Saturday, February 3, 2007

Bridget – Precursor to Rescue Boxers

Bridget was our first boxer – a truly wild girl who resisted all attempts to curb her wild enthusiasm and crazy ways. Bridget wasn’t a rescue girl – we bought her at the age of five weeks from a breeder, and brought her home to us at nine weeks (the day after we moved into our condo, which we bought expressly so we wouldn’t be at the mercy of landlords saying “no pets”). You could say our home is a very expensive doghouse.

Bridget began our love affair with boxers and led us to the world of rescue boxers in a round-about way.

Bridget was a difficult dog in all senses of the word – she was flighty to the point of not being able to focus for more than a few seconds on much of anything. She was willful in the extreme. She was so dog aggressive that any and all outings were major stress for all of us. She would go into a rage if she saw or smelled a dog a block away, and on top of all that, she was a walking nightmare in terms of health issues. Our acquaintances and work colleagues would say to us – why keep her, she’s only a dog? – but our friends knew better and knew how much we loved her. She was great with people and in our densely populated neighbourhood, she had many human friends. And she loved, loved, loved children. She would turn inside out at the sight of a baby stroller. And she was a true boxer clown, and would have us in stitches with laughter. And in the house, she was a couch potato (when she wasn’t at the window barking at dogs, cats, squirrels…). When Bridget died, we knew we wanted another boxer (can you say masochist?), but didn’t want to go through puppyhood and adolescence again.

Which leads me to rescue boxers. No matter where we are on the faith or belief continuum, from atheist to devout believer, I think many of us harbour thoughts that things happen or come to us for a reason. Many times, my partner and I have pondered why Bridget came to us. My thoughts on this are that she came to us because we would keep her, no matter what, and to prepare us for a life of adopting rescue boxers after she was gone. I think she came to us to prepare us for the potential difficulties of dealing with a boxer who might have experienced a life of abuse or neglect, who comes with all kinds of baggage that only love and time can heal. Incidentally, Bridget taught us patience, humility, and the value of at least some of the time, living in the moment. And most of all, she taught us to laugh and play – running around and being really goofy is hard for a middle-aged woman to do unless she has a dog or young kids in sight!

And so began our life with rescue boxers. Sassy was our first, and though we had trouble with major separation anxiety with her (more on that in a later post), she was the polar opposite of Bridget – calm (could she really be a boxer?) – and focused and fine with other dogs as long as they didn’t get in her face. She was about four when we adopted her and was with us too few years – just under four. And now we have Freckle-Lexi, with us eight weeks today. We hope she’ll live out a long life with us (we think she’s about three-years-old now). I’ll write about F-L in a future post.

For more about how we ended up with Bridget and ongoing stories about life with our current rescue boxer and her pug sister, check out Freckle and Ceilidh’s blog. The direct link to how we got Bridget .