Each night for a year, 82-year-old Fort Salonga resident Joan Maguire would take Foxy, the pit bull terrier mix she had adopted from Little Shelter Animal Rescue & Adoption Center in Huntington, out for a bedtime walk. What began as a typical nightly stroll as the two headed into the bitterly cold evening of Jan. 18, 2003, would take a very different course—one both terrifying and uplifting.
Maguire slipped and fell on the steep, icy steps leading to her front door. Her hip
shattered from the impact, Maguire struggled in the bone-chilling 6-degree weather, lying helplessly on the frozen ground, unable to move. She tried in vain to draw attention to her plight by using her flashlight, unaware that her rescuer was with her all along. Foxy sensed that something was terribly wrong and lay across Maguire to keep her warm, barking for an hour and a half until neighbors came to the rescue. Had Foxy not shared her own body heat, Maguire would have surely frozen to death. It was perhaps Foxy's final contribution to her owner: After Maguire's recovery, her house was sold and she moved in with her son's family. It was thought that it would be better to find a new home for Foxy. Maguire knew homuch her dog loved Lauren and Bill Brady, friends of Maguire's from Kings Park, and thougthey'd provide a good home for her devoted companion. But Foxy only lived with the Brady for six months and then suddenly died.
"We believe that Foxy died of a heart attack," says Jodi Record of Little Shelter. The dog was fairly young; because she had been rescued from a shelter, her exact age wasn't known, was believed to be between 9 and 10 years old.