The finding of a puppy in the woods

Today marks a year that Gabby has been gone and I think of her always and miss her terribly. I was going to post this soon after but wanted it to be perfect. One day passed into another and I kept making excuses as to when to reread before posting and what to add to it. In a sense, I was dreading having to look at it as if by my not acknowledging this page would mean she was not gone. Not so. She will be forever missed. We will continue to be heartbroken. I keep hoping the movie A Dogs Purpose is real and she will find us and come back.


I was working in my office when my husband said to me “There is a puppy out front in the woods. Help me catch it.” I thought, Really? So I went with him out front thinking how hard can it be to catch a puppy. Well, she did not want to be caught. She was tiny. Only 8 weeks old and about 11 lbs. She finally hid in the stump of a tree that had fallen. I went and got this canned dog food that we had to feed our dog we had that passed away from cancer. She wouldn’t eat anything so we resorted to this canned food. Anyway, I figured it was the only thing we had that was stinky that a puppy might like. I fed it to her on my finger in the tree stump bit by bit. She still would not come out but she did eat the food and lick my finger. I finally told my husband to scare her out and I will grab her. I had to go back to work and this was going to take all day at this rate. He scared her and I grabbed her and she bit me! As I got up holding her in my arms, I said, “That wasn’t very nice.” She just looked at me.

We had another dog that was quite large so I told my husband to get the crate and I will put her in it to protect her from our large dog not knowing what he might do. So we did that. Set up a towel for her to lay on, a bowl for water and gave her more food to eat. She did not seem at all upset by all this loss of freedom. But she did watch everyone very carefully.

We took her to the vet the next day because she was covered in ticks and did not know what to do. They were able to remove them and they gave her a parvo shot. I can’t remember if there were other shots but whatever the puppy shots are, she got them and 3 days later she spent 5 days in the hospital with parvo! I’ll never forgot that after one night there, the vet, a different one than the one who admitted her, said to me I may want to consider putting her down! I said to her, “She has not even been her a day!” She never said anything else to me. I could understand if she were concerned that we could not afford 5 days but say so and then let me decide. Geeze! We visited her every day twice a day while she was there. I was so surprised and touched when I went to visit her and she wagged her tail.

They wanted a name at the hospital. I am Catholic and I found her on the Feast of the Annunciation so I named her after the Archangel Gabriel. I know a girl named Gabriela. The female of Gabriel. Gabby for short.

And something you should  know, at this time, I never intended to keep her. I was going to get her shots, train her and put her up for adoption. I was still sad at the passing of our other dog and did not want another.

I would carry her everywhere because she was so tiny and we are in a 2 story house. I’d carry her upstairs and keep her by me while I worked so if she had to go out I would know. I remember one time I had to run upstairs to get something and I put her at the bottom and said I’d be right back, stay here. I know she had no idea what I was saying but it felt good. I ran upstairs and moments later, she was right there next to me all pleased with herself. She did the stairs all by herself. I had to teach her how to go down but she picked that up just as fast and made sure I understood I did not need to carry her anymore. She was big girl now.

We originally thought she was a Border Collie mix because a friend of mine said “Looks like you found a Border Collie.” I thought “What?” I searched for info and started to follow all the training advice which thankfully worked, like telling to her to “go potty”.  Because she had parvo, I could not take her to training classes until she was 6 months old and fixed. She was the smallest in the class and we learned she had lots of fear based aggression issues which we continued working through. There were many days I told her I was going to send her to Cell Dogs. The popular show at the time.

She was very smart. We had a game for the first 2 yrs of her life called Tricks for Treats. She not only learned tricks but taught us many things as well. Like that she understood concepts like choosing toys or treats or if I told her not to growl at the other dogs, she would just “smile” at them. The silent threat. Lol

She would listen attentively to anyone who had something to say which was funny to find people start telling us something finish by telling it to her who would sit there in front of them looking at them.

She knew what was meant by Grandma and Grandpa are coming. We had to stop telling her that weeks in advance because she would go looking for them. And when they were almost to our house, she was there waiting, knowing they were almost here.

Sometimes when we would leave the house without her, we could hear her howling. I would say she is singing the blues. She sounded like a wolf. A beautiful sound.

She would come with me to the barn and lay out front waiting for me to finish. I would cherish looking at her so peacefully looking out and then I would think one day she will not be there.


Many nights, she would go up to bed early and I would here all this grumbling and growling. I went upstairs only to find she had “pulled down the blankets” and gotten into bed. She could do no wrong. LOL  How can I be mad when she was so happy to see me?

I started calling her my therapy dog, my little stress reliever. She is terribly missed.