Pet Connections

Roxy’s Final Journey

The photogenic little Italian Greyhound was adopted in October of 2009 and started her whirlwind life at 4 months of age; her parents – Mona Gray and Jason Dunkle – had no idea what a celebrity she would become.

She was a spunky little puppy with a personality that was larger than life and a wardrobe to match. Several of her stylings were custom made by professional seamstresses and she had an outfit for every occasion. Her style and confidence led to a modeling career of sorts. She had her first phot shoot when she was barely a year old. 

She grew a fan base of amazing and loyal supporters. Some followed her since she was a puppy, and over the years traveled to meet her. She was always grateful and happy to do meet and greets with her admirers. Roxy had her own PO Box since 2014 and received fan mail regularly. The postal workers never met her but knew all about her. She also had her own fb page www.facebook.com/foxyroxytheitaliangreyhound with almost 8,000 likes and followers from around the world.

Roxy and her brother Greyson made 3 professional charity calendars together that were sold worldwide. You may remember them from when they graced the cover of the Christmas issue of Pittsburgh PetConnections Magazine in December 2017. At the time they were featured in an article promoting their 2018 Beach Calendar to help raise awareness about puppy mills. Over 500 of the calendars were sold worldwide and $3,000 was raised for Italian Greyhound Rescue Foundation, National Mill Dog Rescue, and the Erie Humane Society.

Roxy loved to travel and had a very active life. One of her favorite places to go was the beaches of Erie, PA and the Presque Isle State Park Facebook page even shared her photo on a few occasions. She made many new friends and followers on the beach during her visits as kids loved to spend time welcoming her like a starlet.  Roxy would get into a downward facing dog pose and let the kids pet her. She attracted a lot of attention with her stylish beach outfits and hats with sunglasses and would lay on the beach like a frog dog and take in the sights.

She also took trips to local nursing homes since she was a puppy. She loved to visit with the residents as much as they loved seeing her. Many residents had no visitors other than Roxy, so she held a special place in their hearts. On Christmas day, Roxy would come with bells around her neck dressed as Santa Paws, a reindeer, or an elf.

Roxy’s Brain Surgery

In Late May 2021, Roxy started showing neurological symptoms. She was circling to the right, her vision was decreased and she had back/neck pain. Her parents made several emergency vet visits and in June, she received a difficult diagnosis. Dr. Adams of PVSEC said that Roxy appeared to have a possible tumor and needed to be admitted.

Roxy had an MRI of her brain, which showed a large tumor on the right side of her head. While her neurologist said that 90% of these tumors are benign, that also meant 10% were cancerous. The specialty vet said that the tumor was operable and was the best option to save Roxy’s life. Dr. Taylor advised that it was a very high-risk surgery, but it was decided to move forward with the surgery to give Roxy a second chance at life. The surgery was a success but left her with some side effects. She lost total vision in her left eye, decreased vision in her right eye and  some facial paralysis. She spent 9 days in the hospital recovering.

About 3 weeks after the surgery, the tumor biopsy came back as being a Histiocytic Sarcoma, which affects less than 1% of dogs. It was also rare to appear in the brain and very aggressive. Not the news her family was hoping for. She started chemotherapy 3 weeks after the surgery. Roxy received a total of 7 total chemo treatments, but her liver enzymes climbed and treatments had to be discontinued. Her pre-surgery neurological symptoms returned, and despite several attempts with further medications and a final chemo treatment, nothing could help. Her tumor progressed quickly; and the difficult decision was made to help her over the bridge.

Roxy received 125 cards from fans around the world, including Norway, Germany, and Australia. Her legacy continues to inspire and raise awareness for animals everywhere. If you’d like to send a card with good thoughts or stories of your own pet’s special journey, you can reach her family through her fb page above or mailing address here:

Jason Dunkle C/O Foxy Roxy the IG PO Box 443 Washington, PA 15301

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