Today we said farewell to our old friend Gertie.
We adopted Gertie in 2001 from a pet rescue, and to be honest, she wasn't the sweetest dog we've ever called our own! ;) She may have been abused, she may just have been ignored, or maybe she ruled the roost in her previous home. Whatever the case might have been, my girls (little at the time) weren't allowed near here unless I was present to monitor. It wasn't long before she realized that I was the alpha dog in this house and I began to trust her... kind of.
She was an awkward little pooch. That long, round, low body (Corgi) and those incredibly short legs supporting it all. With those ears, she could fly away. She had a lovely coat though, soft and clean. She rarely required baths, she always smelled kind of... fresh.
Over the years she became my daughter's dog. She slept in Tay's room and received the most love and affection from my eldest. One year, Tay threw her an elaborate birthday party, complete with cake, festive hats and probably even goodie bags! Cousins and Grampa rounded out her guest list.
Over the years Gertie grew more calm, gentle and tolerant. She had settled into this easy life, and I think she liked it just fine! :)
This past Christmas Taylor asked for a pet portrait of her goofy little dog. I had been watching her for awhile and knew that things weren't quite right with Gertie's health. I had a feeling it wouldn't be much longer, and Tay wanted a beautiful keepsake. She discoverd an artist on Etsy, passed along the info to me, and I went hunting for a good pic. I found this one from several years ago and sent it along to In All Things - Art! . When the portrait came I was blown away, Johnni had done an amazing job. It was a stunning watercolor. I joked that it made Gertie look more endearing than she ever had during her long life! ;) We all thought it was beautiful.
Letting her go wasn't a sad thing, it was a gift we could give her after a long journey. I'm one of those weird people who doesn't fear death, or see it as an ending. Instead, I see it as a joyful beginning, and as I held her, I could feel her spirit soar free. On the way home I felt an overwhelming surge of joy. I turned to Taylor and told her that Gertie was home. I could feel it. I think that I smiled the whole drive home.
Fly free Gertie, someday we'll meet again. :)