a huge boulder, next to a glorious shimmering lake. I broke down in tears. Happy tears, of course!
Our old lab Bo, was about 7 at the time, so he made sure to show her how things are done on vacation and at home.
Bo was a good teacher. Bo gave Roxy the confidence she needed, and being such a smart dog, Roxy learned very quickly. Every summer we took a trip to Mammoth; I called it our Bo and Roxy trip. So, just two weeks after we brought her home to live with us, Roxy took her first Roxy trip to Mammoth and was able to put her new found skills to the test.
Bo taught her stuff like (while on vacation), never bark when we are away (such as out to dinner), because we will always come home. But most importantly, he taught her that are trusting them to keep an eye on things, and protect our home, because that’s what good dogs are suppose to do. Dogs are not suppose to be a nuisance, but a good companion, so while we are out eating dinner, or skiing, Bo let her know that, it’s ok to sneak into the sheets and make them all warm and cozy while we are gone, but also not to let mom catch her. Or, Roxy will hear, “What did you do?” Yeah, I said that to Roxy from time to time, but it was all good. I secretly thought it was kind of cute how she would slither out back on to the floor and come walk up to me gently wagging her tail as if it to say, “I’m sorry mama, I just missed your smell.” I always forgave her.
Roxy was a very fast learner. She listened to Bo well and I barely had to do a thing. She just copied everything he knew and more. Roxy was a true companion. She could and did go everywhere with us. She loved a good road trip where ever it may lead.
Roxy hated coyotes with a passion and she knew they were not regular dogs. If they started yelpiing at night, which they often would, she would go absolutely ballistic! She would crazily bark and want to go out to attack and chase them off the property - if only to bark, because they were always on the other side of the wall. One day I truly saw Roxy in action… Roxy was out doing her business in broad daylight and a coyote had jumped the fence. Roxy’s back was to it. and closing in. I happened to look out the window and almost lost it! I ran outside yelling, and at that very moment, Roxy turned around and went in full attack mode. That coyote didn’t have a chance, with a crazy woman running after it, and one very upset dog on it’s tail! Needless to say, it went back where it came from and leaped back over our fence (8 ft) and took off running. Roxy sniffed and peed at least a dozen times as if to say, “This is my territory. Stay out!!” I was scared, but I gave Roxy lots of love and kudos for being so brave. After that, I always kept my eyes on her as she went out alone to do her thing.
Another time, while I was outside working on my laptop, and I had my kitty, Raya, out with me enjoying the sunshine, it was Roxy to the rescue! But first, one of the weird behaviors that Bo taught Roxy was to watch the sky for big birds flying over head. The two of them would sit there in the grass and wait for the late afternoon visits from the turkey vultures as they would soar overhead catching the updrafts. The two of them would bark like crazy trying to clear the airspace of birds. It was kind of annoying, but funny at the same time. So after Bo passed, Roxy continued the tradition of monitoring of the “ Gavello Family Airspace” anytime she was hanging out in the backyard with her family.
Anyway, back to Raya and Roxy. Raya was hanging out under the trampoline watching for lizards and Roxy was keeping an eye on the sky. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something flap - a huge hawk had landed on the low branch of the tree next to the trampoline! Raya heads straight for this bird (as if!) and the hawk (that thing looked to be 3 feet tall in that tree!) is looking right at Raya with wings outstretched ready to attack, but out of nowhere Roxy comes running and bark furiously after this hawk and chases it clean out of the yard! My heart was beating so fast as I rushed over to get my cat and put her back safely inside the house. After a few minutes, I went back outside and loved on Roxy and told her what a good girl she was, how brave she was, and thanked her saving Raya’s life.
Roxy was not only a good dog, she was the best dog. Now, she is running free over the bridge. I’m sure she is with Bo again, and I’m also sure he is still teaching her how to be a good dog in Heaven… Or, who knows, Roxy might be teaching him or thing or two.
Thank you for letting me share my story. I was very healing to do so. :)