Julie and I were getting groceries on that stormy day. We had our hands full and as I fished in my pocket to get the keys to the front door I saw something behind me. It was a bedgralled blond dog with long overgrown hair. She appeared to have decided to come in the house with us.
I put her in the backyard, but she started barking due to the thunder. Feeling sympathy I convinced Julie to let me bring her in and give her a bath. Julie didn’t want to. I gave her the bath and Roxie followed Julie around the house for the next day. Obviously knowing who she had to convince to get adopted. She was our hobo dog. Ready to settle down after a rough life riding the rails.
So yesterday stunk. We had our vet appointment for Roxie at 4:30pm. That morning Stella was a hellion. Screaming louder than we had ever heard her scream before. She’s been off kilter because our lives have been so busy, and I think our generally despondent mood just pushed her over the edge.
My mom graciously volunteered to watch Stella while we took Roxie in. Roxie had been lying in her bed for two days. I occasionally picked her up and took her to the water bowl or took her outside. While Julie was gone I took her to her water bowl. She drank a bit, then staggered towards the back door.
I took her outside and she stood on the grass. Then she staggered around, wagging her tail with her head in the air. Roxie was never a big tail wagger, so you could really tell that she enjoyed being outside. She wandered slowly through her normal haunts. Then she stopped at the best place in the yard. There’s a box hedge to the left and the right, and you can see the entire yard all the way up to the 600 year old oak tree.
Roxie just stood there for about 20 minutes looking at the oak tree. When I look at that tree I feel like my life is so short. Many generations have come and gone under that tree. I can’t even imagine how old it must feel for a dog.
Her passing was quick. The vet agreed that while she could potentially help her, she could never get her quality of life back up to anything resembling good. We got to spend some time saying goodbye to her after we agreed that putting her to sleep was the best option. They put her on a leopard print blanket so that she wasn’t on the cold examining table. She looked very peaceful as we looked into her eyes. Then she was gone and they took her away. And we sobbed for a bit. And then left to go get Stella and get some big hugs.
This morning Stella said, “No pee yet” when we walked into the kitchen. She had become the pee spotter for incontinent Roxie. And I had to explain to her that Roxie wouldn’t be peeing on our floor anymore, and that she’d gone to the doghouse in the sky to be one of Jesus’ doggies. And she did her frownie face for a few seconds and gave me a hug, and then ate her breakfast.
Thanks to everyone for your kind words.