another boxer Tale – My lovely Lady
I’ve been worrying about my poor old coot as of late. She is feeling not so great again, and is just days away from the procedure which the Vets says should cure her ills.
Not that she ever complains. Bosco will pace and whine if ever he is unhappy or unwell. My lady, will just look at my sadly. Pleading at me with those eyes to help. During the day she will not only follow me as she always does, but also sit on my feet whenever I stop as if to say,“Hey, you. I am NOT ok.”
And at night, I know she is sick when leaves the bed she shares with Bosco, drags my blanket to floor to wrap herself in it, as it must bring her comfort, however slight.
So my heart breaks.
I know I should not pick favorites, but my girl has always had a special place in my heart.
While my Dude, Bosco, likes me just fine, and adores my son, he concerns himself mostly with chasing small prey, eating spiders, carefully watching for the door to open to see if he can slip away, and wailing for hamsters at night.
My lovely Lady, however, is concerned mainly with loving us. All of us. Although I am the one she spends the most time with.
Since I became a mom so young, I waited a very long time to own a dog. Finally when I was ready, I spent about a year researching the breeds of dogs.
I wanted a mid-size dog, who didn’t mind the action of children, wanted to exercise (ie. walk with me), and would also be a good protector if need be. Since, ya, I am a scardy-cat Home Alone at night. You would be too if your door had been kicked in a couple of times late night. In any event, a Boxer seemed to be the perfect fit for my chaotic crew.When my son turned two, it just so happened I heard of breeder seeking a home for their last pup left from a litter. The only girl. While she had been spoken for, the original buyers had backed out, and the couple who owned both parents ended up keeping this pup. Thus she was already four months old before I laid eyes on her.
She was THE most beautiful being I had ever seen.
I know without checking, gender may not always be apparent with canines, but one look at her lovely face and there could be no doubt -she is most definitely female.
I named her on the spot…Layla
“Layla, darling, won’t you ease my worried mind?” ~Eric Clapton
One thing I noticed straight away is she was a worry-wort. At first she did not enjoy those walks. We had to take short little trips. Each time she would going a wee bit more, before she would just sit down and refuse to go further.
Following the advice I had been learning in Master Peace training classes, I did NOT pick her up, but would reward her with a click and treat when she did continue. Slowly but surely she grew to become eager to go for jaunts, and would trot dutifully beside me on my daily 2-3 power walks.
Sadly, a torn ACL at age 3 rendered her permanently arthritic, even following surgery. However, she is still exceptionally playful and does run the yard, but just cannot do the long daily walks she once loved.
Early on it also became apparent Layla is what the trainer called an Alpha Female. This meant I had to be especially mindful as she would try to dominate the other dogs in Puppy Class (ie. chase, charge, roll). I had to work with her on this, and Boxers are stubborn, but Layla quickly became quite obedient. Though I was warned I must always be cautious since dogs speak their own language even through glances and stares.
A year or so after Layla, I began to contemplate adding a permanent playmate as Boxers are generally happier with a fur friend. Upon consulting the vet, I was advised to get a puppy, and that it must be a male. Else, there would be trouble. Therefore right after Layla’s second birthday, Bosco joined our family as a tiny little pup.
Yes, he did whine even back then, LOUDLY for two whole nights, missing his Mama and sisters (he was the only boy).
Layla quickly showed him the ropes. He was trained in record time with her help. She was quite patient with him, even when he tried to nurse from her or nipped with his sharp baby teeth. She taught him how to play gently with her using his mouth. He was also hastily reprimanded the one and only time he jumped up knocking down my son. She rolled him.
Today, Layla and Bosco are equal in size and have lived happily together for 5 years.
My Layla girl is also fiercely protective. She will welcome visitors only once I welcome them in. Otherwise, they are simply not welcome, and she will guard the place like Fort Knox. Once, when my daughter was locked out, she went ’round to the back to try my bedroom window.
There was Miss. Layla. Standing in the middle of my huge bed, staring towards the window, growling like a grizzly bear until she saw who it was.
When Layla knows a friend though, she’s wiggly butt and happy dancing circles. She has a favorite too. It is my dad. When he comes to visit she throws him longing, loving stares, pawing at him to pet her -shameless in asking for his affection.
So I am hopeful she will do well with the surgery this week, and be on the mend in short order.
She truly is the very best dog in the whole WIDE world. For me.