It's interesting to me that you don't like dogs. I myself have the disposition of a dog... A dog-cat to be more precise. Let me tell you about the best and only dog that I have ever had, my girl Roxy <3
Let's start again....
I don't particularly like dogs. That is negative experience speaking. Growing up, we had three: a Husky mix named Husky, and a pure-bred German Shepard with dwarf legs named Stefania. Stefa for short; and a Shepard Retriever Border Collie mix, named Mela, Italian for Apple, named so for no other reason than alliteration (in our family we were all M).
Husky was a biter with a sense of humor, no malice apparent in his nature. It's just that whenever he met a passing stranger, from behind, he could not resist "the temptation" of nipping them in the butt. An Alpha-Beta thing? (Father was Alpha of the pack.) If Hushu, as was his nickname, scented food, he went stupid and would bite right through a hand. He did this twice; once during a rare visit to Grandma, and once to my sister. Both bites drawing considerable blood, piercing right though top and underside of the hand that feeds.
Stefa, was a runner during her "time of the month." She was never spayed and never pregnant, and never leashed. She was a patroller of the house but would lose all sense of duty from time to time and had to be retrieved from somewhere in the neighborhood with a dazed look in her eye of procreaterial confusion. In short, she also, went stupid.
Mela was mostly Border Collie in DNA, and separation anxiety plagued her like a long-lost ancestral hound. She could not be left alone, or she would claw and jaw at everything in sight, especially doors and floors, to try to get out of the room or house or yard. I flatter myself to think it was to find us, but most likely she just wanted out. Left for more than ten minutes, she went stupid.
But my Roxy, was a gem. She was very intelligent. Too smart for me I would say. I got her in a time in my life when everyone frowned at my decision to "tie myself down." I was isolated in the woods in the family log cabin and bear were coming right up to the doors so that I felt very insecure at every point of exit, not being able to see around the bend of what was in fact a very expansive solid wood dwelling. Wildlife had kept its distance because of the scent of dog in the past. Years had passed, and raccoons, bears, skunk, and even ground hogs got bolder and made themselves known as co-tenants of the property.
So, I did what needed to be done. No, I did not get a gun. I went to the pound and adopted a dog.
I was looking for a pit bull boxer mix that I was going to name Igor. And I found one.
My heart sank when I heard the bark. The most ear jarring yelp, one that I knew would agitate the cats who I had adopted two years prior from a shelter as feral adults, who were otherwise Bomb Proof. But this yelping nobody could possibly stand. In the compartment next to this idealized silver pit mix, was what I said I didn't want: a female German Shepard mixed with what I was told was Ridgeback, but later came to believe was actually Whippet, because she never ever had that doggie odor, even in the rain. And what a bark. Stellar. Adoption was near certain. My niece Molly would confirm for me if this was the "right dog," because I had conspired to myself that this dog would be partly hers since she is so keen on dogs.
When this dog was led out to me, alone, she showed respect and a docile-ness that was aristocratic. To revise any misconstrued imaginings, she looked like a fox. Red fur, with a little burn around the ears and muzzle, and tip of the tail which puffed accordingly. She was lithe and tall, with a narrow skull and frame of body, and exquisitely soulful amber eyes that betrayed a sadness, and a longing, the origins of which I understood in a short while.
I should note that her name was Roxie on the certificate. If anyone knows me, you know that I have picked up many a rock in my lifetime and turned it over and over, peering at its inner essence, to draw out with paint and brush one of myriad of faces contained within... it was like a Sign to me. This was The Dog.
When I returned a second time, sure that I would indeed take her home, I brought Molly. It was agreed wholeheartedly. I asked Molly if we should maybe change the spelling of the name, as I knew she had been keen to rename, and this would be a good compromise. I did not dare change the name itself, because it was Perfect, and also because my lady was already 6 years old. It seemed unconscionable to change the sound, but the spelling was irrelevant to her though pertinent to us. Of course, Molly wanted a y; so she became Roxy. And when Roxy saw Molly, she came alive with a spark of joy that I seldom ever saw in all the years of her life. I soon understood why.
The pound knew of her full backstory. She had been owned by an elderly Missus who had passed away and left the dog to her son and his young family. The family had a little girl. Right about Molly's age. The family was at the time of abdication struggling with a newborn and having financial difficulties. Roxy was not lost. She was surrendered to the pound. Severed from her family, holding out hope... of a change of heart, or change of circumstance... She had been there only six days. The county required eight to check for distemper and other potential health or aggression issues.
I took Roxy home two days later and found to my astonishment that she was fully trained. Truly a gift. Sit, stay, heel, beg, paw, even roll over. She always asked to go out, abhorred soiling anything and was a veritable Princess. No, a Queen. Aloof as can be to me. Like a cat-dog someone might be prompted to quip. Yet whenever she sighted a little old Lady or a little girl age 6, she was beside herself with dog gone enthusiasm and that spark was back. How I loved to see her like that!!
Here is the heartbreak of the tale. Roxy enjoyed road trips and walks and tolerated me as new Master. Yet when I would say "Time to go home, Roxy," she would look about us so forlorn and lost that I stopped using that phrase. This it was clear was not home.
When I moved to Michigan, something in her broke altogether. True she was getting older, but 12 is hardly old. Life expectancy should have been 14 or even 16 years had her heart been in it. Soon after the move she lost her hearing. She began to get spells of vertigo so bad that made her look rabid, rapidly circling her own tail, heart racing unable to calm or sit down. It was like she had subsequently lost her mind and went mad. She was put on medication and that unparting sadness perpetuated her being. She began to lose her eyesight and control of her bladder. I made the wretched decision to have her put down.
I have every respect for her and for the comfort she brought to me as the smartest, most disciplined, attentive dog I have ever seen. I also know that she never loved me.