Thirteen years ago, I begged my husband (then my fiancé) to buy me a puppy. We were going to be getting married in a few months and I told him a puppy would keep me from wanting kids right away. (LIE!) He loved me so much, and knew how badly I wanted a puppy, that he gave in. I was so excited when I went to this home and saw the cutest little puppy who came walking over toward me, at least as best she could. I fell in love with the white little fur ball and took her home then and there.
We named her Dixie, after the place where my husband and I had our first date.
This girl was my best friend, and she loved me. She made the drive from Texas to California and we adjusted together. Nothing was as hard as hearing her screams…yes, screams, when I would go to work. I was convinced she stopped as soon as I left, but just to be sure, I got a small tape recorder, you know, the tiny one that lasts 30 minutes? Well, she screamed the whole length of the tape. She was used to having me with her, and when I went away, she hated it.
That was my girl…she loved me.
When I got pregnant with my first, I would get on the floor and play with Dixie all the time, making up for the lack of attention she would get when the new baby came home. I remember talking out loud and telling her I didn’t think it was possible that I would love a baby more than her. I truly believed that, because I wasn’t a mom yet. Of course that wasn’t true, because I love my children so much more, but I still loved her and babied her.
Dixie was many things: Mean, because she didn’t like many kids / Stubborn, that dog would wait before doing anything, to see if you changed your mind / Playful, OMG, the dog would stand on her hind legs and wave her front paws to get your attention…and it worked every time / Sweet, my sweet girl would sit with me on the couch, or when she slept in my bed, she’d cuddle right behind my knees. She was a second mom to my girls, chasing them and entertaining them, until she got too old to care.
We made six moves together, went through two hurricanes, several plane rides, and countless other life changing events. She was my girl, everyone loved her because her energy and personality were adorable.
She turned 13 in September.
Last night, she died.
My heart hurts so much. My home is much quieter this morning that it has ever been. There’s no Dixie scratching at the door to go outside to potty. There’s no Dixie dragging her bowl around my kitchen floor for water. There’s no Dixie shadowing me around the house. She was going blind, but she went everywhere I went. Just yesterday morning, she got a spurt of energy and was being super cute. While I typed, she laid on the floor next to my desk, until I got up to do something else…then she followed. Her bed is empty now, and it makes me cry to look at it.
My sweet little puppy, friend Dixie, is gone and I know we’ll be okay. I loved that dog more than I have loved any other. Our other dog, Wickett, is very sad. She’s quiet and laying still…her tail isn’t wagging, but when she’s outside, she wails.
My husband buried her under an elm tree last night, and when I see it, I will think of my Dixie and the joy she brought to me and my family.
I love you Dixie-Do and I miss you so very much.