When I posted a picture of our ‘Shop Dog’ Serendipittie to our facebook page barely a week ago I had no idea that we would be saying goodbye to her desperately sweet soul such a short time later. At only 11 years old I was confident that we still had years together. So confident, in fact, that I’d excitedly registered myself and my sidekick for a comprehensive Scent Discrimination workshop this coming November! Man, was I looking forward to spending some quality time with my faithful companion and trusty decoy.
Serendipittie. Her name means a ‘happy accident.’ That’s exactly what she was. Happy. Most people knew her as Dip or Dippie. Which was also what she was. She was our Dippie, Dip stick, Dippin Dots, Dip Sauce. Our Dippity Doo Dog who brought wonderful days and plenty of sunshine our way. By the time we knew she was sick her kidneys were already failing. Yesterday she was here and now she’s not.
Sometimes there are no obvious signs when the end is near. It is a blessing and curse when a dog passes suddenly. Some dogs hide their pain so well that it can be too late before enough symptoms accumulate to cause worry. In this case we’d just spent 15 days on the road, traveling campsites and visiting different cities and states. We spent a glorious day hiking in Rock City, GA and I’d remarked numerous times how well behaved she’d been that entire trip. It’s easy to look back and notice signs in hindsight but in the moment it’s just as easy to dismiss isolated clues due to changes in routine or stress of travel.
By the time we’d gotten back home, settled in, came to the conclusion that something was legitimately wrong and had bloodwork drawn it was too late and Dippie, having declined rapidly in the previous 24 hours, was in pain. There is nothing worse than seeing the constant companion that has seen you through so many struggles charmed so many people tremble with discomfort and knowing that the best thing left to do is the last thing in the world you want to do. So we said our tearful goodbyes and let her suffering come to an end.
Now we console ourselves with thoughts that she is in a ‘better place’ even though we really would prefer that she be here in this place. In the space where she wore a Dippie sized indention. We told the kiddos that she in doggy heaven where she is able to chase bunnies, shred stuffed animals, lick all the plates, and romp and frolic with her brother Lucius to her heart’s content. Meanwhile we lament the loss small details that weave our beloved pets so tightly into our lives. We’ve never not had a dog.
I’ll think of her whenever I sit down at the table where I’d routinely apologize for kneeing her in the nose as she patiently waited under the table for the scraps that inevitably fell to the floor. I cringe at the thought of having to clean up a dropped egg without her assistance. Even as I write this I’m wishing for her warm armpits that I’d use to keep my toes warm and thinking of all the times we’d get her spin and zip through the room. I never got a good one on camera though I tried so many time.
Dip was the best snuggler. She loved ALL people. She wasn’t perfect but I don’t remember how she wasn’t and either way, she was perfect for us just the way she was. She never complained. She was the kind of dog that people try to replace with a lookalike and then end up hiring me for help when the successor doesn’t measure up to their predecessor’s standards.
Serendippittie taught me many lessons. She knew so many things ‘just a little’ because whenever I wanted to learn something new she was ready and willing. She expanded our hearts and leaves a gaping void. I trust that her sudden exit her way of guiding us to our next chapter. Though we would have gladly delayed this transition a week, a month, or preferably years. Dip knew that the time was now and our hearts may have been ripped open in the worst way but open they are. We are forever grateful for the wisdom she imparted to us.
REST IN PEACE, DARLING DIPPIE!