Last week on Tuesday, March 30th was the first time we at Soulful Equine have missed our regularly scheduled Tuesday blog post. We set a standard for ourselves to post every Tuesday and have been doing that with diligence since the blog opened on November 10, 2009. However, for the March 30th blog post, neither Stephanie nor I could bring ourselves to write.
Monday, March 29th was a very sad day at Soulful Equine. My little dog Idgie had been dealing with heart problems for about 5 years and had lived a quality life until the last week or so. It soon became apparent that it was time to help her pass, so with a reluctance that I can’t even begin to put into words, I called the vet and asked her to come out to my home that Monday.
The day itself was beautiful. It was sunny with no wind and just gorgeous. Idgie absolutely loved being outside and she loved the sunshine. She would lie in the sun for hours, to the point of panting, at every opportunity. So that’s why I decided that the place she would probably most like to be when she passed was in the backyard in the sun.
I put a soft towel in the grass and laid down behind her with my arms wrapped around her as she passed into what I believe is a much better place. Although the grief is almost more than I can bear at times, the joy I get when I picture her running and playing in Heaven with her buddies who passed before her helps to offset that a little bit.
Idgie was the light in my life. I know with time it will get better and I know she will probably be the one waiting right up front to greet me when it’s my time to pass, but as for now, I feel a void that seems to have no hope of ever being filled.
I have had many animals in my life, but I never felt so connected to one as I did to Idgie. She was like a part of me … my little shadow.
Below is the story of how Idgie and I first met, and below that is a video I made to honor the best little soul I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.
Taking A “Wrong Turn”
My life with Idgie began back in 1997 when Stephanie and I went out shopping the day after Christmas looking for those infamous “day after” sales. We were trying to find a new store and took a wrong turn and ended up on a four-lane side street in a Dallas suburb.
It was very cold for Dallas weather and the streets were wet from a recent rain. As we were driving down a very long street, up ahead in the distance we saw what appeared to be a rather large rodent running in the road. Cars were swerving and slamming on their brakes.
As we got closer, we realized that what we saw was not a rodent at all, but a little dog.
Stephanie pulled over, and after the car came to a stop, I opened my passenger side door and that adorable little dog jumped into my lap!
I couldn’t believe it.
We decided that we would drive around and see if we could find anyone outside who might know where she belonged.
After driving around a while, and only finding one person outside who didn’t recognize her or know who she belonged to, we started discussing what we should do with her. After batting around a few ideas, we decided it would be best if we took her to our vet and had him look her over and then see if the clinic could possibly find her a home.
Our house was already full.
We had two dogs and four cats and there was just no way we could add another dog. We lived in a small house in town and although we had a back yard, seven animals in one home is a lot!
So going to the vet clinic for help seemed like a good idea. We knew one of the veterinary assistants pretty well and knew she was also involved in an animal rescue operation so we thought that would be a good option for this little dog. So that was the plan.
Then, funny thing happened.
Somewhere on that 20-minute drive home, and after we had decided we were going to take her to the animal rescue, we started thinking up names for her.
Neither of us can recall at what point it happened.
Somehow an unspoken decision was made that she was going to be staying with us permanently.
Looking back, I know that was the best “non-decision” I ever made, and that “wrong turn” we took must have been guided by some higher power that just knew I was meant for her and she was meant for me.
It was probably over a week before I came up with the name Idgie (which comes from one of the main characters in the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes” named Idgie Threadgoode).
I thought of Scruffy because, well, she was …. but that just didn’t seem right. Idgie Threadgoode was a strong-willed and tough, yet lovable, character from the movie, and that just seemed to fit this mighty little dog.
Idgie came into the household and ran the show.
It wasn’t long before she had the German Shepherd and the Cocker Spaniel playing right into her paws.
So thus began my journey with the wonderful Idgie. The vet guessed her to be about 6 months old and a terrier / schnauzer mix. Everyone just loved her … her adorable looks and her wonderful personality.
Little did I know that she would change my life forever.