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    Joey's Legacy Boxer Rescue 

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Joey's Legacy - My Boy, what it's all about...

From the day I was born, I've been surrounded by animals, mainly dogs, but we also had a collection of cats, hamsters, gerbils, rats, reptiles and even ducks, a chicken and a turkey at one point.

Dogs have been my main love since as far as I can remember, we always had at least 1 dog in the house, a mixture of all breeds and crosses, but nothing that ever made an impact like Joey did.

On the 27th September 2002 Joey was born. At this time I was still living at home looking for my own place, we had no dogs at the time which was just unheard of for our family, we had 2 cats and a couple of ducks. I’d been thinking about getting a boxer for a long time, researching breeders, looking for rescues, but I could never find the right dog, at this time we didn't have the internet at home, I had to rely on visiting local rescues like Freshfields and Animals in need but we never came across a boxer, we did spot an English bulldog but he just weren't the one.

On my way home from work one day in November 2002, I picked up the paper, whilst walking home I read an ad for a litter of boxer puppies '£175, Boxer puppies, 7 weeks old, ready to go now' I rushed home and quickly rang the number, sadly they had all been reserved and had new homes to go to, so for the next week I didn’t really put much effort into finding another dog, I had been looking for about 3 months but was starting to lose hope. I went to work the following week, I don’t usually buy the paper but again I bought it on my way home just on the off chance I might find a dog. I walked home flicking to the pet ads on my way, and there it was again, I seen another add, this time '1 male boxer puppy £175 must go now' I knew it had to be one of the pups from the litter I had previously rang about, it had to be fate, I needed to get changed so my mum called him straight away for me, he was still there! He was from the litter I rang about, but had bought him without telling his wife. They already had a toddler and twin new-borns and just couldn’t cope. I told him I would come for him straight away and he agreed to wait for me before letting him to go anyone else, I didn’t drive at the time so quickly rang a taxi to take me to the other side of Liverpool, on the way there I chatted to the taxi driver telling him where I was going, he was telling me how he was also a boxer owner, he didn’t usually allow pets in his taxi but because It was a boxer he agreed to wait for me while I collected my pup and would drive me back so I didn't have to ring another taxi.

When I arrived at the house I walked in, the husband placed the most stunning 8 week old boxer puppy 'Buddy' in my arms, and that was it for me, he was mine. I collected his things, including his yellow teletubby Laa Laa.

I jumped back into the Taxi and couldn't stop smiling. My gorgeous pup looked up at me and licked me on the nose; it was love at first sight.

One the way home my phone kept ringing, family and friends were waiting for me to get back, my mum was late for work but wanted to meet him before she left.

I got home and my mum and the neighbours were waiting, when they see him there was lots of squealing and aww'ing.

I took him inside and that was it, he was home and he was all mine. I didn't go to work the next day because I was up all night with him, he slept in my bed and kept me awake chewing on my face and ears with his toasty puppy breath, but I didn’t care, I loved every minute of it.

The next morning my mum came in and said 'do you want me to take him so you can get some sleep' I thought about it for a second, then said no it’s ok, he’s fine, I couldn’t let him go!

My boy still didn’t have a name at this point, we had thought of a few ideas but nothing 'stuck' we couldn’t keep his name that his previous owners give him (Buddy) as it just didn’t suit him.

Family and friends came up with lots of ideas but nothing that really stuck out. I had always been a massive fan of 'Friends' and watched it religiously, it was my favourite programme. My sister then said, what about Joey? At first I thought hmmm, no it’s too plain, I love unusual different names so I wanted something that would stand out. But for some reason I couldn’t get the name out of my head and so it stuck, he was JOEY. He lived up to his name and the character from friends, a heartthrob, a charmer and a ladies man! He was also known as Joseph when he was naughty, or Jofus, Jofus Ofus, Sexy Boy but to name a few of his nicknames.

Over the next few months, me and Joey became inseparable, he came everywhere with me, he was allowed in all the local shops and everyone round here got to know him, if I ever walked down the street without him it was guaranteed someone would quickly ask where he was and why wasn’t he with me! He was a family dog, the whole family grew to love him, and even those who weren't even dog people welcomed him into their homes. He was a part of the family now, not just a dog.

