I have a Roxie update for you! A few of you have already seen this on Facebook, but for everyone else, here's what's been going on with Roxanne.
A little recap:
The last two updates were not happy ones. Roxie started to display some seriously concerning personality traits, like high prey drive and the beginnings of dog selectiveness (which can -and often does in bully breeds such as Roxie - turn into full blown dog aggression as the dog matures). In a multi-dog household with small dogs, and with Roxie's young age of 9-12 months old, it was incredibly alarming, to say the very least.
After extensively researching, talking at great length to many responsible and knowledgable bull breed owners, getting opinions from all of you, and seriously stopping to consider what I can and what I was willing to do, I decided that rehoming was the best option for everyone. Crating and rotating was not a long term, fair option for anyone, human or dog. My dogs are 5 years, almost 2 years and 17 months old, with Roxie being 9-12 months. That is well over a decade of crating and rotating if she stayed here, with the constant stress and potential for a slip up that goes along with that setting. I didn't trust any kind of training to completely remove what she was doing, and I wasn't willing to risk it. So, I decided to rehome.
I contacted dozens of no-kill rescues, both all breed and bully specific, all over Florida, and the responses ranged from none to "we're too full". The #1 response was a closed intake to bully breeds. You can't spit in Florida without hitting some kind of bull mix. 95% of dogs in shelters are bullies and their mixes. They're a hard breed to adopt out to begin with, and especially so with the sheer number of these types of dogs in shelters. It's incredibly sad.
After that discouraging attempt, I decided to take matters into my own hands I posted her on several local dog Facebook groups and websites, and went days without any response at all. I was feeling desperate, upset, and very stressed with the crating and rotating situation.
During this time, I continued to to work with Roxie. Basic commands, handling, positive experiences, ect.
Then I received an email from an older gentlemen. He lived around a half hour from me, and had lost his beloved dog at the age of 15 last year. He was finally ready to add a dog back into his life, and Roxie caught his eye. He enjoys hiking and camping, and wanted a dog that was gentle with kids, playful, and sweet. He had several grandkids, which Roxie would love as she adores kids even more than adults. He had experience with large/powerful breeds, and was forthcoming with all information. He had no other pets, and was willing to do both a home check and a trial run. He was understanding about Roxie's past life,
It sounded like the perfect home, and since he was alone this Christmas, we set a home check and trial run for the 23rd. His house had a fully fenced in yard, and was clean and safe. He had no other pets, just as he said, and the house checked out. The man himself was very quiet and mild-mannered, gentle and calm. It was clear in his voice when he spoke about his previous dog how much he adored her, and I felt good with matching him with Roxie.
Roxie was a little hesitant with the situation at first (she'd never been in a house other than mine), but after a few minutes warmed up to his gentle demeanor. He didn't try to rush her into interacting with him, didn't hover over her or push her past her comfort zone. He sat on the couch and waited for her to come to him, which she did. She burrowed up under his legs and laid her head on the couch beside him. It was like she knew he needed a dog in his life, and was prepared to fill the roll. By the end of the visit, Roxie had pretty much made herself at home. I feel like this is a place where she can be the center of someone's world, spoiled and adored and getting all the time. This is what she deserves.
He's agreed to stay in touch, and send photos and updates on her. I think this is a better outcome than I could have hoped for.
I was sent an email update just a day ago on her, in fact. He adores her! She sleeps in bed, and is constantly cuddling. He commented on how sweet she is, and reaffirmed that she fits in perfectly into his life. That's her forever home, just by listening to him speak about her.
|Look at that tail.|
I won't lie to you though: this entire situation has been incredibly painful. I cried more on the day she went to her new home than I have all year. Big, ugly, can't-breath-and-pretty-sure-I'm-going-to-puke sobs. So much time, energy, emotion, and money was poured into Roxie, and I absolutely love and adore her. It hurt to not have her after all we've been through. One the drive over my mind kept coming up with stupid and improbable ways to keep her, and leaving her was nearly impossible.
It was the right decision for me, for my other dogs, and especially for Roxie. Doesn't mean it didn't (and doesn't) hurt like a bitch. I miss so much about her, and about a larger dog/another dog in general. It's insane how much impact she had on me in such a short time.
To the very few non-regular followers who've had rude things to say:
Please keep nasty comments to yourself (*cough* that one troll from the decision post *cough*). Until you've put well over $1,000 into a dog that wasn't your own, slowly nursed her back to health, put hours of training and socializing into her, only to watch her go after one of your own and then be forced to make an agonizing decision ....you can't judge the situation with any form of truth or empathy. Keep it to yourself.
To my friends:
I'm so happy Roxie was put into my life. I am grateful beyond expression for all of my blogging friends for cheering on Roxie, for all your support, for your kindness and understanding, and advice on every step of our journey. I could't have done it without you. Thank you.
- Dachshund Mommy