AJ's Reds

A Tribute to Dixie

I have had many dogs in life, that have been special, those that I have loved dearly and will never forget but there was one that stole my heart like no other and this is for her.

Her name was Dixie, she was a red nosed Pit Bull Terrier. We found her, at trade days in Collinsville, Alabama, a huge flea market where just about anything you are looking for, can be found, at some point. Johnny and I were walking up and down the isles, not really looking for anything in particular, just walking and looking. Johnny, stopped and stared at this puppy, in a hand made chicken wire crate, that was way to small for a dog her size. I didn't pay much attention to the conversation, my husband struck up, with a heavy accented Creole from Louisiana or for that matter the puppy and I just walked on. Johnny, caught up with me in a little bit and told me about the dog in the crate, he said she was a nice looking pit, the nicest he had seen in a while.

Johnny, has been raising pit bulls for about thirty years and pits are his dog of choice, or should I say, in his mind there are no other dogs worth owning. Don't get me wrong, Johnny, likes other breeds of dogs, he just wouldn't own any other breed. Johnny, knows a lot about pits and I have grown to respect his knowledge, he is like one of the old men, you hear about that just know a good dog when they see one, he has that ability, hands down. Me, well, I've never owned a Pit Bull, I've had a great German Sheppard, Giant Schnauzers, Dobermans, Labs and lots of mixed breed dogs. I've trained some of the smartest dogs and have had the pleasure of owning a German Sheppard, with a vocabulary of over two hundred words, no kidding, Killer, was an extremely smart dog. And I knew Johnny's dog Chopper, who was just a great dog, it was like he understood, English, (do you know what I mean), but I have never personally owned a pit and unfortunately when Johnny and I started dating Chopper was an older dog and then got cancer, so my association with him was limited.

We circled two more isles and Johnny, wouldn't quit talking about this puppy, so I suggested we go back and take another look at her. We had a miniature Schnauzer and a Bassett Hound, at home, neither one, had bonded with Johnny and I knew he wouldn't. So we went back to take another look. Johnny spoke to the man for about an hour, trading stories about Pit Bulls and then they started talking money. The money changed hands, the puppy was lifted out of the crate and we headed home, Johnny, holding the puppy the whole time. Isn't it funny ladies how a man can carry on a conversation for hours with another man and not get any details. I swear, Johnny, didn't know how old she was, (she looked about four months old), except the guy was from Louisiana and this was his last litter and he was up visiting a friend, but no important details, like does she have her shots. Come on work with me here, Johnny, MEN, I tell you.........................

Johnny, took Dixie, everywhere with him but when he was home she would come find me and just watch me. It was weird at first, her watching me, like that, because for a couple of months she was real shy, not wanting to play, she was just quiet, I can't explain it any other way, she just watched me. I can't tell you when she came out of her shell but she did and oh boy did she. We played tag in the house, chasing one another around the stair well and the dinning room table, I'd pounce on her, while she was sleeping on my bed to wake her up and she would pounce on me back. I paddled the canoe in our lake and she would swim and swim and swim, never tiring of chasing after me. We would go on long walks and if she would get out of my sight, all I had to do was call her and she would come running. You know, we played rough sometimes but she didn't play rough with her mouth, she never growled at me, even if she were eating steak, I could take it away from her and it would never bother her. Dixie, was so gentle with me and I was never afraid of her. Nothing I did ever bothered her. One time I was sick with the flu for five days, I couldn't lift my head off the pillow, only to throw up and Dixie, laid on the bed with me. I didn't realize it but Johnny, told me after I got better, that he had to drag her off the bed to go out and do her business and when he let her back in, she jumped on the bed with me, again, not even taking time to eat or drink.
Dixie, was a happy dog, a good dog, a smart dog, an amazingly smart dog. Dixie's best buddy aside from me was my Bassett Hound, Toby, she loved him but not my Schnauzer. My Schnauzer Pee Wee, came to work with me every day and laid under my desk until it was time to go home. Pee Wee, would growl at Dixie, if she got to close to me, so most of the time she would find her affection from the other women in the office. You know, I've known a lot of Pits, they won't start a fight but they won't back down from one either and that's what finally happened with Dixie and Pee Wee's encounter. One day Dixie, got into a fight with him and the ladies put Dixie out of the building. Dixie just got tired of being challenged and this day she didn't back down. It was my fault, I should have noticed this conflict escalating between the two dogs but I was preoccupied with work. Anyway, in a few minutes we noticed Dixie, was back in the building, after being put outside. Everyone was questioned to see who let the dog in, no one knew. Dixie, was put back outside, Dixie, came back in. It took three times before we caught her turning the door knob with her mouth and coming back inside the building, I'm telling you she was almost human.

