This is a long post, but i'm so grateful for Maddie's Pet Forum and want to share my story. I first learned about Joe when @Rebecca Genauer from Northern CA Boxer Rescue posted a message asking for help because 8 year old Joe was in a boarding facility after his family lost their home in the Paradise, CA fire. Joe was doing very poorly- responding aggressively to most people who attempted to interact with him.
I decided to foster Joe. I've always been a fan of Boxers, and love their happy go lucky attitudes and playful personalities, but would never buy one. So Joe came into my life. The boarding facility put him into the back of my car for me because initially i couldn't get near him. Here's Joe on the ride home, looking at me warily.
By the time we stopped on the long drive, to buy him a collar and leash, Joe was still very worried but he clearly wanted to be my best friend. I didn't know it yet, but he already knew he was never letting me go.
From that moment on, Joe wanted nothing more than to be near me. He was so very playful and loving and funny; a joy to have around.
My two big boys weren't sure about each other at first, but coexisted peacefully.
I talked to his previous family, who had only had him about 1.5 years. They had adopted him from Wags n' Whiskers after a last chance plea to find him a home. Joe had pretty significant separation anxiety, but I understood why – so much change and disruption in his life. Ultimately, Nor Cal Boxer Rescue couldn't take him into their program because his aggressive behavior toward strangers persisted in my home, and his previous family couldn't take him back. I've fostered lots of dogs over the years and really really really didn't need another dog - i already had 4 other dogs at the time. For a short time, i attempted to find Joe a home on my own. However, i quickly realized that i couldn't bear the thought of Joe potentially failing in yet another home (i was at least his third) or biting someone. So i made the decision to keep him!
He was so photogenic, so expressive, and had SO much personality.
Joe was a cherished member of our family for almost four years, and we couldn't have asked for a better dog. He loved us, balloons, and my other dogs. He was my son's buddy and protector.
He wasn't perfect. He couldn't be around people he didn't know and had his share of health problems, but he always bounced back until this final round. He started having seizures about two years ago and last weekend it became apparent he had something serious going on his brain and his quality of life declined enough that it was time to let him go. We said a final goodbye to our beloved Joe-Joe on September 26.
Thank you, Rebecca and Maddie's Pet Forum, so much.
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