Dixie was rescued from a dogfighting ring when police raided the property in Baltimore, Maryland, in 2014.She had grown up in the worst imaginable conditions as part of the ring, where men brought home the dogs as puppies, "wrapped heavy chains and harnesses around the dogs' necks and made them pull weights to build up muscles".This was the only life that Dixie the Pit Bull had ever known.
So when she was rescued and put in the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter at the age of nine months, she couldn't hide her fear of just about everything.The poor pup was so terrified when the rescue centre Jasmine's House pulled Dixie out of the shelter, that she had to be carried out.
This photo was the start of a new beginning for Dixie. Her new mum, Kara DeBord, saw the image, tellingBarkPost that she knew she "was not going to be able to forget that picture any time soon. She instantly felt like she was mine, and I was hers."However, it wasn't up to Kara: the DeBords had another dog named Ana, who had been in the shelter for the longest of any dog when she was adopted. Luckily, Ana gave them the go ahead. Kara's husband says:
Ana made the decision...she's a special girl...I knew that Ana would do amazing things for a fearful dog like Dixie.
Though Dixie was very nervous at first, she slowly warmed up to their family. She was soon more than happy to go on walks with Kara, Nathan, Ana, and their other dog Chip.It has now been more than a year since Dixie arrived in her new home, and Dixie is going from strength to strength. She has grown so much in confidence and her beautiful personality is starting to show.
And now she is far more affectionate than ever before. The dog who was previously so shy and scared of affection has started to come voluntarily for cuddles with Kara.Kara tells BarkPost how Dixie jumped up onto the couch to sit with her one day totally unexpectedly. And it was like nothing Dixie had even done before: "It was like no one had ever hurt her before or caused her to ever be afraid of the world around her."
Source: @KaraDeBord/ Facebook
Dixie is now so happy in her new home, and the DeBords haven't looked back for a second. Kara says to those who are thinking about adopting a nervous dog:
There are going to be good days and there are going to be not-so-great days. If something isn't working out the way you've planned, take a step back, take a deep breath, and try doing it differently.