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Dixie’s Story

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To the Wonderful People that Make the Hard Choice to Place a Dog for Adoption: Dixie’s Story

 

Within the past 18 months my husband and I lost our two Weimaraners: Sadie was our 12.5-year old that we adopted when she was four, and Buck, our 15 year-old came romping into our house when he was seven-weeks-old. They had wonderful lives and gave us so much more. The loss of a family member can be unbearably painful, but the joy of four more happy feet is immeasurable.

 

We’ve always had one or more dogs in our home. We knew we wanted to adopt this time and have had a combination of adoptions and puppies through the years. There’s no guarantee with either as far as personality or behavior. Understanding the traits of particular a breed is critical to knowing what to expect and especially their exercise needs. Having had TWO Weimaraners at the same time we were very familiar with the similarities to Vizslas, and in fact we had heard they could be even more high-strung.

 

I’d consider my husband and me to be very, very good dog owners. We do 90 percent of the things you should do – right. When you get a “rescue” often times you have no idea if the dog had been abused and completely misunderstood. We were fully expecting that when we filled out our application asking for a 2- to 4-year old female Vizsla, we would get a sweet dog that hadn’t been trained properly, was badly behaved, probably a bit crazy, or worse didn’t get enough love.

 

Don’t Judge the Cover

The last thing we were expecting was to meet the family that raised Dixie from a puppy. We prejudged them before meeting them because we couldn’t imagine why anyone would give up a good dog. We assumed that any reasons they had were going to be made up because they just wanted to get rid of the dog (daughter who didn’t live with them at the time of getting Dixie was alarmingly allergic, and mom got a job within two years of getting Dixie, so was she alone a lot and didn’t get enough exercise). After all who is going to say they have a crazy dog and can’t take it any longer? This is often the case with hunting breeds because people haven’t done their research.

 

After going through the screening process with Vizsla Club of Long Island’s Stephanie Fischer, my husband Gary and I drove from Boston to meet Dixie. We met at Stephanie’s home (with her three Vizslas) and to our surprise Dixie was accompanied by the whole family to check us out. Dixie’s family kept her until the right family was found and they all had to be comfortable. It is more often that adoptions or “rescues” come from foster homes.

 

Our meeting went so well that it was mutually decided that we would meet later that day at Dixie’s home to pick her up along with her crate and boat-load of blankets, toys, special food and more love than could fit into our car. She got a care package a few days later.

 

We weren’t rescuing a “dog,” we were adopting a beloved family member. Our dogs have always been part of our family, but most people (including us) assume that adoptions are from abused situations.

 

By choice, we have been in touch with Dixie’s original mom and dad — a lot. We sent updates the whole way from Long Island to Boston. We’ve sent pictures and text messages almost every day for the first three weeks and at least weekly since then. They’ve wanted to make sure we knew her little quirks, likes and dislikes. Her dad wanted to make sure we cuddled her a certain way that she really likes and told us about different tricks they had taught her. They wanted to know if she was eating okay. Although it is bittersweet for them to hear that Dixie has settled in really well, it is to their credit that she has.

 

Dixie is one of the best behaved, trained, and even tempered of the hunting breed dogs we’ve met. She socializes with other dogs and kids (working on our cat, Kitty!), she walks amazingly well on a leash and after three weeks we tested her in an open field. Man — she’s fast, and although she’d rather stay on a scent, she’s happy to return. She is funny, quirky and you can tell she was very, very loved and gives a lot in return. Indeed the “V” in Vizsla stands for Velcro.

 

After losing our Buck and Sadie it was hard to imagine we could fall in love again. But we have, and I am sure Buck and Sadie would approve. We just need to get Kitty on board too.

 

It’s been five weeks since Dixie has become a member of our home. We loved her instantly and now can’t imagine life without her.

 

I just sent Dixie’s original parents another picture via text of something that is, “so Dixie.”

 

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Dixie is on her way to her new home.

 

 

 

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Dixie discovers there is a cat named, Kitty in her new home.

They’re still working out their relationship!

 

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On her second day, Dixie had settled into our lazy Sunday routine.

 

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Within the first week, Dixie had integrated really well into a nearby dog park.

 

 

 

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Dixie got a care package from her first mom and dad. She knew it! She sat right in the box.

 

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Dixie likes to be covered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I work from home. Apparently Dixie’s dad used to let her sit on the chair with him at the computer. I found Dixie interviewing for new candidates.

 

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So I had to make her co-chair of my company. Now she has an equal say. Side-by-side.

 

 

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Even though Dixie has a really comfy bed at the same height, right next to my work chair, she prefers to sit behind me and check my work.

 

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Dixie is very funny. No, her head was not stuck!! We call this the bunny gate because the bunnies use this as an escape. She was trying to pretend that I couldn’t see her.

 

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And very often, Dixie wants to make sure I do pay attention. One of the ways is by running off with the cat bed.

 

 

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We don’t have kids, but it was really important that our favorite girls would be able to hug and play with Dixie. She’s a big hit and very good with the girls.

 

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We took it slow, but we couldn’t wait to let Dixie off leash in an open but safe area. Week three, we let her off leash on a flat, rocky beach where it would be unlikely for her to take off. She did great.

 

 

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Week four: We took her to meet Brady. Brady has a whole cornfield for a back yard. They had a blast. And she found the chicken coop. Good girl!

 

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Week five: Dixie is a fast girl. She is running, full-tilt at Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester, MA where you’ll find her at least once a week throughout the off-season.

 

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And twice a day Dixie runs the nearby soccer fields and enjoys being chased by many suitors.  She outruns all of them!

 

Cindy Davis



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