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A few days ago I lost my boy Frey. He had just turned 1 and we hadn't had him a year just yet. He had some kind of heart issue that the vet I took him to missed.

Last summer my girlfriend and I were finally in a place where we could get a dog. I had chosen a belgian malinois we named Tyr. But my girlfriend had always wanted a boxer so I caved and we got a boxer as well. I didn't know enough about breeders and they both ended up comming from what I guess you would call a backyard breeder. Seemed like they were well set up and clean. Parents looked healthy and well treated. So I didnt really think much of it. I didn't even really want Frey I was happy with one dog.

What a pain the inseperable duo became. Two puppies at once what a chore. Tyr was a savage escape artist and has murdered 3 kennels to date. Even trying to rip the door off Freys Kennel. I had to get a custom set of solid aluminum kennels made.

I just recently left the Army. Used my pension payout to buy a trailer back home as pet friendly rentals here are upwards of $1500/month. Had been fixing it up before looking for work.

A few weeks back Frey started having fainting spells. Which after the second time I took him to the Vet they did some tests said his heart was good. Blood work was fine. Healthy other than the fainting which I thought had seemed a bit like a heart attack. But the vet assured me he was alright. He would get quite vascular when playing and so we thought maybe his collar was restricting blood flow when he was playing. We had him go without a collar and that seemed to have good results. No more more fainting or collapsing.

I took him to a field to run around with Tyr in the morning before it got hot. After about 15 minutes of playing he collapsed. I went to him to comfort him as he was going through whatever it was. I felt his heart beat which seemed good. I leaned down and told him he was gonna be okay and gave him a kiss. Thats when I suddenly felt his last heartbeat. I immediatly started cpr. But I had this feeling that i needed help. So I threw him in the car and drove him to the vet across town at 140km/hr with the hazards on honking the whole way doing compressions as I drove. It took maybe 2.5 minutes to get there tops. I brought him inside and screamed for help. A vet came and we did cpr together. Another vet came and she checked his heartbeat and called it. My boy was gone. I sat there in the lobby sobbing. They moved us to a room where I cried like I never had before. I called my girlfriend and mother who lives nearby to come seems like it took forever for them to arrive. I had always pictured myself as somewhat tough especially around death. Ive lost people to cancer, suicide, and murder. But this. It hit me like nothing else. Frey was gone. A dog I didn't even want but who had wormed his way into my heart with kisses, cuddles, the way he danced around, how he came to me when he needed help hiding from the vacuum or hair dryer the little chicken. How he always wanted to drink from the spray bottle we used to settle the other dogs down. He had a little heart of gold.

I suppose it goes without saying Ive had a very week. Doesnt seem to be getting any easier. Little reminders of him are ecerywhere I spent the last year building my life around these dogs. Tyr keeps running around everywhere whining as if hes looking for him. We let him say goodbye but I don't know as that he understands. My brother called around and asked a few vets and they seem to think he had dcm or something like that. Or cardiomyapathy and the concensus was that I did everything I could and even if they had figured it out it woulda taken more time than he had. And there wasnt really a cure. I still feel so incredibly guilty, replaying every scenario possible.

Morning are the hardest. I try my best not to cry. Feeding one dog instead of two, seems like Im always finding something of Freys. Looking at two massive kennels. Two, two, two of everything. Tyr has started doing things that only Frey ever did. Like having zoomies on the couch like its his first time up on one. Or giving way too mamy kisses like Frey used to. He even learned to play like a boxer with the rearing up and smacking. Dogs slept on the bed with us. Tyr is now sleeping in the corner of the room alone. Frey used to sleep by our feet and slowly creep is way up to share a bit of your pillow. God I miss him.

Tyr being a Mal I know we'll eventually need to get another dog to help with tiring him out and give companionship. I hated boxers and have now grown to love the breed but I don't know if I could ever get another boxer. I think I would just expect him to be Frey and resent him for being himself.

I know this whole thing is a bit allover the place as my thoughts are a jum led mess and I'm not the best writer, so if you got this far thanks for reading. If theres anything to take from this it's stay away from backyard breeders just cause you get an akc or ckc registration doesn't mean your getting a pup that won't have a deadly hereditary issue later on and rip your heart out. Frey made me love a breed I had always disliked. And for that and a million other reasons I'll never forget him. Love you Frey Frey.
 

