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.

Comments for My Golden Girl, my heart's companion

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Sep 06, 2012
to Angela, about Bonnie's loss
by: Ruth

Dear Angela:
My heart goes out to you, in the loss of your beloved Bonnie. Our four-legged companions have a special place in our hearts, especially when we are disabled, as you and I both know. I grieve with you over your loss, and I will be praying that God will comfort you and help you to handle Bonnie's departure. It will be very hard, at first, and you will find yourself calling her at meal times, looking for her when you open the fridge, if she was like Dixie, and then you will think "Oh yeah, she isn't here." But remind yourself that she isn't in pain anymore. The book of Revelation in the Bible says there are horses in Heaven. and a good friend of mine said 'who is to say there are not the beloved dogs/cats, animal friends who enriched our lives so very much while here on earth with us? So there is a hope that you may see her again! I remember that, and I have made a book of pictures of Dixie that I look through when I am missing her. I kept some of her fur too, and I stroke that. I bought a small golden retriever stuffed puppy that had the same soft, smooth head that Dixie had, and I sleep with that now. I stroke the head when I am distressed, and I pray a lot more, asking for strength. It is hard to go on without your best friend, but it is possible. I am considering adopting a rescue dog next, to give one a good forever home. That would comfort me and hopefully the new dog too. I know Dixie would like me to do that.
Thanks for your letter to me!

Sep 06, 2012
My Bonnie Showgirl
by: Angela

Dearest Ruth,
I have spent the day trauling thru pet grief on the internet when I came across your post of your Golden Girl, your heart's companion . . .and, I've been in tears of heartbreak relating to all you've written about your precious girl Dixie for I too am disabled & feel this way about my Bonnie whom I've recently lost to cancer after 8 precious years together - I have lost the little love of my life & can't seem to function or recover from the grief which no-one around me really understands. I appreciate what you have written, and I feel for your loss, and, it comforts me that you would understand the depth of this grief - Thank-you for sharing your thoughts & feelings . . . With Love, Angela

Aug 23, 2012
Your loss
by: Debi M.

Ruth -

I am so sorry for the loss of your father and your dog Dixie. Pets give us such unconditional love and when the time comes for them to leave it is one of the hardest things in life to have to endure. You gave Dixie a loving home - God Bless.

Debi M.

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