June 2008 I had finally convinced Chris it was time to get a second dog to befriend Mushu and keep her company when we were at work.It didn't take me long to find a toy Pomeranian on Kijiji that I fell in love with. Her name was Foxy and she was the same age as Mushu we waited almost a month to get her as the breeder had agreed to hold her until we went up to Halifax. When we got to the breeders friends house (the place we agreed to pick her up from as the breeder was in P.E.I) she was among a brood of happy, healthy Pomeranian's and Chihuahuas. Foxy was a small greasy, stinky, boney little dog who literally looked like she was going to die on us. How could we drive 5 hours to Halifax to get her and leave her to go back to the place she had come from, so despite not falling in love at first sight like we had with a feisty Mushu when she was a pup, we took Foxy home with us. This little dog projectile vomited on Mushu in the car and continued to pant/ foam at the mouth for the entire ride home. You could feel her rib cage and spine jutting out and she had hard pokey little nipples. We put her in a harness for bathroom breaks and the poor thing had no idea what it was for, she had no leash etiquette what so ever.
We brought her home and she had diarrhea right away, which was no big surprise given the fact her diet consisted of "Beneful stew" before we got her. We gave that little dog a bath and began to make her food with high quality dog kibble pureed with a bit of baby rice cereal. She started to eat it and eventually graduated to eating the cookies/kibble whole. Her stools slowly got better, her coat stopped being greasy and she eventually developed a layer of mass over her jutting bones.
It was obvious to us Foxy had not been treated well when one day she peed on the carpet, I firmly told her no with a finger point and she instantly cowered to the floor and pissed herself again. Trembling and scared I picked her up and gave her some cuddles and kind words. The final evidence of her poor life was made known when we took her to the veterinarian to get her teeth cleaned and to get spayed. I dropped her off at the vet to get spayed and asked them to phone me as soon as the surgery was done so I could come pick her up. They phoned me quite early to ask if my dog had been spayed already as they found a previous scar on her belly. I phoned the "breeder" and discovered she had been bred once and became pregnant with one puppy which had to be removed surgically. The poor thing had died a few days later making Foxy a pointless dog for people who obviously only wanted her for the income her womb would generate.
The Veterinarian had to remove four of her teeth and let us know she had poor knees in her back legs due to poor breeding. Despite her rough lot in life, Foxy eventually came out of her shell. She learned to love walks and her favorite thing ever was to be let loose in an open field and go running and yapping. She was a sweet little dog who licked and cleaned her paws in an o.c.d fashion, and would then decide to make sure she cleaned your arm too if it was handy. She was very sociable with other dogs and at times cats. Although I remember the day the neighbors cat decided to let itself into our suite Foxy turned into a Pitt Bull chasing and snarling at it despite the fact it was clearly 4 times her size. She put her full 3 lbs into protection mode and that cat never tried to sneak in again.
Foxy loved the park and hiking through the woods, but she hated the beach. The ocean terrified her as did the camera for some reason we will never understand. Both Foxy and Mushu were able to come on a family vacation with us to Vancouver and Saskatoon in 2009. They seemed to really enjoy themselves meeting my extended family and Chris's.
When I became pregnant and would sleep on the couch Foxy and Mushu would snuggle up close to my belly while I napped, Foxy continued to snuggle up for naps with me and the baby after she was born. I remember when the baby first came home Foxy couldn't wait to come and try to clean her little head and hands. That tiny little dog would crawl up to the baby timidly and sneak in as many kisses as she could get away with. Foxy would sleep in the bed right next to me and the baby every night and sometimes would try to weasel her way right in between us. I caught her red handed on too many occasions to count trying to clean the babies head while she slept.
July 1st of 2011 Chris and I were getting ready to make some home improvements before we sold our house in anticipation for our move. Chris came home late from his shift at work and unloaded the supplies from the car I was asleep in the living room. I woke up we watched a movie and got ready for bed, at which time I looked and looked for Foxy and she was nowhere to be found. We ran outside and searched the streets from about 3:00 am until noon the following day but she was nowhere to be seen. I put up hundreds of posters and spent hours walking throughout our neighborhood, I took time off of work to go canvassing and asking people if she had been seen.
Every reported sighting we received we went to investigate but to no avail. Two phone calls resulted in me reuniting a Chihuahua and a Yorkshire Terrier to their owners. I continued to put up posters right up until the week before our move and I continued to put up adds on Kijiji and email the SPCA right up until this November 2011 (this post has taken awhile to write as it even now has me breaking down into tears).
I dont know if she has been taken in by a family who is loving her and treating her well, if she was hurt or killed by some malicious monster of a human being or if she became a meal for a wild animal. I do know I dream of finding her regularly and I'm not sure if she has passed on and is trying to say good bye or not. I do know that her loss has effected me to the point of putting me into a severe depression that I am constantly today fighting to rise above.
I promised that poor little dog that we would be her home forever, that she would be safe with us and a loved member of our family for the rest of her life and we failed her. I think about how confused and scared she must have been when she got outside and no one came to get her right away, did she think we were mad at her or that she had done something wrong?. The guilt of not finding her and keeping my promise to her eats me up daily. I loved and continue to love that little dog, she is still in my nightly prayers and I will admit I still stupidly cling to the hope that some miracle may one day bring her back into our life.
I know some people may think she was just a dog, but to me she was my family. I lived in Nova Scotia with Chris, very few friends and no family around for 5 years. My two dogs were the only family I had when Chris was gone away for a work contract (before the baby was born), my only friends when the few people we had made connections too were not around. I never had to worry about being judged or unloved by them, there was never any drama involved having them in my life. I considered both Foxy and Mushu to be my adopted children and now I have only Mushu and the baby.
As a family we are broken, Mushu is not the same. She spent our last few months in Sydney sitting by the back door all day long waiting for Foxy to return. She tends to want to spend more time sulking in bed then when Foxy was in our life. Both Chris and I are heartbroken and find ourselves in tears when we find situations that we know Foxy would love, like trips to the dog park. I dont think I will ever be the same again, a part of me lost faith that there are such things as happy endings, or higher powers that care about the lives of man.
What kind of higher power could let a sweet innocent little creature like that live a life of such torment then separate her from a family that loved her so much. How do you resign yourself to saying good bye to someone you love forever? .I had always thought to be cremated with both my dogs and Chris when we passed away and once the last of us had passed to have all of our collective ashes released on a nature trail somewhere. Now here I am on the opposite side of the country and my little Foxy dead or alive is so far away we will never be reunited. Good bye Foxy where ever you are, I love you I miss and I am so sorry that in the end we failed you.