Dixie arrived in our home in early November 2009 as a foster dog. We already had Gus, a mix of Black & Tan and Redbone. We rescued Gus as a 10-week puppy through the ASPCA when he was transported from a Georgia kill-shelter to Connecticut. We had contacted American Black and Tan Coonhound rescue, asking if there was anything we could ever do. In late October, we received the call that Dixie, a 2 year 10 month old Black & Tan, was in desperate need of a foster home. She had been taken to a shelter near Terre Haute, Indiana, then transferred to the AB&TC rescue in Ohio in July 2009. She was adopted by a family here in Connecticut and they unfortunately had to give her up after 7 weeks. She arrived in our home and met our two children, Gus, and our three cats. She was challenge to say the least. She was not house broken and actually sought out carpeting to go potty on. She was terrified of any raised voice, hid in corners of the house, and was crazy over food. There was doubt that she had been abused and had gone hungry more than once. We, and particularly my wife Jenny, made it our mission to rehabilitate Dixie into the great dog we knew she could be. After 5 weeks, she was moving quickly toward that great dog. She and Gus were inseparable and she had learned the boundaries of our invisible fence system. She had gone from months of crates to two acres of lawn and woods to freely romp around on with Gus. Gus also taught her that some things are best done outside.
As we were only a foster family, Dixie had continued to be listed for adoption through your organization. In December, we received the call that someone may be interested in adopting her. How could she leave? No one in our house had dry eye, the next day we made our home Dixie’s forever home.
In lock-step with Gus, she goes everywhere with us and is an integral part of the family. Jenny and I are truly amazed that after all she has been through her tail continues to wag with the force of bat. She is a love and craves the attention she lacked for her first 2 ½ years in the world. Unquestionably, we are trying to make up for the previously missed love and care. She has free run of the bed, furniture, and food treats are plenty. Her relationship with Gus is amazing and truly shows the “pack” strength of this breed.
By December, Dixie was finally settled when accident stuck. Romping with Gus through the woods at the edge of our yard, she impaled herself on a fallen Hemlock tree. Her hop over the fallen log was short and her right hind leg was impaled, leaving a large painful wound. After emergency surgery and procedures to remove the hundreds of small pieces of Hemlock bark, she returned to romp with Gus. I know she loved the nursing care she received from all of us. Warm compresses, associated belly scratching, and loving words never felt so good. While the accident was heart wrenching for us, we believe it proved to Dixie that we are her permanent guardians, who love her dearly.
Even though Jayne received several pleading emails during our first days of fostering, Dixie has become that wonderful dog that we knew she had inside her. Not only is she happy, but she has made all of us, including Gus, thrilled to have her with us. We cannot thank your organization enough for your amazing work and the gift of giving such wonderful dogs the homes that they deserve.
Our many thanks and gratitude,
Tom & Jenny Ginz – Gus & Dixie, too