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Aww man we are so sorry, sadly this topic just came other here (mostly again) the other week. :

https://www.boxerforums.com/website-suggestions-feedback/205760-how-long-do-boxers-live.html

What you are experiencing is not uncommon and most likely it's being compounded because he was not your choice?? And yet even still ... he wiggled his way into your heart. And that is kinda what Boxers do and why we luv them. Despite the "risk" that can be associated with the breed ... sadly.

It will take some time to heal but it will get better. Nice looking Mal by they way. And again sorry for your loss. :(
 

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I am very sorry for your loss. It is so difficult tools a boxer. My adult daughter lives t home and her dog is a boxer. We picked I'm out together. He will e 5 in Sept. As I thought she may move out on her own soon I wanted another big dog. I looked and looked for another boxer (Kai's breeder no longer breeds). I could not find one from health tested par3e3nts and so I have a standard poodle. Its taken a year and a half but they finally play. My boxer is very laid back the poodle is high strung energy and plays with his mouth. It is important to find reputable breeders who heath test the parents before they are bred and not before aged 2. While we can get lucky and I hope we are there is always that fear. gain I am so very sorry for your loss. Boxers are the sweetest. Mal's are a lot of work and need a job and lots of training. Good luck and I h ope one day you find it in your heart to once again be owned by a boxer.
 

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Sorry for your loss. My condolences.

All I can say is just go with how you feel. You will know when the time is right if you want another dog. Whether its another Boxer or a different breed. I was in the opposite position as you, as I have had other breeds and always wanted a boxer. The time was right and I got one and couldn't imagine not having one. There were times in that 1st year where I wondered if I made a mistake, but all the hard work and help from members here for the last three years has paid off. I like having a breed, that is considered by a lot of people(wrongly) as, uncontrollable, hyper, difficult to train, dumb etc. and being able to take him out off leash and have people say, "Wow, I didn't think a Boxer could be trained and listen so well."

I will say if you decide eventually to get another boxer definitely post on here. There are some really knowledgeable people on here that have contacts in the boxer world and can steer you to a good responsible breeder.

Again, Im sorry this happened to your guy at such a young age.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks you guys. I appreciate the kind words. I sure do miss him and maybe someday I'll try again with a profesional breeder just may take a couple years. Just too young to go. Had so many plans that he was supposed to part of and I guess thats gonna bother me for the next while.


As for my mal I often find with many breeds people elevate the level of dog as if to elevate themselves and how great they are to own such a breed. Sure you have to be firm but they aren't some special breed that only a pro can handle.
 

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Thanks you guys. I appreciate the kind words. I sure do miss him and maybe someday I'll try again with a profesional breeder just may take a couple years. Just too young to go. Had so many plans that he was supposed to part of and I guess thats gonna bother me for the next while.


As for my mal I often find with many breeds people elevate the level of dog as if to elevate themselves and how great they are to own such a breed. Sure you have to be firm but they aren't some special breed that only a pro can handle.
We had a handful of Mal guys on the germanshepardforum, and one of them is Baillif. And does the Mondo Ring thing.

He has to two Mals and a GSD/Mal cross, yeah those are a thing. And he says that the cross is/can be a handful! On a boat trip little boat I assume?? He brought both Mal's but the cross ... yeah you stay home. :)

And at least some of the MAL, specific rescues ... won't let anyone with non MAl experience adopt one of there dogs?? They are nick named ... "Malagators for a reason??? If you don't think a Mal is that big a deal?? Trust me it's "You" and not the "Breed??"

Apparently "that guy" and as I am want to say ... "there is always that guy!" Was me with WL GSD's??? My particular Over sized Working Line GSD with uh ... "people issues" made me think I was better at the dog thing then I was, apparently??

Long story that I won't go into here and now. But my current sigh ... "female" and not a male, Boxer/Pitt mix. And an important side note .... in "Boxer Land" the females and the males are uh ... "different!" Long story short ... I'm getting schooled!!! :)

But I digress on Germanshepardforum, the general consensus is that "Boxers are, to be kind ... "Skinny and insipid"??" Well I tend to disagree anyway, but to be "accurate" yeah I suppose that "could be applied" to the "America' flavor of Boxe"r ... the "American Line!" Cuz ... yes there are two! American and the Euro's! And the Euro's still "work" even in America. :)

The Boxer your wife got was an all American guy. As most likely that was she how she formed her decision?? And they don't work off "logic??" No, they wiggle there way into your heart. And once you have lived with one, no other breed no matter how great they may be, is not the same??

