I’m extremely sad to say I lost my sweet baby girl Pixie on Wednesday 10/23. She collapsed and died pretty quickly, so it’s my best guess that either she had a heart attack or that the tumor finally hit her brain stem and stopped her heart. She had a very faint heartbeat after she collapsed, so I got her in the car and took her to the ER immediately, but her heart stopped at some point on the way there. She fought long and hard against her brain tumor and succeeded in living with it for 14 months and outliving her prognosis by a year. Kayla and I are devastated by the loss, but grateful that we had her as long as we did, that she had a quick and painless death, and that she was with her pack when it happened. Pixie was 10 years and 7 months old.
Pixie, ABR #75, was born March 23, 2009. She was one of nine and one of the two smallest boxers born to her mother Blossom, the first pregnant boxer brought into Atlanta Boxer Rescue. I was there the day she was born and the first and last human to hold her during her lifetime. I always told her that I’d known her since before she was born. I loved her and knew I wanted her the minute I saw her being born. I brought her home at 8 weeks and named her Pixie. I had no idea how fitting the name would be!
Simba played gently with her and taught her everything she needed to know about being a good Boxer. Pixie listened to half of it at best. She was just as mischievous as the name implied and I know many of you remember her Facebook album “Things Pixie has chewed up”. Pixie was always as bouncy as a Tigger and greeted everyone exuberantly, complete with jumping, high fives, and sloppy kisses. She never met a stranger and was friendly to everyone she met, dog or human. Sometimes a bit too friendly to the smaller humans. She tackled more than one toddler in her day.
At three, she finally gained the attention span to enroll in an obedience class and several of you may remember the nerve wracking CGC test as it was detailed comment by comment on Facebook. Before there was Facebook Live, there was Tiffany Live keeping everybody on the edge of their seats to see if Pixie would pass her test or not. “Pixie boxed a poodle, I repeat, Pixie has boxed a poodle.” was typed out as Pixie took a swat at a poodle on the “greeting dogs properly” section. She was allowed to repeat the one test of ten that she failed and, after her instructor assured me she would never pass that test, Pixie ended up being the ONLY dog in the class to pass the test.
Pixie loved chasing balls around the house and I will probably be finding them under thing for years. She also loved swimming and fetching toys in the water, and as she grew older, she came to enjoy just floating in the lake on a noodle. Pixie was a water dog from her very first encounter with the lake at ten weeks old.
Pixie and I lost Simba in 2013 and when Kayla came in about six weeks later, as a foster recovering from an amputation, Pixie let me know in no uncertain terms that we were keeping this one. Pixie and Kayla were inseparable for the rest of her days, walking, eating, sleeping, playing and cuddling together. Pixie loved to sit out on the driveway and bake in the sun and she eventually taught Kayla the joys of soaking up rays on a summer day. Pixie also loved her annual trip to the zoo aka Pet Supermarket, where she checked out the parakeets, ferrets, kittens and rabbits.
Even with Pixie’s quite rowdy developmental years, she eventually mellowed into a fine boxer, while still retains her individuality. Pixie was always her own dog. She also had the best set of ears I’ve ever seen on a boxer. Always standing straight up and alert for anything she might need to address.
In August 2018, Pixie had the first of 84 seizures and an MRI confirmed that she had a brain tumor. She was given 1-3 months to live and I was absolutely devastated to learn the news. She surprised everyone, however, by hanging onto life for such a long time. Her care routine and medicine and let out schedule grew as the months progressed and by August 2019, it took an eight page document to explain how to take care of her when I left town. I have many friends and family to thank for stepping in and helping with Pixie as the caregiving became such a monumental task. Caregiving I was glad to do and would have continued indefinitely.
I loved Pixie deeply and completely and until she took her final breath. I’ll continue to love her beyond life also. Kayla and I are heartbroken and exhausted right now, but I hope we will both come around before too long. I’m lucky to have my own live-in therapy dog, although Kayla is also pretty depressed at the moment. She has been lying in Pixie’s crate and she has been sick all day. We will love on each other though as we try to adjust to a world without Pixie.
Run free and rest peacefully, my good girl. You were loved beyond measure.