Dogs 101

Dogs 101. What’s to know, right? Boy, was I ever wrong.

As  a youngster, I was taught dogs are supposed to live outside. That’s how I was raised. But when I went back to graduate school, everything changed.

Night after night I hunkered down in front of a computer to write papers, network with other learners, and work on projects. The rest of my family was in the family room laughing and talking about the day’s events. And there I was—alone.

Dogs 101—The Hunt for Companion Dog

Dogs 101


I felt sorry for myself. Until I got an idea. What if I had a dog to sit by me while I studied? In my imaginationI could see her. Loyalty personified (or doggy-fied). Attentive to my every need for companionship.

Energized, I searched local online advertisements for this perfect canine friend. One day I saw just the right pet, a cute Schnoodle ( or a Schnauzer/Poodle mix, for us country-types).

I casually broached the subject to Darrell, my husband.

“A dog in the house? Don’t know about that.”

Undaunted, I began the campaign and eventually “Dixie” came to our house. I didn’t know rescued dogs often suffer from a stress syndrome. Cuddly and “have to be with you” weren’t the best descriptions for my best-buddy-in-training.

Over time, we did become inseparable . . .when I was in the family room. For some reason, she didn’t love being with me at my desk.

Dog 101—Later Lessons

Dixie gradually trained us to her method of doing things. How could a twelve-pounder with soulful eyes wrap us around her paw? I don’t know.

But I know this.

She loves us when we leave. Whether it’s been five minutes or eight hours, she jumps for joy when we return.

IMG_1516 (1)You see, she watches. She doesn’t have to be right beside me to know where I am. She senses it. Knows when I’m coming home.

There’s an unabashed joy in the air. I want to hurry home when I know what’s waiting.

She’s the dancing queen who pokes her head through the curtains or stares at the road when my truck’s rumble beats a rhythm to our driveway.

Dogs 101 is not about what I’ve taught. It’s about what our dog teaches me.

  • Everyday put on a welcoming face for my patients.
  • No matter how tired I am, make an effort to greet my family and check in on their day.
  • Enjoy God because of who He is.
  • Stop and sit with Dixie because she just wants to “be” with me. No agenda.

Come on by. Dixie will welcome you, too.

From the countryside,

Diane and Dixie

1 Comment
  • Lisa Crenshaw
    September 23, 2015

    I have always had a four legged baby. Each had a special personality:
    Shadow, a Sheltie, was always there to give love and support.
    Buddy, a yorkie, was a naviagator on road trips to take my husband to work off shore. If Kent missed a turn or passed a Burger King Buddy would bark softly till things were corrected.
    Ellie, a yorkie, all I can say is I miss her everyday. When her diabetes got worse, kidneys failing and being blind, I knew it was time for her to crossover.
    Now, I am blessed to have Kilo, a white German shepherd, and Al, a Shitzu, with my health issues they are always by my side. Unconditional love,
    For my babies who have crossed over they will be at the bridge waiting to meet me.

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