Early this morning, our family lost our wonderful Boxer, Becky. She lived to be 14 and was an eternal puppy. Right up until the very end, Becky could bound into the room with the energy of a dog half her age. Even when her bones got weak and achy and she was so thin you could count her ribs, Becky adored Caleb and endured a lot of climbing, poking, and being a pillow!
My parents first got Becky when I was a junior in college, and I had an immediate attachment to her. She loved to get "lovins" and the girl could eat! In true Boxer form, her favorite place to sit was curled up on your lap in a chair. She was my 80 pound lap dog. When Becky started getting in fights with my parents' other dog, they wanted to give her away. I begged them not to and Becky came to live with me after I graduated from college. She was my protector during the months when I was living alone before Matt and I got married. While Matt initially stood firm on his idea that we shouldn't have a dog in our first year of marriage, Becky won him over in just a few months. She officially became "ours" on Halloween night in 2004.
Becky had her own chair in our first house, and we simply told her, "Go get in your chair" when we were getting ready to leave. There she stayed until we returned....usually! As I mentioned, Becky loved food--especially human food. We couldn't leave anything out on the counter while we were gone--even if it was pushed to the back! She would put her paws on the counter and get it anyway. It didn't matter what it was; Becky would eat it. We learned the best methods of inducing vomiting, thanks to her! One time, she ate 30 full-sized chocolate bars that I had hidden underneath our bed for my students. There were chocolate footprints all over the floor! Nobody was very happy that night...
We tried keeping her in our bedroom to keep her out of the kitchen, but shut doors received many scratches. We even tried blocking the doorway to the kitchen so that she was free to roam around the rest of the house, but she jumped up onto the couch and through the cut-out opening (about the size of a window) into the kitchen! I hope she found something yummy for her efforts that night!
Eventually, Becky grew out of the devouring stage and we were able to trust her more. I'm still not sure I'd leave any chocolate around unattended though! She had quite a sweet tooth!
While I was pregnant with Caleb, Becky sensed that something was different. She loved to lay her head on my belly and jumped when Caleb kicked her! I remember that the day I went into labor with Caleb, Becky laid on the couch with me with her head on my belly the entire day, looking at me with her big brown eyes as if to say, my world's about to change, isn't it? She was gentle with Caleb from day one, keeping guard over him at night by lying under his crib. She never grew tired of his pinching, climbing, and pulling on her ears, and even endured sharing her dog food with him a few times! :)
Since I went into the hospital, Becky has been living with my parents. We obviously couldn't take care of her while we were in Baltimore, and we were still in the process of getting our feet under us now that we are home. We also had a nurse who hated dogs and would not allow Becky to come anywhere near her, which complicated things a bit. Our plan had been to bring her back to live with us eventually. My parents would bring her to visit whenever they came, so Caleb enjoyed spending time with her. I wish that we'd been able to get Becky home before she passed away, for Caleb's sake. He loved that dog so much! She was his favorite playmate and he called her his best friend. He sang her songs and always reminded us that our family was not complete without Becky.
We all said goodbye to Becky this afternoon and buried her beneath the trees where she would lie on nice days. We sang her the song we made up just for her, told her how much we loved her, and gave her some last lovins! We spent most of the afternoon making and painting a cross for her grave. It says, "Becky Sue Sue, we love you!" Caleb also wrote Becky a letter telling her how much he loved her. He walked out with Matt to her grave and put some flowers on it for her. Caleb has been so upset today and it's been heartbreaking watching him mourn his dog. We've all shed a lot of tears today for Beck.
Becky was the best dog we could ever ask for, and we will miss her very much. I'm sad that Abby will not know how sweet and gentle "Becky Sue-Sue" was. To know her was to love her.
We'll miss you, Becky. We'll never find another dog as wonderful as you. No fighting with Parker, Maggie, and Annie!