Happy Tails | Dixie

Every single animal that comes through our shelter has a story. Some are complex, many are sad, but all of them get better the minute they arrive at the Virginia Beach SPCA. Dixie was transferred to the VBSPCA from another local animal shelter in January 2023. The one-year-old hound had recently given birth to a litter of puppies. Dixie was an excellent mother, and once the puppies were healthy and strong enough for the adoption process, they all quickly found their homes.

However, it took Dixie more time to find her happily ever after. In addition to needing a home, she needed medical treatment for heartworm disease. While generous donors covered the cost of her treatment, she had to find a special home to help her through the treatment process. That May, Dixie found that special someone in Doris, who eventually adopted her. We recently caught up with Doris for the full story.

How did you know Dixie was the one for you?

I was visiting the VBSPCA in hopes of finding a dog to adopt, and when I saw Dixie, I just knew I had to meet her. I was able to visit Dixie during her outside time. She was soaking up the sun, so I already knew I was going to love her. I walked up to Dixie and she immediately jumped up so gently. I knelt down and she put her paws on my shoulders and gave me the biggest hug. I knew right away that I was going to adopt her. In that moment I promised Dixie that I was going to take her home with me and that I would be here to take care of her for the rest of her life.

How is Dixie doing in the home?

Dixie is doing great! It took a little bit of time for her and her cat brother, Taz, to start getting along but now they’re like your typical brother and sister! They love playing together and taunting one another! Dixie has made herself right at home, jumping up on the couch and bed whenever she wants.

What sort of activities do you do together?

Dixie was heartworm positive when I adopted her so we haven’t been able to do too many activities, but we’ve made the most of it! She loves snuggling, going out on my back deck, and car rides! I have a convertible and Dixie loves it when the top is down and going for drives near the beach.

Does Dixie have any funny quirks?

Dixie hates getting out of bed in the morning so she always rubs her eyes when she wakes up, then rolls around and sometimes even falls out of bed! Dixie hates it when her snuggling time is interrupted in the morning. Whenever the grass is freshly cut at my apartment complex, the first thing Dixie does when we get outside is roll around on her back 2-3 times before she’ll finally potty. Dixie also loves to give hugs! The second I get home from work or if anyone comes over, the first thing you have to do is give Dixie a hug before she’ll let you do anything else!

How has Dixie enriched your lives so far?

Dixie has brought an unbelievable amount of happiness to my life (and my cat’s life). A few months ago I had to unexpectedly guide Taz’s brother over the rainbow bridge and it’s been hard on both of us. Adopting Dixie has brought such joy to Taz and me that we had been missing. Dixie has an unlimited amount of love and can make me smile no matter how I’m feeling.

What would you tell someone who is considering adopting a dog with heartworm disease?

It is very scary when considering adopting a dog with a disease. It’s even scarier when it’s a disease that could possibly be life threatening. My best friend’s dog went through having heartworms about a year ago, so I was lucky that I’ve had experience with it before adopting Dixie. Always remember that you need to keep your dog as calm as possible when going through treatments. The most important thing to remember is the incredible impact you get to make in an animal’s life. It was very difficult and tiring getting through this with Dixie but the bond that we have created is unimaginable.