Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
Training: I’ve taught bird care / training techniques
Posted May 24, 2015
When I was little I had a dog that I had to give away and it broke my heart. For years after that I begged my mother for another dog. Finally, on my 8th birthday my wish came true. I remember coming home and my mother yelling that my room was a mess, I had just cleaned my room the day before. So my mother opened the door and pushed me in my room, I landed next to a cage with a puppy in it. The puppy immediately ran out of the cage and filled my face with slobbery kisses. I looked at my mother shocked and asked her who's dog this was and she said," it's your dog". I was ecstatic, that was the first time I ever met my dog Roxanne.
She was a playful and mischievous puppy. She went every where with all of us and got into everything also. Like most puppies, Roxanne ate almost everything she could get her paws on. My older brother used to call her Vaseline girl because she ate an entire jar of Vaseline. Needless to say for the next two weeks she had diarrhea with the consistency of Vaseline. I remember running up to my mother and telling her that Roxanne's poop had my name in it. Well, I used to have pencils with my name written on them and she ate those also. When ever we would bring her to the park she would chase any ball she saw, including in the middle of baseball games. Roxanne would be running through the field with a trail of people behind her. She was my best friend, I would paint her nails and dress her up. When I became a teenager I even used to sneak out with her.
As Roxanne became an adult she became the smartest and most well behaved dog I would ever come to know. I could walk down a city block with Roxanne and she would never budge from my side. We would sit outside on my step and she would lay in the middle of the sidewalk enjoying her surroundings. A dog could walk right next to her and she wouldn't bat an eye. When people came to visit she would wave her paw up and down while showing her teeth and wagging her tail. It was almost as if she was trying to mimic us when we would smile and wave at people entering the house. We even taught her to speak. I know, it sounds crazy. We would tell her ," Roxanne speak, say I love you". Roxanne would let out three barks that sounded as close to I love you as a bark could get. When my cat had kittens, my dog was sleeping on my bed with her that night. Roxanne helped clean her kitten that night after it was born. I have never seen anything like that. Later on when she came into to see the kitten, she waved her paw up and down while showing her teeth with excitement. She was such a sweet hearted dog.
When Roxanne was older and nearing the end of her life I moved out of my parents house and unfortunately I was not able to take her with me. I still saw her as much as possible, but it still broke my heart. I felt guilty. I went to visit my mother for a few weeks and realized that my Roxanne wasn't doing so well. She was old and it was starting to take its toll on her. I was sitting on the couch one night and Roxanne came and laid on my lap. She was a big dog and hadn't laid on my lap like that on her own in years. I knew something was wrong. Roxanne laid on my lap for two hours that night shaking like she was cold and I had piled blankets on top of her. A week later Roxanne passed away.
The people who worked at the place my mother and stepfather had gotten Roxanne from told my mom that she was mostly beagle. They obviously had no idea what kind of dog she was. My mother and I brought her to someone who was very knowledgeable when it came to different types of dog breeds. He showed us a picture of a dog that looked just like my dog and said ," she is a Swiss Bernese mountain dog". He also told us it was possible she was a purebred. I don't know for sure if she was a purebred or not, but she was the best all around dog I have ever met in my life. There was never an issue with her as far as other animals, children or anything else for that matter. Roxanne was a dog that made anyone she came across smile. Everyone loved her. If I ever get the chance to own one a Bernese mountain dog again, it would be an honor and a privilege.