|Even though this story, at times, is heart wrenching sad.
Im hoping all will continue to read through to the happy
Four and a half years ago, I was able to purchase a home.
I was so excited because now I could finally get dogs. While
I "dog proofed" my home I spent endless hours at
the library pouring over books to see what type of dog would
best fit my personality and environment. I kept returning
to the Boxer. Their loyalty and watchfulness is balanced out
with their playfulness. Therefore, the Boxer seemed like a
Not wanting to go to a breeder, I stopped at the Burbank
Animal Shelter every day after work to see if any boxers were
there. After weeks of looking, I thought " Jen, there
are so many dogs that need a good home, tomorrow when you
come, pick two and be resolved that you are not going to find
a Boxer." As I headed out the door a worker, who had
seen me almost every day now, asked if I needed help with
anything. I explained my situation and that I would return
tomorrow to take some dogs into the play area. "No need
to do that" was the reply and I was hooked up with Ursula
from Boxer Rescue. Ecstatic is putting it mildly at how I
felt leaving there that day.
I immediately contacted Ursula and set up a time to visit
her at the Encino vet (this was before she had the kennel).
There were 2 dogs, a male and a female, that she was trying
to place together. Not wanting to see them separated, I took
them both. The boy was named Boomer and the girl was Harley.
I knew when I took Boomer that he was sickly, but I wanted
to keep them together. After Boomer got used to his new environment
and was given love and attention, he thrived and grew. The
vet suspected he might have a heart condition, but I didnt
want to put him through extensive tests. Plus the tests would
just confirm what was suspected, there would be nothing that
could be done about it.
A couple of years went by and things couldnt have been
better. Then Boomer had a heart attack February of 98
and passed away. The grief was unbelievable. I was relieved
that he didnt suffer and glad that I had Harley. I called
Ursula and she was very supportive. She let me know there
was nothing else I could have done to save him, the years
he had with me were the best he had and that he died being
very happy in a place where he was loved dearly. She thought
the best thing to do would be to get another boxer for Harley.
While I was contemplating that, Harley got sick. Over the
next month she would get sick and then get well. The vet could
find nothing wrong with her and thought possibly she was grieving
for Boomer. As a last resort, I was sent to a specialist.
Harley was diagnosed with cancer. Since I had dog insurance
and that would help with the expense, I wanted her to be treated
to see if it would go into remission. She responded well to
the treatment and it did go into remission, for a time. In
November of 98 when there was nothing more that could
be done, and she was starting to suffer terribly, I had to
put her to sleep.
The years that they were with me can never be replaced. I
will treasure that forever. I will always love them dearly
and they will never be forgotten. It helped knowing I did
all I could do and that they had a terrific home to spend
their last days, but that was not enough in my grieving process.
I just simply could not move on. After about 6 months I started
thinking about getting more dogs. Even though I experienced
2 tragedies in such a short time, I realized that such things
can happen with any breed and the "Boxer" was not
to blame. The happiness I had with Boomer and Harley far outweighed
the pain I was currently feeling. I really wanted to add to
my household again and help other boxers find a good home.
However, I just could not do it.
Through all of this, my sister Shirley, watched my joy, pain
and struggles with trying to cope with the thought of bringing
other dogs into my life. She knew that I would never do it
myself, so she wrote to "Dream Makers" to see if
they could help. Dream Makers is a new show with Richard Simmons
as the host. It airs weekdays, 10am on channel 5. Their goal
and aim of the show is to have peoples dreams come true. They
picked my story and she and I were asked to appear in the
studio audience. They told me that it was not guaranteed we
would be picked but at least we would get prizes for showing
up. I thought my sister wrote in to try to hook me up with
a guy or help me with much needed repairs on my house. I had
no clue what was going to take place next.
We go to show and they sit us in the front row. Im
thinking if we play some type of "pick the best bachelor"
game I will never forgive her. J The show starts. In the first
story, a man is reunited with his father. The 2nd
story everyone in a salon gets their hair cut for free, all
thanks to Dream Makers. Richard starts the 3rd
story by explaining that people dont know much about
him except for what they see on TV. They dont know that
he adores and loves dogs and has many Dalmatians in his home.
He says to the audience, "There is a young lady in our
audience who also loves dogs immensely and her heart is broken."
He comes into the audience, gets my sister and me and asks
if we will join him on stage. He has my sister read a portion
of the letter that she sent in to him. In it, she explains
that my house is empty and since I lost the dogs, I dont
smile the way I used to. She wants to put a smile back on
my face. Richard talks to me about Boomer and Harley and the
whole audience is crying. With my permission, he shows pictures
of them on a big screen. This shows the audience how happy
and loved they were and how much a part of my life they had
become. With that, he brings out a boxer puppy for me to take
home. Except its really a boxer mix, but thats
a whole different story **(details at end of this story).
