Growing up my father raised bird dogs because he liked to hunt and did so frequently. He also raised Boxers for a while and it was his favorite dog, he said because of their personalities. I grew to love them as well.
Daddy’s favorite was named Bruno. Tails were always clipped and in those days most all had their ears “boxed” as they called it. Not all of ours had boxed ears but daddy did box Bruno’s. After that, he said he would never do it again.
He loved all of us but Bruno was daddy’s dog through and through. He went everywhere with daddy but to work and I think one day daddy even carried him to work. He would sit straight and tall next to daddy and he was obedient to everything daddy asked him to do. He was a beautiful dog. He waited on daddy to come home from work every day and seemed to know exactly when to expect him.
Mom wasn’t very pleased when daddy decided Bruno should be a house dog but she went along. Up until that point, our house dogs had been much smaller.
Though we took Bruno most places with us even when visiting relatives, one particular time because we were doing something else afterwards, we left him at home. We returned home to a living room which looked as if it had snowed inside. Bruno had found every single feather pillow we owned and had shaken the feathers out of them all over the house but mainly in the living room. You could not see even a single spot of carpet. Our first impulse was to laugh but mom was not a happy camper so we saved our laughter when we were out her earshot. And of course we would laugh about it years later every now and then.
We were finding feathers in different places for almost a whole year even after we had picked up everyone we could see at that time. It always made me smile when I found a feather somewhere. I’m sure mom didn’t smile when she found a feather!
Though we lived in the city, our setting was more rural and one of our neighbors raised chickens. For a couple of weeks there, chickens were starting to go missing. Although they had no proof, they blamed Bruno and would not have it any other way except insist he be put down. Daddy had always said if a dog ever gets that taste for blood, they would continue to kill that particular animal.
Not only did daddy have to pay for the chickens, he had to be the one to put Bruno down. It was the first time I had ever seen my daddy cry.
A couple more weeks went by after that and the neighbors were still missing chickens. They discovered that it was a fox, which daddy had tried to convince them of in the first place. Not only did they not give daddy the money back for the chickens they didn’t even express sorrow for us now being without our beloved pet because of a false accusation.
Daddy never really got over it and was very sad for a long time. We didn’t have any more Boxers for about four years.The next was an older one someone had given daddy, named Max.
Max did not become a house dog. Since he was older it took Max a little longer to adjust to his new surroundings but he eventually did and he loved us kids. In fact, if mom ever got on to us in front of him, he would growl at her. Especially if she tried to swat us.
Once, when I was about to get a spanking with a switch, Max got in between mom and me. That made her even madder but it made me happy because I never did get that switching on that day even though I probably deserved it.
Mom complained to daddy when he got home about what Max did and daddy could not contain his laughter. Though daddy could be stern and you listened to him, he never spanked us. It was always a lecture going over everything we had done, why it was wrong and how to handle things next time. He never took anyone’s side until he heard all sides either.
Max, was the last Boxer we had while I was at home. But I have had a few over the years. They are so loving, loyal and funny. When my beloved Rhett died after 16 years, I wasn’t sure I wanted another one either but after daddy died, having a boxer brought back so many memories that I had to have another one.
Roxanne, or “Roxie” as we call her unless she’s in trouble, is our furbaby. Now that she is three, she has settled down some and doesn’t chew up everything in site and doesn’t jump up on everyone who enters the house so she doesn’t get in trouble very much these days.
David had never had a big dog in the house so he wasn’t so sure about that idea but he allowed it and now she has stolen his heart as well.
On days when you come home so tired you can hardly see in front of you, being greeted by Roxie perks you up. She is so spoiled however, and though I blame it totally on David, I will admit I have also had a hand in it, as has my daughter, Cally. You just can’t help but love her.
At 52 pounds she thinks she is a lap dog at times. I don’t understand people who don’t like animals because they add so much joy to your life. We laugh all the time at something Roxie has done or an expression she has on her face. She is so spoiled now she wants us to go outside with her almost every time she goes and will whine if you don’t.
I like to think that my daddy is smiling down from heaven at some of her antics and can’t imagine life without her. If you have a furbaby, you know what I mean. Blessings to you all.
VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: email@example.com