The first picture of Emma with me.
Taken about two years ago before Emma’s health started going downhill.
One of the last pictures of Emma…taken about three months ago.
A little over twelve years ago I set up a meeting to see a little white Boxer puppy. I had seen pictures online and talked to the owner on the telephone. In the pictures the tiny female puppy was healthy looking and seemed to be enjoying the great outdoors with her owner. My daughter, granddaughter and I drove at least fifty miles out in the boonies to see the puppy and very likely bring her home.
When we got to our destination and met the puppy that had been depicted via email as a healthy pup, there was little similarity. The pictures showed a healthy, bouncy puppy. The real thing was emaciated, listless and undoubtedly drugged. My first and continued reaction was anger. The puppy was starving and showed no sign of being happy to see us. Anyone who knows Boxers knows a Boxer cannot contain its excitement. Their entire body wags. They are so happy to be Boxers and always glad to meet a new friend.
The deal was I would buy a healthy Boxer puppy for $250.00. That’s a good deal. I was so conflicted. The puppy was far from healthy, but she was precious all the same. Bless her heart, you could count EVERY rib and her little hip bones protruded. Her skin hung loose on her little body. I was certain she was destined for sure death if I left her, but I felt really foolish paying the wicked owner anything for the poor creature. It was impossible to turn my back, leave the sick, tiny puppy and walk away. I paid the woman and bit my tongue during the transaction. I should have immediately called an animal rescue and reported her. I regret not doing that still today.
The woman showed us her other puppies…The small breeds were in tiny cages…stacked in a back room of her house. In the back yard there were no less than fifty medium to large dog breeds in pens…all popular breeds…all breeding bitches and stud dogs and the puppies they produced. She ran a puppy mill. Because a white Boxer is considered a cull, she had no buyer…she was not feeding her. Had I not brought the sick unnamed puppy home, she would have starved to death. I wanted to kick the woman’s butt, but instead I swaddled the limp puppy, cuddled her close, paid the ransom to free her and took her home.
The next day I took her to the vet. She had not eaten since I brought her home, because she had been so heavily drugged. The vet checked her out really good and told me if she lived for more than a couple of days, I would be lucky. She was still unresponsive and limp. I bought supplements to entice her to eat and slowly she did. She began to thrive, and I named her Emma.
Once the drugs wore off, Emma was famished. I think she never forgot starving, because she always ate like she was afraid there would be no more food.
Emma did not like women…except my oldest daughter, granddaughter and me for the longest time. I’m pretty sure she made an exception for us, because we rescued her from the evil one. It took months to socialize her to be civil around strange women. No doubt she was treated terribly by the woman who starved her.
Emma really had a rough start in life, but it did not take her long to fit into our family and become a well-adjusted puppy. She fit right in with our first Boxer Maggie, and when Bubba our Great Dane came along they were a famous trio. We jokingly called them “the triplets”.
My husband’s fondest memory of our Triplets is the was they took care of him, never leaving his side when he had surgery on his shoulder. Emma was a good dog.
Emma was a good dog. She was obedient and willing to please. She was smart and loved to play. She added joy to my husband and my lives. She was my oldest daughter’s favorite sister dog.
This morning at 8:15 Emma took her last breath. Her health had declined over the past couple of months. The happy dog she had been for years rapidly disappeared. Most of her time was spent sleeping. Last week she seemed to get a second wind. She was playful and made her sentry walks around our place. The second wind did not last long and it was time to go.
Yesterday I told her it was ok for her to leave us. I told her I would miss her…that I loved her, but I knew she was tired and did not feel good. We took a walk in the evening. When Emma came inside she went to her bed and she never got up again. She just quietly let go of life. Allen, Bella and I were with her when she drew her last breath.
We placed Emma in the ground beside Bubba and Maggie. We thanked God for Emma and the time we had with her. I told Him I hope Bishop, Bubba and Maggie are waiting for her…that they would all be in Heaven when we get there. There is comfort in that thought.
Emma was a good dog. We were blessed to have her in our family for the time she was here. I would love to see her happy and healthy again one day. She is already greatly missed.
Until next time…
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8