Thursday, July 21, 2022

RIP Dixie Lou

Hi, Friends, 
How are you? I hope you are doing well.

I am doing better as the unexpected loss of our Dixie has begun to sink in. 
September of 2010 - July 18, 2022
Dixie was our empty nest girl. 
We lost both of the family dogs in 2010. Six weeks after we lost my Jack, our daughter was headed out the door with her friend. I asked them where they were headed. They said they were going to the animal shelter to look at a dog. Our daughter felt like we needed another dog. 
I decided to tag along. We went back again that evening when Bill got home from work. 
We brought her home the next day. 

She was about 12 weeks old. 
She was a retriever/blue heeler mix according to the paper work. The owner released her because they had too many dogs. 

We got her a week or so before a very big snow. The new Cowboy Stadium was hosting the Super Bowl that week. We had ice for days. We were potty training a new puppy in much lower than normal temperatures but she trained very well. She went potty on command almost every time. 

She loved the lake. 

She hated the jet skies and tried to attack them. She swam really far out into the lake right after this photo. I had to swim out after her. I was fully clothed. I was so mad because she would not listen and come back to me. 

She was not afraid of the water and wanted to do everything we were doing. 
She loved boating. 

She was a fabulous watch dog. In fact, we missed a package delivery the day after she died. 

She loved hunting for lizards and chasing the squirrels. 

"Get out of the flowers." 

She did not like having her picture taken. 
She was empathetic. 

I'd just had my hysterectomy in the photo above. She didn't want to leave my side. 

We could count on her to alert us to storms and possible tornados.

She was such a pretty girl. 

We made her the happiest dog when we bought our house out in East Texas. She was so mad at us the day we to go the closing because we were gone for hours and hours.
 I kept telling her that she was going to be thrilled with our surprise. 
I'm sure she thought we bought it just for her. 

Here are some photos that I took and one captured with the game camera. 

She loved it there so much. 

She still loved the snow. 

She rode the ATV! 
She loved everyone who came into the house. 
She surrounded them with kisses and fur! 

Our friend took the campfire photo. I love it. 

She loved us. 

Dixie was almost 12. She was over weight but we'd been working on that. 
Her last check up in April was fine. We didn't do blood work because I wanted to do that right before her next dental cleaning which we were going to do in August. She had been licking her shin quite a bit but the Dr. couldn't feel anything abnormal. She'd lost six pounds and we were all so proud of her. In hindsight, that should have alerted us that something was wrong. 
She was slowing down but she seemed fine. She'd been running around in East Texas just the weekend before. 

We stayed home this past weekend. On Friday night, I noticed that her abdomen looked weird. She'd been shedding a lot and her fur was poofing out. I thought that might be why but I pressed around and she didn't exhibit pain or anything. 
On Saturday she was normal. She was a little lethargic but it was also over 100 degrees on Saturday so we were all lethargic.  
Sunday morning Bill fixed her breakfast and she didn't eat. She laid around most of the day, but again, nothing unusual. She ate a small nibble of food on Sunday night. 
Bill thought that she needed a good walk and a good poop. She poops a lot when we're out in East Texas and since we stayed home he thought, she needed a good constitutional. 
Early Monday morning, he took her for a short walk around the neighborhood. He said that she kept stopping. She rested when she got home. At some point later that morning, I saw that she had thrown up in the living room. This is gross but there was undigested food. 
I called the vet. They didn't have an opening that day but I could bring her in the next morning. 
I checked on her periodically. She moved around and napped in her favorite spots. I put food out later in the day but she didn't eat. 
At 4:30 that afternoon I watched her breathing. Her breathing wasn't too labored but her chest compressed and then her abdomen would poof out. It was funny looking. I called Bill and told him that I thought we needed to take her to the vet. Since it was so late in the day, our vet couldn't see her. They told us to take her to the emergency hospital. 
We got there at 5:30. They took her straight to the back. Her demeanor was subdued although she walked in by herself. They said she was stable. After an hour or so, they recommended x-rays and blood work. Their air conditioning was out that day so it was really uncomfortable in the waiting area. They told us they would take good care of her while we went cool off and to get dinner. 
After dinner, they called and they wanted to talk to us. 
With trepidation we headed back to the hospital. 

They found a lot of fluid on her heart. Her abdomen was also swollen. 
She believed that she had a vascular cancer and that a blood vessel had burst which is why she declined so quickly. She gave us two options. They could drain the fluid, which would return or we euthanize her.
Her dog recently had the same thing so she recommended putting her down. We let our kids know what was going on. We asked our two local children if wanted to be with us. 
They were both about 40 minutes to an hour away so they declined because they didn't want to prolong her distress. 

We stayed by her side and then it was done. We came home in shock. 
I cried off and on the next day. I could not believe it even though I felt like something was really wrong all day on Monday. 

I knew that she was a bigger girl and that she probably she wouldn't live to be a ripe old age. 
 I'd had that in the back of my mind as she got older.  
I'm very grateful that she didn't have a prolonged illness. I am also grateful that the choice of what to do was very clear and that any agonizing decisions were basically out of our hands. I'm so glad we weren't out in East Texas when it happened. 

 She started as a little 12 week old shelter pup. She had a fabulous life. We had so many great times with her. We always knew that we were so blessed to have her.   
Our Dixie Lou brought us abundant joy. 
We will miss her. 


  1. She was such a fun and precious girl. I so understand how you feel. We had to have both of our kitty girls put down this last year as they both had different forms of cancer. They were 18. Our pets are so much of our lives and we depend on them to be there. I'm praying for you, it does take a while to adjust. We've opted not to get other animals but you all may find that a wonderful thing to do. sending hugs to you.

  2. I have been a reader of your blog for a while…I am so sorry about Dixie…as one who has shared her life with many pets I know how they can wrap their paws around our hearts….prayers sent….

  3. I am really sorry for your loss. We lost our dog last year he was 19. I know how you feel. It is so hard. Thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

  4. I'm so sorry. I have tears in my eyes reading this.

  5. She was well loved and lucky to have you as her family. So sorry for your loss. Joyce

  6. I know how hard this must be for you. Sending prayers.

  7. I am so sorry for your loss. It's so hard to lose a loved one.

  8. I am so sorry for this loss. We just lost our Buddy so I know very well that sadness and heartache. Glad she had a great life with you. Our guy was such a big part of our daily lives that it is hard to not think of him constantly. I am sure you feel like that with Dixie. She was a beautiful dog and you and Bill gave her so much love and I know she gave that back. All I can say is as time moves forward it does have a way of making the heartache and loss much less intense. Prayers as you move forward with your grief. xoxo Kris

  9. So sorry for your loss...we've had 5 back to back over 50 years. Each one is harder than the last...and then we adopt another shelter dog that seems to have all the best qualities of the last...and realizes there are big shoes to fill to live up to the last puppy. The one we have now is smart (huge vocabulary), empathetic (they know what we are thinking) and so loving. We will be heartbroken but hope we have 10 more good years to give life to another sweet dog shelter doggie.

  10. I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet Dixie. These sweet fur babies give us so much unconditional love and pleasure and ask for so little in return. You gave her such a wonderful life, she was blessed to have had you. I've said goodbye to several special dogs over the years, and it is such a blow to the heart each time. If you believe in the rainbow bridge, then I'm sure mine met Dixie with tails wagging and dog kisses and are showing her all the best places to play. And if I know my Buddy (the countriest country dog ever!), he's showing her all the best piles of cow patties to roll in :-) Sending cyber {{hugs}} from the Texas hill country.

  11. So sorry for the loss of your Dixie! I know your pain. They are our family and it really hurts when we lose them. It takes a piece of your heart. Deep condolences during this sad time but you gave her a wonderful life and she blessed you with hers. Hugs!

  12. So sorry. We had to do a similar thing just a month ago with our 14 year old husky. And my mother's dog just a week ago. I think it's harder on us humans than it is for them. It's like they know when it's their time. My condolences.