Adopting a dog for my dad was a bad idea.
He would have taken her back to the animal shelter.
And I would have felt like a piece of trash for letting it happen.
But it worked out. Adopting Dixie was the best mistake I ever made. Read below to find out why...
I lived with my dad at the time.
The plan was to move away in a few months.
I'd recently graduated college and wanted to save money first.
My ex-fiancee and I were afraid my dad would get lonely when I left.
So we went to the animal shelter and got him a beagle named Dixie for Christmas.
We also invested in dog food, puppy pads, flea treatment, and heart worm medicine.
After picking up Dixie dog and the necessary pet supplies, we brought her to his house.
He did NOT react in the way we expected. He immediately said: "Oh no... I can't keep her!"
I refused to take her back to the shelter.
The guilt and shame would have eaten me alive.
So I moved out within a few days instead of waiting a few months.
It was hard to find a pet friendly apartment in a matter of days, but I did it.
Especially with all the restrictions (I may or may not have lied about Dixie's weight).
It's a sad world when many pet owners must be dishonest to keep their dog after a move.
Years later, I had to claim she was an "Emotional Support Dog" to prevent losing her again.
Tell me I can't keep a dog I love dearly and I will deceive you without feeling an iota of remorse.
The day we moved in, there was no power.
We didn't have any furniture either. And it was winter.
So we slept on the floor with a blanket and shivered together.
The look in her eyes told me she interpreted the situation correctly.
Her expression said: "I know you fought for me and will always love you for it."
All dogs are needy, but I've never seen a dog more clingy than Dixie, and I feel this is why.
My life hasn't been a picnic.
It's been a rough ride at times.
But I had the best co-pilot by my side.
No matter how horribly I messed up, she loved me.
No matter how bad my mental health got, she loved me.
No matter how depressed and miserable I felt, she loved me.
Dixie was the anchor that kept me grounded through all the turbulence.
Without her, I probably would have surrendered, and you wouldn't be reading this.
Dixie loved my mom.
And my mom loved Dixie.
Mom calls me at least once a week.
The first thing she'd ask: "How's Dixie?"
She didn't ask how I was until a while later.
I didn't provide a grandchild, so I'm not surprised.
On the weekends, I'd often take Dixie to mom's house.
She would get hamburgers, hot dogs, and other yummy stuff.
Plus she got to go outside every hour on the hour... not even kidding.
After being treated like a queen, she seemed to dread going back to normal.
How can the guy who feeds his dog actual dog food compete with such a menu?
Trick question, because he can't. That's okay. Any sane being would prefer my mother.
This is exactly why the weight-loss plans I prescribed for Dixie weren't very successful.
The funniest one?
Tipping over the trash can.
And then eating anything edible.
I moved the trash inside the kitchen sink cabinet.
Didn't help. Within days, she learned how to open it.
The only real fix was to keep it on the highest counter.
Dixie was also a born hunter. She didn't discriminate.
All were fair game.
One time, she got a hold of a bird, and almost swallowed it whole.
I smacked her on the butt until her mouth opened wide and it flew away.
Afterwards, a feather was stuck in between her teeth. At least she got a souvenir.
Living with Dixie was a constant case study in loving somebody despite their quirks.
Won't get specific.
But I will say she was stolen.
I asked a "friend" to watch her during a mental health crisis.
They blocked me from being able to contact them via phone or social media.
My greatest regret is failing to get Dixie a microchip. Otherwise, I would've found her fast.
Don't make the same mistake. And do everything in your power to prevent your dog from running away.
The bright side? These events encouraged me to volunteer at my local animal shelter. If you're new, click here to read more.