Sassy was Freckle’s predecessor … and Bridget was her predecessor—and our first Boxer. When we began thinking about getting a dog, we’d originally thought we might like a Beagle. Being librarians, we researched Beagles and then were most distressed to read that they liked to “sing.” A lot! We also red in one dog book that “the person in the park with a leash in hand and no dog in sight owns a Beagle.” We read a bit more and found other hound-like behavioural traits and eventually began to rethink the whole Beagle idea—after all, we did live in a very urban environment and share walls with three other neighbours.
One day at the beach, Mary Doug met Joe. Joe was an elderly Boxer who had been living with Lupus for some time. He was … well …a Boxer, although very subdued because of his age and illness. He was sweet and affectionate and a clown. Those of you who know Boxers know what I mean. He won Mary Doug’s heart and when I met him, I was pretty smitten too.
We began to research Boxers… and we didn’t really find anything negative. They weren’t known for “singing” or for any of the other traits associated with Beagles. We found a breeder and first met Bridget when she was just five weeks old. She was the sweetest thing we’d ever seen! However, in retrospect, she did exhibit some signs of wackiness that we failed to recognize (or take to heart). For example, at five weeks, the top of her head was about an inch higher than the bottom of a chaise lounge. When she was released from the kennel to run freely through the back yard, she ran the wild Boxer loops. The chaise lounge (where one of us was sitting) was at the edge of the loop and so she would run under it, hitting the top of her head on it—repeatedly! She would run, and run and run. Delightfully galloping around the yard—whack! Around the yard—whack! Around the yard—whack! We thought it was really cute, if somewhat exuberant. After 13 or more years with Boxers, we would now recognize such behaviour in a puppy as a possible red flag. But hindsight is always 20-20. We would never ever trade our time with Bridget … but it was a challenge sometimes.
We brought Bridget home at the age of nine weeks (she survived the chaise lounge) and the day after we’d moved into our condo. We bought a condo specifically so we could get a dog and we frequently referred to it as “Bridget’s condo.” That dog continued to run through life at 80 miles per hour, hitting her head on things, until she died from a tumour on her spine just a couple of weeks short of her ninth birthday. It was a very intense relationship and a topsy-turvy eight years with a wealth of behavioural and health problems along the way. But how we loved that dog! She was all Boxer and she loved big … she played big … she was loyal and funny … a clown of the most amazing sort. She gave everything 150 percent. Bridget taught me to live life to the fullest …to squeeze every last drop out of each day. I try to follow her example, but quite honestly, she had much more energy than I do. Still, living in the moment and making the most of it is not a bad philosophy at all. You never know what’s around the corner… and Bridget didn’t really care.
More about Bridget at: