I drove home today dragging a little. It’s been a very hectic 14 or so weeks and I was looking forward to going home and relaxing. I was so tired, so tired that I almost drove right past Tim’s mom’s house. Instead, I parked and went inside to chat for a few minutes. We joked about the day, the exhaustion of life and how we both had to cook for our little tribes.
I left her house feeling slightly motivated to cook dinner. I was planning Tim’s favorite meal tonight (favorite from a restaurant,) and I wanted nothing more than to get it right. (It’s my new thing – cooking!) I started driving behind the house, taking the normal path down to the cabin. I happened to look to the left and saw Gypsy, our beautiful border collie, running to the end of her pin, trying to get my attention. Her ears were perked up, just hoping and waiting anxiously for me to change my mind, drive back to her, and take her down before her dad got home.
For whatever reason, I turned around. I opened her gate and expected her to dart down the path to the cabin, the same thing she does every.. single.. day.
She didn’t. She got in my car and road with me to toward the cabin. I decided to roll down the back window and just like clock work, she jumped from the car and began her run toward the cabin. Today.. unlike most days.. I watched her so carefully. I was amazed at how she glided through the forest, jumping over downed trees and cutting through thick bush. She ran fast and smoothly, leaping this way and that. She made it to the cabin and waited for me to grab my stuff from the car. We went in the cabin.
I fixed her bowl of food and water and watched as she gulped it down. I went back to my bedroom to change clothes… I was just.. so.. tired and knew I still needed to cook. I shut the door to my room, because my Australian exchange student is visiting and was sitting in the living room. Gypsy slipped through into the room just before I shut the door. No cats.. no people.. just me and her. I decided to just lay on the bed and relax for a minute, resting my back. She jumped up on the bed and sat there, panting & smiling, just looking over me like she always did. I petted her and loved on her and told her how good and beautiful and smart she was.
Because she was so, so, so, smart. Border collies are, you know.
Then she followed me back in the living room. I sat and chatted with Matt a little then she came up to me and wimpered a little, letting me know she needed to go potty. I took her out and she took care of her business and came right back in.
Her Daddy & Master, my Tim, came in from work, and Gypsy greeted him with the more vigor than she gives most people. He loved on her like he always did. You see, Gypsy was his baby after his very painful divorce. She was his true companion.
While we were eating dinner, she laid her head on my knee, begging for food. I gave her little strips of Mongolian beef and rubbed her head.
After dinner, Tim told me he wanted to run the dog and visit the baby up at the house. I asked, “Hey, we want to go with you.” You see, yesterday, for this reason or that, Tim ran Gypsy alone. Normally I ride with him. But yesterday, he got that change to run her all by himself. When we run the dogs, we typically get on the golf cart and ride around the farm (which is very, very big.) The dogs run in front of us. But yesterday, it was just Gypsy & Tim.
Today we got in the car to drive up to the main house, and as always, Gypsy ran in front of us. She started up the path and then darted left, to go toward the blueberry patch. We went right toward the main house. I beeped the horn, the universal sound for her to double back and join us.. she did not come. But at the rate she was running, and we were heading a different way, I think she just wanted to go exploring. We drove on up to the main house, thinking she would be in the garage when we came out.
We went inside for about 20 minutes or so, then decided to get the golf cart and go look for her. Since she was not in the garage, we thought she would be waiting for us at the cabin. When we got down there, we noticed she was not there, so we headed back up the original path.
We barely got around the bend and I saw her first.
Just laying there… tongue out.. blood coming out of her mouth.
I jumped out of the golf cart, as well as Tim & Matt.. Tim rushed to her side and just cradled her. I kept yelling over and over, “No, no, no, no.” I asked if maybe she was breathing. All Tim could muster was, “She’s gone.”
Our sweet baby girl left us this evening. Just gone. I keep thinking about her last solo ride with her Daddy last night, and the fact that I turned around with her and had some alone time with her today. Or how soft her head felt on my knee as she was patiently waiting for meat.
I wish we had put her in the car. I wish we had taken another path. I wish.. I wish…
But I have to say goodbye.