Joey was always a sociable dog, he loved running in the local park with his friend Rosie, (my mums friends Jack Russell cross Yorkie) just the mention of 'Rosie' and his ears were up looking for her out of the window. Until one day, we met a not so sociable little dog, who repeatedly tried to attack joey whenever he seen him. Joey had always been so friendly with all dogs he had met, but after this it caused him to become very defensive on lead and he didn’t trust other dogs anymore, his reaction was to 'get them before they got him' so we could no longer socialise with all the other dogs in the park, although Rosie was still his best friend and we met up almost Daily for them to play in the park together. My mum was desperate to walk Joey, but as most boxer owner know, once they are at the 12 month old stage they are a handful, he was so strong and lively she couldn’t handle him, she always used to say 'I can’t wait till he’s old so I can walk him'.

We were inseparable, everything I did, Joey did too, shopping, decorating, gardening, he was there sticking his nosey face in. He loved the bus, he would drag me straight on there when it pulled up and being in the car soon became one of his favourite things to do.

Joey was about a year old when I got some devastating news. My mum had been diagnosed with cancer; I still lived with her at the time and my younger brother. But she would be ok, she had to be.

Over the next few months my mum went for treatment, we carried on as normal, because she would get better and everything would be fine.

Joey still continued to be a clown or 'a big tit' as I would say when he was being extra silly. Not a day went by that he didn’t put a smile on my face. Only a boxer owner knows what it’s like to put up with their comical ways. We would walk down the street and see other boxers with their owners; there was always a connection with other boxer owners because they are a breed like no other.

Christmas 2003 approached, my mum was still having her treatment, but it was going really well so we were feeling positive about things. We enjoyed Christmas and New Year, Joey opening his presents himself as he always does.

It was now 2004 and the year when my life would change forever. Just a few months into the year we had a horrible time, my mum became unwell again and I was given the heart-breaking news that she wasn’t going to get better. I gave up my job and I lived with my mum and my brother, it’s been the family home since the day I was born, I had to be strong and in May 2004 I made arrangements to meet with the housing officer to take over the tenancy of the house so me and my brother would still have our home. On the 1st June 2004 my mum passed away. A day I will never forget or get over. I had to carry on and keep the house going, for my brother especially, who was only 13 at the time.

Not long after, my brother went to live with my older sister; I wasn’t coping too well anyway. I kept the house because it was my home, my family house and I couldn’t bear anyone else to live here. So it was just me and Joey. I started decorating, with the help of Joey sticking his face in the paint or chomping on a paint brush. But I quickly became depressed I didn’t leave the house much, but I had to get out of bed and get out because Joey needed his dinner and his walks, if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have even got up in the mornings, but he continued to put a smile on my face.

