This Article is About
gizmo
last breath
pup
daisy
puppies
next morning
puppy
God I Love My Dog!
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I didn't want a dog, but my daughter insisted that I take one of her six puppies. I traveled five hours to her home and she had a dog picked out for me, She named her Daisy and she was the only pup with a wavy black coat. As we sat on the bed and watched the pups; there was one pup hogging the heater, then in an instant it came and laid down on my feet. It was a darling black and tan with a white chest hound dog looking specimen of dog. I asked my daughter what this puppy's name was. She said, "That's Gizmo." I told her if I were to take a puppy, it would have to be Gizmo as he chose me. I would have to wait as the puppies were not weaned from their mom.

When the pups reached weaning time, my daughter told me they had promised Gizmo to her husband's best friend. I told her, that being the case, I didn't want any another one. Three weeks passed, my daughter called me and asked if I still wanted Gizmo and I asked her why now? She advised me that the man who took Gizmo, was involved in a freak accident and his head was damaged and he'd have years of rehabilitation and he and his wife could not keep Gizmo. I told her I would drive up and get Gizmo.

Two days later, I traveled the five hours again to get Gizmo. He was so happy to see me, it was like he remembered me. I was dumbfounded, for this dog acted like he had known me all my life. The next morning as I was getting ready to go, I looked outside at all the puppies left and I saw that Daisy was having convulsions. I recognized her actions for I had seen it before. She was suffering with distemper and appeared to be in her final stages of life. I told my son in law, he watched too. I told him, I would take Daisy back with Gizmo and me and keep her peaceful till her end and give her a proper burial after she passed.

We made a comfortable box for Daisy, I placed her in the back seat of my car and Gizmo sat in the passenger's seat beside me. Gizmo behaved like a trained animal. Daisy took her last breath about an hour and a half into our trip and I stopped in a rest area and placed her in the trunk so Gizmo would not be curious or want to play with her. Gizmo and I traveled on, only stopping to rest him and give him water every so often.

Once home, I showed Gizmo his new digs and took him out into his new, fenced in back yard and I walked him around our swimming pool. After he surveyed his new home, I kept him inside and proceeded to lay Daisy in her final resting place.

I bought and installed a new doggy door for Gizmo in his Bartow, Florida home. He sat and watched me installing it. Immediately, upon my completion of installation, Gizmo jumped through it. I marveled at his intellect.

Gizmo became my constant companion. We'd swim together, I'd pretend to be drowning, he'd jump into the water and put my hand in his mouth and pull me to the steps or the ladder, depending upon which end of the pool I was in. He loved the water and swimming.

When Gizmo was one year and six days old, I met a gentleman via online. He met Giz and they bonded quickly. He said he always wanted a dog as well behaved and well mannered as Giz was. We dated, worked together, played together and traveled together, the three of us. A year and a half later, he proposed to me. I said yes, under one condition, he'd have to officially adopt Gizmo prior to our wedding. He laughed, but agreed. I drew up the adoption papers, we went before a Magistrates office to marry and the Magistrate handled the adoption prior to our exchanging our matrimonial vows. Giz became Gizmo Ludwig Von Stata. His name of royalty, a small reflection of just how special of a dog he was.

Gizmo was our child. He made us laugh with his antics like; running circles every time we started our four wheelers to travel up the mountain; or chasing a squirrel up and leaning tree, so far he had to tippy toe to turn around and come down; eating his happy meal; licking his small dairy queen ice cream cup; sitting up when asked, "What are you supposed to do?" when food was around; sleeping under the covers, lying right beside you, with his head on the pillow; his running miles upon miles to be beside us when we four wheeled in the mountains; pulling your clothes to drag you inside when he heard thunder roar; protecting our baby chickens and letting us know when something was wrong; alerting us when a wild animal had entered the chicken coop and then getting the animal out of the coop for us; and if we ever had to leave Gizmo at home, how he would act when we returned is forever etched in our heart. We could tell story after story about our Giz and his cuteness. So many laughs, so much love, its the stuff memories are made of.

Gizmo found a new dog friend in our yard two different times. One became his little brother Rascal and the other became a rescue blind beagle who went to Canada to help special needs children as a therapy dog.

On February 10, 2006, we had to attend a meeting and were away for five hours and with the weather being so cold we left Gizmo and Rascal at home. When we returned, Gizmo was not at the door barking and welcoming us back home. I knew something terrible had to have happened. We entered the house, Rascal greeted us, but Gizmo was not around. I searched for him and found him, on the cold concrete floor in the garage, alive, but totally out of touch with life. I picked him up and took him into our bathroom and placed him on a nice comfortable rug. He knew I was there, but did not react.

