Nearly four weeks ago, my family was blessed to adopt Roxy from your shelter. Last Friday (April 1 2016), we had Roxy put down at Elanora Vet. During the time we had her, a mast cell tumour grew in her lower abdomen, from undetectable at first, to the size of a rockmelon by Thursday last week. On Thursday she was in terrible, heartbreaking pain, we got the test results Friday morning, by then the tumour had started to turn her skin black and she could no longer sit.
I’m writing this to let you know, because Roxy was the most special and beautiful dog we had ever met, that while she was with us, she was loved. Loved more than I had thought possible. She was so happy. She loved our big backyard with lots of grass, she would prance around it and loved rolling on her back. She would bury her bones and dig them back up again. Bones were her favourite! She got a big bone nearly every day, and for the time she ate it, she was in bliss.
Roxy decided pretty quickly that all the soft blankets in the house were hers, so we covered her bed (in the kitchen) in warm fuzzy blankets. During the night, she would come into the bedroom two or three times to check we were still there, but she was careful to be very quiet. However, come 6.30 every morning, she would come bounding into everyone’s bedrooms and lick us til we got out of bed.
When she got sick, we moved her bed into our room, this seemed to provide her comfort. Roxy and I would go walking most mornings, she loved these walks. Except one time she got spooked by a cat and I had to carry her home… 😉 Roxy loved the car, and came with us to work, to restaurants, everywhere we went, she came too. I was worried we were spoiling her, but felt she deserved it. And how could I not with her big beautiful brown eyes? Even my youngest son (7 years) said “I hope Roxy will always keep her big beautiful eyes…”
My two sons also had a strong and unexplainable bond with her. They both spent lots of time with her when they woke in the mornings, when they got home from school and playing cricket in the backyard. There were lots of cuddles, and secrets told, and Roxy loved licking them until they laughed hysterically. I’m so glad (moreso with hindsight) that we spoiled her. If anyone deserved it, it was her.
As strange as it is to say, I grieve for Roxy like I have never grieved for anyone (human or animal). I cannot tell you how much I dearly wish we could have spoiled her for a bit longer. But bigger than that, being responsible for her, I could not let her live any longer in the pain she felt last Thursday. Between my husband and I, one of us held her all day to give her any comfort we could.
Roxy endeared so many people to her in the short time we had her, so I have no doubt many of you will have loved her deeply too. Thank you so much for everything you all do. But most importantly, I am compelled to promise you that Roxy was loved. And will be devastatingly missed.
Kindest regards, The O’Keeffe Family