A few months later I decided to get myself a computer and get the internet set up. I didn’t have a clue but quickly figured it out. I was always looking at boxer websites, boxer info, everything to do with the breed; there were only so many books I could get through so this was heaven for me. I soon decided that I wanted another, a rescue boxer that I could give a home to, Joey would love a sister. So I started looking and researching Boxer Rescues. Along the way I came across Dog pages, I registered on there and quickly learnt a lot, I hadn’t managed to find another boxer yet but I quickly became involved with rescue organisations, helping them with home checks, web design and other various bits and pieces. I then seen an appeal from Warrington Animal welfare for foster homes for some of their dogs, I offered straight away and my first foster dog 'Smokey' arrived, a lovely tri coloured collie. I still hadn’t found my rescue boxer though, but continued to keep an eye on the dog pages rescue forums for a boxer to pop up. I still enjoyed helping the other rescues, but my heart was with boxers and always would be. Then one day I saw a post, from Home Counties Boxer Welfare. An older boxer girl needing a home as her owners were emigrating, they needed to rehome their 2 boxers, Ben was found a home separately, but Mitzi was still looking for a home, I immediately contacted Louise, the rest was a blur but not long after Mitzi arrived, my first rescue boxer! I was over the moon and SO wanted the meeting to go well, Joey still had his issues with other dogs outside so I was quite worried, we took them over the local park, joey had a bit of a bark and a growl but Mitzi was so laid back he soon realised she wasn’t a threat, after half an hour they were sniffing each other and then generally ignored each other. We went back home and Mitzi was here to stay. Mitzi was so laid back she was almost horizontal, she and Joey were complete opposites but they still curled up together of a night to sleep. I felt like my home was complete now, but I still wanted to carry one helping rescues, in particular boxer rescues, so I carried on fostering, I seen an ad for a boxer in my local pet shop, I contacted them to see if they would consider rehoming her through a rescue so she would go to a vetted home, they agreed and asked for my help, so I went to collect her, Joey accepted another foster dog but she wasn’t too keen on him or Mitzi, it was difficult but we managed to keep them separate, I was speaking to one of the boxer rescues about her and the offered to give her rescue backup and find her a home, and 'cassie' soon found her new home through Boxer Rescue, she was my first 'Rescue'. I still helped with home checking and helping where I could and had also caught the fostering bug! Lots more foster dogs passed through the doors from hope rescue and Boxer Rescue, Joey accepted every single one Mitzi slept and didn’t bat an eyelid at them. The rescues I helped where all down south, I didn’t drive so apart from fostering there wasn’t a lot I could do really. I then set up UK Boxer Dogs, an online forum which attracted hundreds of boxer owners and rescues. I would use the online forum to advertise boxers in all rescues needing homes, it became a popular place for boxer owners to come to look for their new best friend. I became heavily involved in rescue by this time, running the website for my local rescue Animals In Need too. I was still fostering for Hope Rescue Wales but I wanted to be more involved with Boxers. I learnt to drive in the end because I needed to be able to do more. I passed my driving test and got my first car, which soon became inches thick in dog hair from all the transport runs for rescue dogs on top of my own dog’s hair.

Joey made a lot of friends and fans over the years, with his comical ways and silly photos. He never failed to make you smile no matter what you were going through, people who had never even met him used to ask about him all the time.

Then one day I had a message from Hope via Dog pages asking if I would foster an elderly boxer girl, she was in Ireland and her owners had taken her to the vets to be put to sleep as 'she didn’t fit in with their circumstances anymore' she was 11-12 years old! I immediately said yes! Not long after, 'Kizzy' was transported over from Ireland and arrived home, she settled in straight away, within an hour Joey was trying to get her to play something he never did with Mitzi. I left them to it, Joey was fascinated by her, mitzi still horizontal on the couch. I sat on the computer, all dogs sleeping at this point, then I felt someone breathe on me, Kizzy was stood next to me while I was on the computer, looking up and slowly wiggling her old bum, she looked like she was smiling, I couldn’t hold back the tears, I will never forget that look she gave me, I knew then that Kizzy would be going nowhere, she was here to stay. Within 24 hours I told Hope rescue I wanted to keep her and they were happy for her to stay. I was now a 3 boxer household, I must have been mad! But it worked and Kizzy soon settled in, she also gained the position of the batty old woman, she could easily keep up with Joey, sprinting across the beach and wrestling with him, he loved her and she loved him, Mitzi was like the mother of the group and told them off when they go too much.

As well as the forum, I set up another main website alongside it, called 'Boxer Dog Rescue' it was a website full of information about Boxer Rescue, a list of boxer rescues and boxers needing homes in rescue centres across the UK, an info page about the breed, training tips and lots more. The site got very busy and took up a lot of my time. I would get emails from boxer owners that were struggling with their pets, asking if I could help. I realised then I needed to help and use my time in a more hands on way, so 'Boxer Dog Rescue' Became Boxer Dog Rescue Northern England. I decided to start taking in boxers and helping rehome them myself, I had been fostering and worked with rescues for a couple of years now. I met a great team of people via the Boxer Rescue forum, experienced boxer owners who knew the breed well and others who had been involved in rescue too. We all pulled together to start the new Rescue. For the next few years we took in hundreds of boxers, using a local boarding kennels to help the ones we could find foster homes for, regular fundraising days and even having our first family fun day which was a massive success attracting thousands of people. Along the way, I ended up adopting 2 more boxers, Ben was signed over to us at 12 years old, his owner was moving and couldn’t take him, he was like Victor Meldrew of the dog world, him and Mitzi made a perfect old couple, sleeping all day and grumbling at the other dogs when they were having fun or getting too lively for them. Ben was also a foster, but he didn’t leave either, I couldn’t bear seeing these bewildered oldies being passed on again, he was then known as 'Granddad Ben'. Then there was Chance, he was a sad case who came to us after being found in a shed by an RSPCA inspector, he couldn’t walk properly and after an MRI scan he was found to have a tumour on his spine and he would never get better, I decided he would stay with me for the time he had left. I had 6 months with him before he sadly had to be put to sleep, he lost the use of all of his legs and it was unfair to keep him going any longer. Chance left for the bridge on 10/09/08

