by Jerry Rade
As explained in part one I had to marry Jana in order to keep my dog, Roxy.
What I didn’t realize at that time was that Jana was not really a dog person. Not yet.
She liked dogs, as long as they belonged to somebody else and lived in somebody else's house.
Suddenly she was living with her new husband and a large dog in a small apartment.
To Roxy, all was well. She got to live with people she loved and had a large field nearby in which to go for walks.
The apartment may not had been all that large, but there was a nice soft couch Roxy used to love to lay on. Jana, not used to living with dogs, really didn’t like Roxy on the furniture. I explained that Roxy was used to laying on the bunk in my truck and would probably consider this the same thing.
However, I wished Jana luck in trying to teach Roxy not to get on the couch. My money was on the dog.
You can imagine my confusion when I came home from work early one day and found Roxy hiding in the bedroom and oddly looking couch. There was a sheet on the couch with a number of irregular shapes underneath it. Jana had taken some items from the kitchen, put them on the couch, and then covered them with the sheet. It looked like Roxy had jumped up on the couch and then immediately jumped off. She never got up on the couch again.
Jana's reasoning was that if we couldn't convince Roxy that she SHOULDN'T get on the couch, maybe she could convince her that she DOESN'T WANT TO.
I have lost the bet.
Even though Jana did not want her up on the furniture, Roxy loved her with all her heart.
Wherever Jana was, Roxy was. At night, Roxy used to lay on the floor on Jana’s side of the bed. This was touching, but there was one little problem.
You see, Roxy was a very special dog.
With absolutely no effort she could take distilled water and turn it into a noxious gas.
We’re not talking slightly smelly – I mean make you gag and swoon bad gas. So while innocently sleeping on the floor beside the woman she loved, Roxy shared a bit of that gas.
One night, about 1:00 in the morning, Jana shakes me awake, “Do something!”
There was an extraordinarily powerful odor and I started seeing spots in front of my eyes.
To this day I’m not really sure of what Jana expected me to do. Think about it, we are in an apartment on the second floor and there is only one small window. It’s not as if you could shove it back where it came from.
Now I do appreciate Jana’s position. We both ran and shoved our heads out the window gasping for oxygen. Meanwhile, Roxy stared at us with an innocent look on her face trying to figure out what was our problem.
Roxy also wasn’t really what I would call a dog that was easy to walk.
It seems that once a leash was attached to her collar, she immediately went into her pulling mode. She was small for Rottweiler, only 72 pounds, but could pull like a team of mules. Normally this wasn’t an issue. I took her out for her walks and fortunately I weighed more than she did, a lot more. So all her pulling wasn’t a problem until that one fateful day when I came down with a bad fever. It was in the winter, and we had had quite a bit of snow which melted and then froze.
The field in which Roxy would go for walks was half covered with ice.
I felt so poorly that I just didn’t have the strength to take Roxy out for her walk. Jana, being the supportive wife that she is, volunteered to perform this duty for me. I thought that this would be a good thing. It would give the two of them some quality time together. So, they left and I decided to watch their progress from the window. It started off not too bad, Roxy was pulling Jana around a bit, but Jana is pretty task and seemed to be holding her own ground. That was until they hit the ice.
Roxy kept forging ahead with Jana in tow but there was a bit of a problem. Jana's legs weren't moving.
It was really quite a picture to watch. Jana did not find it as humorous as I did.
There were things that Jana really did like about Roxy.
If I gave Jana a little tickle and she let out a yelp, Roxy would come over and pull my wrist away. She was very gentle, but she made it absolutely clear that she was not going to let me cause Jana any distress, no matter how minimal.
For some inexplicable reason this endeared Roxy to Jana.
And so they bonded in their own way.
Roxy lived with us for four and a half years. She was happy and was with people she loved. The sad day came, as it inevitably does, when Roxy finally passed on. The loss of a pet is always traumatic.
Jana is a very sensitive person and Roxy's passing hit her pretty hard.
She told me at that time that she never wanted to have another dog.
But those of you who read Jana’s blog know that it didn’t stay that way forever.
More to follow.
Articles by Jerry Rade:
The Ups And Downs Of Dog Ramps
Living With The Dog Mamma: (Part 1) The Rest of the Story