Dixie Lee's Story
I don’t know what county, what month, day, or even year that Dixie's journey began, but I do know when her real life started. She was found walking along I-71 near Verona when a Boone County shelter employee was headed home. This angel of mercy stopped and picked her up and said later that this little beagle was the worst smelling dog ever!
The next night a couple were sitting on their couch when the wife said, “Let’s go look for a dog on Monday at the shelter”. She had never had a dog in her life to love or call her own. When Monday came, they went to Kenton County's shelter first, the wife just wanted to take them all home, but the husband said "hold on", let’s check out Boone County Animal Shelter before we decide”.
At the Boone County Animal Shelter, the couple were led back to the puppy room. In the first kennel was a cute little tri-color beagle barking her head off, trying to get their attention. The beagle immediately showed the husband her loving, playful personality. The husband said, “ This one is smart, she doesn’t pee in her cage”. The beagle didn't pay any attention to the wife so she said, “That’s nice”, as she played with an adorable German Shepherd puppy. After much discussion, the couple went back to the Boone County Animal Shelter the following day. There sat the little beagle puppy, patiently waiting for her forever family to realize her potential. The couple asked to take her out to visit and interact with her. The little beagle was so excited and happily went for a walk with the couple. Upon their return to the shelter building, the wife bent down to pet the little beagle, but the beagle stood on her hind legs, and stretched tall to put her little paws as high as she could on the wife's leg. The little beagle's large brown eye's looked deep into the wife's eyes with a look of hope and love.
The search was over! This little beagle had just found her forever home. The couple had to wait 5 long days before they could take their little fur baby home. During this time the wife went back to the shelter many times to visit the little beagle. She told the little dog her name would now be “Dixie Lee” and the little beagle answered immediately to her new name.
I am the wife in this story, and I can only say that Dixie changed my life forever. I truly believe that God has a plan for us all, and I know without a doubt that He brought us together. As it turned out, Dixie was not a puppy, but 3-5 years old and wasn't even 7 lbs when she was found walking along I-71. As you can see from her pictures, I spoiled her for the 9 years we were blessed to call her our own. When she passed on March 26, 2019, I didn’t know if I would survive. It has been a very rough time in my life as I work through my grief. Starting “Dixies Heart” is a way for me to actively work on mourning her loss, but even more importantly, a way for that couple, searching for a little dog, to pass on the love that Dixie gave to them.
The name "Dixie's Heart" stems from the cause of her passing - congestive heart failure. The one thing in her body that failed her, will now live on to help others in need. Thank you for reading.
Dixie's Mommy (Netta Ballinger)