One More Thunderstorm

IMG_20140613_114334Golden Retrievers are often frightened by thunder and other loud noises such as fireworks and gunshots they don’t understand. If you’ve ever owned such a dog you are probably aware of this.

We recently had to say goodbye to Dixie, the Golden Retriever that entered our lives as our 25th Wedding Anniversary gift to us almost 7 years ago. We had owned a golden before and knew the kind of dogs they are, very friendly, good-natured, and they love people. The only love they know how to give is unconditional love.

Picking out Dixie at the breeder – We made our choice.

To say we miss Dixie is an understatement. To say she did not make our lives better while she was here would be a lie. The only thing I wish I could change is I wish she was still with us physically, happy and healthy. The thing I cannot and would not want to change is the memories we have that will be with us as long as we have memories.

This is my attempt to share some of those times so we can remember. Dixie is gone from our home but not from our hearts.

Here are some puppy memories.

Working on a golf ball and a bone
She found a cool spot to sleep
Playing with Gracie
Playing with Gracie
Almost a year old
Almost a year old

Loss of a family member hurts

Most of you have lost family members and knows how the loss of a family member hurts. What you might not understand if you have never had a dog is they become part of the family. When families with dogs lose a dog they have lost a family member and it hurts. So while we are hurting we try to remember the good times we had.

20 Things I Will Miss About Dixie

I will probably think of 20 more after I click Publish on this post.

  1. I will miss Dixie’s playful nature. IMG_1979
  2. I will miss Dixie’s cold nose on my hand telling me I should be petting her with that hand.
  3. I will miss Dixie’s always excited greeting usually with a shoe in her mouth, unless she couldn’t find one and picked up something else, and making Chewbacca sounds because she was so excited to see us.

    Dixie brought Thomas a balloon
    This time Dixie brought Thomas a balloon. This was a first.
  4. I will miss that tail, that tail that was always wagging and knocking down or beating on anything in its path such as the wall, door, dresser, chair, table, refrigerator and sometimes our other dogs Jack and Paisley.
  5. I will miss her waking me up in the morning, usually with a shoe in her mouth and her head on the bed telling me my alarm had sounded and it was time for me to get up and not hit the snooze button again.
  6. I will miss her always mothering and accepting the other family members, both cats and dogs. I will never forget her laying with Gracie the last night before we had to say goodbye to her about 5 years ago.2011-10-04 00.02.41 (2)
  7. I will miss her anxiousness when she heard thunder or other loud noises she did not understand, often much sooner than we ever did.
  8. I will miss her trying to crawl into our lap when the thunderstorms did come or maybe it was just halftime of the Alabama – Auburn game and she wanted to play.

    Halftime of the Alabama-Auburn game and Dixie wants to play.
  9. I will miss her bringing “friends” to visit, often in the form of a turtle she had found in the back yard. IMG_20150909_074927241IMG_20150701_191536831_a
  10. I will miss the way she would lay on the floor to play with the smaller dogs, like Paisley, our Pomeranian, to make her larger size less intimidating to them.

    Dixie playing with Paisley shortly after she arrived, trying to figure out why this little dog thinks it is a match for her.
  11. I will miss her excitement and enthusiasm when we would say “go get the paper” and then she would do just that.
  12. I will miss her loud slurpy water drinking.
  13. I will miss her trying to curl up and fit into Paisley’s bed. Paisley is a Pomeranian. IMG_3706IMG_1658D47F1A41-4A40-43F7-B9D3-60B7AC509EA8
  14. I will miss her letting us know when someone was here when the garage door was opened or the doorbell rang.
  15. I will miss stepping over her trying to get around the house as she had a knack for laying in THE spot where this was required.
  16. I will miss the way she loved to scratch her back by rolling down the hill in the back yard after it had just been mowed.

    Dixie enjoying the freshly mowed lawn (VIDEO – YouTube) 

  17. I will miss her doing 360’s in the hallway when I would go to the garage and get her food as she was always excited about eating.
  18. I will miss her coming to visit me at work.
    You've worked long enough and you need a break. Let's play.
    You’ve worked long enough and you need a break. Let’s play.


  19. I will miss her people looking for their shoes because they don’t know where Dixie left them.
  20. The thing I will miss most about Dixie is the way she loved me and the rest of her people – unconditionally.

Turtle Visit

In #9 above I mentioned the turtles Dixie brought home. They were just a new friend for her. She brought at least 3 in the last year or so. Last Sunday, when Dixie was so sick she couldn’t stand and had not been outside on her own in a couple of days we were surprised to see a turtle had come to see her. It was just outside the back door. IMG_20160626_071658674We took her out to see it and then the next time we looked the turtle was gone. We have never seen a turtle appear there before that was not brought there by Dixie. I suspect whenever we see turtles in the future we will think of Dixie.

Missing her already

I have already come home and missed her greeting. I got a solicitation to renew the Wall Street Journal in the mail and that reminded me of the time we did renew primarily so Dixie would have a paper to retrieve every day. I heard gunshots this morning (we live in a rural area so this is not uncommon) and missed her because she would have been there letting me know about it. Every time I pull out my Discover card to use it I miss Dixie because it has golden retrievers on the card. When the fireworks begin soon to celebrate Independence Day we will remember Dixie because she did not like fireworks at all.

We will all be remembered one day

while we were here on this earth. Dixie loved well and will be remembered fondly because she did. If I can be remembered as sharing just a fraction of the love Dixie shared with us I will have lived a good life. If you have never experienced the love of a dog then you have missed one of the purest examples of unconditional love you will ever see on this earth. I have been blessed to experience this several times in my life so far and am glad I got to experience it with Dixie and be one of her people.

If it is true “All Dogs Go To Heaven” as a movie from several years ago proposed or as Mark Lowry claims on his latest CD/DVD, “Dogs Go To Heaven” I am certain Dixie is there now, probably with something in her mouth, wagging that tail and being petted by any free hands around her.

We are missing Dixie but she will be with us in our hearts and our memories as long as we have memories. I wish we could have her here for one more thunderstorm and have her crawl up in my lap one more time.

Dixie telling me it is thundering outside
Dixie telling me it is thundering outside

2011-08-06 15.34.00

Until next time…

Originally posted on Peculiar Perspective on 07/03/2016