My husband and I lost it, we cried uncontrollably and held to each other. We were at a loss as to what to do. I wiped Gizmo's head down with a warm cloth. I went online and asked for prayers from all my friends. I called my world wide prayer line also and then called my daughter. We could not sleep. We took Gizmo into our bedroom and I put a small bowl of tuna fish beside him and some water. Gizmo loved tuna fish and if he were ever able to eat again, we knew he'd eat that. At around 4:00 AM, I heard a familiar eating sound and rose to see Giz eating his tuna. We both got up and were elated and Giz looked at us as to wonder why we were acting like fools.

The next day, I thanked all I possibly could for their prayers an relayed to them that Giz made it through the night, but he was still weak and more prayers were appreciated. I called Giz's vet and he informed me he was going out of town for two weeks and could not make an appointment. He advised us, to keep our eyes on Giz and should an emergency arise again to contact another vet, miles away from us.

We watched Giz closely, he would do some things he used to do, but he had forgotten how to do many other things. For instance, he'd jump up in our recliner with us, but he forgot how to get down. One thing constant with him was his love for us. We knew he was suffering from something. Its heart wrenching to want answers, yet none are available.

One February 13, 2006, I let Giz out with Rascal to do his morning business. He excited through his doggy door of his Abingdon, Virginia home and proceeded outside. After a little while, I saw Gizmo turn his head sharply to his right side and his nose faced his tail. Then his tail arched towards his face and soon Gizmo went into right-handed spinning. It was a crush to me and I went outside as I didn't want Giz to fall down in the snow unconscious. As I tried to stop Giz and pick him up, he snipped at me as if I were a complete stranger and by now he had fallen from the bank unto the dirt road.

I screamed for my husband, but with all windows closed, he never heard my screams. I tired to climb the bank, but the ice just made me slide. I lost my breath, with my asthma in the thick air and did all I could to coax Giz towards our garage. Finally, I reached our garage door and went inside to get my husband's help. We managed to get Giz inside and in spurts, Giz would spin, run, the fall over exhausted. We realized Giz had to have brain damage of some sort. As I was standing in the garage, Giz ran to me, panting and tired, he sat down right in front of me, looked me squarely in the eyes with a glassy look, he whimpered, stood up, leaned into my knees, looked up at me again and in an instant, I felt him begging me to ease his suffering. He was telling me, "Make the hurt go away mommy!" I know millions of animal lovers know what I am talking about.

We had to do something, but our options were limited. We live miles from the vets, the roads were covered with ice and we thought of what could possibly happen if we were traveling and Giz had another attack? We'd perhaps all get injured in an accident. We knew we were not strong enough to do what the young man did in "Old Yeller". We called a neighbor for help.

Before our neighbor arrived, Gizmo had another attack. When his spell subsided, Giz was down and quiet and had no energy left at all. I placed him on a large padded quilt and we carried him outside by the steps leading down from his doggy door.

Our neighbor arrived, his heart was saddened too, but he saw the emergency confronting us. He picked Giz up and carried him to our picnic area. My husband and I went inside and stood motionlessly, embracing each other as we wept. Once we heard the ear piercing shot of eternity, we sobbed profusely. Our neighbor returned and asked us if we'd like him to bring Giz back to his blanket, we said, "Yes" and he did. After we gathered some sense of stability, we placed Giz in his blanket, put him on my four wheeler for his last trip up the mountain.

Our ground here is nearly impossible to dig a hole, due to rocks, but a tree had blown over near our cabin and after it was removed, a large hole was still there as we had yet to fill it back in. We placed Giz in the hole facing toward our cabin door and we finished his final resting place. We took his blanket and placed it in our campfire and let the ashes of it rise slowly towards the heavens in honor of Giz.

For six years and five days short of two months, Gizmo Ludwig Von Stata was a light in my life. We still cry as we miss him dearly. We've had two other stray dogs enter our home and Rascal is still with us. But every once in a lifetime, something special shares our space and our something special has to be Giz. We thought he'd be with us longer, but we're so very proud of every moment we had to share with him. Between the two of us, we've had over twenty plus dogs in our lifetime; we can't explain it the way it needs to be explained, but Gizmo was more than a dog.

Once after leaving his grave, I was traveling down our big road towards home and Gizmo came into my mind and told me we would get another dog and his name would be Baxter. It was such a crazy feeling, we did not want another dog. We still had Rascal who was devastated when Giz left him so much so he'd not eat for three days. On his first adventure outside, after Giz was gone, Rascal ran directly to the picnic area where our neighbor had taken Giz. It's a distance from our porch and I believe Rascal could smell Giz still. But, for us, no new dogs as we could not go through something like this again. I told my husband about Baxter and he laughed and we shared the oddity with our closest friends too.

