I wanted to introduce you to Dixie, a 2year old Black Labrador Mix whom we were lucky enough to get to know at Miami Dade Animal Services (MDAS). There are so many gorgeous, smart, and great tempermented dogs that are destroyed at MDAS everyday simply because there aren’t enough homes for them. I won’t bore you with Dixie’s entire story, although I’m happy to tell you in person should you ask! Let’s just say, Dixie is one of the lucky ones.
Thanks to the generosity of one of my Animal Behavior College students for opening up her home as a foster, Dixie was able to be saved from the euthanasia list at MDAS and is now safe in foster care. Her previously family shaved her (super weird!?), so her gorgeous black coat is still growing back in. She’s being treated currently for demodex which we expect to continue clearing up nicely.
In less than two weeks Dixie will be moved out of foster care to come live at our Canine Training Center. I have a very special plan for Dixie. I am going to train her to be a mobility service dog.
A mobility assistance dog is a service dog trained to assist a physically disabled person who has mobility issues, which may include being wheelchair-dependent. Among other tasks such as “providing balance and stability” and “pulling wheelchairs or carrying and picking up things for persons with mobility impairments”, a mobility assistance dog can be trained to open and close doors, and operate light switches, and can “have a major positive impact on the lives of recipients”. These dogs usually wear a certain kind of vest so that you can attach a cane like handle. This makes it so that when the dog walks and you hold the handle, the dog will guide you and assist with balance.
Someday, Dixie will assist someone in a wheelchair. She is such a bright, smart, playful and loving dog — absolutely perfect for mobility assistance work. I knew this girl was special the moment I saw her, and I am so grateful to everyone who has stepped up to help me make sure this girl gets a second, actually third, chance at finding her forever home.
If you’re interested in adopting Dixie, she is available for adoption. I won’t be heartbroken if you want to adopt instead of her going down the service dog route. This is a GREAT dog with a bright future. She’s dog and kid friendly. Truly a winning personality.
Thanks to John from MaxNorman Pet Photography, as always, for the gorgeous shots of my girl Dixie!