SWEET DREAMS, MY GYPSY BLUE ...
You came into my life on a cold winter’s day, a soft, warm bundle of blue-gray fluff with a happy little smile and silly eyelashes, white on one eye and black on the other. I loved you the minute I saw you. Even back then at the breeder‘s when you were so little, you had your own unique personality. You wanted all of my attention, every minute - even climbing on top of your sisters’ and brothers’ heads to reach me so I could pet you!
The night I brought you home the whole family was there to welcome you. Most puppies would be intimidated by so many people, but not you. You loved it; happily going from one set of arms to the next, quizzically looking into everyone’s eyes wondering who would love you the most. You owned your home that night and all the people in it! You knew it was your time to shine and as I watched you steal all of our hearts your name began to form in my mind - my little “Gypsy” going wherever her heart took her, wherever the love was.
We took long walks along the beach. Just the two of us - only I was the one who walked! You always wanted to be carried and I more than happily obliged. One day you chased the incoming tide and when you caught it, you didn’t know what to do with it so you just plopped down in the icy ocean water. It was freezing outside and you were soaking wet so I tucked you inside my jacket and ran back to the car trying to keep your chubby little body warm. I could never believe that one wet puppy could fog so many windows or make such a sandy mess in my car!
And then you grew up and I no longer had to protect you. You protected me from anyone and anything you thought was a threat to me. And yet, you humored me too. You had your own set of rules; outside animals, especially those pesky squirrels that I loved so much, could be chased, but inside was another story . How many hurt ducklings swam in your water bowl? How many climbed on you when you were asleep?
And then I helplessly watched as you grew older - something I really didn’t want to see. I knew the time was fast approaching when I would have to prove my love for you - when I would have to say good-bye. I didn’t want to let you go. But, suddenly, I no longer had a choice. I brought you to Dr. Herbold, our very kind and compassionate veterinarian, hoping for miracles, but deep in my heart, knowing that none would be available. Age was against us. Much too soon, life had come full circle and the time had come, once again, for me to protect you, to see that you never suffered any unnecessary pain.
When I came to visit you that last time, you heard my voice and your head lifted, your ears went up, and my heart broke in tiny pieces. I held you in my arms and I kissed you and as I thanked you for the wonderful years we shared together, you put your dainty white paw on my arm, hugging me. I looked in your sweet, gentle eyes for the very last time and even then you made it easier for me to do what I had to do - what was best for you. I could feel you saying "thank you"; "thank you for the good years and for not letting me hurt"; "thank you for letting me go peacefully - for truly being my best friend." And, then, my sweet cherished girl, I held you ever so tightly as you calmly went to sleep in my arms for the last time. You left a pain in my heart that will never heal.
Goodnight my beloved Gypsy ... You will always be there in that special place, just for you, in my heart.
Sweet dreams my precious little girl ... till we meet again.
ROYAL ROCK GYPSY BLUE
Shortly after I wrote this, I received a private message in my Guest Book from a wonderful visitor to my site. Her simple message which touched my heart deeply and brought tears to my eyes, asked if she could place a card for Gypsy at a memorial ceremony held by the Collie Club of America at Sunnybank, the former estate of Albert Payson Terhune, the author of all those magnificent collie books I had read and reread as a child. And, so, on August 20, 2000, to the accompaniment of a lone Bag Piper playing "Coming Home", this very special collie breeder and collie judge lovingly placed my Gypsy's name, along with those of her own very special collies, at the foot of Champion Rock where all of our collie friends are remembered each year.
My heartfelt thanks to you, Pati Merrill, for your empathy and kindness.
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Copyright (c) 2000, (c) 2001, (c) 2002, (c) 2003, (c) 2004 by Maria's Duck