Matthew Antoine has a gold and a bronze Olympic medal hanging from his wall, but it’s dog Dixie who might get more recognition.
After falling for her instantly, Antoine adopted the pooch in 2015 from a shelter in Phoenix.
“It was a bit of luck for me to get her,” Antoine told NBCOlympics.com. “I think it was meant to be.”
Dixie transformed from a dog to a best friend in a matter of days, helping the athlete adjust to life in Arizona, after living at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs for five years.
The big move and Dixie’s adoption were prompted by the onset of depression, which left Antoine feeling stuck and uninterested in his career as a skeleton racer.
It didn’t take Dixie long to brighten Antoine’s mood and help him set a normal routine in a new place. Through their regular walks together, Antoine started to enjoy life again and find passion for skeleton racing once more.
One of the many ways the Olympian has repaid 5-year-old Dixie is by giving her full control of his Instagram account. Now Antoine’s account is called @missdixiedog and is filled with photos of the pair enjoying their favorite activities together: hiking, eating healthy, fishing and relaxing.
“She’s my best friend,” Antoine said. “I couldn’t imagine not having her there each day.”
When Antoine is competing and away from home for long chunks of time, Dixie, who the athlete calls “the sweetest dog ever,” stays with Antoine’s mom in Wisconsin, a welcomed reason for Dixie to play in the snow, just like her dad.
We’re sure she will be barking her dad on this year, as he competes for more Olympic glory.