About 14 years ago it was time to get a dog. My wife and I wanted one because we knew just how God’s animals enrich our lives. As for me, I wanted a little mutt and I trusted my wife to go to the critter shelter and pick one out. I expected her to get some castoff dog hours away from a lethal injection and that was okay with me.
My wife arrived just before the shelter was opened and there was a mom with a little boy crying their eyes out because they had to give up Gypsy. Their tale of woe was heartbreaking as they were just part of a Phoenix TV news story. This family had recently moved into a Peoria home and the dad was a carpenter who made a dream kitchen for his family out of oak.
This family’s home was destroyed by a raging fire that caused a fireman’s helmet to actually melt onto his head. The family and their really sweet dog Gypsy, a 1 ½ year-old German Sheppard were thankfully all safe.. Aside from losing all they owned they had to give up Gypsy who was suffering from a post surgical infection after being spayed. That infection meant that Gypsy would be immediately killed as unadoptable.
My wife did not have a clue of the financial burden Gypsy would be or if the dog would really survive. When I was asked about bringing a German Sheppard into our home I had two words, “Absolutely not!” I muttered to myself because I was hoping for a little dog like Snoopy from the Peanuts comics and instead I was getting Rin Tin Tin.
I knew I was outvoted two to one, since Gypsy got to vote on this too. I went out and cleaned out the local Pet’s Mart of about $300.00 worth of needs for this K-9 contender entering my life.
Gypsy came home and wanted nothing whatsoever to do with me. She’d hide from me behind my wife. I would take Gypsy for walks but only because I had a leash on her. When Gypsy looked at me she’d be distrustful. You could see her eyes doodle back and forth. That caused me to nickname her Doodle.
I don’t quite know how it happened but after six months Gypsy finally adopted me. She claimed me and would never leave my side.
Gypsy was a smart dog, since she had me doing all the tricks for her instead of the other way around. She would religiously obey two commands, Come and Sit.
Gypsy was a great watch dog and I suspect she prevented more than one burglary. She put on that junk yard dog act for any stranger who came by the door. She’d flash her impressive teeth, growl and bark with the best of them. In reality if anyone broke in she’d run and hide. What did you expect, I said she was smart?
Gypsy had no faults. She was not destructive and was always a lady like doing her bathroom duties properly outdoors. Gypsy did keep the lint rollers and vacuum cleaner busy because she shed like most every dog.
Gypsy was loved by all who met her. I once brought her into the KTVK-TV newsroom and she gleefully played with the members of a visiting bunch of little Brownie Scouts. But for a certain terrorized assignment desk manager who did his best to keep the desk between himself and Gypsy that visit went off without a hitch.
For the last several years I’ve spent too much time in L.A. away from Gypsy. She’d forgive my absence every time I’d return to Phoenix.
Soon Gypsy was getting old and less playful. She was still pretty, well behaved and sweet. Gypsy was getting tired and today she went to Heaven. As I write this tears are landing on my keyboard. Gypsy gave so much and only wanted food and love in return. Gypsy was one of God’s better creations. I thank him for the time we had together. Rest in peace sweet Gypsy, you will never be forgotten.
Gypsy and I auditioned for the TV show Survivor together for the second season. Gypsy was the star as the following two videos demonstrate.