Monday, August 24, 2009

Our Story - June 2008

The Payson Humane Society saw my "Happy Tails" story on and contacted me to find out more about Dixie's new life. They wanted to feature us in their newsletter. This is what they said:

Good morning Emily!

Petfinder forwarded the entry remark you made about Dixie and we were thrilled to read them. Love It! Would you happen to have a recent picture of her so we may add your story to our newsletter? With such happy endings, It helps to encourage people to adopt. I'd be more interested in hearing the signature honking noise but hey, I'll take what I can get! Thanks so much and thank you for the happy ending.

Payson Humane Society
"The Little Shelter That Could"

PS, did you keep her name Dixie?

This is what I wrote back:

I apologize in advance for the super long email! I just love my dog and love telling her story! :)

I adopted Dixie in February 2007. In December 2006 I started looking on and I found like 8 dogs I thought would be good matches. Over the next three months, I visited just two of them and both of them were WAY too hyper and young for me. Dixie was up there on my list, but she wasn't very close, since she was at your shelter in Payson and I lived in Tempe. She looked so sweet in her pictures on petfinder, and you guys said she won the "golden bone" award, even though I had no idea what that meant. ;)

So one Friday in February I took off work, and drove my parents' portuguese water dogs, Roxie and Pixie, up to Payson to meet Dixie. I wanted to make sure they all got along. When we pulled up to your shelter, I have to be honest, I was so surprised how small and shanty-looking it was. I was used to the AZ Humane Society in Phx and their awesome Center for Compassion campus. The lady that was at the front desk shot me a nasty look and said, "You better not be turning in those dogs!" and pointed at my Porties. I assured her I wasn't and was there to see Dixie, the so-called hound (now I think she isn't hound but part Australian Kelpie with floppy ears -- she likes to nip at your ankles). She would be with me in a moment... she was processing a dog that a woman was surrendering after she had adopted it like 6 mos before from you guys. Your volunteer/employee was NOT happy. Ha ha, I don't blame her.

Oh my gosh I was so nervous to meet this dog. Was I making the right decision to get my own dog? Was this dog going to be trustworthy with kids some day? Would I love this dog like I love my parents' dogs? My heart was beating so fast. Finally the woman took me out to see Dixie. So many dogs barking and causing a ruckus out there! We went into that open area in the back and let the three of them sniff each other. The woman said Dixie isn't so great with other dogs (which was a deal breaker for me) but none of them growled or got upset. My dogs went off and sniffed around, and Dixie just a laid down on the dirt. She didn't seem so interested... which, like I said in the petfinder story, made me kind of nervous. You know, an unemotional dog can sometimes not be trusted, so I thought. I stood there watching her while the woman and I spoke about her behaviors, personality, etc. She seemed good on a leash, and gave me a few kisses. I was starting to second guess this one, maybe Dixie is TOO calm. Then as she rested her head on her paws, looked up at me with her big sad eyes and I literally got choked up. I said, "I'll take her." We put her on the leash and she was like another dog! Jumping around and honking and snorting (we say she's part pig because of her snorts and part goose cuz of her honking). I piled the three dogs in the Jeep and off we went.

Then that joyous day turned horribly wrong. That afternoon I had to run out for an errand and didn't know if she could be trusted in the house yet. So I left her in the backyard. When I got home she was gone. The two gates to the backyard where shut and we have really tall block walls. How could she have gotten out!? I frantically searched the neighborhood for this dog I barely knew a couple hours. No one had seen her, but had heard her barking while I was away. We scoured the neighborhoods around our house for hours, and put up lost dog signs. What I had gotten myself into?! What if I never find Dixie? I was devastated.

Early the next morning, I got a call from a lady who thought she had my dog! Ironically, she was a dog groomer. She said Dixie was great all night, got along with the kids and other dogs she had. I was so happy to have my dog back and start our life together.

Dixie has not gone missing since. She has jumped over the wall once, and was found sniffing around the front yard. Honestly, I cannot imagine my life without Dixie! She is the best dog I could ever ask for. It took her a few months to adjust and really trust me. But she LOVES me now! She goes almost everywhere with me and my boyfriend, Adam... even to work. She's never had an accident in the house, never chewed up a shoe or anything, and is great on the leash. She loves going on walks and hikes. She's a great camping dog. I think her favorite thing to do is chase bunnies, something I don't think I will ever break her of. She also enjoys sunbathing! Like I said in the petfinder story, I am always complimented on her good behavior and calm disposition. Her only real flaw is that she is aggressive towards other dogs while she's on a leash, but she improving her doggie social skills every day. :)

Dixie has also become a little dog model. She was in a poster for an AZ Humane Society fundraiser (Adam works at an advertising agency that participated in the fundraiser). We always joke that she's a famous model! I've attached a few photos you can choose from for your newsletter.

I want to thank you so much for everything you do for the animals in Payson.
Thanks so much and have a great weekend,

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