Shared by: Andrea Webb, Palm Harbor, FL, US
When my son, Ian, was twelve years old, we had to move to a new state due to a job loss. After packing up all of our possessions, we left Texas and began the long drive to Florida.
Everything was different, and the new school was a particularly tough challenge. Ian has autism; his hesitant tone and shyness made it even harder to fit in, and the change in our life situation really affected him. His teachers worried about him, he was withdrawn. My Mother, who had been a dog lover all of her life, suggested that perhaps a dog in Ian’s life could make a difference.
We began to look for a dog that was playful, would chase a ball, and that Ian could call his own. After a few weeks of searching, we found her: Roxie, a Welsh Corgi. Ian went to visit the breeder several hours away and fell in love with the dog. He took a picture of her and put it on his wall. The breeder was uncertain but finally she agreed to let Roxie be our dog. She was six months old.
We drove five hours to go get her, and we surprised Ian at the front door after school. He was wearing a tuxedo from his orchestra concert. We captured that first moment in a picture that has long become a family favorite.
Roxie was all he had hoped for. They went on walks together, he always would tell her that one day they would have a home of their own. She loved to play catch and enjoyed waiting by the door when Ian came home from school each day. She was the magic in his life; he smiled again, life got a little bit easier, he made friends through her.
The hard years of middle school went by, Ian continued to pursue an interest in music and became quite good at the double bass. Finally, it was time to go away to college on a music scholarship. Roxie was about six years old, we would drive her up to college for visits and he said he would try and find a pet friendly apartment after his first year was done, so that Roxie could join him.
Over the coming months, Roxie stopped being playful, she didn’t want to go on walks, and began to sleep a lot. We were concerned and took her to the vet, who told us that she had developed an incurable auto immune disorder that could be treated with heavy medication. We promised Ian we would try and keep her going for a few more years on the medicine, but less than a month later her heart gave out and all of the dreams of being together again evaporated.
Ian updated his Facebook, which he rarely ever goes on:
Rest in peace Roxie. She passed away in her sleep last night. She had been undergoing heavy treatment for an autoimmune illness she had. She was my best friend, and she will be missed greatly.
Ian still dreams of a day when he will get another dog, though he says there will never be another Roxie. We thank her for changing his life, helping him, being a friend and always having those deep loving eyes that made us – and especially Ian – feel loved.