On April 1, 2006, we saw, what to us, looked like an old dog, standing along the side of the road, near a gate, where no homes were a half a mile from our place. We knew someone had thrown out this old critter. We saw it both going to town and coming back home. The next day, I had to go to town again to do some work for a friend and it was storming. When I passed that gate, I could see that old dog standing there, soak and wet, patiently waiting for his/her master to return to pick him/her up. When I got to where I was heading, I called my husband and told him if that old dog was beside the road when I came home, I was going to stop and pick it up and take it to an animal shelter as it was not fair to the dog.

After several hours, I headed back home. The rains had long ceased and as I approached the gate, I pulled my truck into the gate area. I saw the old dog, it was dry and skittish. I opened the glove box of our truck to get some chicken treats we always kept in it for Giz and Rascal. I threw a couple out and the dog ate them quickly. I gave it a few more and I slowly reached and opened the back door of our extended cab. I coaxed the dog into our truck and to my amazement, the dog jumped right in. I took it home and when I got out I left it inside until I could get a leash to bring it on our porch.

I retrieved the dog, took him into our screen room, removed the leash and when I opened our french door to go inside, the dog barged in front of me and went directly over to my husband, who was sitting in his recliner and jumped into his lap. My husband said, "This dog is a springer spaniel it appears." I asked him to look and see if it is male or female. He said, "It's a boy!" I went over to the dog and lifted his gums and I could tell by his baby teeth in his mouth, he was not even six months old. He IS A PUPPY! Who could do that? I knew he was not a Spaniel, his tail was cropped and he had one blue eye and one blue/brown eye. He had to be and Australian Shepard in my mind. He had a white/light brown/brown coat. He just kept making a big fuss over my husband. I said I would call the animal shelter and take him there. My husband told me not to do that just yet. Needless to say, Baxter had arrived.

Baxter does many of the antics Gizmo did, circles around in front of the four wheelers, sits up when asked what's he to do and many more things like Giz. It's uncanny, not explainable, but one thing so very different, other than looks, is Baxter thinks he can talk and boy does he ever try to carry on a conversation. He'll ramble on for over a minute or two. He and Rascal have become the best of friends . He's been with us now over five years along with another stray we found near death in our mountains.

Jake was a huge dog, a deer hound dog type. We nourished him back to health, from near death at forty-five pounds to one hundred-twelve pounds, but sadly we had Jake euthanized recently for he lost all quality of life. He could not walk up or down our steps and he would cough all through the night. We kept Jake four years and four months and we knew they were the best years of Jake's life and he had his way of letting us know that too. Jake was abused before he came to us. He showed us that by how he would react when we tried to pet him. But, Jake was the largest, most docile, lovable big dummy of a hound dog you ever love to feed and love. He was special to us. Baxter never showed Jake the love he shows Rascal, but cohesively they existed.

Along with our twenty-six chickens, three cats, our two dogs make our house a home. Our memory's of our first dog child, Gizmo and our Jake, fill our heart with pride.

The following is a poem tribute I wrote in honor of Gizmo Ludwig Von Stata when he was two years and four months old. I wrote it while we traveled in April of 2002 from Virginia to Florida. It is titled the same as this article: Grace has taught me: Giving to others has a wonderful, rebounding effect in my soul. Faith has taught me: When none are around; I'm never alone. Prayer has taught me: To release the things too large for me to handle and give thanks that I'm never alone. My spirit has taught me: I have a forever connectedness with the Universal Force of which I am a part of. Life has taught me: All I have is now and my mindset in the now, controls the moment. Change has taught me: It is the only constant of existence! My dog has taught me: To sniff all the air around me, show affection, swim in the rivers, run in the mountains, eat regularly, rest often, stretch upon rising, and most importantly; to mark my territory. God I love my dog!!!


Street Talk

Chris51  

I like your article!

Reply
  about 4 years ago

Loved this story! I could feel the love and read every word - very touching.

Reply
  about 5 years ago

What a touching story. Thank you for sharing it. I'm going to find my dog right now and give him a big hug.

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Outstanding. I know how much it hurts. I had to put my Golden Retreiver To sleep on 21 April 2011, less then a year, and it still hurts every day. I have pictures of him at my computer. They are a part of the family. Thank you

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Wow, what a wonderful story about some wonderful four legged friends in your life. I have had many canine friends and can remember each one. I have one on either side of me as I write this. Great article!

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Great article, I really love my dog too! thank you

Reply
  about 6 years ago
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