October 9, 2011

“In the Clearing Stands a Boxer…”

This week has all been about my two favorite boxers – Rosie and Tyson. Sure, we saw Monty and Roux this week, too, but most of our walks and outings were with the siblings. Their folks are on vacation and though they have a house/pet sitter staying with them, we got called upon to walk them two times a day.

Yep, two times a day. This includes weekends! Not that I don’t love Rosie and Tyson, but about Thursday morning when we were walking over to their house yet again, I turned to Gretchen and said, “We’re going to the Boxer’s again?”

Gretchen just smiled and said, “Buck up, buddy. We could be spending our time doing something we totally hate!”

She’s right of course, and I was glad for the reminder, so Saturday through Saturday we wore raincoats and leashes, waterproof boots and shorts, and bumped our bodies against the oncoming coolness of fall and the fawn short-hair of boxers.

And yes, hummed that infamous Simon and Garfunkel song – The Boxer (which is where I got the title for this week’s blog!).

But spending time with Rosie and Tyson made me reflect on my life in a way I haven’t in a long time. I’m getting older and those around me are, in turn, getting older too. Gretchen’s hair is getting grayer and in another few months, I will be 5 years old.

Wow. In one way I think, “Where did the time go?” but then I look back over the 20,000 photographs on our computer and I realize I’ve had a very full life and in the scheme of things, I’m still young and have a huge life ahead of me.

Rosie and Tyson are both older than I am and so, while we spent a lot of time together this week, I asked if they could share some of their elder wisdom with me!

After long conversations, I learned a great deal, but 5 insights stuck with me:

  1. Never underestimate the beauty of jowls. People always compliment me on my smirk. “So endearing,” they say, “Such a commentary on how you’re feeling.” I have to laugh because I’d give away all my curls to have jowls the shape, texture, and with the same kind of stretch that Rosie and Tyson’s jowls have. They can provide the right punctuation mark to their personalities. Tyson’s are noble and dark while Rosie’s are goofy and gray. Tyson uses his to convey his worry and Rosie uses hers to clown around. They puff air through their lips, shake their heads and spray slobber everywhere, and my personal favorite, get their canines stuck on their lips and make the best faces ever. I may have an adorable smirk, but it’s just a smirk and I so wish I could blow bubbles like my two boxer friends.
  2. Never pass up the opportunity to look for cats. I do feel sorry for Gretchen at times. When she’s walking us and a cat races by, every muscle in her body goes into overdrive. Tyson stands erect – a sculpture of a boxer – and he woofs we authority. Rosie reacts to Tyson – or I should say overreacts – and lunges out for anything and anyone that she can get her teeth into. Right there we’re talking about 130 pounds of dog (the two combined) pulling at the leashes. While I know I’m a mere 35 pounds what I lack in weight, I make up for in enthusiasm. I bark, I dance, I get all excited and do my best to stay out of Rosie’s way. I know it’s hard on Gretchen and her shoulders, but it sure is fun when the three of us see a cat!
  3. When in doubt, ask for a treat. No explanation needed here, but let me just say that Rosie and Tyson are masters of getting treats out of Gretchen. I am merely a student!
  4. Even the shortest tails can make a statement. I have a feathery plume of a tail and while I hate getting it brushed out every week, I do love showing it off when I wiggle, using it to flag my feelings to the world, and alerting my friends about how happy I am to be alive. Boxers, as you know, have docked tails, but don’t let that fool you. With their short wiggles, they can express 1000 emotions and often do. From them I’ve learned to use my tail more subtly and remember that even though I have one flair of a tail, I don’t always have to flaunt it to get my point across.
  5. No matter how many times you see each other, be as thrilled as you were the first time you met! Actually, all my friends have taught me this, but there’s nothing like two Boxers racing down the stairs to greet you (even though you’ve seen them only a few hours before) to make you realize that life is a gift and friends make every day feel like a birthday!

It’s a much calmer week coming up – Rosie and Tyson are off to Mystic Mountain Pet Retreat – and the only other friend on the docket this week (so far) is Monty. Who knows, Roux may need me or my dear friend Paige might want a play date. Or we may just have to stop by and see Woobie and her still broken, casted foot. Someone is going to have to fill the void of not seeing my Boxer friends this week! Will it be you?

Until then,


PS – More photos from our week…not all of it involved Boxers!

I did my best to look like a Boxer here. Not sure it worked!


Roux was unimpressed by my Boxer stories.


Monty is always impressed with the Boxers, especially Rosie!


"Do Boxers like to play as much as I do?"
It was really raining when we took this photo, but Boxers don't seem to mind. Their fur doesn't curl like my hair does!
This was a great photo until we got home and saw the boogers on Tyson's nose. Bummer.
It was raining here, too. It was kind of like that this week, at least when we were out walking.
We went to the garden store to find a tree and I was curious about the pumpkins, but then I met this guy and got a wee bit scared!
We met this guy, too. He didn't scare me at all. In fact, I wanted to take him home!
What I must endure with my crazy family.

Leave a Reply