A real-time canine memoir set in the Colorado Rocky Mountains since April 2007, Champion of My Heart featured Lilly Elizabeth, a rescued border collie with crushing anxiety. Comical and confusing, Lilly would swing between extremes, cowering at the sight of a three-ring binder one minute, squaring off with a rattlesnake the next.
Yep, life was never boring. Lilly once instigated a veterinary emergency after eating 130 paintballs. Two words: Technicolor. Vomit.
Efforts to build her confidence through dog sports and training created countless embarrassing moments. Then, almost overnight, Lilly morphed from a sweet, shy dog into a snarling, snapping stranger who suffers no canine fools — including loveable labs like those immortalized in books and movies.
From day one, I struggled to help Lilly reach her potential. Amid many apparent failures, we found a shared calling.
In January 2012, our lives changed forever. Lilly suffered terrible (and rare) brain inflammation following a routine rabies vaccine. For the next 693 days, I laid myself bare to readers as we fought for Lilly’s life — and lost.
Champion of My Heart is a story of bravery and grace, compassion and perseverance. It’s about personal victories, even when life takes many unexpected turns. Offering insights on human relationships culled from situations only a smart, fearful, and suddenly quite ill dog can muster, Champion of My Heart delivers a real-world PhD from the University of Dogs With Issues.
“I ran across the Champion of My Heart blog while searching for help with my two fearful, reactive dogs. I found not only masses of useful information, but, as a writer and editor myself, I’ve been delighted by the clear, engaging writing and friendly, unaffected tone.” ~ Lynn Hazlewood
“The compelling, accessible and heart-felt writing makes the Champion of My Heart blog moving, entertaining and worth every word. Roxanne’s account of her every-day life with Lilly’s endearing antics, behaviors and health issues over the years made me laugh out loud, cry, relate, and fall more in love with Lilly every day.” ~ Hilary Lane
“You have very good info that is helpful for the health and other aspects of dogs. It’s obvious you’re very caring, and you have a way of writing as if a person is right there with you.” ~ Nora Hensley
“Your story is told with an authenticity and passion that’s both remarkable and rare in a blogosphere teaming with ‘first-person accounts’ that read more like bad fiction than anyone’s real life. Champion of My Heart is a real-life story that’s told straight from the heart, and it’s truly a gift to those of us lucky enough to have found it.” ~ Jane Steinlen