About the Blogger

Me and the dogs

I’ve had many titles in my life: daughter, wife, stepmom, dog-mom, student, bartender, manager, writer, proofreader, editor, teacher. I never expected to have the title blogger, yet here I am. I’m Cathy Witlox, a freelance book editor who has the luxury of working from home. My husband, Wes, and I have three dogs: Cora, Dusty, and Hogan. All three are rescues, and they—and the rescue experience—have inspired this blog.

Snowball was the first family dog I really knew. She was a big, gentle Alsatian.

I grew up with dogs and have loved them all my life. Snowball, an Alsatian, is the first dog I remember our family having. I was six or seven when we got her as a very young pup. She was born on my brother’s birthday, so the breeder gifted her to my family. We lived in the country, and it was the ’70s (and then the early ’80s), so she roamed free. One of my most vivid memories of Snowball was her penchant for fresh poultry—more specifically, our neighbour’s hens. Despite how angry she made the neighbour, Snowball lived to about nine years old. In the end, she had hip dysplasia and could barely stand. I was a teenager by then, and Snowball had been such a special companion—”my sister,” my dad would say. I hurt so much when my mom made the tough call to let her go, but it was the right thing to do.

Scratch was a beautiful dog, and she went everywhere with my dad. (I hope they’re together now, too.)

Within a year or two, my parents got another puppy—a mutt if ever there was one. Scratch (she had eczema or something!) was said to be a border collie/pitbull terrier mix. She was a beautiful, gentle, and intelligent dog with a glistening coat of long brown and black fur. She could run like the wind as a youngster and loved nothing more than going with my dad to a lake property we had up in Bracebridge. Scratch died naturally at the age of 13. I was married by then.

Tiki was adorable, with one ear that always stood up and one that always lay down.

When I moved out on my own, I got a dog named Tiki from a local pound. He was said to be a shepherd/husky mix, but at two years old, he was only 35 pounds. Tiki was the result of an impulsive decision, and I ended up having to find another home for him within two years of getting him. Working full time and studying for my degree part time, I didn’t have the time required to devote to his training or to him. I found a really nice family who wanted Tiki and gave him a great home.

Our baby girl Roxie (1995-2010)

Shortly after Wes and I married, we bought a Jack Russell terrier puppy. Roxie was our baby. A typical JRT, she was the fastest dog at the dog park, a non-stop player of fetch and Frisbee, an avid watcher of dog shows on TV, and a really affectionate baby at the end of a long, active day. Unusually, she loved baths, and even when I was running a bath for myself, she’d hop into the tub before I could get in. Bath time, to her, was time to dig holes in the water and make a big wet mess all over the walls. As a result, she was the cleanest dog you could imagine! Her energy seemed boundless. She often woke me up at 3 a.m. for a run around the backyard if we hadn’t tired her out enough through the day (and tiring her was a real challenge, so I had a lot of middle-of-the-night outings). Roxie had several serious medical issues throughout her life, but we were able to deal with most successfully. She regularly saw a chiropractor for degenerative disks in her spine (diagnosed at age 4); she had to have a tube put in her throat to drain a (fortunately benign) tumour that had developed there at age 6; and she had pancreatitis at age 11 and nearly died. For four more years, we watched her diet carefully and worked hard to keep her healthy and happy. She remained playful until about 12 or 13, but we sadly had to say goodbye to her at age 15, after she developed neurological issues.

We grieved for her for 10 long months, and we still miss her terribly, but Cora, Dusty, and Hogan have filled a void in our lives and in our home. I hadn’t thought I’d ever love a dog again as much as I loved Roxie, but these rascals have gotten under my skin and into my heart just as she did. I couldn’t imagine life without them!

7 Responses to About the Blogger

  • Hello, I’m the vet assistant from the Humane Society of Cozumel, I AM SO HAPPY TO READ ABOUT HOGAN (Gohan) 🙂 thanms fro sharing. Can I put a link to your blog from mine?
    http://pawsdaily.blogspot.com/
    thanks

  • Josh Ricker says:

    Hi There,
    I see you’ve reviewed Pawz Dog Boots in the past, and I was hoping you’d consider talking about us, Paws Jawz. We make putting Pawz boots onto the dog, effortless. You can see us in action in the video on our website, http://www.pawsjawz.com. If you are interested taking a look, I can send you a sample. Please let me know if you have any thoughts or questions. Thanks! Josh

  • Angelina Polska says:

    Hey there I just came across your blog! I live near Toronto. I was recently in Cuba & want to go back & adopt a stray dog I fell in love with that frequented Barcelo Solymar resort in Varadero. Can you please give me names & contacts of people that are willing to help me? I have contacted the SPCA & several rescue centers & no one deals with Cuba for some reason..

    • Cathy Witlox says:

      Hi, Angelina,

      Contact APAC (here’s it’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/apacnilo/). I am sure they will help you. You’ll need the dog to see a vet in Cuba in order to be allowed into Canada. We brought five dogs from Mexico earlier this year for Loyal Rescue, and it was easier than I’d expected. The key is making sure the dog has its shots and all its paperwork. I’m sure APAC will know exactly what paperwork is needed.

      You should also contact CANDI (http://www.candiinternational.org/), which has a transport coordinator who helps with international transports.

      Good luck—and thank you for rescuing a dog!

      Cathy

  • Bo says:

    Hey, didn’t know you had a blog. Nice to read about your doggy history. My first dog was a Dalmation/Walker Hound mix who I got in my Easter basket when I was two. Toby died of a heart attack when he was 17. Recently, we had two Standard Poodles who we had to put down in the fall of 2014 within a few months of each other when they were 14. We still miss them so much, thank goodness we have Darling, our Ship!

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