My Dog, Gidget


I’ll be honest. I’ve put off writing this post for some time, because today would have been her 18th birthday. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to write it. Instead, I knew penning this story would bring up many emotions that I wasn’t sure I was ready to confront.

Over the years, I have written several posts about my miniature poodle, Gidget. From my references to her in other posts, one could easily tell how much Gidget was a part of my family. Sadly, on Friday, October 13th, 2017, Gidget passed away in my arms at the age of 17. Just writing that sentence makes my heart break and brings tears to my eyes. Losing a pet is tough. The house is quieter with a sudden emptiness in all the rooms, and days no longer consist of vet trips, feedings, and asking, “Where’s Gidget?” However, during these past ten months, I have learned what it means to love and be loved by an older pet. The lessons are ones that people, no matter what their life consists of, can relate to and use.

  • Enjoy the present and don’t worry about the future. Gidget started getting sick late spring of last year. My family began to grieve and dread what life would be like without her. Yet, Gidget was still with us, not in pain, and could have a couple of months to a couple of years left. From this, Gidget taught us to enjoy the present and not worry about the future. Changing my mindset and starting to live in the present with Gidget made all the difference. Reflecting on her younger years and funny memories became easier because we were still making special moments. The future comes far too quickly, and the best thing anyone can do is to live in the present.
  • Be thankful for the times you spent together.My opinion might be a little biased, but Gidget had the world’s biggest personality. She was sweet, friendly, sneaky, a ham, and a major cuddle-bug. She always knew how to put a smile on a person’s face and how to get all the attention. (Ever had a dog who would take a small piece of food and “attack” it in front of everyone just to get all the claps and praise? Yes, that was Gidget.) Looking back at all of these times, I am always brought to laughter. A piece of advice: whenever you are feeling sad and missing a loved one, reflect on the good times you spent together. This is just one of the many ways you will feel closer to them.
  • You’ll never regret spending time caring for a loved one. Everyone has their own way of taking care of loved ones and should do what works for them. In my family, we treated Gidget like an elderly human family member. When she got really sick and even before that, our lives rotated around her and her needs. Life was busy during this time, with vet trips three times a week for fluids and assisting Gidget with her feeding four times a day. However, if we were given the chance, every single member of my family would do that all over again, because, in return, Gidget gave us love. As I mentioned above, she was a huge cuddle-bug. It was our nightly ritual for me to hold her on my chest as we drifted off to sleep. Towards the end, Gidget never wanted to be put down at night, and I don’t look back at the loss of sleep and everything we did for her with regret. This is the same with other family members and friends. Go the extra step for them when they are sick.
  • Love never truly leaves you.Whether it be a human or a pet, loved ones will always stay in your heart, no matter what. There are little reminders of Gidget throughout the house, just like there are reminders of my grandfather, who has passed away. In her later years, Gidget taught me that she will always be a part of this family and will keep loving us, even after she’s gone.

Loving an older pet is something very special. You and your animal grow closer on a different level, and they become more dependent on you. In return, your pet gives you extra love and many memories, just like Gidget gave my family and me.




Five More Minutes

Gidget and Me

I can’t tell you how many titles I wrote for this post and deleted. Grief. Losing a Pet. Heartbreak and many more. However, I landed on the title “Five More Minutes” after pulling up YouTube and seeing country singer Scotty McCreery’s song, “Five More Minutes.” I knew immediately that would be my title.

In a previous post, I mentioned my dog, Gidget, passing away on Friday, October 13th. Well, today, my mom and I went back to the vet for the first time since her passing. For about the last year or so, Gidget had kidney issues and needed fluids every so often.  Our vet became our second home and family. I had been dreading going back, because I knew she wouldn’t be going with me. Last night, I dreamt about going and crying the whole time I was there.

My family got our miniature, apricot fur, poodle when I was in the second grade, over 17 years ago. Gidget was a puppy and we grew up together. We became as close as any human and dog could be. She was my everything and best friend. As I sit here writing, tears are streaming down my face.

During that October week, we had no clue it would be her last. On Wednesday, we took her to the vet for fluids and she took a turn for the worse. Between Wednesday and Friday, we were at the vet about four to five times and it was all worth it. I remember the vet telling me on Wednesday that if Gidget didn’t improve, it would be only a few days. Little did I know that would be true. Instead, I thought “come Monday, we’ll say we made it through the few day mark.”

It was shortly before midnight on Friday. I was the only one in the den with Gidget. She was in my arms, her favorite nighttime spot. After some jerking, she let out one more breath and passed away…in my arms. Just two hours before I would have never guessed this is how the day would end.

Gidget was the sweetest, best dog there ever was. Yes, I know I’m bias, but she truly was. She had a personality that was full of life. She was sneaky, funny, and knew what she had to do to get her way. All Gidget had to do was look or do something cute and our hearts would melt. You couldn’t say no to her puppy eyes and beautiful face. Caring for her in the last few months of her life, paying the vet bills, and overcoming every struggle and challenge was all worth it. I would do it again in a heartbeat, without even a second thought.

Going to the vet today was just another reminder that she isn’t here anymore. As I pulled out of the parking lot, I wanted to “hit that pause button and give myself five more minutes.” What I wouldn’t have done to do the same thing that Friday night.

As hard as it is to know Gidget is no longer physically here with me, I know she is still and will forever be in my life. I will one day see her again and then, I’ll be able to give us five more minutes.