And You Thought You Knew it All.... Part 2

I blogged yesterday about all of the important life lessons that my boxers have taught me.  Today's blog post is going to be specifically about Lucy.  You may think you know why I'm blogging on this topic, but just in case you might be wrong, let me do some splainen'.

When I adopted my first boxer, I had no idea of the ways that it would change me forever, and for the better.  While I happen to adore my boxers, and think the world of them and their quirky little ways, I realize that not every human is right for a boxer.  But, what I think is important here is not necessarily what the passion is, but that everyone, at this point in their lives, really needs to have something that they're passionate about.  For me, it just happens to be my boxers.  Not only have my boxers enriched my life in many unimaginable ways, but they have also connected to me a whole new group of people.  In the 5 years that I have been mothering Lucy, I have made many absolutely, positively, amazing friendships, and those friends also happen to be boxer parents. I have become involved with Florida Boxer Rescue, and Greater Ohio Boxer Rescue.  My participation in these organizations has given me a sense of completion and fulfillment that nothing else ever has.  I will never be monetarily compensated for my efforts, but my work with rescue brings something to the table that no paycheck could ever match....And so there you have it.  My reason for blogging about my boxers, as if I really needed one...

The decision to become a boxer parent was not made without great consideration.  Before I ever called a breeder, I did my homework.  At first I was very put off by the fact that this was a large bodied breed, and I was a small dog person.  The more that I read, and the more that I learned the more intrigued I became by the characteristics of this breed.  Most of all I was intrigued by the one fact that everyone seemed to agree on... boxers are clowns, from the time they're born till the time that they pass.  I clearly was lacking silliness in my life.... just like when your body needs iron, and craves it.  I was craving some comic relief.

I swear, I have never been so excited over something in my life.  The day that I committed to raising Lucy was the start of something very special.  Like any expectant mother, I began to prepare.  I had 6 weeks until I could bring Lucy home.  Before work, after work, during work, my life became a whirlwind of activity... we were going to be parents and we had to be ready.  I remember looking at the bookshelf that had become "Lucy Central", lined with toys, books, treats, blankets, and I'm sure many other things that I've forgotten and saying "Finally, we're ready!"  to which my husband retorted, "Ya, think?  Petco is empty!"

I can honestly say that while I'm sure I've forgotten a lot of the juicy details of my preparations for Lucy, I will never forget the "glow".  Someone who knew me well, with a grin that went from ear to ear, commented that I was "glowing".  "Are you expecting?"  I happily replied that, "yes, we are!", pulled out my phone and proceeded to show this lady a picture of Lucy.  The anticipation of bringing Lucy home was actually making me glow... The look of pure shock on this woman's face, was completely unforgettable.  I'm sure she thought I had lost my mind, but I was in love.

I spent hours at the breeders home in the weeks prior to bringing her home.  I couldn't get enough of Lucy, and her litter mates.  The breeder joked with me and said that if I kept it up, they were going to be able to claim me as a dependent.

No matter how many books I read, or how many people I consulted, there was nothing that really could have prepared me for the challenges that I would face "Bringing Up Lucy".  My puppy parenting had been limited to a basset hound, and frankly, there's just no comparison.  While I adored my basset, going from a basset to a boxer is like going from a Yugo to a Lamborghini with no clue that the Lamborghini actually has power...

Lucy was smart, energetic, and very head strong.  But, none of that deterred me.  Lucy and I were inseparable for the first year of her life.  She went everywhere I went, and did everything I did.  Every day, Lucy and I went to work.  She shared my office with me, although, she was never very happy with that crate.  I have fond memories of working on my computer with a sleeping boxer in my lap, and a very funny memory of attempting to navigate Home Depot with a boxer puppy in the buggy.

Yes, Lucy was definitely challenging me.  And tough love, well it wasn't my strong suite.  That little face was a constant distraction from my pre-planned course of action.  And although, no one would ever say that I was a strong Alpha, I was seriously motivated to make Lucy into a proper boxer girl.  I was headstrong too!  The fact that she could wiggle her way out of every single seat belt contraption that I ever purchased, and I would ultimately end up attempting to drive a 6 speed with a boxer in my lap, well, that never stopped from me trying.

