Gypsy was only part of our family for a little over a
year, but her story demonstrates that the bond
between people and their pets can be so strong that it
can't even be broken by death. It also reinforces my
belief that people are reunited with their pets in
In the early part of 1987 Shelly brought Sandy
home. (See previous story). The original plan was to
give Sandy to my mother because she had lost her
18-year-old poodle, Princess (see Princess II), just a
few months before. Sandy ultimately stayed with us.
In the fall of 1987 the dog of a friend of Shelly's
gave birth to a litter of puppies. We decided that
one of these puppies would be given to Mom at
The puppies turned 6 weeks old a few weeks before
Christmas. We picked one out and took her to our
house. The pup was full of fleas and needed to have a
flea bath before giving her to Mom. We cleaned her
up and put her in a little box with a note attached
(written by Gypsy, of course, and signed with a
pawprint) begging Mom to let her stay. We took it to
Mom's, put the box on the porch, and rang the bell.
We disappeared behind the bushes. Mom came to the
door and took the box inside. We peeked through the
window as she read the note. Gypsy must have been
quiet because Mom was more interested in reading the
letter. She then lifted the cover ever so slowly and
peeked in the box. Out popped the soon-to-be-named
After they appeared to be bonding, Shelly and I went
in pretending not to know anything about where this
new little intruder came from. Mom kept saying she
didn't want another dog, but she named her and didn't
protest when we left her there. So Gypsy had a new
Mom was still working at that time. She felt sorry
for Gypsy and didn't want her to be locked up in a
crate all day, so she tried keeping her in the kitchen
with newspapers scattered all over. Of course, this is
not the way to train a young puppy. In that first
year Gypsy managed to completely destroy the
carpet, the furniture, and the house in general. But
also in that first year Mom and Gypsy became
inseparable. In the second year Gypsy settled down,
Mom got new furniture, and at last there was
complete harmony between the two of them.
Mom was always telling me that Gypsy kept her
feeling young. Before Gypsy she would come home
from work, have dinner, and fall asleep in front of the
television. After Gypsy, she would come home from
work and immediately take Gypsy for a long walk.
She made a lot of new friends in the neighborhood and
Gypsy was the cause of it all. She made the comment
once that Gypsy had become such an important part of
her life that she couldn't imagine life without her ever
We moved to Florida in 1992. Mom was still working
in Michigan at that time. With all of us gone, Mom
and Gypsy became even closer. Mom finally decided
to retire in 1996 at the age of 76. It took me a year
but I finally persuaded her to move to Florida in
1997. She bought a home not too far from us so we
saw each other often. I could also see how close she
was to Gypsy. They still went for their long walks
two or three times a day.
In February of 2001 Mom had to have open heart
surgery. Gypsy came to stay with us for a while.
Neither one of them did very well without the other.
The doctor finally talked to me and told me to bring
Gypsy to the hospital and he would make arrangements
to have them visit one another. The visit worked
miracles. Gypsy perked up and Mom recovered
enough to be released from the hospital the following
week. She came to stay with us for a little while until
she re-gained her strength. After a few weeks she
returned home with Gypsy.
In January of 2002 Mom's health once again failed.
This time she had to have 24-hour nursing care. Her
home was sold and she moved into a nursing home.
Gypsy came back to live with us permanently. By this
time she was used to living in our home, so she adapted
quickly. We took her to visit Mom at the nursing
home frequently. During one of my visits with Mom,
we talked about Gypsy. I believe that Mom had some
kind of premonition that she didn't have a long time
left in this world. Her premonitions were always
fairly accurate, so much so that I had always believed
that she had some sort of special connection to God.
The conversation we had that day was very strange
indeed. She reminded me where all the important
papers were kept and how she wanted to be buried in
Michigan next to my grandparents where she bought a
family plot in 1960 when my grandfather died. She
also said she was worried about Gypsy being left
behind. I told her Gypsy had a happy home with us
and would live out the rest of her days as one of ours.
She then said that wouldn't be necessary because
when she got to Heaven, she was going to call Gypsy
home to be with her forever.
A few weeks after this conversation Mom had some
sort of stroke or mild heart attack. This time it
affected her mind. There were days when she didn't
even recognize me when I went to visit. When I took
Gypsy, she would only pat her on the head, then
become tired, and fall asleep. I didn't think this was
doing Gypsy any good, so eventually I stopped taking
her for visits. Gypsy seemed to be happy and well
adjusted living with us so I tried not to be too
concerned about their separation.
On April 6, 2003, Gypsy ate her dinner as usual.
About 9:15 p.m. I received a call from the nursing
home. Mom had gone into cardiac arrest, the
ambulance was there, and they were going to
transport her to the hospital. I went to get ready to
leave for the hospital. Before I could get out of the
house, another phone call came saying Mom had passed
away before they could get started for the hospital.
The next day I made arrangements with the vet to
board the dogs while we drove back to Michigan for
the funeral. I called every day to check on Sandy
who was very weak from kidney failure (see previous
story). They told me the other dogs were fine but
that they couldn't get Gypsy to eat anything. Sandy
died on April 11, the day of the funeral. Gypsy had
gone 5 days without eating. We came back home the
following Monday and picked up the dogs. I thought
Gypsy would start eating again once we got her back
home. After all, she hadn't eaten anything since the
evening Mom died.
Two weeks went by and Gypsy still wouldn't eat. She
hadn't seen Mom for months, so I know she wasn't
depressed about that. I dropped her off at the vet's
one morning to have tests and x-rays performed to
find out why she refused to eat. The tests all came
back negative and the vet found absolutely nothing
wrong with her physically.
Then on the morning of April 26, just 20 days after
Mom's death, Gypsy also died for no apparent reason.
Mom's words that she spoke to me that one afternoon
suddenly came flooding back. She had said that after
she got to Heaven she would call Gypsy to be with
her. Is it really possible that there was contact
between the two of them that night on April 6 when
Gypsy ate her last meal and Mom entered Heaven?
Yes, I believe that they are together again, that even
death couldn't separate them. And I further believe
that one day I, too, will be reunited with my dogs at
Rainbow Bridge, the entrance to Heaven.
|GYPSY AT 6 WEEKS OF AGE
|GYPSY AT 3 MONTHS OF AGE
| GYPSY AND SANDY
|GYPSY LOVED HER TOYS
|A GIRL HAS TO REST SOMETIME
|GYPSY AT 2 YEARS OF AGE
IN FLORIDA - 1997
GYPSY AT 10 YEARS
|GYPSY AT 15 YEARS OF AGE
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