10 February 2017


Roxy is exactly the kind of dog with whom I want my kids to grow up.

She's gentle, submissive, and tolerant.

She largely does what she's told immediately. Eleanor can put her in and take her out of her crate/kennel without any issue. She understands that the kids are more dominate than she is, and she completely respects that.

She really wants to eat, but she won't cross Theodore.
She's not without her issues - I can't get her to stop barking on command and I am struggling to get her leash trained (she came to us with no leash experience). You would never know she has elbow dysplasia and arthritis by the way she pulls on the leash when we walk.

And she is really clingy. Clingier than a toddler - she follows me around the house, her nose inches from my calf, all. day. long. She lays outside the bathroom door, or stands there in a row with Eleanor and Theodore, waiting for me to finish going "Mommy potty."

She also comes with medical issues up the wazoo - elbow dysplasia, arthritis, intense allergies. And she has a history of abuse and neglect - her ears are tiny, mangled, and no longer stand upright in proper German Shepherd fashion and she cowers around loud noises and raised arms. The people who surrendered her to the shelter said she was five-years-old, but she acts like a much older dog.

But Roxy's memory and desire to please are incredible. She's not the smartest dog, especially for a German Shepherd, which is supposed to be a highly intelligent breed, but when she figures out what you want her to do, she'll do it. Every time. Without fail.

And she has never once chewed up a toy or shoe.

She's a German Shepherd mix, but not even the vet can figure out with what she is mixed. We know it is larger than a Germmy because she has 15-20 pounds on the average German Shepherd. I wonder if it is something that hunts or likes water because Roxy has a very high prey drive and is drawn to bodies of water.

Shortly after we first adopted her, last spring, I took her for a walk in this wooded lot near our house. We followed several trails and when we were ready to turn around for home, thought I knew where we were, but I ended up completely lost. At a few junctions, she would pull me in one direction, but I insisted we go "the right way." Admitting defeat and starting to get a little worried, I led her back to one of those junctions and let her pull me in her direction. Whenever we had a choice about which way to go, I let her pick. Before I knew it, we were out of the wooded lot! But I had no idea where I was or how to get back to the trail head. Roxy was pulling in one particular direction, so I followed. She led me straight to our entrance before turning toward home.

Sometimes I regret adopting her because I definitely underestimated how much work a dog is, what with the regular walking, potty breaks, brushing, and meals. She adds a lot of work to my day, we can't be gone on an outing all day, and she's way more expensive than the cat. But when I stop to think about it, I'm really grateful for what she brings to the table: my security detail when we go for walks, a robber deterrent in the house (especially when Matt works late), a squirrel and rabbit chaser, a vacuum, and a companion who never yells at me or vomits on me or steals my lotion and spills it all over the couch.

And I love how much she loves the kids, making sure their first experience of doggydom is with a loving, obedient, friendly soul.

Left: Theodore was rolling the ball to Roxy. It would bounce off her and roll back to him and he thought it was hilarious.
Right: Dancing in the living room. Well, the girls were dancing and Roxy was hoping the excitement meant something fun was about to happen, so she was following them.

No comments: