Gayle and Rox

Many of you will remember my sad summer last year. I wanted a Jack Russell Terrier before I died and I simply could not find a rescue in the Midwest who had one so we drove to Colorado to get Hazel from a friend of a friend. Many people told me I was too old to get a JRT puppy and many days I think they may have been right. Smile.

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I had very confidence that she and Rox would get along, just as I knew Hazel could live with the cats and go to the barn without killing chickens. Rox had lived with us for about a year after Rick’s brother moved to TX and did not want to take Rox along. Now most of you can guess how I feel about that. And this is MY PERSONAL OPINION ONLY!!! ! I would never move any place without my dogs. If they couldn’t go along for some reason, I wouldn’t go either. And so at the risk of starting a family feud here I will tell you that we took Rox in. She was content enough but she laid on the loft floor and watched us from above, not really joining in unless it was mealtime and then she’d come downstairs to beg a bite or two. I always felt bad about Rox because I just knew she wasn’t as happy as she should be.

And then came the first fight between Hazel and Rox and I knew I had failed Rox. I cried buckets of tears and as things settled down I felt in control again only to have Rox seriously hurt in another fight when I wasn’t home.

So….who should get a new home? I could drive Hazel back to Colorado or I could find Rox a loving home and I tried to figure out what was best for all of us. I spent many tearful visits with Gayle over the next couple of months until one day last fall she had a new idea. Some very good friends of hers had one little dog but had lost a second one 3 years ago. Gayle called them – thank God she did!

To make this very long story short, Donna visited us on a Saturday morning and fell in love with Rox. She took her home that very morning! Rox became one of the luckiest dogs in the whole world! She has a little poodle brother named Arlo and a big Labrador brother named Houston and she is SO HAPPY!!!

She went to Florida last winter with her mom and dad and Arlo. Houston stayed with his second family. She has a fenced yard and two parents who like to watch TV with their dogs and cater to their every wish. Ha! She never liked to ride in the car until recently when she was permitted to ride on her dad’s lap when he drives.

How can I ever thank Gayle? How can I ever thank these warm hearted folks who gave Rox a loving home? I never can. I go to see Rox and she knows me and greets me at the door as a long lost friend. I hope she has forgiven me.

So that’s Gayle’s story and Rox’s story and our entwined story. I hope you now think I did the right thing – Rox is happier, I believe, than she’s ever been in her life and that was my goal.

63 thoughts on “Gayle and Rox

  1. Carolyn Rector

    Bless you for trying to find the best solution, as all are happy now. You had a wonderful friend in Gayle, I can understand how hard it is to lose such a dear friend. Cherish all your memories such as this one, one way how God provides for us, we can remember the happy times better than the sad.

  2. Diane in Central Ohio

    Thank you for the beautiful stories about you and Gayle and you, Gayle, and Rox. Those are both great friendships. Of course Rox greets you like an old friend. She knows you just wanted the best for her and you found it. . Wonderful. Beautiful friendships are gifts just like you are a gift to us. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Joyce

    What an amazing story with such a happy ending… it’s funny how things will fall into place as they should be. All your heartache that you went through last summer breaks my heart! And oh how these sweet furry family members really can wiggle into our hearts so fast 🐾♥️

  4. Kate

    All dogs should be treated as kindly as you treat all your dogs. I wish for every dog to have a loving, forever home. If I could and had the room, I would take in more dogs myself, but two are all I can handle right now. Sweet little Rox looks very happy.

  5. Deb

    I remember you blogging about this last summer and how distraught you were over Hazel and Rox and trying to find the right solution. I also remember you said some readers criticized you for various decisions you made. I felt so bad for you having to endure the heartache over your pets and questioning your decisions after hearing criticism from several readers. I was glad you found a solution but didn’t let your readers know so you could come to terms with it all and not face criticism. Thank you for telling the rest of the story and your special bond with Gayle. I love all your quilt projects.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Deb – you remember correctly. It was a terrible time but I am so happy for Rox today!

    2. Kris in Naperville

      Deb wrote exactly what I was going to write….sometimes we are just part of the journey and not the destination….it’s asking God for wisdom to know where we fit…..and so many times there are tears…. Thanks for sharing your life Mary … Your posts are the highlight of my day…

  6. Angie

    Thanks for sharing that story with us. There are a lot of emotions wrapped around all of that. Even with the loss and the pain, I hope there is a peace – knowing that both Gayle and Rox have been so loved and that, now, both are in their perfect home.

  7. Carolyn Boutilier

    thank you for sharing Roxy story as I wondered what happened to her as we all knew you were very upset. You found the right solution. Keep all your animal stories coming I enjoy everyone of the them and trips with Reed. Carolyn B Shenandoah Valley VA
    A cold rainy day here. Good day to plan a baby quilt for a friend’s baby.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Carolyn Boutilier – Reed and I have another adventure coming up soon!

  8. Holly Woodyatt

    I am so sorry about your friend Gayle. I am also happy to finally know what happened to Roxanne. I have often wondered. I know Gayle is smiling down on you all.I am so glad Roxanne has a happy home. We have two dogs that were rescued not from shelters or abuse but from people who did not want them. It is so wonderful to give a dog the home They deserve.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Holly Woodyatt – thank you for taking in two dogs that deserved more in this life! Rescuers are the best!

  9. Ann Barlament

    I’m so happy that Rox found fur and friendly love! Warms my heart that she is happy!!!

  10. Janet

    I remember your posts last year and how difficult it was for you. I’m glad it worked out Well. Your friend Gayle was a treasure in many ways, thank you for sharing the story of Gayle and Rox.

  11. Kathy in NY

    This must have been hard to write today but it’s the closure you need and I honestly think we all needed too to know how Roxie was doing as we anguished over her just as you did but Gayle made it all turn out right. Rox looks so happy to be with her family and yes she knows you gave her a good life. People think we are nuts when we say we have a motor home to travel in for vacations so our pets can go with us. No cruises for us nor do we feel we are missing out on something. So much to see and enjoy in this country Alone! We don’t go unless our pets go with us in the motor home. I am lucky they are well behaved and no mishaps while traveling as well as they love sniffing new places once we get to a campground. We don’t care how others perceive us to be so protective of them but they are given all the love that was taken from them as puppies by horrible owners who hurt them.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy in NY – I hated to read your last thought about previous owners hurting your dogs so I have to be rude and ask what happened.

      1. Kathy in NY

        Our dogs are rescued. We adopted the first one ( another terrier mix but larger) when I was not able to move on from losing our 16 yr old terrier poodle mix and my boss at a medical facility I worked at recommended this shelter. It was my first experience with rescued dogs and the vet told us she was starved, taken from a place in Tennessee and all she said was it was a very bad puppyhood for her and the dog was very ill. I honestly didn’t want the details to haunt me what happened to her. Bless these people who travel to save animals for what they see and endure. They gave us all the medicine and for three weeks we thought she would die from the kennel cough alone that wasn’t going away. For the first two years she was petrified of my husband and cowered in her bed but the vet said with patience we would be good for her cause she just needed to trust and feel love. We said to her “we are old and home a lot “as I had retired shortly thereafter and knew we could be the love she needed to become a new dog again. Later the vet suggested getting a companion for her and we balked at it cause two dogs sounded like too much but we did notice when we walk her while camping that her tail wagged when seeing little dogs and she shook and trembled when a big dog walked by. So we tried various little dogs they had rescued in the exam room with her and she did take to them. Hence we took in a male chihuahua rat terrier mix from Miami who was dumped with a truck load of 20 other chihuahuas from a breeder and they are the happiest duo playing and running in our back yard. Her quivering and tremors at night have stopped finally after 4 years and she now trusts my husband to go out with him when he takes them out to poddy at night. They sleep on the bed with us and every night I reassure her with petting and kind words. I am a lucky one where time healed her so she could forget. I keep a pillow on my couch that says “ my rescued dog rescued me” as I have learned far more from her that will stay with me the rest of my life.

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Kathy in NY – I have goosebumps reading your letter! Oh, thank God for you and your husband! Puppy mills are THE WORST and Iowa is second in the nation for number of mills in the state and 49th as the most lenient animal abuse laws! I am so ashamed of our state. Think of what your little dog must have endured and why she was a shell of an abused dog. I used to help drive transports with dogs taken out of kill shelters and some were terrified! You saved her life! And even got her a friend knowing she would be happier. I love people like you! Thank you for being a reader and sharing your story!

  12. Pat Smith

    What a wonderful story, both the story of Rox and the adventures of you and Gayle. Although I was reading your blog when all the difficulties between Rox and Hazel started, I thought I must have missed a few posts because I never heard the outcome. Then last summer when we met for coffee, you mentioned that Rox was in a wonderful home so I knew things turned out well. I’m so glad to hear the details of how it all came about. Although I make quilts, my interest in your blog is all about your animals and life on your farm. The pictures recently of the chickens and goats were just great. Thanks for sharing the stories of you and Gayle. To face such an awful disease with smiles and humor is truly a gift from God. I’m so glad you were able to take Gayle out for hot dogs and beer. I can imagine how wonderful that must have been for her.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Pat Smith – I enjoyed re-living my adventures with Gayle. I hated to write too much about her when she was alive because some people can be unfeeling.

  13. Martha Engstler

    So glad to hear the rest of the story about Rox. Wonderful she has a happy home and you know you did the right thing.

  14. Sharon Ernst

    Mary – that is the sweetest thing I have read all day!! What a beautiful, loving story for you to share! I would never leave my dogs either! Blessings to you for your compassion! ❤️

  15. Beth T.

    Oh, Mary, we knew you were torn because you wanted the best for each dog involved. Very few knew what that entailed, and by that I mean those who were right there. Thank you for entrusting us with the details. I hope everyone who reads this will treat you with the respect you deserve for having taken Rox into your home and then having found her a home in which she is loved and very happy.

    I’m very sorry for the loss of a friend as dear and supportive as Gayle was. Sometimes life is just so hard.

  16. Jo in Wyo

    Mary, you know how heartbreaking it is when a pet is not happy. Their lives are so short and they depend on us so completely. What a gift from Gayle and you to find this little dog her forever home where she is happy.
    Pets have unique personalities, we do all we can to let them shine. Sometimes letting go is a way to let them shine.
    This situation was very upsetting for you. Sharing with us, I hope, brings you peace.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jo in Wyo – it does make me happy to share Rox’s story with you! I could not be more thrilled for her!

  17. Jan B

    Mary, you definitely did the right thing with the dog situation. My position about dogs is the same as yours—dogs are family & if I ever move again any dog(s) I may have at that topime come with me or I won’t budge! 😉

  18. Pam forsling

    Thank you so much for sharing “The rest of the story”. I always wondered what happened and you were so stressed at that time. I’m so glad it all worked out so well. I’m very sorry for your loss of your friends.

  19. Kathy Hanson

    What a wonderful story of how Rox got a special home and your connection to both your great friend, Gayle and the sweet dog, Rox! Great memories are the best. Love to you!

  20. Sue in Oregon

    Thank you for that story about Gayle and Rox. Seems Gayle came up with the perfect solution for everyone.
    Bless you, Mary. You have been through a lot this past year. Hope next year is much better and, of course, the rest of this year too.

  21. Colleen

    ah what a perfect out come for that Roxie dog. It’s so difficult when you know your animal is not happy and content in your home. We took in a cat that had had her front claws removed, the owner was going to put her down as she could not find a new home for the cat. So we took her in but she didn’t like our dog or the other cat. I our case there were no fights or injuries only that cat hissing and staying up on the couch. We made a pact my husband the car and me no new family pets as long as she lives. Well she out lived all the pets she was our only for quite awhile and while she was our only she was on top of the world happy. She crossed the rainbow bridge this summer and we are so sad she is gone but so happy to remember her and how her life changed for the better.

  22. Susan K

    Thanks for the update. I’m so happy it turned out so well for all concerned. Anyone who reads your blog knows that your animals are important to you and well taken care of. All involved are happy and well.

  23. Starrla

    You did well by Rox she is ina loving home and probably not so stressed. I don’t think dogs hold grudges so you are off the hook. Just enjoy your visits with her. I would not have wanted to be in your shoes.

  24. Sharon Lowy

    Hi. I love this story of love and friendship. I know how much you miss Gayle and I know that pain of losing a treasured friend. My heart goes out to you. Rox is happy and healthy in her new home and she loves you for finding her special place. I grew up with parents who owned a collie kennel. We always had precious puppies and our animals were well cared for. It was so special for me as a child. I never realized how hard it was for my parents to keep the dogs well, fed and clean. They were always working and I was always playing. Pure breed dogs were the only way to go or so I was told. Years past. Kennel was closed and my parents retired with just one collie. I still love collies but I have only rescued all of the sweet dogs who have been the members of our family. We have had a Kerry Blue Terrier, 3 Silkies, a Wire Hair and a Shellie. I now only have a cat that doesn’t want a second animal in the house and a sweet daughter that has developed a dog allergy. I would love another Kerry but I am to old to handle one. Sharon from Illinois

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sharon Lowy – I grew up with a big collie – his name was Chief. I always hated seeing him outside in the cold but my parents always said he could get into the barn if he wanted to. As a farm family no animals were allowed in the house. I always knew when I got my own home that I would have lots of animals and since I never had kids, the dogs and cats took that place in my heart.

  25. Gail

    Thank you for finishing the story – and I’m so glad it had a happy ending. I started reading your blog to follow your quilting and found out you love animals too. I often pass along some of your adventures to my family and they enjoy them too. Best wishes!

  26. Dorothy Howard

    Dear Mary,
    I can’t tell you how much I look forward to reading your journal every day. Thank you.


  27. Jeanne Hoffman

    Mary, I am so glad that you found a good home for Roxy. I wondered what happened to her, and am so relived about where she is now.
    Thank goodness for your friend Gayle.

