‘Foxy Roxy’ lives on charity and a global fan base | Living in Washington County

When Jason Dunkle couldn’t make it out of a pet store in Erie in 2009, he had no idea how his life would change when he bought an adorable Italian Greyhound.

Dunkle, a Washington resident, said he “couldn’t leave the store” without buying the dog.

“He was a brave little pup; his personality was larger than life,” Dunkle said.

Indeed, Roxy’s life was larger than life.

Dunkle said he and Mona Gray, his girlfriend, met in early 2009. They bought Roxy when she was just 4 months old, nine months later.

From there, Roxy began a journey that brought her worldwide fame.

Unfortunately, she passed away at the end of 2021 from a rare brain cancer. She was 12 years old.

Roxy rose to fame in 12 years, and even in death remains in the minds of many.

At the time of her death on December 7, Roxy had over 8,000 Facebook followers and was constantly receiving fan mail from around the world.

“Roxy’s wardrobe (was) huge. She had a room full of outfits, and many of them were custom made by several seamstresses. She was known for her elegant fashion and beautiful photos. She had an outfit for every occasion.

Dunkle said Roxy started doing professional photo shoots when she was one year old. He said he and Mona knew “that after that first photoshoot, (Roxy) was a born role model.”

When Dunkle added Greyson, a male Italian Greyhound, to the mix in 2015, it was game on.

“He was a little overexcited when we brought him home,” Dunkle said, “He wasn’t cold like Roxy. He couldn’t sit still. Roxy got used to him.

Over the years, Roxy and Greyson and their owners have won numerous owner/pet lookalike contests, where they dressed up as Rastafarians or hippies.

Some of their pageant wins include the 2016 Petco Halloween Costume Contest, 2017 University Veterinary Specialists Halloween Costume Contest, 2017 & 2018 PETCON Costume Contest, 2018 Cleveland Woofstock Dog Festival, and Dogtoberfest 2021 by the water.

Roxy and Greyson have together created three professional charity calendars, which have been sold worldwide. Their first calendar was a holiday-themed 2017 calendar shot in 2016.

In 2020, Roxy and Greyson were featured on the cover of the Italian National Greyhound Rescue Calendar. The calendar was sold worldwide and benefited the Italian Greyhound Rescue Foundation (IGRF).

The popularity of the dogs and the photos prompted Dunkle and Gray to donate about $3,000 to animal rescues, including the National Mill Dog Rescue in Colorado.

Roxy’s incredible impact is immeasurable.

As popular as she was, she didn’t need any extra care.

Dunkle said she liked to eat.

“His favorite food was chicken,” he said. “She wasn’t too picky about food and would eat almost anything.”

Roxy liked to go for walks and take naps.

“She was the best hugger,” Dunkle added. “When Roxy wasn’t busy being a fashionista, she enjoyed watching Petflix and chilling, playing with squeaky toys, and watching Penguins and Steelers games with her dad and brother.”

Clearly, Roxy had loyal and loving fans. According to Dunkle, some people had followed her since she was a puppy.

“His fans adored him and it brightened their day to see his funny photos and posts,” Dunkle said. “Over the years Roxy has met and greeted some of her fans. They would even travel a few hours from another state just to meet Roxy in person.

The dog had his own post office box and regularly received fan mail.

Roxy was diagnosed with a brain tumor in June. She underwent several rounds of chemotherapy and the surgery helped her live three months longer than expected. The cancer was relentless.

Dunkle said Roxy received 125 fan cards from around the world following her passing.

“It amazed us at the impact a dog can have on the world,” Dunkle said. “Her spirit lives on in those lives she touched. Her photos live on and she will be forever loved and missed.

Roxy was named the most famous dog on Facebook in the Fall 2013 issue of American Dog Magazine.

Roxy’s first calendar dates back to 2015. It was the only calendar she made on her own. Part of the proceeds went to the Italian Greyhound Rescue Foundation (IGRF).

Some of the countries the calendars have been sent to are Belgium, Australia, Scotland, Ireland, and the United States. Over 500 calendars have been sold worldwide.

Roxy loved to travel and had a very active life. His favorite places were the beaches of Erie and the Brownsville Drive-in. She had been a regular at both places since she was a puppy. The Almost Isle State Park Facebook page has shared her photo on their page a few times.

When Roxy showed up at the Brownsville Drive-in, the owner, “Preach”, had plenty of treats for her. Charlie, the manager, brought him some “pupcorn”.