|Andi, Gatlin and Susie|
Possible Painting Thumbnail
Gatlin was a mountain dog. When Chris and I met her, she was homeless and wild. Scared wild. She was so afraid of people, no one could get near her. We were on vacation up in Gatlinburg and had been visiting some friends on the Artist's Loop, when our lives collided.
We told our friends that if they caught her, we'd take her. We tried before we left, but she was too smart for her own good. Fast forward three weeks. I was on location in Atlanta, on a Friday, due to fly out that afternoon. I received a phone call—they'd caught the dog! Did we still want her? Yes!
I turned in my rental car at the airport, rented an SUV and drove to Gatlinburg that night. I picked her up the next morning and started the 12-hour drive home. By myself. With a dog I didn't know. Let's just say it was a memorable experience.
It turned out that Gatlin had been abused by her prior owners. Badly abused. She was terrified of people but wouldn't so much as raise a whisker to defend herself. She had the most expressive eyes of any dog I'd ever known.
Gatlin was an old soul.
We started working with Gatlin, to acclimate her to her life. Turns out, she didn't know how to play and she really didn't know how to interact with humans—nice or mean. Finally, we decided that maybe another dog would help.
Andi entered our lives.
We rescued Andi, our second dog, from a no-kill shelter two months after we brought Gatlin home. The two became fast friends. Andi taught Gatlin more about playing (by example) in two months than we would've been able to in two years.
Andi was a kind-hearted dog who had also seen some abuse in her life prior to coming to us. She loved to chase squirrels, to play, to pull the stuffing out of toys, out of balls, out of beds, out of anything! Andi was as high-key as Gatlin was low-key—the (mostly) perfect yin and yang.
The years slipped by and one day we learned Gatlin had cancer. It was deep inside her throat and it was inoperable. She left us in 2006.
Andi missed her friend, but by then, she had two other playmates, Susie and Specky (both were rescues and deserve a story of their own).
Again, the years slipped by.
As you know, Susie left us on December 30th. We lost Andi this morning.....
Travel safe, girl, and know that you'll be missed!
The image above is a very rough idea I have for a painting....of Gatlin greeting the two latest arrivals at the end of the Rainbow Bridge. I know she'll show them the ropes and help them get settled in.
I'll probably wait to do the painting until our last pup leaves us. For now, Specky is healthy, just very, very lonely.
On a different note, many of you have sent well-wishes for my niece.....who has recovered from her seizure and seems to be just fine. The doctors believe the seizure was brought on by a fever. She's teething right now and having a devil of a time, so it makes sense. It would also seem that these seizures are quite common in toddlers.
Again, thank you for the kind words of understanding as we do our best to cope with our losses and concerns.