I always had a soft spot in my heart for dogs. After years of trying to convince my dad to let me get a dog, he finally gave in. On February 10, 2013 my dad drove me to the Justin Bartlett Animal Rescue. Once we got there, my dad left me with the woman at the front desk and went searching for a special dog. A few minutes later, I saw him carrying a black fur ball Lab Mix in his arms, who I named Roxie. She is now 1-year-old and she’s more than just my dog; Roxie is my partner in crime.
Before having Roxie, I hardly left the house. Now that I have her, I am out of the house three or four times a day, taking her for walks around the neighborhood. I feel more free having a purpose to leave the house and I look forward to taking her for long walks. My neighbors know who I am and say “Hi,” or “Good morning,” to me every day with a smile. Children on the street stop me so they can pet and hug Roxie. Even a woman who only speaks Spanish stops me so that she can try to talk to me. The only word she knows in English is “Roxie.”
She may not be a certified service dog, but I trained her to do a few things such as bringing back a ball when I throw it and staying in one spot until I blow my whistle. There are times when Roxie picks up things on the floor for me. This usually happens when someone comes over and she gets excited; then, all I have to do is tell her to bring it. When she comes to me, putting her two front paws on the foot plate of my wheelchair, I tell her to give it and she releases the object from her mouth. Or if I’m about to run over something with my chair, she puts it in her mouth and I ask her to “Bring it,” and she gives it to me.
She is good to have around because she always puts a smile on my face. Now that I have Roxie in my life, I don’t know what I would do without her, and I know she feels the same. Every morning when I open Roxie’s cage, she stands on my foot plate to give me kisses. When she hasn’t seen me for a while, she kisses me to death by putting her front paws on my legs. Roxie is the most loveable dog.
She has changed my life, and it’s a change that has been for the better. Roxie is a friend that stays by my side and I can always count on her to be there for me. I would never want any other dog.