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A cute Boxerdog called Missy
She was my constant companion for eight and a half years, even being welcome in non food shops. From when she came to live with us she bought to the house a sense of fun and pure joy at simply being alive.
Every morning I would wake up either to her poking me with her snout or I would look down to her bed which was on the floor below my bedroom window and there she was waiting patiently to go downstairs and be let out to explore the garden ....again.
A small Introduction to Boxers
The breed originated in Germany, a cross between the Old English Bulldog and now extinct Bullenbeisser.Their coat colours include Brindle,"Red", Fawn and white.
Whites are not allowed by any Boxer organisation around the world to breed because of a possible recessive gene which means they mean be deaf at birth and this could be passed on, however their natures are no different from any other boxer and they are frequently seen at agility and obedience classes and of course make great family pets.
Character:- Totally faithful and loving, Intelligent, Playful, Soul of Honesty and Loyalty, Brave, Great with Kids and I can affirm that these traits never disappear even when old and sick. Boxers always try.
Their nature is non aggresive, but they will protect family and home if provoked!
They are recognised as a very versatile dog used in agility, odedience classes, showdogs, guide dogs for the blind and therapy dogs.
In the past the miltary has also used them in times of war as valueable messenger dogs, pack carriers and even trained them to be attack and guard dogs(not I imagine an easy task).
But most of all the one thing is their playful, jokey nature, and their love of companionship particularly human.
Boxers are People.
Back to Missy
We all go through this with young animals, although my 2 daughters method was unique, yes it worked.
At the time Missy was living with my 2 daughters in my old Italian farmhouse, my elderly mother simply could not cope with having a puppy in the house!
So, picture this.
Two brindle boxer puppies, Missy and Arnie, its toilet time and the girls get prepared. this means one ready to fling open the frontdoor which is just a few short feet in front of the stairs and the other who summons the puppies from their play with "Ittttttttttttts PP time"
Puppies position themselves 2 steps up, anticipation all over their little wrinkled faces.
Door is flung open to the cries of "Puppy Power".
Two brindle Missiles fly out through the doorway, onto the gravel courtyard and hurtle across the white road to the grass where they immediatley stop and go to the toilet.
Then its hugs and pats and kisses and joyous expressions from all.
Hysterically funny, but then boxers are. It also shows that positive reinforcement worked.
This i continued with Missy right through her life, and always it was a mad scramble to get to the door before her where she stood , wriggling, ears up as much as they did and a look of hurry up mum on her face.
How many kilometres we walked together around the mountain where we lived i do not know, but it was always interesting, always fun, and I always had a overly large lump of wood bought to me to throw for Missy. Frequently she would disappear from view, her nose to the ground following the scent of some other animal, but a few shouts from me and she would suddenly reappear out of the undergrowth and run up to me with a big smile on her face ,or another piece of wood!
Missy was a Lady in every sense of the word. She never jumped up at anyone, merely wriggled madly with delight when new people or friends or family visited. I could take her anywhere, everywhere and she was always welcomed.
In the local town of Belforte where I shopped she would frequently sit quietly with a group of older retired men whilst i whizzed around, keeping cool in the summer under the covered terrace of a bar or warm in the winter when she was allowed to sit by a table inside.....such was her reputation for good manners and kindness.
But for all her gentleness she had an enormous sense of fun, and loved to play games particularly fetch or tug of war though she always gave up her toy without a fuss. Her one bad habit was digging up the newly planted Bulbs in the spring and presenting them to me in a very muddy and peaty mouth, then rushing up the garden and just sitting watching, knowing she really shouldn't. But, ohhhhhhhhh that smell of newly dug earth!!
She was a dog who never complained and her ailments where many, Boxers have a complex physiology. Needles, pills, cleaning out cuts on feet, she took it all with patience and good nature. Only once did she let herself down and that was when she had a compulsory tattoo inside her thigh as a puppy
Legs spread akimbo and held on her back, she let out a loud wail and promptly wet herself. Poor Missy,so undignified.
However it is her big heart and kind soul that I will remember her for most and her love of the wide open spaces on the mountain where we lived, a mountain she claimed for her own.
She was put to sleep after a very short but acute illness, and as she lay on her favourite sofa and quietly drifted into that endless sleep I watched the wrinkles on her face soften and knew she was going to be okay.
Missy you were the best friend I had in Italy, and I will always remember all the joy and comfort you bought me.
Footnote. I will be including more photos, but am deciding which shows her personality best.