Seasonal observations of an ever changing coastal landscape 
by Bold Bluff host Tamar Griggs 

Gyp Dies February 7, 2004

From:
Date: 3/10/04
Time: 7:47:53 AM
Remote Name: 208.181.177.161

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This is the saddest news I will ever write! Our most wonderful, intelligent dog who adored relating to people and especially to children, died on February 7th - just 9 days after being diagnosed with bone marrow cancer.

During the days that he was ill, I spent endless hours sitting with him, telling him what a phenomenal dog he was, and how much I loved him and would miss him, crying my heart out. I thanked him for coming to us at Bold Bluff nine and a half years ago as an adorable puppy with "flop-down" ears. And eventually I had to tell him that it was OK to leave his sick body and to go on to Doggy Heaven, although my heart broke telling him this. Perhaps he was concerned about leaving me. He knew I was utterly desolate! So, when I finally gave him permission to "go", I also told him that if he did not leave his body I would bring in the Vet to help him on his way.

February 7th dawned, and Gyp was still with me. He wanted to be outside on the porch, where he could hear the birds and see the grass and cove which were his playgrounds. I wrapped him in a blanket and sat beside him, counting the hours he had left on earth. Eventually, Gyp got up and brought me his ball. I couldn't believe my eyes! "Huh, Gyp? You wanna play?" I asked incredulously. He gave me the ball. "Well, OK!" I relented and tossed him the ball a ways. He raced after it, but had no energy to bring it back. He just stood there, head down, ball in his mouth. I went to him, asked him to drop the ball, and tossed it again. Gyp did a "flip" catching it in mid-air without a bounce! Unbelievable! And so sick, literally on his death bed. What an indominatable spirit.

My friends, Lloyd and Kelly, came to help with Gyp's burial. Gyp barked at their arrival by boat, being the good protector that he was, and then begged them to toss a stick. They couldn't believe their eyes. But Gyp hadn't eaten for 5 days, and he hadn't drunk any water for the past 2 days, not even when I put a bit in my hand and gave it to him. He was a very sick dog. And it was kinder to let him go sooner than later.

Can you believe that when Lloyd went in our boat to fetch the Vet, Dr. Derrick Milton, Gyp said "I'm outta here" and he trotted off to the Tipi site where his grave had already been dug? Kelly and I were having tea on the front porch and we didn't see him leave. Panic struck as we tried to find Gyp, but he trotted up to me as I called him.

He knew something BIG was up - as Lloyd, Kelly and Dr. Milton stood quietly on the bluff and I sat down beside Gyp, crying and stroking him. Dr. Milton gave him the opium to make him "not care" about the final shot. When Gyp's head drooped, Dr. Milton injected the medicine that sent Gyp peacefully off to Doggy Heaven.

Lloyd carried Gyp to his grave. We laid his tennis racket, balls, a little brass heart and a silver heart, and a small stone of Mother's amethyst in a broken ball, and covered him up with rich dark earth. We planted a yellow primrose on top of his grave, and Dr. Milton found a large head stone he and Lloyd brought to the grave.

And that is the end of Gyp. Except for the fond memories we carry of him in our hearts.


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