I’m not much of a dreamer but lately I have been having the most vivid dreams about my old dog Gypsy.
In them she is running around like crazy, and I’m clapping my hands and shouting at her as she races around.
In one I keep opening the car door as she jumps in, and jumps right out the other side. I call her and she races around in circles, and I laugh over and over again as the scene repeats itself.
They’re the type of dreams I don’t want to wake up from, because I know they’re not real. When I wake up I find myself trying to go back to sleep, if even for a few more minutes, so I can be with her again.
The point is I didn’t really think I’d still be upset over her dying – it’s been over three months now – and she was, after all, only a dog.
But dogs are more than animals. They are companions throughout our life travels, and Gypsy and I had our share of travels, our share of ups and downs.
I’m reminded of some lyrics in the Jerry Jeff Walker song “Mr. Bojangles”.
“He danced for those at minstrel shows and county fairs throughout the South. He spoke with tears of fifteen years how his dog him, he traveled about. His dog up and died, he up and died, after twenty years he still grieves.”
Those words are insightful, and from what I’ve read, they are based on a true story. Walker wrote this song after encountering an old street performer in a New Orleans jail. The two talked with one another, but the mood in the jail cell grew dark when the subject of the man’s dog came up.
The story behind the song, although insightful, is not what matters to me. That particular verse makes sense to me.
It is okay to grieve for a dog that was a close companion, and many people do.
The dreams make me sad but they also remind me of my old friend and how great she was.
Just like Mr. Bojangles, I’ll probably miss her in 15 years, and that’s okay.