As many of you know, we lost our beloved boxer dog Monte on May 16th unexpectedly to cancer. We loved him dearly, and had him for over 8 years. As I prayed, I was asking God if we were supposed to get a dog right away, or wait. I literally felt like I could not heal without pouring love into another dog as soon as possible. Not to replace Monte, but to bring comfort to loss and to try to help fill a void. I had different views from different people. Some felt that I was just trying to replace Monte and not truly grieving, others felt it was a great idea and had said that they did the same thing when one of their pets had passed away.
The day after we had to put Monte down I looked on the Internet at various local animal shelters, hoping to find another boxer because they are such a good breed. I saw one at the local shelter, but he was older and I didn’t want to get a dog that might not be with us for long. Then, I typed in “boxers for sale, Michigan,” and found a three-year-old boxer in Lansing. The family had two younger children (ages one and two), lived in an apartment (so the dog didn’t get to go for very many walks), and they were moving. The owner said that he could tell that the dog wasn’t very happy and needed more attention. He had included several pictures, and immediately I knew: I want this dog. I hadn’t talked with my husband at all about it, but he was at a church group and wouldn’t be home until late, so I emailed the owner and figured I would just see. The dog had just been posted online that day, but being a boxer I figured he was probably already taken (especially since the ad said he wasn’t looking for any fees or money, just wanted to find a good home). I included pictures of Monte with us, and said that we had just lost our boxer and would love another one. Surprisingly, the man emailed me back and said that he was still available and could I come the next day (being Wednesday), and that his name was Chevy. I emailed back and said I couldn’t come until Friday or the weekend due to work. When I didn’t hear from him that next day, I figured he had found someone who could take him sooner, or that he had changed his mind and wanted to keep him (since they had him for three years, I know it had to have been a tough decision). By Thursday morning I had pretty much given up hope on the dog and started to look at other sites. Thursday afternoon the owner emailed me and asked how serious we were about being the Chevy’s new family because he had had a lot of offers and wanted to find a good family. I emailed back again and said we were very interested and that we could come the next day. By this time, Jon had known about the dog, but he wasn’t really giving a “yes” or “no” answer and just told me he would go along with “whatever I thought” (which made me very nervous that if it was the wrong decision that it would be all my fault). My oldest (Adam) had been adamant that he wanted a dog right away, but not a boxer. At first my youngest didn’t want a dog, but later said it was OK as long as it didn’t look anything like Monte. So here I was, going to look at a dog that was a boxer, so looked very much like Monte. We set up a time to meet the next day at 10:00 am. I was nervous the night before and the whole way to meet Chevy. As we dropped the boys off at school they were both getting more excited about the possibility of coming home to a new dog. They wanted to go with us, but they had already missed a day of school the day after Monte passed away, and there was no guarantee that we would be bringing Chevy home.
When we first met Chevy, he was a little wild! Jumping up and licking me like crazy. Also, he was so much smaller than Monte had been, about 40 pounds. Lots of muscle, but you could definitely count his ribs and see his spine. He didn’t bark, which made me very happy since Monte was not a barker and I really did not want a dog that barked a lot! The family was super sweet, and their oldest son kept giving Jon his toys to hang onto while I played with Chevy. Jon said it was up to me if I wanted to take him home, and of course I said YES. They gave us his food dishes and crate, and off we went.
Chevy was hilarious on the ride home. He rode ON my lap for most of the way. Sitting straight up like he was a little human. The first thing that Chevy did when we got home was to try out everyone’s beds. He wiggled under all of the covers and rolled around.
After he took his little tour of the house I decided to take him for a walk. I had wondered how he would do, because when I first got Monte he used to pull so much that I could barely walk him until I bought a pinch collar. Chevy did great! He didn’t pull, and he was seriously SMILING the whole time. I think I took him for about four walks that first day. On the second walk though, he found that he could slip right out of his collar by ducking his head down, so we’ve been using a pinch collar ever since. I don’t have to tug on it at all, but if he tries to escape it will help prevent that.
The boys were so excited to meet him. They immediately fell in love. We have had Chevy for three weeks now and he has fit right into our family. We are very thankful to the family that gave him to us. He definitely helped to bring healing to our family!