Blog by Roxanne Hawn
Originally conceived in April 2007 as a real-time canine memoir set in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, 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 dramatic stranger who suffered 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. That experience resulted in a best-selling book on pet loss.
Champion of My Heart started as a story of bravery and grace, compassion and perseverance. It revealed personal victories, even when life took many unexpected turns. Offering insights on human relationships culled from situations only a smart, fearful, and suddenly quite ill dog could muster, Champion of My Heart delivered a real-world PhD from the University of Dogs With Issues.
After Lilly died, the blog sat fallow for a while.
Today, it features real-life adventures and accomplishments with my current crew of 3 dogs + occasional foster puppies.
The site also now reports top news from the veterinary and dog world, including some original videos and other insights about life with dogs.
Our FREE canine relaxation protocol audio/video files remain one of the most popular features of Champion of My Heart, accessed by people worldwide.