Love and Life’s Casualties


I’ve been between tears and fog today as we are mourning the loss of our precious pup, GiGi, a cock-a-poo that captured our hearts from day one. An artsy dog, of course, she was described by her puppy vet as “not knowing what color she wanted to be so she is all of them!”

GiGi’s energy was contagious and she definitely was an influence to the other animals in the family. Hoping that our elder Westie, Jasmine, would calm her down, the two somehow exchanged visions of how their canine part of our menagerie of animals should rule. The conversation must have been brief though, because GiGi took right over. Where once Jasmine was calm and enjoyed lounging on the sofa with one of the kids, GiGi preferred the laundry basket of clean clothes, pulling out the ones that were just not comfy enough. Jasmine then learned that trick too.

When Jasmine passed on, GiGi continued her rein when new puppies, twin yorkie-poos named Monet and Delilah, moved in. We had hoped that the wiseness of being the older dog would sweep across her and she would help train the newbies, but instead GiGi put down the lay of the land like no other and the two puppies were forever considered second class citizens in the kingdom she owned.

Her rein continued throughout her beautiful but short life of seven years. Her royal jewel was a ball, never far from her mouth and usually able to be found whether it was left out in the tall grass and inches of snow, rolled into the mess under one of the kids beds that even they couldn’t navigate, or behind a piece of furniture that no one ever got near. Her ball will now be enshrined by Renee, a precious token of the bond they had.

GiGi was precious to us and yet she became a casualty of our life’s situation. With Chris’s heart event and subsequent job loss, we had to leave our hobby farm and the home where our animals and our family had found peace. Without road frontage and visible neighbors, amongst beautiful woods, and under a gorgeous sky, our animals and our children embraced nature and all its wonder. Together they ran in the pastures and mingled among our free roaming horses. The kids helped build a 2 part Chicken Condo complete with a courtyard and a guinea fowl roost which gave the dogs more than enough entertainment to bark at through the day. When we moved, we not only had to find homes for all of our animals, but had to transition our dogs to a new life…life on a leash, life within small quarters, life exposed to other dogs that possibly carried illnesses. In fact, we had to transition our children to much of the same thing with them being exposed to a neighborhood with challenges we never thought we would have.

We’re coming up on three years of extremely tough times. There seems like there should be a message in all of this. The writing was on the wall for returning to Central Florida, but yet nine months later, daily life is still unsettled, stress is still all encompassing. I am trying to believe that GiGi’s passing means something. That even though we have downsized, have found support from family and friends, that we are still not embracing life like we are supposed to. I told Chris, I think the message is that we need to chuck it all, get a camper, live off grid, and travel to art shows for our living. He doesn’t agree. There has to be something more though and I can’t shake this feeling that I have been having for a while. GiGi’s royalty status means that she is leaving some kind of legacy. A lot of pressure to put on the memory of dog? Perhaps, but its sitting here. I can feel it. I can feel her fluffy crazy colored fur and her endearing spirit all around me encouraging me to find that solace once again.

Renee and GiGi

Renee and GiGi

The thing that I will miss the most is the sound of Renee’s voice whenever she spoke about her. The sound when she said, “GiiiGiii, my sweet baby! Oh I love you so much!”

We all love you, GiGi! You will be missed.