Dixie Dog

Oh, I wish I was in the land of cotton,

Old times there are not forgotten.

Look away, look away, look away Dixie Dog!


I wish I was with Dixie, Hooray! Hooray!

With Dixie Dog I’ll take my stand,

to live and die with Dixie.

Away, away, away back home with Dixie!

Away, away, away back home with Dixie!


These lyrics (slightly altered by me), ring true right now, big time. I wish I was with Dixie, I want to “live and die with Dixie.” I wish I had been with Dixie on July 5, when she died at 9pm. Don called that night when he got home from work to tell me she had collapsed and couldn’t stand up. Thirty minutes later she died peacefully on the rug, with Don nearby. We knew her death was coming. She’d been deteriorating rapidly for the past 6 months because her adenocarcinoma had spread throughout her body. She was not suffering, just painfully thin. When she was diagnosed with intestinal adenocarcinoma four years ago, were told she would die within a year. She showed those doctors!

I was afraid she would die while I was on my trip, but I needed to see my brother and my mom. I knew Dixie would be comfortable at home, getting loving care from Don and our awesome neighbor, Melanie, who is helping with all the animals while I’m away. But I didn’t want Don to be alone for her passing. I wanted to be there to kiss Dixie good-bye. I wanted to be there to comfort Don.

My stomach feels like it’s filled with cement and my heart aches. Dixie is in Dog Heaven, and I believe she’s at peace. I can accept that. It was her time, but still, it hurts. I want to “live and die with Dixie,” but that will pass with time, I hope…




14 thoughts on “Dixie Dog

  1. Ths tilt of her head looks like she is asking if you are okay. No Dixie, she is not right now but every day she.will be a little better. RIP Dixie, you showed cancer that you would handle death on your terms and in your time.

    • Thank you Sheila. Your words touch me. My heart is so heavy, and I’m afraid that when I get back to LA, it will escalate. But I will be so glad to be back with Don and my other animal children.

  2. Oh, Martha, I am so sorry. “Something” led me to open your email link this afternoon. Now, I know why. This is a very difficult time, I surely know.

    Dixie Dog looks adorable in this picture. So much personality is showing through that tilt of her head and those mesmerizing eyes.

    Take care, my friend. Safe travels back to L.A.

  3. So sad, yet a relief she isn’t suffering. I’ve lost someone very dear to me
    in October of 1998 and I still miss him like crazy. We just have to learn to
    adjust our lives and go on. But I’ve got some great memories to carry me
    through the rest of my life and for that I’m thankful. We’re all stronger than
    we think. Our faith is being tested and we pull through. It is so hard, but when
    one “graduates” from this life to the afterlife, one is happy. Loved ones come
    and go, but memories and those great feelings they give us stay with us.

    • Thank you dear JoAndra. Your words of wisdom and kindness touch my heart. You’re right, our faith gets tested all the time. When I return to LA next week, sweet little Henry is having an exploratory abdominal surgery. I’m so nervous, but have faith that he will pull through, and whatever the outcome, we’ll be okay. Thanks again for staying in touch.

      • I’m fortunate to have you and Henry in my life, you have no idea. I’m happy to help you through these tough times. It makes us stronger when we can share grief and fond memories. I’ve got to thank Don for being by your side, through thick and thin.

      • Thank you JoAndra. Your kind words help. One week after surgery Henry looks good. We’re hoping he’s past the super risky time, and that his insides are healing. He’s very eager to run and play, which is good to see, but we have to keep him calm.

      • Thank you for your support my friend. It means a lot to me. Your mom sent me a card with the cutest picture of an ailing Chihuahua. It’s precious! Please express my thanks to your mom. I’m going to write her back too.
        It’s been 10 days since Henry’s surgery, and I think his internal incisions have healed enough to not be at risk for leakage or bleeding. He is acting like himself, but we have to keep him in the crate when we can’t keep an eye on him.
        On August 7, I’ll meet with an oncologist who comes highly recommended. He is known for being compassionate and smart, and for not pushing people to do chemo. He offers alternatives, from what I’ve heard.
        Please know that your friendship(and your mom’s friendship) are very dear to me.
        Take care of yourselves.

  4. Oh, Martha, I am so sorry for you. Maybe she decided you should be with your family instead of her, when she passed. Grieving is an important part, but also remember to enjoy your family. I’ll give you a hug when you return.

    • Thank you Carol. Dixie would have wanted me to see my family. She was very family-centric. In fact, Don and I were the only people who could get near her! She protected the house and us like her life depended on it! I look forward to the hug! I loved being in your home town, by the way.

  5. Here’s the thing…our beloved animals never REALLY leave us! Look–there’s Dixie–right there–in a photo and in our hearts. She’s with us, Martha….so’s my Sheba and my Lulu and all those loving hearts we’ve known. Lucky us…honestly, lucky us.

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