It's been a little under 2 months and I'm still not sure I'm ready to write this. I'll try to continue typing as the tears have already started. I sometimes still can't believe it's true. On October 25, I had to say good-bye to my beloved baby girl. Her heart was broken and it left mine in a million pieces too.
Roxy was 10 years old in September. She, in a way, marked the beginning of life as I know it. She was an unexpected gift from Jason right before we married. He never knew what he was getting himself into but I had never been so sure about him! She was everything I had ever wanted! Jason and I were married just a few months later and she even visited me at the church before our wedding! I can't count the number of times Jason joked that I loved that dog more than I loved him. Roxy was our first baby and we treated her as such. I dressed her and kept bows in her hair all the time. She slept with us or near us from the beginning. We moved to North Carolina after our wedding and it wasn't long before we found out Jason would be deploying. I never knew how much that dog would mean to me until then. I worked nights at a hospital and so many nights, she was the only one that knew I made it home ok. She never failed to meet me at the door and she was ALWAYS happy to see me. On the long winter nights I spent at home alone, she was always within arms reach. She is credited with keeping me sane that deployment. I had never been alone before and I was in a new state and my own house and she was my only companion. I don't know what I would have done without her. (After that my forever advice to newlywed couples facing deployment: GET A DOG!) There was probably more snow that year than any other year we lived in NC. That girl LOVED the snow! She would run around like crazy then come back to my feet for approval.
Roxy's most famous characteristic was that tongue. Her tongue stuck out ALL the time. When she was sleeping or awake, walking, running or resting that tongue was always out. It was so funny to catch her sleeping and see that the tip of her tongue was completely dry to the touch. Her second most famous characteristic was her insatiable appetite. She could eat and eat and then eat more. There was no limit to how much food she could consume. For 10 solid years, every morning, I was bound to watch her dance her way to the food bowl and wait for her breakfast. No one could eat before Roxy did. She expected the first person up to feed her. In her older years she got wise and could pretty convincingly fool not us into feeding her twice. She'd dance around like she hadn't been fed when Jason got up and he'd feed her then ask me if I forgot to feed her this morning to which I always replied, "No, how could I ignore her dancing around?"
She was a smart girl!
I was pretty convinced she was an Auburn fan from the beginning She regularly sported orange and blue bows and her Auburn shirt during football season. She wasn't always a perfect angel. I had been gone no more than 10 minutes when I came home to This giant mess in the living room. There she sits in the middle of it like she was proud of it!
Jason returned home from a 9 month deployment to a different house and a very protective dog. She didn't care much for strangers and men were strangers to her. I thought it would take him a few days to get on her good side but within seconds of walking in, right after she considered barking and growling at him, she was eating out of his hand. That girl loved him to death and honestly her loved her too. He always claimed that he "saved her" from the pet store she was being sold at. They had a special bond. Since Jason returned, we were spending a lot of time working and out together and we thought Roxy might need a companion. We knew we didn't want another dog but Roxy LOVED cats! They didn't all love her so much but she adored them so we decided to get Roxy a cat! Yep, we bought my pet a pet of her own! My groomer always thought that was the funniest story ever! Roxy became that kitten's mommy and she mothered it until it became the same size as her. They slept in the same places and always looked for each other. Cotton fit into our family well.
I still miss her "dancing" in the morning before my coffee, I miss her constant presence and I miss her taking care of all the crumbs around the kitchen table. I know my life was made better, richer and fuller because of her love. I will always carry the best memories of her in my heart.
She was my baby girl.
She was my best friend.