Shortly after chance left, a week to be exact, Granddad Ben also got ill, the vet suspected he was at end stage heart failure and I decided I would spend the weekend with him, and then send him on his way to be with chance. Sadly we didn’t get the weekend together as he went downhill fast; I rushed him into the vets and let him go. Granddad ben left for the bridge on 22/09/08, just 12 days after chance. We were back down to 3 again. I had some time out from rescue, I still did the admin side, but I didn’t stay away long, my next foster dog soon arrived.

Every now and again me and Joey would have our days out, Just me and him, he was my soul dog and I wanted him to know he was always number 1 and always would be, he needed time out from the hectic world of rescue just like I did. We needed to spend time together just the 2 of us.

The 2 batty old girls didn’t mind, they just slept all day. Kizzy was really old now, she must have been about 15 by now and Mitzi was still horizontal on the couch. Joey never aged a bit, not even a grey hair as he got older. He still opened his birthday and Christmas presents himself every year, it always made me smile to watch him.

Less than a year later Kizzy, my batty old lady became ill, Joey used to lick at her mouth, but I never thought anything of it, they were always snogging the faces off each other. But something wasn’t right. I took Kizzy to the vets only to discover she had a large cancerous tumour in her mouth, she was struggling to eat and breathe out of her nose. After a heavy course of steroids Kizzy was back to normal, I was feeling hopefully but it wasn’t meant to be Kizzy went downhill fast, she couldn’t sleep because she wasn’t able to breathe out of her nose, so I had to let her go, it broke my heart, I loved that crazy old lady and so did Joey. Kizzy left us on 11/06/09.

So there we were again, just Joey and Mitzi. I decided not to adopt anymore at this point, I wanted a break, but I continued to foster. I must have had near 100 foster dogs by this time. But I wanted some time out completely. I decided I couldn’t run Boxer Rescue Northern England anymore for various reasons. I decided to take a step back and just wanted time on my own with my dogs. I decided I was closing down Boxer Dog Rescue Northern England, but the volunteers there wanted it to continue, so I handed over the reins and it still continues successfully now.

I had a year out, did my own thing, enjoyed time with my dogs, sorted my house out and became more sociable with friends and family, my life had revolved around rescue for a long time that I didn’t really see them anymore.

My heart was still with Rescue though, and I craved to get back involved again, I started taking in more foster dogs and then set up Boxer Rescue Liverpool. I wanted to be involved in rescue again, but on a smaller scale, when I ran boxer dog rescue northern England it was a huge rescue, I couldn’t commit that much time again, so I decided to set up a smaller local rescue along with a few boxer friends, who are still helping run the rescue now.

In 2009, I was asked to help a puppy from a local breeder, she was about 8 weeks old and tiny, I named her Tinkerbelle. Joey loved her, they were like little and large, Dr Evil and Mini Me. Mitzi watched daily while they played together. It was apparent Tinkerbelle wasn't well when I got her, she drank lots, wee'd lots and had a bloated stomach, the vets confirmed it. After various tests they told me that she had congenital kidney disease, she might live months, or she might live for a few years. I decided that Tinkerbelle would stay here for whatever time she had left. Sadly that time wasn’t long enough, Tinkerbelle was just 3-4 months old when she got ill, sadly she was unable to fight it and I had to let her go. Her life hadn’t even begun. Tinkerbelle left for the bridge on 27/01/10.

