A Total Package

A devoted family companion, the sweet-natured Boxer also puts his watchdog instincts to work.

By | Posted:  August 15, 2006, 5 a.m. EST

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It was a sunny morning, and Duchess, Stephanie Abraham's 10-year-old Boxer, was snoozing on the lawn. Abraham was just a child herself at the time, but she remembers the day well. "My mother and I were in the house and happened to glance out the window just as it happened," recalls the Scotland, Conn., resident. A neighbor's 3-year-old son crossed the yard and walked up to Duchess as she lay sleeping. He bent down, leaned in close to the unsuspecting Boxer, and poured a pail of sand in her ear.

"Duchess woke up, shook her head, and wagged her tail at the child," says Abraham, now an American Kennel Club judge, Boxer breeder, and author of The Boxer: Family Favorite (Howell, 2000, $24.95).

"Boxers are almost the ideal family dog," Abraham says. "They're so devoted to children; they gravitate to them in a room full of adults."

Loving and loyal, easygoing and energetic, Boxers wiggle their way into your heart and settle in. They may look tough, but their owners know them as tender-hearted Tiggers — bouncy, happy, perpetual pups with springs in their feet.

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