Trouble had a way of finding Lucy.  It literally clung to my sweet little boxer girl.  No bag, no box, no envelope was safe in our home.  And forget about shoes with shoe strings, that was a real challenge.  Dirt seemed to draw her to it like a magnet to metal.  Would it ever stop?  Lucy's father had started calling her "LUCIFER" and she did everything she possibly could to live up to the name!

What was a boxer mom to do?  Well, boot camp was our only option.  Except that true to her breed, Lucy had to be the class clown, and we were asked, albeit politely, to leave puppy school.  Apparently, the boxer shenanigans that Lucy was very good at, were way too distracting to the other puppies in the class... and parents were complaining.

With the gossip around Pittsburgh flying rampantly about "Lucy the Boxer", I had no choice but to "home school" Lucy.  Over the course of the next several months, the shelves in the library filled with books on training boxers.  We spent countless hours, attempting how to walk like a lady on a leash... to no avail.  Our only accomplishments during the next several months were "sit" and "shake".  And for reasons that escape me, for some reason, Lucy had it in her head that the "COME, LUCY" command instead meant, run and hide and make your mother chase you all over the place.  "HEEL, LUCY" meant lie down on the ground, and burrow into the ground, and refuse to move. "NO, LUCY" was code for wiggle like a crazy maniac until you fall over and your human cries from laughing too hard.  She honestly thought that "LUCY, NO!" was her name.

Yet, Lucy and I were still inseparable.  I refused to give up.  I was learning that even when it's tough, you have to steer the course... and although I cussed a lot then, I now understand that the best things in life, often require the most work.  Every day, every hour that I spent with Lucy only made me fall even more in love with her.

We spent countless hours in the yard with Lucy attempting to rid her wriggling little body of some that energy.  I walked miles every day with her in hopes that she would figure out that the idea of a leash was to walk politely beside her mother, and not really a game of tug of war.  We became a constant fixture in the plaza parking lot where the store was.  I'm sure they were saying "There they go again..."  But, it didn't matter... everyone loved Lucy!  She made friends everywhere she went, humans, dogs, squirrels, rabbits, kittens, possums, raccoons.....

My creativity levels were definitely tested.  Wearing out a boxer puppy is not for the faint of heart.  But, I found that the more creative I got with Lucy, the more fun that she and I had, and at the end of the day, not only were we both tired, but we were both happy.  My husband constantly laughed at Lucy and I, and the day that he watched our "antics" and said, "Awe, a girl and her puppy", I knew that my life had been forever altered.  The bond between me and my boxer was set in stone.... And I found myself constantly loving life.  Lucy was a part of everything that I did...There was nothing that went on in our home that Lucy was not aware of.  She became a part of every activity that we took part in, and we came to enjoy having Lucy along for the ride.


Although we settled into a routine with Lucy, something was missing.  I had grown quite good at finding ways to entertain Lucy, and she was of course a master at ways to entertain her human.

She positively loved the dog park, and her evening romps with the boxer boy next door.  But, in a way that's hard to explain, I somehow sensed that Lucy was lonely.  While her humans were never that far away, or gone for that long, she really seemed to love other dogs, although she very clearly loved her humans too!

I was hell bent on "completing" Lucy in the same manner that she had "completed" her human.  But, my husband thought I was insane.  2 boxers?  Have you lost your mind?  Look at the constant state of chaos with 1 boxer.  While I had grown to adore the constant state of chaos that Lucy brought to our home... my husband was going to require much more convincing...

...To be continued (although, if you know me, you already know how this story goes...)






4 comments

  1. Every Boxer owner is laughing and shaking her/his head about now ... and smiling. Can't wait for the next installment. :)

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    Replies
    1. I am really enjoying reliving the puppy days through my blogging... Hard to believe "Lucifer" is going to be 5 in just a few weeks. I'm sure that you can recall some of my frantic pleas for help on the BML!

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  2. I am really enjoying reliving the puppy days through my blogging... Hard to believe "Lucifer" is going to be 5 in just a few weeks. I'm sure that you can recall some of my frantic pleas for help on the BML!

    ReplyDelete
  3. And to think you didn't want to get a Boxer puppy because there was no tail to wag! Glad I told you about the wiggling butt and you took the leap!

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