Roxanne and the Big Ride


What a beautiful smile! It is what I will remember about her. Roxanne lost the good fight yesterday. Run free pretty girl. I miss my dog.

Roxanne passed peacefully at home.  She was laying outside in the sunshine on a beautiful 70 degree late fall day of Indian Summer. A dog couldn’t ask for better and neither could we. She was 15 1/2 years old and we were blessed to share 10 1/2 of those years with her. She had been failing again recently. This had happened two times before this year so I thought she might rally yet again. We joked that she would be with us forever. You will be with us forever, old girl. But now you are young again.


To tell the truth, I expected her to give us more trouble on her way out of this world. You couldn’t exactly say she was an easy dog. I guess it was her last gift to us. Roxanne was one of our Sheltie Rescue dogs. She was the first foster dog that we kept after our Rescue had been in operation for two years. It was because she was deemed unadoptable. Lucky us! I do feel lucky. She had been adopted once and returned because she barked and lunged at kids and bicycles on her walks and the adopter had been an older lady who couldn’t handle it. Didn’t seem like that big of a deal as rescue troubles go. So she came to live with us. That behavior had been just the tip of the iceberg. She could give a serious “nip” when you were leaving the house. She didn’t like the way I sneezed and would lunge at me and hit me in the thighs every time I committed this grievous act. When I ran the blender there was more lunging and nipping, sometimes actual bite attempts with varying degrees of success. She would come running from other rooms of the house to exert control and set her world in order. This resulted in her nickname, which I used frequently, of Roxilla. Over the years it became a term of endearment. Even in her later days if you accidentally put your foot down on her as you got off the couch, she could inflict a healthy nip. We didn’t think that anyone else would exhibit the proper level of insanity to keep her so with us she stayed. You may wonder why? Despite these “drawbacks”, she was a very sweet and loving girl. She thought she was working and doing her job to keep everyone in line and under control. She was listed as a sheltie and came through our sheltie rescue but I always wondered if she was infact a tricolor border collie with working instincts gone awry? She didn’t exactly look like a sheltie. Didn’t matter. We loved her and as part of our family we chose to put up with what we could not change.


Roxanne came from a shelter in West Virginia. Her story, as I remember it, is that her owner was a truck driver and made runs to Mexico. He ended up in prison and Roxanne ended up in the shelter. I think the trucker had family in West Virginia. We always joked that she was used to running drugs. Especially with the way she would vigilantly watch people from the car window. Who knows?! That girl did love to ride in the car. When my daughter was in high school we would take Roxanne with us to pick my daughter up from her fast food job. Roxanne knew where her “pup” (as she thought of my daughter) was. Roxanne stood on the car seat watching through the car window and the restaurant window, looking inside to watch my daughter work behind the counter. She stood on the seat watching and trying to encourage my daughter to come and get in the car. Her eyes followed my daughter everywhere she went until she was safely inside the car for the trip home.


We all considered Roxanne to be my daughter’s dog because they had such a special bond. That dog loved her Livvi! And the feeling was mutual. When my daughter was older and had her driver’s license she would take Roxanne with her in the car to run errands. That elicited big smiles from both of them. Of course Roxanne would stay in the car and watch, eagerly awaiting my daughter’s return. Even in her last months when she was slow and hobbled by arthritis she would come running as best she could when she looked up and saw my daughter was here for a visit. What a special bond. I get tears just thinking of it.  Of course I am getting tears a lot right now.


As recently as a couple months ago Roxanne would on occasion go out to the pasture and spend some time outside enjoying the sun and fresh air with the other dogs. Here you can see she was still alert and watching all the goings on around our place. Always in control, that girl was!


Yet again I am amazed that even with five dogs still left in the house, it seems empty now with her passing. Of course that girl lived large and had a big presence. Now she will live forever as is her due. Until we meet again sweet girl. She is probably riding in a big truck in the sky and looking down while thinking “will you guys get up here where I can keep an eye on you!”