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Out of the Blue

Laura Beil

Tri-City Tales Issue No. 13

This summer, a woman arrived at Tri-City Animal Shelter with a blue heeler she could no longer care for. The shelter was full that day—as they are most days. Dogs in kennels were lining the hallways, but still, the staff found a place. The woman had named her dog Winn Dixie, after the children’s book. 


To the staff’s relief, Dixie soon found a home. But not for long. Her second owner said she was too active, and barked too much. Blue heelers were bred as working dogs, herding cattle. They are known as intelligent animals with a strong work drive—so strong that if you don’t give them a job, they find one on their own. 


Dixie remained at the shelter for a few weeks until Jasmine Williams of Arlington happened to spot her photo online. Jasmine and her husband Randall already had two dogs, but Randall had an affection for blue heelers and had been searching for one. Jasmine looked at Dixie’s photo and instantly thought: She’s perfect. She took a screenshot and sent it to Randall. He texted back immediately: Where is this? That weekend, they loaded their two dogs in the car and headed to the shelter to meet Dixie.


The three dogs played as if they had known one another their entire lives. When Dixie stopped and rested her head in Jasmine’s lap, she turned to her husband long enough to tell him that Dixie was coming home with them immediately. They started calling her Dixie Blue. Dixie’s previous owners had kept her mostly confined to a crate, so the Williams’ weren’t certain how she would adjust to the sudden freedom of a house and yard. 


They need not have worried. The first night home, Dixie jumped up on the bed, crawling in between them as if that spot was meant for her. She flipped on her back and immediately fell asleep. And that is where you will find her every night, four paws in the air, snoring. It is indeed the spot she was meant for, even if it took three tries to find it.

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