Been there done that, and my GSD was a magnificent dog! He saved my A$$, once in a two dog attack gone wrong assault, while I was defending him and slipped on the ice!! He came to my aid unbid! And he was another dog ... "I did not want??" He was suppose to be a "foster" as was my first Boxer/APBT but ... I kinda "suck" at the foster thing??"

At any rate a "Mal or a GSD" no matter how great, will never be a "Boxer??" Just like a "Boxer " will never be a Mal or a GSD. But it doesn't really matter if you have never had a Boxer and your a Mal or GSD guy ... it's pretty easy to say "uh why bother with Boxer?s?" But if you have had a "Boxer" before ... it's easy to understand "why bother." :)


But take time to grief, over your loss and you know try again. I'd be really surprised if you don't get another Boxer and I doubt it will be a "couple of years??" One year would be good and then your Mal could help you train your new "Boxer!" Cuz you know ... they need lot's of help ... just saying. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ive been thinking about it pretty hard. I don't know when but I'm sure we'll get another boxer eventually. I always wanted 3 dogs so maybe we'll get the 3rd dog and come back to the boxer last. They are such a unique breed. Frey was very special to me. Crazy how they do that. Just makes me angry how hard I tried to save him and couldn't. But I guess if it didn't happen then it would have been a different day. It's getting easier to go about my day though I feel a big piece missing.

My mal Tyr he lives up to the Maligator term. He's destroyed 3 kennels. But honestly most problems I've had with him were related to him being free while we were out of the house. The maligator proof kennels took a while to have built and we actually just got them. He had some issues when we got him as he was about 14 weeks when we got him and had been bitten by one of the breeders other dogs. Had issues with dogs his size or bigger but seems yo be alright now. He does have poor leash manners but I never really take him for walks usually just drive him to the ball diamond to run around in so thats my bad and is being worked on now. He does have a desire to play with every dog he sees which can be anoying. Maybe I have a higher tolerance for the stuff he does or maybe my mal is on the low end of the spectrum so while he is more work than some other dogs its nothing to crazy to me anyways. He is oversize as well closing in on 90lbs.
 

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I'm so sorry for your loss. Based on things shared on here, I think letting Tyr see Frey was a good thing to help him heal. I think they understand more than we give them credit for.
Boxers are a very special breed and they are for sure not for everyone. We have 3 of them. The two older boys (now 5.5 years old) we got from the same litter, and the younger one we got as a puppy about 2 years ago.
While they all have similar traits and habits, they do have their own personalities.

One of ours will bark at the vacuum and hair dryer while Bandit, our puppy, thinks they are fun and OK.

For as much as people are afraid of boxers, you've seen that they are big scardy cats too. My husband jokes that if someone wanted to rob us, they just need to bring in a box.

Jax, our alpha, and little Bandit are the talkers/ barkers. Tundra, our big love bug will bark when he's needed as 'backup'. :)

When/If you get another boxer, I hope you have many happy years. I'd say to expect the hyper, drooling, farting, lapdog, playful, boxing, loving personality that you saw in Frey, but things like how loud he is, if he likes the indoors or outdoors more, how much he licks and gets into your personal space will depend on the personality.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you. I think when enough time passes we will start looking again. But from a propper breeder. Someone with one of those 2 or 3 year health garauntees and a contract. Not that another puppy would fix what's happened but I like the idea of someone standing behind their breeding practices. Frey's breeder did get back to us and offered condolences but Im probably just being bitter in somehow wanting something more.

Everyone on this forum has been very nice and I appreciate the condolences and stories shared. Thank you.
 

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My mal Tyr he lives up to the Maligator term. He's destroyed 3 kennels. But honestly most problems I've had with him were related to him being free while we were out of the house. The maligator proof kennels took a while to have built and we actually just got them. He had some issues when we got him as he was about 14 weeks when we got him and had been bitten by one of the breeders other dogs. Had issues with dogs his size or bigger but seems yo be alright now. He does have poor leash manners but I never really take him for walks usually just drive him to the ball diamond to run around in so thats my bad and is being worked on now. He does have a desire to play with every dog he sees which can be anoying. Maybe I have a higher tolerance for the stuff he does or maybe my mal is on the low end of the spectrum so while he is more work than some other dogs its nothing to crazy to me anyways. He is oversize as well closing in on 90lbs.
Well you certainly don't sugar the "malligator part" So yeah ...

