My Golden Girl, my heart's companion
by Ruth Funk
(Lonfon, Ontario, Canada)
My dream of having a special friend came true ten years ago, when I held a wriggling bundle of golden fur, with four legs and a tail, and a head that was busy licking my face. Her name was Dixie. She was to be the breeding bitch for the National Service Dogs Association kennel. After she reached adulthood, she was found to have hip dysplasia, which disqualified her from that role. We bought her, rather than fostering her, and she became my bestest friend ever.
I am disabled. Dixie seemed to know instinctively when I could not play with her, but had to lie still due to pain. She would lie beside me and guard me from interrutpions. She seemed to sense when I hurt the most, and would offer her presence with me as solace. Her golden brown eyes would follow me as I limped from room to room. She slept beside my bed, always. Dixie would accompany me on outings, on walks, on drives, and just ambling along with no purpose in mind. For ten years, she was my constant comapnion.
Then, tragedy. Dix had a clean bill of health on May, 2012, but in August, I felt some lumps in her neck. I had noted her breath was getting bad, but thought it was the fish-based dogfood. however, I found out she had melanoma, a fast acting cancer that destroys the life of dogs. Dixie had it all through her system. She fought to stay with me, but a scant two weeks after diagnosis, we spent a terrible night, with her struggling to breathe, and grabbing at me with her legs, trying to hold on to me. I lifted her onto my bed, and held her through the night. In the morning, I called the vet, and she came at noon, and gave Dixie mercy. I held her as she sighed, and slid softly into eternal sleep. I cried until my eyes were raw, missing her furry head popping up over the table as I typed, or looking over the edge of my bed to see if it was time to get up yet. Her head was like velvet, so very soft and smooth. Her ears were like suede, and I loved to caress them. She was my girl, and I was her person. Dixie went to the Rainbow Bridge August 17, just 10 months after my father died. I miss them both so very much, and my heart has an empty spot that will never be filled. I love you Dixie chick. You are forever in my heart.