I had lost 5 boxers in just a couple of years. It was unbearable to keep going through this; I decided that I would never keep another foster dog. I took in lots more foster dogs, a couple of them tested my will power and they almost became permanent residents but I put my sensible head on and I carried on as I was with Joey and Mitzi. Mitzi never changed her ways, she lived to eat and sleep. Me and joey would still have our days together. We would visit my mum’s grave together and have a run on the field behind the cemetery. He loved it.

My birthday in May 2010, I decided to have a family party, I decorated the house and got everyone round, Joey popped the balloons as I blew them up, mitzi waited for me to drop food on the floor that she could hoover up. It was a great night, the dogs loved the attention and the food. I decided the dogs needed a bit of space, they were shattered (and farting past themselves gassing out the guests), so I let them go to bed in the spare room. Mitzi took herself off to bed, Joey wanted to be part of the action again as usual so came back down. I went up an hour or so later to check on her, but as I walked in the spare room Mitzi was lay on the floor, she had collapsed and was in shock. The whole family helped while me and a friend rushed her to the emergency vets. When we got there the vet checked her over, she suspected she had a tumour on her spleen which had ruptured, they said they could investigate and remove it, which may give her days or weeks more to live, but that would be for my benefit and would be unfair, it would be a big op and Mitzi was now 12. I made the heard decision to let her go. An amazing night had turned into one of the worst nights of my life. Mitzi passed away 09/05/10.

I went home feeling numb, Joey knew something wasn’t right and slept in bed with me. It was just me and him now, just the 2 of us again like years ago before my house turned into boxer madness. I enjoyed it just being me and him, I decided he had shared his home with so many foster dogs and OAP boxers that it was time he had me to himself again. So I didn't plan on ever getting another dog again, it was too hard taking in old and sick dogs and losing them soon after.

Me and Joey carried on working with the rescue dogs and running Boxer rescue Liverpool. But no more permanent residents! My life now revolved around Joey, I had never chosen to have children, he was my baby, I didn’t need them, his birthdays and Christmases were celebrated like he was my son, and he deserved no less.

We spent a year together, just me and him, before I went looking on Many Tears Rescue Website, I wasn’t looking for another dog, I always look at other rescue websites out of habit, I love looking at all the new dogs coming in and making up a wish list of the ones I’d love to have, I have followed many tears for a few years, they were on Dog pages when I first Joined and got involved in rescue 8 years ago, I was never able to adopt from there as they were in south wales and I didn’t drive.

But in October 2011, I was browsing their website, I came across a funny looking dog called Jessica and I fell in love, she didn’t even look like a dog she looked like a seal! But the most unusual part of it all, she wasn’t even a boxer! Jessica was a French bulldog cross pug, she was 5 years old and was rescued from a puppy farm, she was an ex breeding girl who knew nothing about life as a dog, she was the funniest looking little thing I’ve ever seen. I’ve always loved frenchies and I couldn’t resist her, I immediately made enquiries about her, she was reserve for me! I packed up the car, me Joey and my friend started the 4 hour journey to south wales to meet Jessica. As soon as I met her I fell in love. But she still had to meet Joey. I had fostered over 100 dogs at this point but Joey still had his issues with other dogs outside of the home, but he was great with her. He didn’t even bat an eyelid. So that was it, I signed the paperwork and she was mine. We started our journey home, having to stop a few times because Jessica was travel sick, Joey was bemused by it all and hung his head out of the window slobbering in true Boxer style.

My first none boxer since I was a child, it was strange but she fitted in well, she needed a new name though and I decided on Muffin! Muffin had a lot to learn, Joey helped her in his own little way, she followed him round and became his shadow copying things he did.

I was now a 2 dog family again, after saying id never get another, but it was meant to be.

