Rosie-our-boxer

If you are friends…

 You know that our Sweet Baby Girl, Rosie, has died. We are devastated by her loss. She was our child-with the fur and tail. We loved her deeply.

We are reflecting on our lives with her, and we are realizing how incredibly lucky blessed we were to have her in our family.

If things would have went the way that we planned, she wouldn’t have. You know what they say about “The best laid plans”…

The Planning…

We moved into our home in March 2006.

Doing all the normal move in duties…deciding what would go where, painting all the walls delicious colors, choosing bedrooms, and reveling in all of the space. Spring sprung, but our home was a new build, and the spring showers turned our grass-less yard into mud. But we didn’t let that stop us. We put in our garden, traipsing through the yard mud to sow our seeds.

Bruce and I were also yearning for a dog. What good is all this open backyard without a dog to muck it up.

This is a big decision for a married couple. We both grew up with dogs, each family having their preferred breed. My family had Golden Retrievers, a loving docile dog. I owned Chows in my early 20s, and Levi’s first dog was a lab/chow mix. Bruce and I were not sure what type of dog that we wanted, but we knew we were looking for a loving pooch that would protect our children as much as she wanted to play with them.

We studied dogs breeds and traits. Size’ and how much shedding we could tolerate, were top considerations. But most of all we wanted a dog that would love us as much as we would love her.

I was thinking German Shepard. It was protective. Loving. But I was not sure that I could handle all of the hair. All of the hair. ALL OVER THE HOUSE.

As I was trying to figure out how to manage the dog hair, Bruce had other ideas.

His research (and his heart) led him to the Boxer breed.

Boxer’s were the original police dog. They were strong, trainable, protective. I wasn’t sure that this was the breed for us, but Bruce (and the adorable photos I found on line) won me over. We were hoping for a female pup, as female Boxers were extremely protective of the children in their families.

Our research took considerable time, spring had led into summer, now it was fall. We combed the newspaper for Boxer puppies for sale. We wanted one from our area, from a private breeder. A good blood line. We were not planning to register her, or preen her for dog shows, but Boxers are prone to hip issues and we wanted to make sure that we were doing our best by our kids, and ourselves. And for our new addition.

And months later…

We found her!

There was an ad from a breeder who had a  litter of pups, she was only an few hours away from us, so we called. At that time she only had one pup left. A little girl. A healthy little girl. We claimed her. And we would be picking her up in a few weeks. It was now December, but we didn’t let winter stop us!

D-Day

Dog Day, that is, was finally here. Unbelievable, as we look back on it now, we were picking up a pup, one that we had never seen. It had taken so long for us to find a dog that fit all of our parameters, so we were taking a leap of faith. That she was the “ONE”, the one that we were destined to have.

About a half hour into our road trip we called the Breeder to let her know that we were on the way. We were so excited! Bruce, Georgia and I had cleaned out the pet store that morning, and our newly purchased dog crate filled the back seat next to Georgia. We had place a very loved, soft blanket in the crate and our puppy’s new bowls, food, treats and collar were in a bag on the floor. We were ready, and so excited!

Best Laid Plans…

The answer that we received from the Breeder was the last one that we expected, and blew our plans to smithereens. She had given our pup away, just last night, to someone else. SHE. GAVE. OUR. PUP. TO. SOMEONE. ELSE.

We pulled the car over, attempting to breath, to figure this out. Georgia, who was just 6 years old, began to cry. Quietly sobbing as she looked at all of the puppy things beside her in the backseat. Items that she helped us choose with such thought and love. Items for a puppy that we would never see.

Bruce and I comforted her, scrambling to figure things out.

We stopped at a gas station grabbing a local sales newspaper and then pulled into Georgia’s favorite restaurant, Steak and Shake. Hoping that the paper held our answer while a milkshake soothed.

We searched and called. And searched and called. For hours we sat in Steak and Shake, searching and calling. Telling our story to Breeder after Breeder, only to hear that all their pups had been claimed.

Working our way through the list, we made another call. There were 9 pups in this litter, and 4 were claimed. They were only 3 weeks old and the owner was not permitting anyone outside of immediate family entry, the pups were still too little for company. But after hearing our story, and our daughters soft sobs, we were granted access. To us, this was tantamount to finding a “Golden Ticket”. We jumped into the car, driving an hour in anticipation of seeing our girl.

As we approached the home…

That held our precious sweet girl, we almost turned around. The yard was not taken care of, neither was the house trailer that we pulled up in front of. But none of that mattered to Georgia, so Bruce and I sucked it up and knocked.

Our knock incited chaos. Loud barking came from the back of the home, multiple dogs making themselves heard. As we walked into the trailer it was dark, gloomy and smelled. We were a bit uncomfortable. But the Breeder was extremely nice and welcoming. As our eyes adjusted to the dark  we saw a pen in the middle of the livingroom, full of beautiful fawn baby boxers. Discomfort faded quickly as the door to the pen was opened and the beauties came rolling out. Pushing, shoving, romping as only a puppy can.

We were in love.

Several of the babies had necklaces, claiming them, we focused on the 5 pups that were not already promised. And we fell, hard. Only we each fell for a different pup.

Georgia fell for the runt. She was so tiny, all of them were really, but this one was so little and she loved to cuddle in Georgia’s lap. I fell for a robust pup and Bruce fell for a third. We needed to make a decision quickly, the Breeder had asked that we not stay long as the pups were so small.

After much discussion, Bruce’s pup was the one to claim our necklace. Georgia had one with her and we used it to stake our claim. The pup was a beauty, her markings lovely, she had a spot on her nose shaped like a heart. It was so hard to leave her there, but we would be back in about 4 weeks to take her home with us.

We insisted, before we left, on putting money on this pup. Losing another would have re-broken our hearts. A written receipt was also a demand, which the Breeder humored us with. And we left, slightly disappointed not to have our baby in tow, but knowing we would have her soon.

Planning…Laugh Out Loud!!!

Since we had a month we decided to take the time to slowly purchase everything that we needed for our pups homecoming, and we got serious about a name. Once again, we all had different ideas. We spent our free time combing baby name books trying to unanimously choose a moniker.

Then the call came from the Breeder. Our pups momma had stopped feeding her offspring. Although they were not quite 5 weeks old, we needed to come get her ASAP.

We ran to the car in excitement, when we returned home we would now be a family of 5, instead of 4. Each of us was a bit nervous, she was only the size of a peanut, she fit in the palm of our hands.  About 5 inches long, and barely 2 or 3 pounds. But she was ours, and we were in love.

We brought her home, the miracle that almost wasn’t.

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