The "three dogs" in the future bit sets of alarm bells for me. As they not be "three Boxers" and aside from, that ... "Two Dogs" are a pair "Three Dogs are a Pack?? And if dog number three is a high Rank Drive Dog?? Uh oh ....

But that I aside ... I'm really good at "derailing threads??" And I don't want to do that here, well anymore that I already have.

But suffice to say ... that while your first Boxer experience was unfortunately a very sad one. And no Molossers, blood line, these type guys. Bully guys in particular.

Molossers breeds (Molosser dogs, Molossers, Mastiff breeds)

But based on your unfortunate prior experience, your Mal will be gladly excepted as an "honorary member" of Boxer World. There are more than a few others. :)

So when your ready, start a new thread for advise on your current dog! We'd be more than happy to help out! Specially considering my "trade mark" every dog should know this ... advise, comes from the ;Mal Guy, on Germanshepardforum. And with that ... I'll stop and say yet again .... sorry for your loss. And yeah I'm sad to say ... I've been there (twice.) And it truly sucks. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have heard about 3 dogs being a pack and having a structure where as 2 dogs may just decide they are equals. Tyr and Frey certainly seemed to take turns being in charge depending on what was going on. I'll have to do more research into what 3 dogs truly entails.

My girlfriend will likely pick our next dog. Unless it's a boxer then perhaps I may ask her to wait until we are both for sure ready. I don't want to resent a new dog.

Tomorrow will be a week since I lost him. Feels suddenly almost like it happened a long time ago. How I wish he had got to grow old.
 

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My girlfriend will likely pick our next dog. Unless it's a boxer then perhaps I may ask her to wait until we are both for sure ready. I don't want to resent a new dog.

Tomorrow will be a week since I lost him. Feels suddenly almost like it happened a long time ago. How I wish he had got to grow old.
The three dog thing .. do s separate thread and we can talk, details are important.


And back on point, you can do a compromise, you find the Breeder and she picks the puppy. :)

Yeah that "deep sadness" will be there for awhile. It will get better with time but the scar is always gonna be there, just the way it is.
 

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Yeah I imagine it gets easier but never goes away. Hes got people all over the country who miss him. (Friends he grew up around when I was in the military)

I will be the one who picks the breeder when we're ready as my girlfriend doesnt care to research much into that stuff. She can pick the pup. Though I suppose some places seem to pick the pup for you based on your stated needs and situation?
 

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Yeah I imagine it gets easier but never goes away. Hes got people all over the country who miss him. (Friends he grew up around when I was in the military)

I will be the one who picks the breeder when we're ready as my girlfriend doesnt care to research much into that stuff. She can pick the pup. Though I suppose some places seem to pick the pup for you based on your stated needs and situation?
Yup a good breeder will try their best to match a pup to what you are looking for and lifestyle. If a breeder isn't asking questions and just trying to sell the dogs I would walk away quickly.
 

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Yeah I imagine it gets easier but never goes away. Hes got people all over the country who miss him. (Friends he grew up around when I was in the military)

I will be the one who picks the breeder when we're ready as my girlfriend doesnt care to research much into that stuff. She can pick the pup. Though I suppose some places seem to pick the pup for you based on your stated needs and situation?
Yep I have heard of that ... that would not work for me.
Had I described what I was looking for in a pup. I would have never gotten Struddell. I wanted a boy and in particular the boy standing on top of the pile of puppies barking his head off! But all the boys were chose only girls were left. Well that sucked ...

But then there was one ... he not stand on ... to become my Struddell! And she picked me! When I came in she came out of the pen crawled into my lap and promptly fell asleep??? I was there for 45 minuets and she never moved. Well this is certainly a ball of dynamite ...not! But screw I wanted a white Boxer and I "needed" one now.

I picked her up a bit later and it turned out ... she was not really boring at all! For all I know she had spent the whole day being an PIA and was just tried when I got there!

