by Pierina

Dixie, my beloved Bichon Frise, was about 8 weeks old when we first got her. I was 12 years old when we drove to Kitchener and picked her up from a breeder.

She was so small and so shy. I remember on the way back to our house, she cried, and I held her and promised I would take care of her. After a few days, she started getting more comfortable. I remember when she first learned to walk up and down stairs.

She grew very attached to me, and I grew very attached to her. Every time I came home, she would get so excited and happy and start running all over.

Dixie was so kind. We had a bird, and would let the bird fly around the house. Dixie would just walk by the bird, but never do anything to hurt it. She has literally licked tears from my face. She loved to go on car rides. Every time I went outside, Dixie would follow me and would wait for someone to open the car door.

Dixie was always very active and energetic. She loved to be around people, and would never sleep on her bed. She would come to my bed and sleep right beside me or near my feet.

I remember once we took her to the park. There was a small lake with a bridge to get to the other side. I walked to the other side, however Dixie hadn't seen me walk across the bridge. So when she saw me on the other side, she walked right through the lake to get to me (and she did not like getting wet).

She never needed a leash, as she would always stay close to me. She loved paying tug-o-war. She was smart. She was very smart.

At 11 years old, she started peeing blood. We took her to the vet, who thought it was a UTI. We gave her medicine, however she still peed blood. Although she wasn't as anxious as she used to be. We took her back to the vet, who took xrays. The xrays showed she had bladder stones. She needed surgery. My parents took her to the vet to get the surgery, however I didn't go with her as I was away at university.

The vet performed the surgery, and found a tumour in her bladder. However, the surgery was a success. They removed the 3 bladder stones, and the tumour. After the surgery, she woke up, and stayed awake for another 13 hours. The next day at 10am Dixie had a heart attack. They tried CPR, however she didn't make it.

I wish I had been there with her. I wish I had been able to hold her and been with her through the surgery. Never in my wildest dreams was I expecting her not to survive the surgery. I thought I would come home and see her there. It was a shock, and it hurts knowing I wasn't there with her. She was a wonderful dog, the kindest dog.

I miss and love you, Dixie.

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