My best buddy Roxy’s 10th birthday is coming up this October, and I am very excited about the celebrations we have planned! This year also marks our 10th year anniversary, so suffice it to say we’ll be commemorating these milestones in style! I can’t believe the two of us have now been together for a decade, by far the longest relationship I’ve ever had!

The first time I met Roxy I was 18 and she was just 7 weeks old, tiny and alone in a grungy pet store window. As you can image, Roxy was unbelievably adorable as a puppy, but even as a teenager I knew that buying from a pet store was not an option for me.

In any case, I couldn’t help but feel pity for the hapless dog. The rest of her litter had found homes, but her cloudy eyes, visible hernia and intestinal problems made her the last pick. When I approached the store owner about Roxy’s obvious health issues, he told me that it didn’t matter, someone had already purchased her. I left the pet store feeling uneasy.

A few days later I returned, and low and behold, so had the puppy. Apparently she was experiencing tummy troubles and her new owners didn’t want to invest in a dog that already had health isues. I asked the pet store owner to please just let me have her; I didn’t mind if she went blind or if she needed medical care! But he wouldn’t hear of it, not unless I had $500 to pay. Needless to say, fresh out of high school and working at Subway, I didn’t have $500, nor did I want to contribute to this jerk’s bottom line, so in the pet store window Roxy remained.

I decided that I didn’t like this guy or the way he treated animals, so I called the local SPCA and asked them to investigate. An officer met me at the pet store but deemed that the owners were providing the dog with the basics (food and water) so there was nothing they could do.

Roxy was bought and returned again several more times. At this point my heart was breaking for this puppy, she was so sweet and innocent and didn’t stand a chance with this money grubbing creep. Without any other options and feeling desperately helpless, I called every member of my family, begged to borrow money, took the bus back to the pet store, and paid for Roxy. To this day I still hate the idea of supporting this pet store (which is still selling puppies just like Roxy in the same conditions) but I couldn’t say no to that precious face.

So that was that, my first dog and the only puppy I’ve ever raised returned home with me for what has blossomed into the best friendship I’ve ever had. To commemorate the love I have for my Roxy, I’ve got a lot of exciting things planned in the coming months including a custom hand-carved collar from Paco, a special mommy-and-Roxy date, and even a Roxy tattoo (on me, not her)! Stay tuned in the next couple of months to see her collar, my tattoo, and the final plans for our 10th anniversary party!

Roxy at 6 months, such a skinny minny!

Roxy’s second Christmas, just over a year old! This Santa was not impressed, as you can clearly see…