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Kornelia C. Rebel

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Boxers - the most beautiful ugliness
By Kornelia C. Rebel
Sunday, June 24, 2007

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How dogs can proove to us that unconditional love really exists: My personal experience with boxers

Boxer: The most beautiful ugliness in the world

When it comes to dogs, I can be called a late starter. I have never been much of a pet lover. During the first 37 years of my life I was so busy with myself and traveling and growing up that I never even thought about taking on a pet.

Everything changed when I met my husband in Goa, India. He was staying in one of these old Portuguese houses with a ceiling hovering 8 meters abovethe ground, huge mud walls, big windows and an abundance of space. A big garden with a solid boundary wall surrounded the house. I moved in with him and for the first time in my life I did not have to face the confinement of an apartment.

My sweetie had a dog named Annabelle, which belonged to the original owners of the house but which had more or less adopted my husband. Annabelle was an old bitch in the true sense of the word - she was interested in her own well being and if there was some affection coming her way, it was fine. Her origins were largely unknown but she was supposed to have some traces from a fierce pitbull inside her sweet persona.

Whenever she came on heat she disappeared for a couple of days and returned home filthy, hungry and full of the signs of an exciting love life. We never shared an intensive relationship but she gave me the first taste what life with a dog is like.

Then we went for a longer stay to Europe to give birth to our son. When we returned Annabelle was no longer living. As a dog is an excellent burglar alarm we decided to replace her. Not with an undefinable mixture, no, we wanted something solid, pure race and big, to keep bad people out of our life and to keep our little son safe. After some brainstorming we decided to get boxers, as they are the most child loving race.

I will never forget the day we brought home our two brothers, Fritz and Otto. They were the cutest little puppies you can imagine. Their tiny feet and faces just looked adorable and when their black eyes were staring into mine I just melted away. From the first day they never, ever gave us trouble. Whenever they greeted us in the morning their tails were wagging like crazy and you could feel the love radiating from them.

They are just happy that we are there. They are never in a bad mood and our little son could do anything with them. He could push his hand into their mouths and they took extra special care not to hurt him at all times, even when they were playing wildly in the garden.

We were very happy with Fritz and Otto and they were growing beautifully alongside our little son. But there is always a tear in paradise and our happiness was just too complete. When Otto, the bigger of the two boxers, turned five months old, he fell sick. From one day to another he could not move anymore and he was crying in pain. The veterinary explained that he had osteoporosis.

The following six weeks were an ordeal for the full family. We took Otto every day to the veterinary to get injections - without success. He simply could not move any more. We took care of him as best as we could, keeping him clean and close to us. But there came the day when I realised that he was simply not improving and that we had spent more time looking after our dog than looking after our son. Also, honestly, can you imagine an athletic dog spending his life paralyzed?
So we decided to put Otto to sleep.

Still, as I write these lines, tears are welling up. It was one of the hardest decisions of our life but I believe we did the right thing. The veterinary gave him the injection and I was holding him in my arms when he fell into the final sleep. I felt his soul jumping from his sweet, little body - free at last. He went happily into another dimension and I was crying like crazy for our loss.

Otto showed me what the love of a dog can do for us: It can teach us that love is a gift and we don't have to earn it. A boxer will love you always, no matter what.

Luckily we had Fritz left and as soon as possible we bought a little boxer girl for him. When he saw Heidi for the first time he got mad with joy and we had our hands full to keep him from jumping at the girl all the time.

Now some years have passed...Fritz and Heidi so far successfully delivered two litters and we kept a son from each litter: Hugo and Sunshine. Four dogs sometimes are a bit much and they cost quite a lot in time and maintenance - but we never regret living with a dog family. They keep us safe and they are always there for us, when we need them. The letters of dog also spell god - and when you own one of these lovely creatures, you understand what I am writing about.

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