  28. Marie

    How fitting that I should read your posting this morning, of course I enjoy your blog and read every morning but this morning was so close to what I am experiencing right now.
    I am preparing to go into a senior’s independent living place where I could be with my little dog, Sparkle.
    However, she has been with me in a four bedroom house with her own doggie door to a large back yard. I love her too much to have her in a one bedroom apartment on the second floor with no access to a yard.
    My friend lives on 5 acres in the country with dogs, cats, chickens, horses and lots of activity. Sparkle regularly visits there and loves the friends and activity. I love her too much to take her with me but she has been offered a home there on the farm and that’s where she will go. My friend has said that she’ll bring her to visit as often as she goes to town to shop and we will enjoy those visits immensely. I know how you feel as I feel the same way. Sometimes we have to give up what we love, for their own good. Blessings.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Marie – my heart is breaking for you as you are putting the best interests of your beloved Sparkle ahead of your own wishes. I took Benjie in a number of years ago when his owner, Millie, entered the Care Center in Britt. We visited her many times and often I brought her to the farm so she could see how well adjusted her little dog really was but I could see how much she missed him! I’m so happy that Sparkle will be a frequent visitor and that you have good friends who will take care of her! Best Wishes!

  29. Dori

    So sorry for your loss. Ms is a horrible disease. I have often wondered about Roxy since you posted about her and Hazel. So glad the story had a wonderful outcome.

  30. Linda

    So glad for the happy ending, I couldn’t move off without my fur baby, either…love your stories

  31. Karen

    Thank you for sharing your memories of Gayle and as Paul Harvey would say, “The Rest of the Story” about Rox. They are both in better places, Gayle in heaven and Rox in a loving home.

  32. Holly in TH

    I’m so happy that Rox found a wonderful new home. What a great ending to a terrible dilemma. Another reason to be forever grateful for Gayle’s friendship.

  33. Carol T

    Hi Mary…..I join with all the others in thanking you for telling us about Gayle and Rox…I’ve often wondered about Roxie . I know from your writings at that time how terribly distressed you were and your silence was deafening when you couldn’t talk about her. You are a wonderful person and I still do not know how you do all you do….to be your friend is an honor for your friends I am sure……as is being your pet! Thank you again for telling how Roxie is doing! Some day I’ll tell you about our little rescue… Andy is his name!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Carol T – thank you. My silence was deafening because I got a number of emails that did not agree with my decisions regarding Hazel and Rox. They were hurtful messages which cut to the heart . Today I am happy to say I know I made the right decision – Rox is very happy,much happier in her forever home than here with us, thanks to Gayle.

  34. Felicia Hamlin

    Mary, I am so glad to hear what happened to Roxie and I remember all your problems last year. I am happy that she is a happy little dog now. Zena was gifted to me because the lady’s husband didn’t want her around. She too spent her younger years having babies in a puppy mill. I don’t know what happened there for a while, but her former owner told me that she took her from a place where there were a lot birds in a room flying around. Anyway, the woman works at Saint Luke’s and now and then I take her to visit her former mom, she gets excited to see her, but when is time to go, she is happy to come with me. I love my little dog.

    I have known people with MS, a horrible disease for sure. Take care.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Felicia Hamlin – I am so happy for Zena, too. Both little dogs deserve a loving home.

      1. Felicia Hamlin

        Well, they have, and Sunshine was a baby when we adopted her in Alexandría, she was never mistreated.


    I remember this story so well. I never did see/read what the whole problem was but i knew it involved Hazel. I have waited so long to hear the rest of the story….. I can quit worrying about it now. lol
    So glad things are better for Hazel and Rox. Paula in KY

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Paula Philpot – it was such a heart wrenching topic, I just could not write about it but when Gayle died I knew it was time to publicly thank her.

  36. Linda

    Mary, thank you for sharing the end of the story. My heart went out to you when you became a target for critique from some last year. Who could doubt your love of animals & that your decision had to be best for all concerned?
    What a wise friend you had in Gayle. Her wisdom will be added to yours forever.

  37. Judy

    I am so happy to hear how the story ended, that is so great. I felt so bad for you after people gave you such a hard time. You are a person who always puts the animal first so I knew that you were going to look for a solution that worked and you were able to find one with your friends help. Thank you for sharing the end of the story.

  38. Wendy

    Hi Mary-

    I always did wonder how your situation got resolved with the dogs. I remember it being such a hard and difficult circumstance for you. It makes me happy to know that little Rox is very well loved and content in her new family. Obviously you made the best choice for her. It’s what anyone would do for their furry babies. I like the part about your friend Gayle being the one who provided the connection to make it happen. Funny how life works out.

  39. Karen

    I don’t think she feels she needs to forgive you but thanks you instead for finding her such a wonderful home. As hard as it was for you to find her a new home, it was for the best! God Bless you for finding her a safe home.

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