Only four of Roxy's eleven years were in my family but what glorious and happy yearrs they were. She was relinquished to our local humane society when she was almost 7 because she still was not acting housebroken. I think she was just bored and needed exercise; because she was really smart, I think she learned that when she pottied, any outside activity was over, so she didn't go until she got back inside and couldn't hold it any longer. She was bred to be a working dog (half Llewellin Setter, quarter Border Collie and quarter English Pointer) and needed a job to do to apply her mind and body.
We fixed that. Lots of walks off and on leash, clicker training, playing with her canine companion Sunny, travel and, where she really shined, canine nosework. Watching her run was like watching water flow: balanced, graceful and fast. Her bright eyes were always asking what the next adventure would be.
She had one physical disability, a congenital hole in her heart. By all rights, she should have been dead or disabled from heart disease by the time I adopted her but perhaps her sedentary life helped here. She got surgery to fix the hole and medications to help with the arrhythmias shortly after she moved in with me. It allowed her to have a wild and happy time, living life to the fullest. In the end though, it was her heart that failed her in the cold winter. Uncontrolled arrhythmias won and she died at home in one of her favorite spots to observe the world, at night and in her sleep.
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