Meet Our Zoo: Roxy

Around the Gardenroxy-dog-in-snow

I write this in the early, early morning because I can't sleep. Later today Roxy is getting surgery to remove some tumors and, of course, I'm worried enough that I can't go to sleep. Worried that something will happen, but mostly upset that I can't explain to her what's happening.

Roxy is my baby girl, my old lady and has been a constant companion in my life since I was 13 years old. I remember going with my dad and little sister to pick out a puppy from a shelter in LA a few days after Christmas in 2000. I can see the cold, concrete room at the shelter where her pen was, her as a tiny, wiggly, pudgy puppy and the other family who almost chose her, but went with a different pup instead. I have snapshots in my head from photos that we've taken over the years that have stuck with me. I can recall the compliments we'd get on her brindle coloring and, now that's she's old, how sweet and gentle she is.

She's the sweet dog that will lay by your side, sit with her head in your lap and paw at you if you stop petting her. She's a security blanket to Einstein, one of our other dogs, who loves her and would follow her anywhere without question. Roxy is the type of dog to look at me wide-eyed and start whining, panicked, because a cat is getting too close to her and she's excited, but refuses to make eye contact with it. She always either looks like she's smiling or so sad that you just want to hug and babytalk her. She has a face you can't look at without going over to give her some love.

In her old age she mostly hangs out in her bed, snaps at the boys when they get in her space and nudges your hand when you're standing near by. Her hearing is going, she's slowed down a lot and she'll spend 5 minutes sniffing around the yard while you call for her although she can't hear you, but it's easy to be patient and forgiving when it's for her. Or maybe she's a bit more clever than we give her credit for and just chooses not to listen because she knows she can get away with it. Over the years she's gotten so many nicknames like Ploxanne, Plox and Foxy Roxy, but these days she's my "Roxy Lady".

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