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Meet Dahlia

A Tale of Love, Healing And Remembrance

Article by Cortney Wilbanks

Photography by James Williams

Originally published in Brentwood Lifestyle

In the home of Lisa Underwood and her husband lives Dahlia, a spirited Coonhound mix with a
personality as vibrant as her fur. At just 2 years old, Dahlia already has made an indelible mark on the lives of her human parents.

Though the veterinarian would jokingly say that Dahlia is a Heinz 57 variety, a delightful blend of different breeds; to Lisa and her husband, Dahlia is a symbol of love and connection.

Dahlia's journey to their home began after the passing of their son, Zachary. With heavy hearts, Lisa and her husband inherited Dahlia, unsure if they could keep up with her boundless energy.
At the time, they had an elderly Labrador who preferred the serenity of a peaceful nap to Dahlia's playful antics. One night, as frustration grew over a chewed-up cushion, a dear friend reached out to Lisa to check in on how she was doing. Sensing Lisa’s distress, the friend provided her with the contact information of a talented dog trainer. It was a small gesture that would forever change the lives and relationship of the Underwoods and Dahlia.

Eager to bring harmony back into their home, Lisa wasted no time contacting the dog trainer. She says the transformation in Dahlia's behavior was astonishing. From being an outside dog, Dahlia quickly became the star. She learned commands, manners and became a shining example of what love and guidance can accomplish.

As Dahlia thrived under Lisa's care, she became a daily reminder of the son they lost and the love that still binds them.

Her playful capers and unwavering loyalty breathed life into their healing hearts. Dahlia had transformed from a wild child to a guardian angel, a symbol of resilience and the enduring
power of love.

Like a loyal shadow, Dahlia followed Lisa everywhere, her nose always searching for the scent of adventure. It was as if Dahlia wanted to be a part of everything Lisa did, a constant reminder of the bond they shared. Lisa admits that Dahlia's presence, though sometimes challenging, has brought comfort and a sense of purpose to Lisa and her husband during their grieving process.

With her lively spirit and loving nature, Dahlia reminds Lisa and her husband of their son. Zachary was known for his kind heart and the way he effortlessly connected with people. After his passing, his friends would frequently inquire about Dahlia, often suggesting playdates at the local dog park.

When asking Lisa about the quirkiest thing about Dahlia, she laughs, as she shares that when “Dahlia gets anything, she will instantly go and bury it in the backyard, only to dig them up
days or even weeks later, when she is ready to play with them.”

This quirky habit makes them feel like Dahlia has a secret world all her own, she adds. 

Now, the Underwoods consider Dahlia to be more than just another dog; she is a beacon of hope and a testament to the beautiful connections that exist between humans and their four-legged companions. "In her, we found solace, healing and a steadfast reminder of our son that we will forever hold in our hearts," Lisa confirms.