This girl is so much a part of our family I cannot remember her not being here. She likes to be in the middle of things, and we call her 'the party girl'. She took over the best chair in the house at an early age. It was supposed to be my chair, but I had to wave the white flag there. I used to try to sit in that chair. I'd chase her out of it and get all settled and comfy. Then she'd come stand in front of me and bark, and then run to the door like she wanted to go outside. So I'd get up from the comfy chair to open the door and she'd quickly hop in the chair behind my back.
Told you she was smart.
Dixie was only a year old when we moved to England. Due to their strict quarantine laws, there was a six month waiting period before she could enter the country. Some people opt to put their dogs in quarantine in the UK, but our kennel in Maryland agreed to a long term board. Actually they agreed to a short term board, and my sister said she'd take her the last three months, but the kennel got so attached to her they said she could stay.
I remember the day she finally arrived in England. We'd used a service that moves animals, so they collected her at Gatwick and brought her right to the front door. The deliveryman had me come outside and he set the air crate down on the driveway. She's long legged so I envisioned her slowly, tentatively, ever so gently stepping out, stretching her legs, and taking a second to get her bearings. Ha!
The deliveryman said, 'I'm going to open the crate now' and when he did Dixie came tearing out at full speed, ran straight into the house (a house she'd never before set foot in until that very minute), wound her way back to the sitting room, and hopped in her chair without missing a beat.
Never were a dog and a place more perfectly matched than my Dixie and my England. She loved exploring the Commons, the woodlands, and most especially being off lead in her fvaorite place-the Camp. The Camp was an old Roman camp in our little village. It was not physically fenced, but more or less naturally fenced, and Dixie could run to her hearts content. We used to say she ran five miles for every one we walked, and it was the perfect place to grow up Setters.
She was welcomed everywhere around town, and we often traveled with her. One of her favorite holidays was the Easter we spent hiking in Dartmoor. Wide open spaces anyone?
And while she's not a Jersey girl, she has grown pretty fond of the Garden State.
Or at least it's wildlife!
I'm not one of those people who think dogs are human.