So I prefer to pick my own but yes quality breeders can do a pretty good job of matching pups with buyers.
 

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So so sorry to read the story of Frey. Had to kinda read it in spurts, just couldn’t do it straight through. Being retired Army infantry some consider me tough, if only they knew.
Been 20 years since losing our first boxer boy to cardiomyopathy, he was 7 1/2 and I was devastated. Vet initially thought he might have gotten into something poisonous. Had a number of dogs growing up and as adult, but he was my first boxer, but as you might surmise from my signature, not our last. For a couple of years, we even had 6, sadly had to rehome 2 as 2 of the girls had issues with each other. Currently have only 2 and I know that any day I could be saying final goodbye to our Kalani, she’ll be 12 in Jul and going strong.

You mentioned something about resentment. I really don’t think that’s possible. I learned that just a few months after our loss. Being 1998, the internet was not the wealth of info as today, Ruby was the runt of a backyard breeder litter and at only 5 weeks was the last to be adopted and leave home (boy what a crime that is, but not for now). Just a few weeks later some friends led us to rescue 9 month old Jack, another boxer. Guess he was ready for new home as when his owner brought him out he immediately jump thru the open passenger window of our Toyota regular cab pu, right into my wife’s lap almost crushing little Ruby. Both made the move to Hawaii with us. Jack passed suddenly, but peacefully on our bed at 81/2, Ruby made it just past 12. But the point, none ever replaced anyone, each one is unique to him or herself. They all act like boxers, but each one own personality. I’ve said many times the loss of a boxer just leaves a hole in your heart, one that never gets filled. Guess mine is beginning to look like Swiss cheese. You get a new one and guarantee he/she will just take a new spot in your heart, right next to that hole.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
We will have to see how we feel in the comming months. I think we will try for a different color as to not associate a new dog with Frey. Though I'm sure some of the things he did are just boxer things. I know some breeders don't like when people ask for a specific color but I hope it might be okay to ask to not have a certain color.

The vet we originally took Frey to mentioned that he may have got into something he shouldnt have. I can't blame them. But it does seem like DM and cardiomiapathy get missed too often. Seems like something that should be checked for as a priority based on the breed. Having finally got my first dogs at 27 I know I'll always have them in my life. Even though I guess I'll have to go through what I am with Frey every time.

I feel a bit bad being such a mess about it as my gf seems to be handling it a lot better than I. Shes the strong one on this issue I guess. I just hope she isnt being that way because she feels she has too on account of me. Damn dog turned me into a big softie.

Found this gem in some photos my gf took

 

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So so sorry to read the story of Frey. Had to kinda read it in spurts, just couldn’t do it straight through. Being retired Army infantry some consider me tough, if only they knew.
Been 20 years since losing our first boxer boy to cardiomyopathy, he was 7 1/2 and I was devastated. Vet initially thought he might have gotten into something poisonous. Had a number of dogs growing up and as adult, but he was my first boxer, but as you might surmise from my signature, not our last. For a couple of years, we even had 6, sadly had to rehome 2 as 2 of the girls had issues with each other. Currently have only 2 and I know that any day I could be saying final goodbye to our Kalani, she’ll be 12 in Jul and going strong.

You mentioned something about resentment. I really don’t think that’s possible. I learned that just a few months after our loss. Being 1998, the internet was not the wealth of info as today, Ruby was the runt of a backyard breeder litter and at only 5 weeks was the last to be adopted and leave home (boy what a crime that is, but not for now). Just a few weeks later some friends led us to rescue 9 month old Jack, another boxer. Guess he was ready for new home as when his owner brought him out he immediately jump thru the open passenger window of our Toyota regular cab pu, right into my wife’s lap almost crushing little Ruby. Both made the move to Hawaii with us. Jack passed suddenly, but peacefully on our bed at 81/2, Ruby made it just past 12. But the point, none ever replaced anyone, each one is unique to him or herself. They all act like boxers, but each one own personality. I’ve said many times the loss of a boxer just leaves a hole in your heart, one that never gets filled. Guess mine is beginning to look like Swiss cheese. You get a new one and guarantee he/she will just take a new spot in your heart, right next to that hole.
Couldn't have said it better myself. Every dog has their unique personalities, even from the same breed. You never forget about the dogs you lost, but the new ones always bring something different.
 
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