When he came in and told me he said that it must have just happened because her body was still warm when he picked her up to move her. My poor little girl.
Gabby was a little nut, she ran around like crazy and could jump 2 - 3 feet off the ground. When she would come into the house she would run into the living room and use the furniture as launching pads only to launch herself to another piece of furniture. As hyper as she was, she was our little protector and she was by my side every morning when I fed the animals, glued to my left leg. Gabby was my send off every morning, she would come to my car door and wait for an ear rub and then as soon as I said, "OK, I gotta go," she would move out of the way and I would be on my way to school. Gabby would also greet me as soon as I pulled into my spot in the driveway, she would often jump into the car and onto my lap or onto the kids and then follow us into the house.
She taught me a new kind of patience that I have not had to have for a dog before. Gabby always needed to be doing something, to be working, and she would bug you if she was bored. I had to learn to find things for her to do so that she would not be such a pest. Gabby, being a Blue Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog) was incredibly intelligent and learned tasks quickly. One weekend my goal was to start working with her on staying by my left side when I would walk around and take care of all the animals. I put a leash on her and would stop and make her sit when she was not doing as I expected, then we would start again and I would command, "walk," and she would walk in step with me. I am not kidding when I say it took me two mornings and two afternoons of working with her on this for her to understand what I expected. I took the leash off of her on that Sunday morning and when I said "walk," that little dog stuck to my left leg like velcro, and that was the way it went whenever I was outside with her.
Shannon and I are fairly certain that Gabby was following Ellie to see where she was headed and that she stopped at the end of the driveway when Ellie went farther than Gabby would go. Gabby had been with Ellie all morning yesterday, laying with her and keeping an eye on her. I am pretty sure that Gabby knew something was not right with Ellie since she had been gone all Saturday night. Like I said, Gabby was our little protector and was always making sure things were as they should be.
Mentally I have prepared myself for Ellie and the unfortunate fact that she may soon pass. She is nine, which for a giant dog is old, and her erratic behavior makes me think that she may be a bit senile. I know that I will be sad when Ellie dies, but it will be nothing close to the way I feel right now. I feel like I have done something wrong and did not do enough to protect Gabby, she was still just a pup and too young to be gone from us.
I think that maybe not having these animals would be better, I would not have to go through such heartache, but the joy and comfort they all bring to me and the kids we would not find anywhere else. Saying that we are not going to have animals anymore because it is not worth the heartache would be a bit like not having relationships with other people in order to avoid the sadness that comes along with their deaths. I cannot imagine how I would feel, how broken my heart would be if one of my children died. As broken as I feel right now I imagine that my heart would be shattered and that the tears would never stop.
I hate that I am sitting here, crying as I write this. I hate that I feel so crummy and most likely will for quite some time. I hate that a sweet little dog is no longer with us. I hate that there are people on this earth callous enough to drive away after hitting an animal rather than stopping and talking to the owners. I cannot imagine my life without these precious, furry lives because as crummy as I feel I at least know how much these animals mean to me. I would be worried if I was able to go about my day normally and I would rethink the reason that we have these creatures.
Writing about this is hard, but it is also kind of therapeutic for me. I love these animals of ours. They each fill a spot in my heart. They make me laugh, they offer me comfort, they often frustrate me, but they are special. My heart is open to many more cases of heartbreak, but I am ok with that. I know that each time I will eventually feel better and once I do I will have beautiful memories to recall.