Around Memorial Day, 2013 a couple knocked on our door and asked if we were missing a dog. No, we said. We certainly were not missing a dog.
Except we were missing her, and we didn’t know it yet.
We agreed to keep this stray until her real owners came forward and, if they didn’t, we’d make a decision about what to do with her. Ha, ha, ha. Who were we fooling? She wasn’t going anywhere and she knew it.
Gibson, a Corgi-Rottweiler mix, was a plump little sausage roll of a dog. Her spring loaded legs launched her farther than we could have imagined to tall places like the seat of our SUV and the rim of the steel 39-gallon trashcan by our back door.
When nobody claimed her we made an appointment to have her spayed and get her updated on whatever shots dogs need. The veterinarian estimated at that time, based on her physical condition and the condition of her teeth, that Gibson was probably between six and ten years old.
Adopting a senior pet makes the time you have with them sweeter because you know there’s less time available. We always knew the day would come when we would have to say goodbye. Every day she was in our lives was one day closer to the day she wouldn’t be with us.
“She’s so old,” we’d muse. “It’s a wonder she still gets around as well as she does.”
At the sight of a leash, Gibson would lay on her side and refuse to make eye contact. Despite being a free-range dog, the only time she left the property was to skirt the neighbor’s yards.
So you can imagine our concern last Sunday when she failed to return from her lunchtime romp through the backyard. Throughout the rest of the day and into the evening there was no luck. I put out a BOLO alert on our local missing pets and neighborhood groups on Facebook.
The next morning one of our other dogs led our youngest son to the edge of our yard. Gibson was there, having passed away from natural causes. Although we’re heartbroken, we’re comforted by the knowledge that she had a really great life for the past four years.
I hope that Gibby-girl, my little plumpkin, is hanging out with Gingerbelle and Gideon over the Rainbow Bridge with an unlimited supply of dog treats and tennis balls.