One day in August of 2000, about a month after I lost my previous dog (Eddie) to a hit and run driver, my neighbor stopped by my house. She had just finished her walk with her dog and was returning my sweater she had borrowed.
And right behind her was this cute little brown puppy. I thought she was dog sitting and I started cooing over the cute little puppy and when I went down to pet her my neighbor shouted,
"NOOOO! DON'T TOUCH HER!"
I jumped back and said "Why?!".
"Because she's not with me! She followed us from the park where someone dumped her off. I can't take care of her, do you want her?"
I said, "No, it's only been a month since Eddie died - I'm just now getting his stuff together to take to the shelter".
She left, but the dog didn't follow her, she stayed and laid down outside my door, which I shut because I was not ready for another dog.
That lasted about 10 whole minutes. I couldn't stand it, she was so cute and pathetic looking. So I opened the door and called her in, fed her watered her and told my sister that she was taking her into the vet the next day because I had to work.
That is how Gabi came into my life, became my companion, my baby, my center.
What a happy, gentle dog.
She hated eating alone. I would pour her food out in the morning, but she wouldn't eat it until I got home at night. Even then she would take a mouthful of tiny bite food (she didn't like the big nuggets) drop them at my feet wherever I happened to be in the house, then daintily eat a few nuggets at a time. It took her forever to finish her bowl of food.
Gabi loved the park, she would get so excited for our daily walks that she would spin in circles.
On the bed.
On top of me.
At 5:30 AM.
Every. Single. Morning.
And Lord did she loved the water. The park where we walked (the one she was found in) had a Bayou where she'd swim and chase the fish. She would run down sloped concrete sides barking at the fish, then take a running jump into the water trying to catch them. The first few times she did that it scared the crap out of me. She got some serious air when she jumped into the water.
Sometimes I'd have to go down to the water and grab her halter and haul her out because she didn't want to leave.
Amazing considering the fact that I had to push her into the water the first few times she got in. Not a very good doggy mama thing to do! Oops!
Gabi loved fish.
Not eating them, that wasn't her thing - although she did like caviar.
She did like chasing them, but that wasn't her favorite thing about fish either.
What she liked to do with fish, what she LOVED to do fish, didn't happen until after they died.
Yep that's right, she loved a dead fish.
Guess what she did with the dead fish.
She rolled in them. AARRGGHH!
I can't tell you how many times I was late to work because I had to give her a bath in order to get the rotted fish off her before we went into the house.
She had to be one of the cleanest, nicest smelling dogs in neighborhood because I had to wash the rot off her at least once a week.
My little love muffin had one of the best personalities. She even won over my husband, who unbeknownst to me at the time, didn't particularly care for dogs. He'd been bitten as a child. He said he didn't tell me because he knew who would win in a him or Gabi scenario.
But she won him over. He said she was so sweet and had such an expressive face and cool personality that he totally fell in love with her.
He even stopped trying to keep her out of the bed. We would tell her to get down and make her lay on her own bed next to ours. But she would just wait until we fell asleep then hop up.
Finally one night he said, "Just bring her up with us she'll end up in the bed anyway". I just grinned.
One of Gabi's favorite indoor activities was having her belly scratched. I think that's really what won my husband over. He couldn't resist the cuteness she exuded when she would jump up on the couch, sit up like a gopher then lean back until she was either propped up on the arm of chair or against us.
That way we could have easy access to her belly.
So we could scratch it.
I loved that little dog. I had her for 10 years and it seems like I only had her for a minute, but it feels like I had her forever.
She moved to London with us then to Dubai.
And she'll be coming back to America with us too, but in our hearts, not in our hands.
I had to have her put down today. She was in too much pain and I couldn't put her through it anymore.
She looked at me, she knew. I knew. And it was peaceful.
But man am I sad.
Scratch my belly PLEASE!