A personal perpsective of life in our Virginia vineyard... Christine Wells Vrooman



Goodbye Dear Flippy Dog

My handsome threesome... we've been together for so many years.  Killian is the senior member of the trio, an ol' mixed breed, abandoned mutt, we think an Akita mix.  Then about seven years ago came this most unusual little gal, a Corgi/Bassett (maybe) mix with short, contorted legs and front paws that looked like flippers, thus the name.  And then our big guy BoomBoom found his way to our cabin in the woods as a lost, starving puppy.  My threesome.

Our littleFlippy had been acting a bit confused for a few days.  When I came back from town one morning recently I  heard her yipping loudly and found her stuck in the blackberry patch.  I had to don my beekeeping outfit to protect myself from the prickers and literally cut the briars away from her to release her.. poor little thing.  As the day progressed she grew more confused and unstable and by evening I was giving her subcutaneous fluids as she had gotten very dehydrated.  I was hoping that was all it was, but alas something much more serious was going on.

Within twenty-four hours she had deteriorated enough for us to take her to an animal emergency hospital in Charlottesville.  All of this was going on as we were preparing to attend our daughter, Marisa's, baby shower.  We dropped Flippy off at the hospital while we went to the shower.  Flippy remained stable so we brought her home with us, IV's in hand and enough meds to hopefully keep her alive while we figured out what was going on.  The blood tests they ran on her were relatively normal.  She made it through the night and seemed a bit better the next morning.  I put her outside under a bench next to a tree and she would lift her head occasionally.  I wanted her to feel the joy of the mountain air that she loved, hoping it would send some endorphins through her body and help her heal.

She gradually fell into a deeper sleep.  I layed down on the ground next to her for long stretches, rubbing her back, whispering to her.  She knew I was there.  Then shadows swooped over us in the late afternoon sun.  I looked up and three vultures were circling overhead.  Go away....
What do they know?

If she wasn't improved by morning, we decided there was nothing more we could do.  We were giving her all the meds that could possibly help, but nothing was improving her condition. We tucked her in for the night, rubbing her ears, whispering into them our love.  She seemed cozy in her position, settled in for a good long sleep.

She was gone in the morning.  She looked so peaceful. We cradled her and continued to tell her how much we loved her, hoping she could somehow hear.  We to this day do not know what it was, other than a severe neurological condition, perhaps a brain tumor?

We buried her up on the mossy knoll, Arnold, Dennis and I, along with Killian and BoomBoom, who truly  sensed what was going on and stood vigil throughout the burial process.  And dear Arnold came back with her little "gravestone" he carved from a piece of wood.

Flippy, little girl, we will miss you so.

Oh how she loved to cuddle

My constant companions


Prance those little feet
Your nose lifting for your treats
Silent your steps now

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