Dixie...the perfect name for a little furry black puppy that I
gathered up on a frosty night in December 1994. There were
6 puppies in the litter. My best friend, Sheila and I
drove to Perrytown, Arkansas after she told me a friend of hers
had a poodle named Puddles. Puddles had given birth
to a litter of puppies that were a mix of poodle, Lhasa
apso and dachshund. I thought "what a strange mix",
but I never had a dog of the "pure bred" kind. I also
have never paid money for a dog. I've always wanted to
just give a dog a real home. A home money can't buy. A
home full of love and comfort. Dixie was the only one of
the pups that would crawl up and over the others to get to
me. The playpen she was in was crowded. She looked
at me as if to say "PLEASE, take me home with you!" And,
that I did. Weighing only a little over a pound, Dixie
took right to any food I offered her. She wasn't much
for toys, but she did find solace "under"
anything...mainly the bed. She, as most puppies do, didn't like
bath time, but later learned to enjoy the warm water and
my caretaking of making sure she was completely dry
before I released her. Over the 12 years that I had her,
Miss Dixie didn't learn any tricks. She did, however,
learn all about doggie doors. It took some doing,
but after a few tries with chicken livers, she learned
that outdoors was the potty place of choice. She
hated thunder and lightning...always disappearing only
to be found under our bed after the storm had passed.
She was a "hugger"...pressing her little body against
mine and looking up at me as to say "thank you for
being my hero". I knew when I got Dixie, I would more
than likely outlive her. But I wouldn't take anything for the 12
years we had together. She married my daughter's full-
blood Lhasa apso shortly after she turned 2 years old. Over
a 3 year period, Miss Dixie gave birth to 3 beautiful
litters of puppies. The last litter yielded a precious
little brown dog we named Brown Sugar....the runt
of the litter. Dixie's 3 litters consisted of 5 in the first, 5
in the second and 6 in the 3rd. Just as the 5th one was
born, I was helping her re-position herself, and,
behold....another puppy was born....in my hand! Brown Sugar
was renamed "Pookie" after her first grooming. The
toffee colored hair was clipped away and soft, downlike
blonde fur appeared. As the years have passed,
Pookie has taken on the grey tones mixed with the
toffee brown color of her ears. It's a wonderful reminder
now of the fact that I have a descendant of my precious
Dixie girl. All the other puppies, some of which have already
gone to the Rainbow Bridge, got wonderful homes.
When I called them by name, Dixie would look at me
as if to say "that's my baby...I know it has a good home
like I have". I don't know when or if I'll ever feel the
same way again about any other dog like I felt about
Dixie. For you see, Dixie had been diagnosed as being "autistic".
She required special attention and lots of extra
love. That, I found so easy to dish out because she
returned that love abundantly and unconditionally. I do
and always will miss my Dixie girl. Her last few days on
earth required my undivided attention. She couldn't walk
at all and had to be hand fed. I didn't mind. I knew the
light that shined in her eyes over the years was fading
fast. I stayed close to her for all those years and I
wasn't about to leave her alone to die. Miss Dixie passed on
to the Rainbow Bridge early Christmas morning, 2006. I
awoke only to find that she had stopped breathing. Her
lifeless body laid so still. She didn't lift her head to tell me "good
morning". I knew she would be gone the night before.
The seizures she had were awful. I felt so helpless.
But now, she's with God and all my other precious dogs I've
had over the years. I know in my heart that I will be with Miss
Dixie again one day. I know she's waiting for me. I know
she'll come to me again, just as she did that night I went to
rescue her from that crowded playpen. Rest peacefully,
Miss Dixie. Know that I love you very much.
Drink from the healing fountain of holy water. Mama will be with
you again one day. And we'll never be separated again
as we thrive in God's Kingdom...forever. Dixies Hero

Katy Mason


Dixie Page Two