Gypsy Journey travel blog

The wild horses outside the condo in Ruidoso

Presley’s last night at the condo with Cathy

The last pictures in the vet clinic

My little girl

Ossy sleeping on Presley’s bed

God’s glory!

Miss Pres

My babies

Ruidoso, New Mexico. Over the years, the dogs and I have come to love this place. We first visited in 2006, when I was living in Lubbock. Since then, it has become a welcome respite for us. We love the mountains and the cool air...the wonderful hiking...the quaint town...and the wild horses! This was also the place of Presley’s one and only “skunking”.

When friend Cathy invited us to join her in Ruidoso at her condo, I believed it would be the perfect getaway to end our 2018 travels. I never dreamed it would become the final resting place for my little girl, Presley.

To truly understand this journey, I need to go back 12 years. So, if you will indulge me, I would like to share a bit of Presley’s story...

Ossy and I moved from San Antonio to Lubbock, Texas in 2006. He wasn’t quite a year old and I feared he would be the death of me! His energy, chewing, and need for attention was overwhelming to me as a new dog owner. A good friend suggested I get Ossy a playmate. I really did not want another dog (I truly didn’t think I could manage Ossy, much less another puppy). Ahhh, but God had other plans for me.

In late October 2006, a stray dog found her way on the property of a good friend. A week later, she had nine puppies...two, of which, were girls. The friend brought the two girls over to meet Ossy. When we put them on the floor, Presley immediately climbed up on the bottom shelf of my den coffee table and watched all the action. We pulled her out and put her in front of Ossy (who looked enormous to her little body). When Ossy put his face down near hers, Presley reached up with her paw and popped him on the nose. I immediately knew she was the one!

Over the years, the dogs became inseparable in every way....Presley’s ying to Ossy’s yang. They played tug of war with toys; jumped in every puddle of water they could find; chased freesbies and balls (well, Ossy would chase the ball while Presley ran and barked at him); and loved and antagonized each other on a daily basis.

I have described the two of them in this way: Ossy is who I want to be, and Presley is who I am. Ossy has never met a stranger and truly believes every single person loves him and wants him to lick them and walk through their legs. He believes he is a lap dog and everyone wants him to sit on them. He loves all people and dogs. I have never met a more gentle soul, but Ossy needs attention ALL THE TIME!

Presley’s tendency was to be a loner. She wanted to be loved, but on her terms and when she desired it. Other times, she wanted to be left alone. She was fiercely protective of Ossy and myself and any dog that got near to either of us would find that out quickly. Thus, she wasn’t the most popular dog at the dog park. She didn’t quite know how to make friends. But, she loved to run and play. She could hike with the best of them and if she could chase a squirrel, deer or jackrabbit, it was a very good day for Pres. She was very, very shy and sensitive, but over time she learned to be more social and interactive with people. You could NOT swat a fly or make loud noises (she couldn’t STAND OU football games due to the yelling and clapping that would inevitably happen during the game) as it scared Presley and she would find a place to hide (as happened in the Colorado State Park when I was swatting flies and she hid from me for 7 hours).

She allowed Ossy to be Ossy. She didn’t need the attention he craved. She wanted some loving, then she would go find her alone place. She didn’t even like sleeping in the same bedroom with me, as in each of our homes, she commandeered a place (usually a chair) near me, but not in the same room. She was comfortable with routines and when her routine changed, she had a difficult time adjusting. Unlike her brother, she was not a typical food beggar, but she knew when it was “pizza night”. Each Friday, I ordered pizza for myself and the dogs. I allowed them to share a piece. Presley would get close enough to watch me eat my pizza, and when she noticed I was finished, she was immediately at my side waiting for her piece of pizza.

Retiring and getting Gypsy was tough for Miss Pres as her routine was shattered. But, she did adjust and I found her to become quite comfortable in Gypsy during our second year of travel. Ossy and Presley both loved hiking, the mountains, the beach, the snow, and the water. Together, we traveled across 45 states. And oh yeah, she was a master poser for my numerous photographs and our yearly Christmas card session. I swear she would give me a look each year like...”please tell me you are not putting that ridiculous costume on me”, but she was always so patient with the process.

To sum up life with Presley, I would have to say she was my “challenge” child. I could never figure out what she was thinking and when I would have thoughts that she truly didn’t care that much about me, she would go and tear up something significant in the house when I would leave her. See, I love ya mommy...look what I tore up to get your attention??? I replaced window blinds, numerous pieces of furniture and even came home to a large kitchen knife in the floor, as well as part of Genesis removed from a Bible. When we found black ink all over her paws from a printer cartridge, she could not longer blame Ossy. She was anxious, sensitive, and sweet.

Presley spent the last four days of her life in the Franklin Veterinary Hospital in Ruidoso. After continued loss of appetite and lethargy, I knew she needed immediate care. God was at work...once again in our lives.

The day He sent me and Pres to the vet hospital, the founding doctor was out of town at a funeral. Two young vets (one graduated in 2017, and the main caregiver for Pres graduated from Texas A&M in May 2018) were the only surgeons available. A call to another vet clinic determined their method of care would be to euthanize Presley. I stated that would not be an option and asked the two vets to undergo a surgery (exploratory then spleen removal) in which they had never performed. They did and successfully removed Presley’s spleen and then cared for her over the next four days....always cautious, but never giving up hope.

But, it was Presley’s time. I believe she wanted to go when I was not alone and she was in her beloved mountains. On the trip back to OKC, I spent most of the drive crying and praying. At one point, I cried out to God to show me Presley was safe. I wanted to know that she was in His hands and would be ok. I specifically asked God to show me his glory. Less than 20 minutes later, the most amazing sunrise appeared on the horizon across the plain. Think what you will, but it is a sunrise I will never forget...God showed me His glory.

God works in amazing ways. I have believed He saved me 13 years ago by sending me Ossy. I believe He helped me grow over the past 12 years through Presley.

Love me tender, love me sweet....never let me go. Thank you Sweet P for your protection and devotion over the last 12 years. I will NEVER let you go...

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