Monday, November 23, 2009


Daniel wanted a dog. Daniel always wanted a dog. Dad (me) didn't want a dog, and would never get one. But in late 1990 somehow we bought a black Lab puppy at the pet store (Daniel used to love going in that store all the time). I guess it was Daniel's Christmas present, but it ended up being a family project. Daniel named her Roxie. We sometimes referred to her as Roxorg--I believe some variation of a comic book monster--I don't recall the exact origin. We would sing "Roxanne...Roxanne".

Roxie did all the usual puppy things, like chewing up everything in sight, pooping on the floor, jumping all over visitors, and barking all night. But we all loved her. We would go to the pet store and buy her toys, food, and other things.

Roxie was an exceptionally stupid dog, if good natured and hyper. We wondered why we bothered buying her the premium dog food when she didn't mind eating her own feces in the back yard. When we had the choke chain around her neck she never seemed to figure out that obedience and restraint would avoid the choking sensation. We tried and tried to train her (sit, heel, stay), with very little success. We would try to play fetch with a ball, but she would play keep-away after bringing the ball back to you so you had trouble getting it back to throw again. Someone told me that's why you don't buy just any dog at a pet store.

I (mostly) enjoyed taking Roxie on runs with me (with a leash, of course--otherwise she would run wild). At the beginning she would run ahead of me, straining on the leash in all her enthusiasm, then tire at the end and I would be dragging her to keep up. One night I took a risk and let her run with me without a leash. She mostly stayed in the general area with me, but upon arriving back home she would not go into our fenced backyard where she normally stayed. I commanded and coaxed and bribed and tricked -- nothing worked. In exasperation I finally gave up and went to bed. Roxie must have had a wild night, because the next morning she had gathered up a number of random shoes from the neighborhood. How embarrassing. We placed them on the curb so the neighbors would find them. Roxie slept all the next day.

After three or four years we finally decided to find a new home for Roxie. Ironically, the very day the prospective new owners were going to check her out Roxie got loose in the front yard, and, in her trademark unruly fashion, would not come back when we called or coaxed. She ran out into the busy street near our home and was struck by a car. What a sad day that was, as we took her to the vet and, due to severe injuries, they put her to sleep. Daniel and I were by Roxie's side as she breathed her last, and I confess I shed a few tears, as much for Daniel as for her.


  1. That was a sad day.

    I am convinced that Roxie was, in some measure at least, retarded. Seriously.

  2. Yeah, she probably was the dog version of retarded. We had so much fun w/ her but all the fun seemed related to her disability. Like when she barked at the sprinklers, or beat a path in our yard, or brought that possum home from the marsh. She had gotten away one night while we were working out front and then dropped a dead possum in front of our house when she returned. I remember being grossed out because she held onto it hard enough to hear it's head crack. But the next day, the possum was gone, so I guess it wasn't dead.