Brandy, Trixie, Duchess, Pretzel, Princess

Wayne and Jinny met on a tennis court. They were married soon after in a quaint ceremony at her family’s home overlooking a stunning river in September. They were both professionals, but at the time they made the choice for Jinny to retire from teaching.

They bought a grand house on a hill. An old Victorian built in 1895. Jinny’s new job was maintaining the house and property. Not a small task for the size of the property. She did it all, literally..until she couldn’t due to age and illness.

They had no children of their own as fate would have it. The mystery of the world ended up giving them so many children, although not biologically. Their hearts were full through their forty plus year marriage. As you will read in their stories throughout this blog, they impacted the lives of countless human beings. They were the definition of a “safe place” and so much more.

As their plans for the house and property took shape, they got a boxer puppy and they named her Princess. Appropriate for the house she would be living in with its 15 foot ceilings and enough room to run laps around the huge dining room table at a whim.

Following their plan, they added boxers to their family as the years passed. Each pup had its own personality, as all dogs do. Trixie came along when I was fifteen. She was fawn in color, statuesque and came from championship bloodlines. Trixie would sleep with me in my four poster bed when I lived with them as a wayward teen. She always took over the bed, her legs were huge! She crunched on rocks in the stone driveway, we laughed in wonderment. She ran around the clay tennis court and played fetch until we were tired, never her. She was “our” dog and I loved her so.

After Trixie left us some time went by, Wayne and Jinny were aging and contemplated getting one more pup in the sunset of their lives. One more to make it a total of five. I was on the fence about this decision. I knew it could possibly become a new family member in my home if something happened or I would be the one to care for her daily needs as time went on.

One day my door bell rang and it was Jinny and Wayne. I lived two blocks from their house so it wasn’t unusual. I looked through the glass door and Jinny’s coat seemed to be bulging a bit. She unzipped her coat to reveal the cutest boxer puppy ever. They came in and introduced me to Brandy.

She was a beautiful dog with a sweet temperament ( except for the mailman of course). Brandy was a constant to them as they faced Jinny’s illness , which was long and debilitating. Years of COPD had taken its toll. I noticed Wayne was losing his balance. He neglected to tell me he had fallen and hit his head some months before. That turned out to be a subdural brain hematoma that had been bleeding internally for a few months. He had emergency brain surgery, as we were right by his side. Those were not easy days. Brandy was the comfort, the unconditional love they both needed to get through their battles.

Brandy left us dramatically. I cried for days. Jinny had passed and it was just us. As the stoic man he was, he faced the insurmountable loss with dignity and grace. I saw the sadness in his eyes. He helped me cope. I will write the story of losing Brandy so suddenly in this blog. You will meet Sharon, an instrumental part of one of the saddest days of our lives. She was a beloved friend of Waynes and now mine.

Brandy, Trixie, Duchess, Pretzel and Princess were amazing boxers. They gave so much love and received adoring love in return. They all made the big house on the hill a happier one because they lived in it. We were all blessed.

Photo by Peng Louis on


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