Skipper

by Gina Judd
(Orange, CA USA)

I use to marvel at Skipper. His whole life consisted of sleeping. Catching a tennis ball as it rolled off our roof after my father-in-law would toss it up there over and over, after he got off work.

At night, Skipper would plant himself in front of our bedroom door, waiting to go on a "W" with my husband. On many walks they'd go to the creek behind our house where Skip wouldn't even ask, he'd just run right into the water. He loved the water. Not clean swimming pools though, he loved muck water and creeks and the riverbed.

On Saturday mornings during the summer, my in-laws would take him to the dog beach. He'd get so excited, he'd get nervous colitis and poop the minute they got to the beach. He'd whine and whimper the minute he could see the ocean.

He loved to retrieve his tennis ball and he'd drop it, THUD right in front of the designated pitcher's feet, and then look at you like "Well? Dummy? Are you going to throw it?"

These were the things that made up Skipper's existence. Playing ball, swimming and going for W's. The rest of the time he'd sleep on the couch.

I never knew while I observed these things, that I was going to miss them so soon. I never knew how much I too loved this funny dog.

I found this out on Tuesday, February 11, 2009 when my husband came home and told me that Skipper had drowned at the river. Now each night I've drowned in my tears, wishing I had showed him how much I loved him. Wishing I had showed myself how much I loved him.

I want to blame my husband for taking him there. I almost did, but my husband loved that dog with all of his heart and he tried so hard to save him. He had to instead watch helplessly as Skipper didn't surface alive. My heart breaks for him, for me, for my son, for my in-laws because we woke up in the morning with a friend and went to bed that night with a memory and hole in our hearts; and we never saw it coming.

Skipper, I hope we get to see you again. We all miss you soo much. I loved you and always will.

Gina "Gert"

Comments for Skipper

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Empty Hall
by: Anonymous

At night I still find myself walking slowly down the dark hallway; something I learned was safer after being tripped and nearly launched by our sleeping Skipper.

Now I'd give anything to stub a toe or strain a muscle in an effort to break my fall; instead of the tight empty feeling I get in that space at the top of the stomach and bottom of the heart, as it dawns on me I no longer have to walk carefully and slowly down the hall, because there is no Skipper to trip me.

Dear Skip
by: Gina

God, I miss you. At night I go outside and I think, it's so cold outside and I wonder if it's warm where you are. Then I wonder where that is? Is there a heaven that our souls go to? Is it true that our beloved pets don't go there? I really want a simple answer. I hear Indians believe that pets are reincarnated, and I've always believed that to be possible...but I no longer know.

I've been looking for answers. I found a few that help. One person believes that it is the soul that has the ability to love. Dogs love so unconditionally, they have more soul than so many people I know. You loved a whole house full of masters and made us all feel special in a special and different way.

I don't know where you are now. I just hope I end up there someday with Rich and all that you loved. He misses you so much, Skipper. I know he wants you to know that it wasn't your fault what happened. Soon, he'll stop blaming himself and his tears will turn to smiles when he thinks of you.

You were a truly loved doggy Skip.

Love,
Gina

RE: Always in Our Hearts
by: Sharon

I cried all over again, 40 years ago and it seemed like yesterday..........


Thank You Dad for your special message to Rich
by: Anonymous

It's hard enough to grieve a death but its probably doubly hard when you feel responsible for it. Rich tried to get him out but the water was too strong where Skip was. He hurt his knee and cut his foot because he took his boots off to try to reach where Skip was. It was lucky I wasn't there. I probably would have dove in without thinking.

We are starting to realize that death is neither bad nor good, it just is, and it's inevitable. To blame one another won't bring Skip back. We all learn from these things though.

I still remember that night when Spikey died, it was so sad, but I remember how happy I was when you told me to come out to the truck and see what you got me, and it was Shasta in a cardboard box. Remember? I wanted to name her Mary Ann. We finally agreed to Shasta.

I am not going to deny myself the love of a dog if one comes into our lives. I will cherish the time spent. Even as sad as it is to lose them, it's worth the good times they give to us. I wouldn't say that the pain I have felt wasn't worth all the times he made me happy or made me laugh.

Always in our hearts
by: Anonymous

Gina and Rich

It is so very sad to lose a pet. I can name everyone of them I have lost in the past 50 years!

People and pets come into our lives for a reason, and we never know the reasons why. It says in the Bible "You can judge the worth of a man by the way he cares for his beasts."

To Rich: I known the feeling of helplessness. Our dog Spikey got out, we searched and searched, we couldn't find him. I went to work, at the time I was a rookie Police officer. A call came out about a vicious animal attacking people, and in my heart I knew this was Spikey. My partner and I responded and found him at the rear of a business. His eye was hanging out, his leg was broken. I asked my partner to shoot him as he was in horrid pain. That is one gunshot I will hear for the rest of my life.

It sounds to me that Skipper's last moments were spent doing something he loved to do. Life doesn't get any better than that, especially at the end.

I pray that soon your pain is replaced by a soft smile and good reflections of Skipper and the quirky little things he did that won your hearts.

There are many pets like Skipper that are on death row at the pound. You cannot replace Skipper, but you can be blessed with another pet to love. Something to think about.

Love Dad

What a great friend
by: Susan

Gina,

I feel like you do. Sometimes I'm not as involved with our pets as you Dad and then when they're gone you realize how much you loved them.

Take care!

Thank you Kevin
by: Gina

One thing about sharing grief, it's a lot like sharing laughs; it brings people closer together. I've gone through a lot of mixed emotions about how it happened; trying to sort it out. I realized that my husband and this dog loved each other so much. Skipper was a very good judge of character, which says a lot for the man I married.

I am starting to realize more each day that this was just a horrible accident, that could have been even more tragic if my husband had tried to go in too and not come out.

Thank you again for your message. It's nice to hear from people who understand all the emotions that I'm having.

So sad
by: Kevin in NB Canada

Sorry for your loss Gina. Skipper was a beautiful dog. I know the pain of losing a dog you really love. I went through it 9 months ago today and still cry when I think of her.

They live on in our hearts and our dreams.

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