Muffin had only been here a couple of weeks when I noticed that Joey seemed to be gaining weight, he was also drinking lots more, which wasn’t like him, he had never been a big eater, his life revolved around his toys and me. I decided it was time to take him to the vets, Joey was nearly 9 and had never been ill in his life so it was gut wrenching when the vet wanted to do tests, she tested for diabetes, hyperthyroid, water infections and other things, everything came back normal, she wanted to put it down to him getting a bit older and slowing down hence putting the weight on, but I just KNEW something wasn’t right, he was my boy and I knew him inside out, so I pushed for more tests, they offered to test him for Cushing’s disease but said its highly unlikely because he doesn’t have many symptoms, I told them to do it anyway I wanted to know everything had been covered and tested for. The next day he went in for tests, the results came back inconclusive, so they wanted him back in again, I was fed up by this time, he had never been the vets so much in his life. They did the test again and said they would call me later that evening with the results. I took him home, then I needed to go and collect a boxer being signed over to us from Stoke, on my way there my phone rang, I was on the motorway so couldn’t answer. It was the vets; as soon as I got off the motorway I pulled over and rang them back. I was devastated, the vet told me Joey had tested positive for Cushing’s disease and he was to start on medication immediately and that he would be on this medication for the rest of his life. I broke down and couldn’t believe it, my peter pan is invisible, he doesn’t get sick, it can’t be right! After collecting the boxer I rushed back home. I called the vet straight away and after speaking to other dog owners I began to feel a bit more positive after hearing other people’s experiences of dogs with Cushing’s disease. Joey was put on medication and a month later he was tested to make sure the meds were working, if he was a none responsive dog the medication would be stopped and it would just be a case of keeping him comfortable whatever happened. A month passed by and joeys symptoms started to disappear, he lost nearly 5kg and stopped drinking so much. He went in for his test and I got the good news that the tablets were working and he was stable, he would be tested every 3 months to make sure the dose was right, but he could now carry on living a happy life for years to come.

For the past year we were back to normal, me Joey and now little Muffin. We enjoyed lots of days out together, regular trips to the beach, Southport, Formby pine woods.

Then we planned our first doggy holiday, I've not been camping since I was a kid, so it was going to be interesting! I'd always wanted a holiday away with Joey and this was our first together. We booked a long weekend camping in wales in September 2012, it was freezing! The dogs loved it though open fields to run in, lots to sniff, sausages and bacon from the camp stove. Of a night we all cuddled up together, it was so cold we had to use the body heat from us all to keep warm.

It was a great holiday though, the dogs were shattered after it and slept for a day straight, they loved it. I was soon thinking about our next trip, maybe a caravan with heating next time!

We were soon back to reality, more rescue work, more foster dogs, more fundraising days, more transport runs etc. But everything was good, the rescue was doing well after a hard period, but things had got sorted. Muffin was settled Joey was doing well on his medication and we looked forward to many more happy years together, more holidays, more days out to the beach and the woods. It was his 10th birthday on the 27th September. He came and got in bed with me, and he opened his presents one by one, he was so used to this by now, he always had more fun opening them than playing with the toys themselves. For tea we made a birthday cake with squirty cream, he loved eating it out of the can and would sit with his mouth open while I squirted it in.

On the 6th October, I went out for drinks with family, it turned out to be one of the most petrifying days of my life, I got back late to find joey was in a bit of a state, he wasn’t well at all, he had been sick and wet himself and looked disorientated, stressed and shocked, he wasn’t right. I immediately rang a taxi, I couldn’t drive to the vets, I’d been drinking and my car was in the garage anyway. The taxi company were great, it was busy Saturday night but they sent the next available taxi because it was an emergency. We got to the emergency vets and they checked him over, the vet suspected he had a seizure; I was just numb with shock and a bit hysterical that my boy wasn’t well. They took him in and immediately put him on a drip. I had to leave him, he hated the vets he hated cages of any sorted and id always managed to avoid leaving him there in one, but not this time. I went home and couldn’t sleep, 9 hours I waited before I could get some sort of idea on what was happening. I rang every hour through the night to see how he was; the vet was doing the rounds at 9am, so I needed to ring back after 10. I made the call again and spoke to the vets, they said he was a lot brighter and the drip seems to have done the job, he was dehydrated but they weren’t sure what had happened, they mentioned a brain tumour/lesion or that it could have just been a one off and might have been a funny turn due to his medication for his Cushing’s disease. They said he could come home but he was to go to my usual vet first thing to check he was ok. They let him come home at 4pm Sunday, the relief to have him home was unbelievable, those 13 hours he wasn’t in the house were awful, it was our home, me and him and him not being there was too much to cope with. I sat outside the vets for an hour because I couldn’t be in the house anymore without him there. I went in at 4pm and the vet brought him out, he looked like Joey again, he was back to normal and he scrambled to get out of the vets, I knew he was ok then but I was petrified incise he got sick again. He came home and tucked into his dinner, we all got on the couch with my quilt and I slept downstairs with him, I didn’t sleep much as I was watching every breath he took, but I was over the moon he was back home. The next day we went to the vets, the emergency vet had emailed over his notes, the vet spotted us walking in and said 'ooh no joey what are you back for' he was well known in the vets now, he was a charmer and always so good for them, the receptionist even knew my voice on the phone and I didn’t even have to say who it was. my usual vet also agreed that it sounded like he had a seizure but they weren’t sure why, his bloods were taken and all was normal again, I was told to take him home, keep an eye on him and fingers crossed it was just a one off. If he looked to be unwell they would look into it further but because didn’t have any history over ever being unwell with seizures we were hoping it was just one of them things. So I took him home feeling positive.

