Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tribute to my Sweet Dixie Bear

Our Dixie dog came to us almost exactly eight years ago,  At the time my Dad was managing a construction landfill and found a dog laying outside the gate when he went to open.  He figured she had been hit since people seem to think the landfill is a good place to drop off the animals they no longer want.  Boy was he surprised and a little scared when she jumped up and just looked at him,  luckily she was the sweetest thing ever.  The poor girl had been out there for who knows how long and was covered with hundreds of fleas and ticks, my dad was grilling that day for lunch and handed her a piece of chicken from the grill, she was so thin you could see her ribs but as hungry as she was she was very gentle as she took the chicken and chowed down on it.  Right then he called me and said " Angela you have got to come get this dog,  your mom will leave me if I bring home another dump animal".  So my husband and I drove out there and picked her up. 

Dixie is the goofiest girl out there.

She loved to play tug-o-war, even though daddy almost always wins, she never gave up.

Dixie loved Christmas, everyone in the family would bring her a present!

 She also loved the snow, and would always try to eat it.

Not long after we brought Dixie home we also had a kitten roll out of the landfill, little Bruno was only about four weeks old so Dixie ended up raising him like a puppy.

No matter what doggie bed we bought her she always preferred to sleep on her daddy's clothes.

Dixie loved going to the lake and camping, she was such a good girl. 

We figured she would get hot on the boat with all her black fur so hubbs gave up his shirt.

She was definitely a Daddy's girl.

Dixie was always a happy girl, we deemed her "un-cautiously happy" because no matter what she was always smiling and ready to play. 

We had no clue anything was wrong with her....
One day she was jumping off the deck to chase a toy, the next she didn't care to eat her food, and let me tell you the girl always ate her food, we had to make her stop and take breaths in between bites. 

At first we assumed she was feeling empathetic with me since I was still feeling sick with the pregnancy and not really eating either.  It went on for a few weeks and she kept eating less and less, we tried switching her food and she was excited about that for a bit but then loss interest. 

Finally we went ahead and took her to the vet,  our vet saw Dixie at least twice a year and never believed she was her actual age he always said she had too much energy she had to be a puppy (he had been saying this for eight years), this time he noticed right away that something was wrong with her, so he got her up on the table and noticed some lumps around her neck and shoulders, her lymph nodes were swollen, she also had an engorged spleen and was just generally lethargic.

He knew right away it was cancer, we still did other tests and blood work to rule out anything else, since it hit soooo fast we were in shock!  Our vet said that usually with cancer in dogs once it's noticed it usually takes them down fast and furious.  We went ahead and took her home with some prednisone and antibiotics, she had become anemic and loss a lot of protein so we got her some iron pills and started putting eggs in everything she ate.  We knew it would only give us a little more time with her but neither of us was ready to let her go and she wasn't ready either.

Finally after another two weeks, she was barely able get up and would fall over if she tried to scratch or use the bathroom,  the things that she loved so much were taken away from her and she no longer enjoyed them, she was becoming less and less responsive so we knew what we had to do. 

Both of us were in tears as we dove her to the vet hoping she would give us a sign that she still had some fight in her, but instead of sticking her head out the window and trying to catch some air she just laid in the back.  As we walked i the vet's office that led us straight back to a room where we could spend some time with her as we waited to speak to the Dr. one last time.  He confirmed that she had lost more wight and almost all her muscle.  Her healthy weight was 85 lbs at the last visit she has lost 20 and now she was even smaller.  So we laid her on the table and  wrapped our arms around her while they shaved a small patch on her arm and stuck the needle in.  I was screaming inside for them to stop that I had changed my mind but I knew it was her time, if I kept her around any longer it would only be for selfish reasons.

I probably held onto my baby girl for at least 10 minutes kissing her head and rubbing her soft ears, I didn't want to let go even though I knew she was gone,  she let go before they were even done with the injection.  We had decided we wanted to take her home so the vet wrapped her in a nice blue sleeping bag with a white satin ribbon for us to take her in.  

Once we got home my Dad and our neighbor were waiting with shovels, together with my husband they dug her grave and gently lowered her in.  We all said our good-bye's and I buried all her toys with her.  Now our Sweet Dixie Bear is laid to rest in a shady spot in the backyard. 

It only took six weeks from the first we noticed anything being just a little off to the time we had to put her down.  This was the hardest thing we have ever had to do,  I don't know why our Dixie was taken so soon but I'm sure there is a reason behind it,  both of us strongly believe everything happens for a reason, even if it hurts and we don't understand it we have to trust it was meant to be.

Dixie came to us eight years ago just a few weeks before our Wedding so she has always been our baby girl, we lost her on June 6th 2012 again just a few weeks before our eighth anniversary.

RIP Dixie 
We miss you!

1 comment:

  1. oh Angela,
    I am in tears as I write this. I am so, so terribly sorry that you have lost your sweet Dixie. She was such a beautiful girl and she looked so sweet. What a gift that you and your husband rescued her. What a wonderful life you gave to her. Please know that I send you a big hug.... and all my sympathy for this loss.