I get a huge basket from Alpo and Friskies with everything
you can imagine from food and treats to bowls and toys. Also,
they included a six month supply of dog food. After the segment
Richard talks to me how to get over the loss of Boomer and
Harley and about moving forward with a new puppy in my life.
He was truly encouraging to me and he is such a sincere, caring
With much going on and much to think about the associate
producers, myself, my sister and Audrey from Boxer Rescue
are escorted into a back room. I fill out paperwork and everyone
leaves. Audrey explains to me that if I am not ready to take
a puppy home right now, or if I choose not to accept this
one, thats ok. I was so relieved! Even though I wanted
to move forward and get a dog, I work all day and knew I was
not ready to get a puppy. I felt horrible for returning him,
but Audrey assured me he would be placed before the weekend
was over. (She was right, he was!) I followed her to the Boxer
Rescue and she wrote up a certificate for me to get a dog
at a later date. What excuse did I have to wait any longer?
I now had the certificate, dog food and supplies, plus, more
importantly, the emotional kick in the butt to get going.
I asked her if I could look for a little older puppy right
then and we went out in the yard. I wanted to take all of
them home but didnt see any that I personally connected
with. As we headed back into the house I commented; "Oh!
I dont remember seeing those two over there." Audrey
replied, "Those 2 girls came in together and we are only
placing them together, so, unless you want to take 2, I wouldnt
look at them. They are so sweet, youll fall in love
with them. Theyve been here for a while, because not
too many people want to take 2." Was I able to take 2?
Heck no! I was still feeling doubtful about 1. I headed home.
All night long, my mind kept wondering back to those 2 girls.
Why in the world did I keep thinking about them? Since I didnt
get close to the cage, I didnt really even know what
they looked like. Why couldnt I get them out of my mind?
I couldnt sleep all night. Audreys words kept
playing in my brain. I was thinking how odd it was that Boomer
and Harley had been together and Boxer Rescue didnt
want to separate them. We all had a life together and were
a family and that out of all the places for Dream Makers to
go, I end up back at Boxer Rescue with 2 different boxers
that need to stay together. I called the next day, Saturday,
and left a message that I wanted to set up an appointment
for Monday. It was Labor Day weekend and I would be out of
town on Saturday and Sunday. The whole weekend I kept telling
myself I was only going to look. I probably wasnt ready
to take a dog, right now, and definitely not 2. On the other
hand, I was picking out names I liked, and came back early
from my trip so I could wash the dog beds, set up their feeders
and get the yard ready. When I went for my Monday appointment,
I immediately feel in love with them, but was still hesitant
if I was ready. With coaxing from my friend, I decided it
was now or never.
Now, three weeks later, I wonder how I could ever imagine
life without them. They are so bonded to each other, Im
thrilled that I kept them together. Im even more happy
that they stayed together because we found out they are mom
and pup. Also, due to my enthusiasm and happiness at my new
additions of Sage (pup) and Cheyenne (mom) to my family, my
best girlfriend, Laura, also adopted 2 boxers this past week.
Their names are Zoe and Brina and all are doing well.
Richard Simmons was right when he told me this is what I
needed in order to start healing. It has helped immensely!
Every day Sage and Cheyenne are learning new things and upholding
the true Boxer character of being loyal, dedicated, fun and
a true companion at all times.
**now for the "different story" of the boxer mix
puppy from the show Dream Makers:
The producers wanted a puppy for the show. For ratings and
the effect in would have on the audience, they wanted to be
able to actually put a puppy right into my lap. Boxer Rescue
informed them that there were puppies at the kennel, but they
were between 8 and 9 months old and would be too big to place
on a lap. The show wanted a younger and smaller puppy. John
Schillaci, the vice president of Boxer Rescue was very excited
when he received a call from the shelter saying they
had a young, boxer puppy that needed to be picked up. He instructed
to get the puppy, get the shots, have him fixed and get him
ready for the show. Boxer Rescue never saw the puppy and by
the time they found out that it was a mix, it was "show
time" and you know the saying; "the show must go
on". At that point, it was too late to change anything,
so the boxer puppy mix is what you will see when you watch
the show. In the end, it worked out better as you all know
from reading the story.
PS Laura Jen's friend, saw how happy Jennifer was to get a
couple of Boxers so she decided to adopt two boxers as well