A Sad Day – Ivy is Gone

As soon as we met Ivy, we knew she was the right choice. She was a Westie – a West Highland White Terrier, but very much unlike the breed. Most Westies are high strung and active. Ivy was docile.

“Ivy The Dog” passed away this morning at age 12. She had been suffering from heart problems and finally succumbed. As far as we can tell, she went in her sleep, quietly, while cuddled against my back.

I remember the day our neighbor Martha came to the house. Friends of hers were getting divorced. They had a dog, but no longer had the ability to keep her. We had liked Martha’s dog and Martha thought we’d like Ivy.

Helaine wanted a dog. She had a dog as a child and thought Steffie was now old enough to have one in the house. They both knew I would be the sticking point. A dog was added responsibility in a house with a growing child.

We’ll never know why, but I said yes almost immediately.

As soon as we met Ivy, we knew she was the right choice. She was a Westie – a West Highland White Terrier, but very much unlike the breed. Most Westies are high strung and active. Ivy was docile.

To Ivy, a good afternoon was an afternoon on the sofa, her body on a pillow, her chin resting on armrest. She would lay there and watch TV.

If a dog or other animal came on the screen, Ivy would spring into action. She’d whine or bark and try and attract the attention of whoever it was that had come into her home. She protected us from the UPS man in the same way.

Ivy was great, silent, company. She started in our house sleeping with Steffie. Later, she moved into the bed with Helaine and me. She would lay on my pillow until I got there and then move to the foot of the bed.

She loved car trips with Helaine. Helaine would ask if she wanted to go for a ride and Ivy would spring up and get really excited.

Ivy was a kind and gentle soul. She touched our lives in so many ways. She added warmth to our home.

Last night, as I was leaving work, a college aged girl beckoned to me from across the parking lot. She had heard Ivy wasn’t well. She was the daughter in Ivy’s original family.

We spoke for a few minutes and I explained how Ivy was doing. She was sad to hear it, but glad to have reestablished a connection to Ivy.

It seems to me that this was more than a coincidence. Though I’m sure she didn’t understand, I told Ivy the story last night as she picked at her dinner. I was touched that this young woman still had a bit of Ivy in her heart.

Ivy enriched our lives and made our family better. We treated her with love and respect. We will miss her greatly each and every day.

6 thoughts on “A Sad Day – Ivy is Gone”

  1. Hey

    Sorry about your loss. You have my sympathy. I know i liked IVY on TV and that dog was the reason why I watched your weather reports. IVY Must of Made a fan out out of anyone and including the people at News channel 8

    I hope that IVY is well and she had played a major role in your life.

    Nick K. Chaleunphone

    New Britain, CT

  2. Sorry to hear about the loss of Ivy. She clearly was an important part of your family’s life, as my two dogs are to mine. I too was reluctant at first but it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The love we receive from them makes up for any inconvenience.

    Hopefully after an appropriate period of time, you will open your heart again to another deserving animal.

    Ivy would have wanted it that way, for loving families are hard to find.

  3. Hi Geoff:

    So sorry to hear about Ivy. Our hearts ache for you. When my wife Kelly and I started going out, I had a beautiful Springer / Spaniel cross named “Cola”. (I would have named her “Coke” because of the color of her beautiful coat, but I was worried about what people might think when I was leaning out the front door of the house calling her name at the top of my lungs “Coke….Coke….Coke!!! So we went with “Cola”.)

    Dogs have always been my constant companions. When my Dad Charlie had a stroke, Cola and I moved back into his house to help him out. Cola instantly bonded with him. During the last few years of his life, Cola gave him more love, compassion and companionship than you could ever imagine.

    Back to Kelly….

    Kelly had said that she wanted a Westie. I explained that we already had Cola…but there was no changing her mind. We made the trip to Long Island and adopted our beautiful baby boy “Cody”. Cola had become blind, and Cody acted as her eyes during the last years of her life. Cody is a big dog, in a little dogs body. Anyone that has ever spent time with a Westie, knows what I mean. He’s a purebread, but without an attitude. He loves to go bye-bye in the Corvette with the top down. Quite a sight….White Corvette….White Westie with his hair and mine (also partially white!) waving in the breeze! Cody spends the day propped up on the pillow watching TV….attacking it from time to time when animals come on….and waiting for his enemy THE MAILMAN!!! Holiday deliveries almost kill all of us! At night when I finally get to bed, Cody is usually sleeping on my pillow next to his first love…MY Wife…Kelly. He nicely growls back over his shoulder, as he walks down to the foot of our bed, to his other pillow at Kelly’s feet. I don’t know what our lives would be like with our special baby boy, but Geoff, Kelly and I can certainly understand your loss. Just know that your special “Angel Dog” will always be with you.

    Love and peace,

    Steve and Kelly Parker

  4. Dear Geoff and family,

    My wife and I are saddened to learn of Ivy’s passing. When she was on the news desk she had this look of wonder on her face. Don’t think we ever met a dog with her calmness. We know how much you miss her.

    Joan and Bill Stevenson

    Woodbury, Ct.

  5. Geoff I wasnt on FB in 2003 and just read this. And with a heavy heart and very teary eyes…I say sorry for the loss. Animals are such an amazing pat of our lives arent they?

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