Ode to the Boo-Boo Bear…

Today marks a sad day as my dog Gabby, at age 14, has passed away.

At various seasons of her life she was also affectionately known as “the Boo-Boo Bear,” “Boom-Boom,” “Gabbygirl,” “Mama-Moo-Moo,” and Mama-Doodles.” (Don’t ask. Actually, if you’re a dog lover you won’t have to.)

Gabby was about 45 lbs and was a Border-Collie/German Shepherd mix.  This picture was taken at Ms. Pat’s house in 2007 when my mom was visiting in Atlanta.

I found Gabby as a puppy in 1996 while she was chasing cars in the road near the company that I worked for.  After keeping her in a box in my office for three days and trying (unsuccessfully) to find her a home, I fell in love. She was only 10 weeks old.

Gabby soon realized that she had found MUCH favor by landing in my house.  She was treated like a princess and constantly pampered, talked to and showered with love.  I even had a friend tell me once (before becoming Christians) “When I die, I want to come back as one of Mary’s dogs… they have it made!” (I had another dog at the time I found Gabby, but she has been gone for quite some time.)  If you look closely in the picture, you’ll see a “Snoopy” looking container on the hearth of the fireplace… that is actually Gabby’s dog treat jar! When you opened the lid it would sing “Who let the dogs out…!!!!”

Gabby and I went through a lot together…. she knew me as “hell on wheels” for three years and then “Holy-roller for Jesus”…lol (I wonder what that transformation was like from her view…ha!)

Over the years I’ve had four roommates that have had the pleasure of living with Gabby too.  The majority loved her just as much as I did (if not more,) and those who were not dog lovers at heart have to admit that the Gabbster started to break them down.

Then in 2006 I took a job in Atlanta that required me to live on-site. I was the house mother/residential manager for an organization that helped homeless women with addictions. While the Executive Director initially said I could bring Gabby and “…we’ll see how it goes,”  I sensed the Lord telling me not to bring her. THIS WAS DEVASTATING TO ME!  She was like my child!  But yet, I knew it was God for me not to bring her, and I had to obey. After all, how many times had I cried out, “Lord! I’ll go wherever you send me! I’ll do whatever you ask me to do! My life is yours! Use me!”  This was one of those times where the rubber met the road.

So I prayed and prayed, “God you MUST bring someone forward to take Gabby that will love her like I do! She is so accustomed to all this pampering and love that she’ll probably die from a lack of it… she’d be heartbroken!”

Well, two days before I had to move (still with no home for Gabby,) I was working my last day at Lifeway Christian Bookstore in Alpharetta. We always opened the store with prayer and devotions, and through tears I shared my prayer request for God to PLEASE bring the perfect home for Gabby SOON.

That day near the end of my last shift, a woman came to the register. As I checked out her purchases the Lord told me to tell her about Gabby. So I began to tell her how I had to find a home for my dog because I was taking this ministry position…etc.  Well the woman almost starts crying! She can’t imagine giving my dog away! She herself has three dogs and four cats and they are all like her children… how devastating to think of giving them away! So by the time I finished bagging her purchase, with tears in her eyes she said, “I know you don’t know me, but if you want me to, I’ll take your dog and give her a loving home.”…. WOW!  That day when I got off work, Gabby and I got in the car and drove to Ms. Pat’s house and it was love at first sight for both of them. Ms. Pat had a fenced in backyard, a beautiful home and the other dogs (while initially a bit territorial) all got along fine! In fact they all played in the backyard at one point on that first day! LOL!

Over the last 3 years and 11 months, Ms. Pat has emailed me and kept me up-to-date on “the Boo-Boo Bear” <grin> and how she is doing.

But today, while definitely old and slowed down over the years, Gabby suddenly became ill and had to be put to sleep. She was fine when she woke up today, but later on she couldn’t even get up. After taking her to the vet, they determined she had developed a tumor that burst. There was nothing they could do. So Ms. Pat held Gabby in her arms as they put her to sleep.

Ms. Pat and I cried together on the phone tonight as we thanked God for the beautiful blessing that Gabby was in our lives.  The unconditional love and companionship of such a sweet, sweet girl touched our lives in a very special way.

Please especially keep Ms. Pat in your prayers for comfort and peace, as she is carrying the brunt of this sudden loss. I have not lived with Gabby since the summer of 2006, so I was spared having a front row seat to this unavoidable ending to every pet-owners journey.

I am so grateful to Ms. Pat for caring for my baby-girl as if she were her own. God truly does care about EVEN THE LITTLE THINGS in our lives…. He heard my prayers and sent Ms. Pat into Lifeway that day. For that I am forever grateful.

Bye-Bye, Boo-Boo Bear.

Momma loves you!

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About Mary L'Esperance Held
http://www.maryloveslife.org http://www.thehubatlanta.org http://www.atlantaoutreach.org

2 Responses to Ode to the Boo-Boo Bear…

  1. Awww…how touching. And you’re right – God cares about the little things and all of His creation! As much as I complain about my little dog, I know I’ll miss her when she’s gone.

  2. Mbaire says:

    Awwww…. Mary I am so sorry :- ( Be comforted in the Lord. Hugs!!!

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