“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.