Have you ever wondered if your dog would protect you, if someone bothered you? I have. I don't really want to find out or test the idea, but sometimes I just wonder. My German Sheppard, Killer, wouldn't let anyone come up to me from behind. If my back was turned and someone walked up behind me, Killer, was charging them growling and teeth chomping. I never taught Killer, to protect me, he was just another watcher. Anyway one time I saved the Sears repairman, from a lunging Killer, by catching him, in mid air. Needless to say, my washer got fixed in a hurry. Dixie, never showed signs of aggression towards anyone, she absolutely loved people, even the UPS man. One day, the UPS man, asked me if I ever noticed that sometimes my packages looked thrown by the garage doors? No, I never pay attention to things like that. Well anyway, the UPS man told me a neat story and I got my answer. He told me on the days that I was home, he could always tell, because Dixie, was extremely friendly and he could throw her a dog biscuit and she would eat it and he could get out of his truck and pet her. But on the days I wasn't home, he couldn't get out of his truck. He told me she would just growl and hold her ground and even when he threw the biscuits for her, she wouldn't touch them. Amazing. My awesome watch dog.

Dixie, was killed February 16th, of 2004. My heart still to this day aches for her and even now when I think about her, I cry. I miss her so much. She was an amazing dog, human like at times but most of all I knew without a doubt that this dog loved me. I know there are some of you out there that know what I am talking about. You have those dogs that are awesome smart and you have great connection, they do everything you tell them and they are by all accounts great dogs. And then there are the Dixie, dogs, that just amaze you, that you know without a doubt you are being watched over. I spent over a year, trying to find another Dixie, a year and a half later we got Sadie, from Arizona Red Rock, when they were located in Idaho. Their dog Amber, looked like Dixie, to me and Linda High, picked Sadie, out for me. I had found Bryant's Red Devils, earlier but they didn't have any puppies at the time, so I just kept in touch with Jenny Bryant and in August 2005, Jenny, e-mailed to let me know the puppies were born and told me she knew which one, I'd want. She was right, Samson, was a chub.

So the rest is history, with a few side stories. I am extremely thankful, for the dogs I have now. I am also thankful, to Arizona Red Rock and Bryant's Red Devils, for their breeding programs, I have learned a lot from both kennels. I remember one time I had to ask Linda, what OFRN, stood for. I have since studied this strain extensively and I can tell you hands down, that the High's have some of the purest stock, of OFRN, I have found on the internet. The OFRN's are beautiful but it is by mixing the two lines, that produce beauty and brains and that is what we are trying to accomplish in our breeding program. When I was searching for another Dixie, I was going by looks, nothing else and I am extremely satisfied by how Sadie looks but Samson, added something else, not only is he handsome, he is smart, very smart and he passes that on to his offspring. What we have stumbled on from mixing the two kennel's dogs, well lets just say, read our produced page.

My hope and prayer for anyone, who gets a puppy from us, is that they find their Dixie. That they experience what I have been so blessed to have had in my life for a short while. I know if God, allows dogs in Heaven, Dixie, has got to be there, cause she knew how to LOVE.......................................................

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