The next week Joey seemed completely back to normal, loving his walks and his toys again. I had a busy week in rescue, lots of dogs in kennels and a few due to go to their new homes at the weekend. Saturday afternoon I took the dogs out for a run, and then I made my way up to the kennels to sort out the rescue dogs. I returned home about 4pm and was devastated to find Joey was in the same state again as last week, again I rushed him to the vets, he wasn’t well in the waiting room and made a bit of a mess but a couple who were also there helped me with him and to clean up. The vet rushed us in and they immediately put him back on the drip like last time, but he seemed worse this time and less responsive this time, the vet asked me to sign to give permission to put him to sleep if he got worse but I refused, he couldn’t go anywhere without me by his side. I was told to go home and wait, I was told they would only ring me if he went downhill and I needed to be there. I don’t even remember driving home. I sat and waited, I knew I’d be up all night just hoping the phone wouldn’t ring. But it did. at 8pm the vet called me to say joey had another seizure, his heart rate had slowed and I needed to get back up there asap, I was warned that he may pass away before I got there but I told them it can’t happen, I WOULD be there for him. I jumped in the car and probably broke all speed limits but I needed to be there for my boy. I arrived at the vets and ran into the room where the vet was waiting for me. She sat me down and told me he had passed away before I got there. That moment I felt like someone had reached into my chest and physically ripped my heart out. He can’t be gone, he is my life my world and everything I live for, we have been through everything together and he wasn’t ready to leave yet, it was his birthday last week, he still had lots more presents to open over the years, lots more foster dogs that needed his help, Muffin needed her companion, but most importantly I needed him. He had been there for me over the past 10 years, over some of the worst times of my life, but the one time he needed me there with him I was too late, just 5 minutes earlier and I might have got there in time to say goodbye.

The vet asked me if I wanted to see him, I said yes and they brought him in, I was completely hysterical so they had to take him away, but before they did I stopped them, I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t say goodbye, I kissed him on the head and told him I loved him and that I would be with him again soon. I went home feeling numb again, my whole world had fallen apart, the love of my life was gone, what the hell do I do now? I didn’t sleep that night; I couldn’t bear Joey being at the vets, the next day I decided I needed to bring him home. Mitzi, Kizzy Ben, Chance and Tinkerbelle were all cremated but I couldn’t do that for my boy, I needed to do it myself and give him a proper goodbye with me by his side the whole time. I brought him home and my family came round, we buried him in the garden where he will stay forever, with me at home, on OUR home. My mum will be waiting for him, she always said she couldn’t wait till he was old so she could walk him, she will be able to now; I know he will be being looked after.

I don’t think I’ll be able to own another boxer again after my boy, I still have muffin who keeps me going at the moment, but right now my heart will be with the rescue, and to carry it on in Joeys name, if he can’t be here with me then I’ll be doing it for him and in his name. Joey's Legacy.

Joey - 27/09/02 - 13/10/12

'To live on in the hearts of those we love is not to die'

Sleep tight my boy, till we meet again xxx

Putting faces to the names



Grandad Ben