Saturday, February 29, 2020

The Dogs Of My Life ~ Post No. 3 ~ Gypsy

I once knew a dog named Gypsy, so began the obituary I wrote for her after she died of a stroke at our house in Los Angeles. 

I cannot find the many pages I wrote to try to still my sadness. I tear up even now. I think it was 1992 when she died.

It's fair to say that I have loved all my dogs, but Gypsy found a special place in my heart.  We had a loving and strong connection, she loved me so and I her. Thinking back, I still can't find words.

Gypsy was a runaway dog. She must have smelled some good food cooking at my mother-in-law's house because she ended up there and wouldn't leave. She was pregnant, Errol's parents didn't want to take her to the pound, worried what might happen, so they told Errol and he took her in.

At this time, Errol, who lived across the street from me, and I were friends. Gypsy ran away from his house too. My friend Lin told me she had seen Errol chasing this Doberman pinscher down the street and described how he caught her, but had no leash, so he carried her back to his house. She was a big dog and pregnant too and Errol was not a big man. After that, trust was built and Gypsy stayed put. 

And I fell a little in love with a guy who would do that.

Gypsy had her puppies and Errol kept the alpha male, a large, red puppy he named Red. 

I would later buy my Pasadena house where Errol and I would marry. And that's where Gypsy would spend most of her life.  

Gypsy and I walked the beautiful streets of Pasadena together. Ancient tall oaks and other gorgeous huge trees lined the streets. We walked by pretty little cottages and cool craftsman bungalows surrounded by lovely gardens where a dog would often live behind a fence. Gypsy was a friendly dog and made many friends on our walks. Her favorite was long-haired black German shepherd, a male dog, so beautiful I'm sure she had a crush on him. 

When Errol and I went on vacation to Seattle, Gypsy and Red came with us. We drove in our new Ford Ranger pickup with a shell over the truck bed. The truck had back seats, a small space, but enough for the dogs. Sometimes, they rode in the bed with their heads out the open back. 

One night, when we camped deep in a dark forest in Oregon, both dogs became very nervous. They didn't bark or alert for wild animals, they were shivering and scared. Since they never were afraid, not even when the fireworks at the Rose Bowl went off at New Year's and the Fourth of July, Errol and I managed to get scared too. We talked ourselves into wondering if Bigfoot was hiding in the bushes. This was in Oregon, after all, where he was supposed to live. Funny, looking back, but we left our tent and all four of us cramped ourselves into the cab of the truck and spent the night there.

Other than that, it was a wonderful trip. We camped out most of the time and the dogs were so good. When they drifted away while exploring nature, Errol would just say, "stay within bounds," and they came right back. Errol was great with dogs and they knew, as dogs do, and respected him for it

Gypsy got breast cancer, she had several surgeries and survived. I remember she also broke a leg, but I don't remember how it happened.

When it snowed in the San Gabriel mountains, we would put the dogs in the truck and drive up to play in the snow. 

Gypsy was around 13 years old when she suddenly had a stroke. Errol was at home when it happened and stayed with her. I was at work and could not/did not rush home after I found out. When my workday was over, I realized I didn't want to go home, didn't want her to die, didn't want to watch her die. 

On my way out of the building, I stopped on the first floor and talked to Lois, the receptionist. I talked about Gypsy, how I felt, how terrible I was to not rush home. Lois consoled me as best she could, she was such a kind soul. 

When I came home, Gypsy had just died. I could have been there earlier. I was not. At the time, I wasn't good with dying and death. 

As I grew as a human being, I learned, as we all do, that death is a part of life and not something to shy away from. Later in my life I was there when my dogs and cats passed away. 

Gypsy was my love, she was loving, intelligent, protective of her pack which included our two cats, Samantha and Sindbad, she adored Errol, and she loved me so.



I still haven't asked Greg, the computer guy, to come and show me how to upload pictures, but since I wanted to post about one dog a month, I decided to post this anyway. 

I will call him soon.

Gypsy was a black and tan Doberman pinscher with natural ears and a cropped tail. She and Red, my dog for March, appear together in my photos, so I will post them together then. 

How I loved her, she was the best of dogs, she truly was a noble dog.


  1. Brilliant writing Inger - just loved reading the story ... your love for Errol with the dogs ... and family love - the puppies and the cats ... I'm so pleased you wrote about Gypsy ... looking forward to seeing some photos. The header is brilliant though ... big hugs from a very wet south coast ... cheers Hilary

  2. This was a lovely post, and I do get that about certain animals being the ones of your heart, even though you might have others you love. I had a cat, Annabelle, and a bird, Emily, who were that to me. Totally in tune.

  3. Lovely story and can see why Errol made such an great impression. i understand how Gypsy is special. I have had so many dogs that I truly loved and am hurt by their loss but only one can make me tear up today, 20 years later, just when I think of her.

  4. What a wonderful story. She was very blessed to have you both as her family! Don't beat yourself up about not being there when she died. She could have died very quickly while you were at work anyway. She actually was a matchmaker for you and your husband!!

  5. No wonder you fell in love with Errol. What a kind compassionate man. Gypsy will live in your heart.I had to border collies who both lived till they were 16. I miss them to this day. Love. Thanks for sharing this Inger. Hugs B

  6. loving dogs is a must for any man in my life, my dad disposed dogs and cats, he allowed the dogs but only outside. this is a wonderful story of love. it is true that some dogs have a specail connection, yours was gypsy. Bob's was Jake and mine is Big.. so glad you ended up with Gypsy and Errol and Red also. my first thought when reading about eh scared dogs was Bigfoot or a BEAR... yikes.

  7. What a fine story about a loving, friendly, intelligent dog!
    You and Errol were the perfect family for Gypsy!

  8. Gypsy sounds like a wonderful dog! I can see that you still miss her a lot!

  9. The words tell of your huge love for Gypsy, and the loss is huge when t hey go.To be there when they die is hard, and does not get easier. Of all our cats, chosen and strays who adopted us, Basil, the darling big ginger boy, was with us for a few months, gentle, loving, and so talkative with his eyes, would have to be my pick .And now, thinking of mortality, who might have to care for Boris and the new one Moxy , if I go first? I try not to dwell on that. We have had a cool morning, down south with their colder nights, the crocus are in bloom so early, and even here, I have some bulb shoots about 6 inches tall.

  10. I wonder if she knew you could not handle it and departed before you came home on purpose. Sometimes people do that or wait when a relative is on their way.

    I know it has been many years, but still I want to offer my condolences.

  11. She sounds like a wonderful dog who was much loved!!

  12. what a beautiful post this is. a tribute to a great and noble heart. both human and animal.
    yours. his. theirs!
    " we left our tent and all four of us cramped ourselves into the cab of the truck and spent the night there. "
    this left me with chills. dogs like Gypsy and Red... they are not just "barkers." they need to be listened to.
    they were giving you a message. and you were wise to heed it. I truly believe that. it may or may not have been Big Foot but it was undeniably something that you should have stayed safe from! and so you all did.
    I love this series. you paint pictures with your words. and they're beautiful Inger. XOXO

  13. You are truly a beautiful storyteller. I very much enjoyed it!

  14. Inger, I loved this story. I have had many dogs in my life, but sometimes there are those that are different...those that touch you in a special way. I think we are so lucky to have these creatures in our lives.

  15. A good pet can make all the difference. You are such a good writer my friend and really know how to share your feelings! Sweet hugs!


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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