She was thirteen years old just over a month ago, a good age for a boxer by any standard. Chrissie and I are very upset, our dogs being a very important part of or lives; very, very much members of the family.
Dixie came to us only a few days before Christmas 2001. The breeder, having recognised us as responsible owners (we'd lost our previous boxer only a short while before) allowed us to bring her home aged only 7 weeks, having been reassured that she'd have a quiet, stress-free Christmas in our home. It meant a lot to us. She was a very tiny pup and I remember sitting on the kitchen floor nursing her, in tears, after a seemingly allergic reaction to titbits of turkey saw her face swell up alarmingly; I thought we were to lose her! Fortunately the reaction died away quite quickly, never to resurface.
That was the start of a long and happy relationship with our gorgeous boxer. She grew up with our border collie, Ragga, who herself passed away aged 13 and greatly enriched the life of my daughter Abi. Soon to follow Ragga was our chocolate lab, Tilly, and Dixie made a superb job of raising the upstart lab; always ready to growl and chastise her if she failed to follow our instructions. Together, this happy, inseparable pair have traveled with us on many outdoor adventures and been as far as Norway and Sweden in our motorhome. Only four years ago, Dixie accompanied Chrissie on her walk up the Pennine Way.
I believe that it's the unconditional love and affection caring owners receive from dogs that makes it so painful when they pass on; a dilemma Chrissie and I shall continue to face as years go by, since life without a canine angel is just unthinkable for us.
I wasn't really too much of a dog person before meeting Chrissie but it's one of many delights she has brought to our life together for which I'll be eternally grateful.
It's perhaps fitting she left us at Christmas time, being the time of year she first came here, leaving us, given our sadness, with so many beautiful memories. Thankfully, Tilly's still here with her loving, silly madness, though she's quite subdued just now, understandably. Tears are welling up again so I'll finish by sharing a few pictorial mementos of life with Dixie and I pray she's in a good place along with mine and Chrissie's previous four legged friends.
God bless you Dixie x