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More Stories - The Way We Were

How Roxey Found Her Way Home
by Heather Oliver

I was searching the web for "What do dogs dream?" and one of the hits was your webpage, "Do dogs go to heaven?" and it was what compelled me to write, I would have to say!

I noticed that you are a "fellow" Dobie lover! I just lost my Dobie, Roxey Girl, March 5, 2007. I missed her so much that 5 days later I had her face tattooed on my right calf. She was with me for 12.5 years. Pre-marriage, marriage, birth of two daughters, divorce and starting over. She was my rock, and petting her uncropped ears always calmed me. She was "thee" dog for me, no other dog will ever compare to her!

I guess I better tell you why she passed away. Last May I noticed her chin was swollen. I took her to the vet and she said it was possibly an infection. It truly looked like she had smacked it on the stairs outside. However, a couple of months later, we were told that it was indeed cancer. The tumor came up through the bottom of her jaw. Slowly, tumors began to grow in other parts of her body. We could have taken her to a hospital in Colorado and spent $10,000 on a surgery to remove part of her jaw, but with her age, we would have taken the chance of her dying because of the surgery. We chose to make her life even more comfortable than it already was, and appreciated our time with her even more.

Many nights I lay by her bed stroking her ears and talking to her. I kept asking how I would know when it was time to put her down? Finally one night it hit me, whenever I talked to her, her tail would wag. I promised her that when her tail stopped wagging, I would know it was time. On the morning of March 5, she refused to eat again (day 2) and her tail didn't wag when I talked to her. I knew immediately. I was not going to watch her starve to death. I went to work and called the vet and made arrangements for 4 pm that afternoon. When I got home, she was a laying in the hallway. My fiance said that was where she had been all day. I went to her and started talking to her and told her that I loved her. She did wag her tail a bit, but when I looked into her eyes- I knew I was doing the right thing.. they simply told me "I am so tired Mom, I just want to go home." I brought in our Boxer to have him say good bye, and then escorted her out to the van. She needed help getting in, and we rode in tearful silence to the clinic. Roxey was not alone as the Dr. administered her shot to heaven, she had her girls (my 11 and 8 year old daughters), her Dad (my ex) and her step dad (my fiance) and myself, right there with her. Her fight was done. She went very peacefully and quickly. I was happy and sad at the same time. Happy that she was no longer in pain, but sad because I had just lost my best friend.

I know her spirit remains close by, for whenever I get to missing her, I feel her presence. The day after she went to Heaven, I was trying to get ready for work. I had begun crying in the shower and was sitting on the side of my bed trying to compose myself. Just as if she were actually there, I felt her place her head on my leg, the way she would when she knew I was upset.. this allowed easy access to petting her ear! Even in spirit, she is an amazing dog!

An interesting thing happened after she was cremated. The lady called me on a Friday around 5, to let me know that Roxey could be either picked up or she could mail her to me. I was weighing the cost of fuel for a four hour (roundtrip) drive versus shipping. $40 vs. $6.... I finally said to go ahead and ship her, nervous that our postal system would lose her in the process. Around 10:30 the next morning, I heard the Post Lady put a box on my steps. I picked up the box and saw that it was from the crematory! I couldn't quite put my finger on why the box looked *different*... I opened the box with tears in my eyes. Roxey was home! I called the lady to let her know that Roxey had indeed arrived home safely. She asked me to look and see if the box had any postage on it... I looked, and sure enough, no postage. She then told me that she had the postage sticker right there in her hand! Roxey had traveled home for FREE! I then begin to shed tears of happiness; Roxey was coming home regardless of a sticker or not!

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She now sits in her favorite spot in her Wooden Urn. I tried to find the perfect spot for her on a shelf. However, it just didn't feel natural for her to be up that high. As I stood in the living room trying to figure out where she would be placed, I noticed that her favorite spot had a perfect size spot for her urn! VOILA! It didn't take rocket science for me to quickly place her on the floor, where she was most comfortable!

We went to the pet store a couple of weeks ago and they happened to have a puppy Dobie.. I thought I would be able to handle it, but I couldn't. I started to cry and had to walk away quickly! In due time, I will own another Doberman... right now, I need to grieve and be there for my other dog, Waukesha, who misses her as well!

I have no idea why I felt compelled to tell you all this, I guess it is because you would be able to empathize with my feelings of her passing. Roxey wasn't just any Doberman, she was one that affected many lives. She changed many people's attitudes towards the Doberman breed. Her love for all children (except those naughty little ones!) was clearly shown by a lick to their faces! She wasn't a selfish dog, she gave OF herself at all times! Even after she got sick, she never stopped giving! I will forever miss her, but she will remain in my heart forever!

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