The name on everyone’s lips is going to be….ROXIE! It gives me great pleasure to introduce, ROXIE ROSE BUCCIO, the newest canine addition to the Buccio clan.

It’s been two years since we last had a pet, and after holding out for some time, and after much persuasion by our seven year old, we were ready to welcome a new pup into the home. Coco and I grew up with dogs and the kids were born into a home with dogs. After losing Ito and Lola, no one was ready for another dog- but also, we needed a break from the responsibility of having a pet, especially with all the changes and adjustments going on in our home.

It felt like the right time, and the moment we met Roxie, we fell in love! Let me give you some back doggie history. When Coco and I met and were living in the city, we had Ito, Lola, and Chacha. Yes, three dogs. Chacha, is one of Lola’s six babies (all of which our families have), and they’re all Havanese. I never knew about the breed until I was in New York, and considering that these dogs were pets for Cuban aristocracy, I thought they were fitting for a Cuban-American girl like myself! Besides that, they are fantastic dogs. They love to cuddle, they literally never leave your side (and will even sit by you in the bathroom while you bathe), they are loyal, they are sweet-tempered, smart, and playful. They are also are great dogs for kids.

Three dogs is happy chaos, and while we adored our three dogs, I don’t think we will ever have that many again for the sakee of our mental health. LOL. Between them and the kids, it’s a lot, so we brought it back to basics with just one pet. Two years ago, Lola unexpectedly died of a stroke. It was really hard for all of us, but especially for Coco bc Lola was ‘his girl.’ We also had to talk to Maya about losing a pet, since she was there when Lola passed. It was a learning experience for everyone. Now, with Ito almost completely blind and nearing old age, we thought, ‘well, okay, at least Lola won’t bully Ito and he can enjoy a more relaxing and stress free couple of years.’ What I am about to tell you next will probably have some of you shaking your heads in disbelief, but it is true.

While I was away in LA, I get a call from Coco telling me that Ito ‘disappeared.’ He was bathing the kids and then bathing Ito, and like he normally does, put Ito out on the balcony to get his fresh air. This was one of Ito’s favorite things to do. He loved hanging out with us on the balcony, getting fresh air. We never worried about something happening to him on the balcony because he didn’t fit through any of the grates and he was blind. Well, we also never expected a bird (we have falcons that circle the buildings) to take him. I imagine he looked like a wet rat to anything looking down and after including the building management, animal services, and even a pet psychic, it was confirmed that he was taken. You almost have to laugh because it’s surreal and unexpected. Try explaining that to a seven year old.

As for Chacha, she’s alive and well living the life of luxury in a Coconut Grove mansion with a rhinestone collar. When Rocco was born, he was a whole different animal from newborn Maya. He was not the greatest sleeper and Chacha’s incessant barking was becoming an issue. Couple that with baby blues and I was having a hard time. I held out for a long time because Chacha was my baby, and the best cuddler in the world, but I was losing my mind with both Rocco and I losing sleep, so I had to consider sending her to live with her brother, Zephyr. It killed us because we never expected to lose both Lola and Ito shortly after. We went from three dogs to no dogs in a matter of months. Hence, why we waited so long to bring one back into the fold.

At the end of last year, we started talking about adopting. Now, Coco is deathly allergic to dogs and that’s another reason we loved the Havanese breed because they are hypoallergenic, which means they are great for anyone who may be allergic. We knew that it wouldn’t be easy to find a young dog that was also hypoallergenic in a shelter. We wanted to find one locally and started looking in South Florida. As expected, most of what we found were big dogs, or short haired dogs that just wouldn’t work. That’s when we started looking into a breeder, specifically for a Havense, and that’s where Roxie comes in!

How can you say no to a face like this?! We haven’t had a puppy in the house in almost 15 years and it was like having a new baby after already raising kids. lol Let me just say though, having a dog is not like having a baby and I know many people like to make that comparison, even I made that comparison before having kids myself, and I’m here to tell you. It’s not the same thing. Not at all. Not even a little. Except for the having to take care of them part.

I’ll tell you, besides the work that comes with having a new puppy, it’s so nice to have her at home! It’s especially nice for Coco who said he didn’t want to get attached and he’s already head over heels in love with Roxie. So the name. How did we come up with it? We let Maya decide (we had to sign off on it). We went through every name (some were more like porn star names), from Crystal to Flora, London, Pepita, Cherry Blossom, Addison, Rockstar, and so many other disastrous options. Finally, we shortened Rockstar to Roxie, which also happens to be the lead in my favorite musical, Chicago, and gave her a middle name because all our dogs had middle names. The name suits her!

The first few nights she whimpered and cried as she got adjusted to her new pen area. You can’t give puppies too much freedom to roam or too much space because it can be overwhelming and they try to mark their territory. We stayed strong and didn’t give in. I would check on her periodically and eventually she would settle and fall asleep. It took her a good day to get used to her new home. I explained to the kids that this was a whole new world for Roxie, away from her mommy and siblings so she needed some time to come around and eventually she did.

Here’s what we know so far about her, and her spunky personality! She loves to play! She’s also got some sharp teeth! lol. It’s normal for puppies to play bite, but we have to stay on top of her to get her out of the habit because she’s already left us with some war wounds! She loves to play fetch, give kisses, and snuggle. We do sneak her in once in a while to bed with us and it’s funny how she has some similar traits to our old dogs. She loves to sleep on the top of the bed, behind a pillow or under our arm. She likes to be carried like a baby and she also gets car sick. She seems to somewhat enjoy taking baths, and she loves toys and bones. If you ask Maya, she’ll tell you she loves me the most (it’s because she knows who feeds her).

The kids adore her and it’s also a great opportunity to teach responsibility. Maya is responsible for replacing her wee wee pads, refilling her water bowl and picking up the poop, and this week, she’ll officially be in the clear to be on the leash and go for walks, which we are all looking forward to!

I keep thinking that when Roxie is 10 years old, Maya will be 17 and Rocco will be 13! Nothing puts age and time in perspective like having a dog. I love that our kids will grow up with dogs. Besides the benefit of a strong immune system, having a dog at home will help Maya and Rocco further understand companionship, empathy, responsibility, love, and teamwork.

We can’t wait to watch our little Roxie Rose grow and settle into our family life. I also pray she will never get her teeth into any of my Louboutins. Ha!

in Style,