Farewell, Freebie

Yesterday was a sad day for me. My beloved dog, Freebie, was put to sleep. She was 13 and had a problem with her leg that ended up with a wound that would not heal.

Freebie was the best dog I’ve ever had. I heard someone once say that if all humans could learn to love like dogs, then the world would be a better place. It would indeed. If I could learn to love like Freebie did, then I’d be a much better person.

She had sweet eyes.
She had sweet eyes.

I got her from the Humane Society 10 years ago. It was love at first sight! I hadn’t wanted to get a dog right at that moment, but I went online and saw her picture. I loved her sweet, soulful eyes. I had to have her. We went to the Humane Society, and as soon as I saw her leaning up against the cage looking at me, I knew she was my dog. I didn’t even look at another dog.

She had to be spayed before they’d let us have her, so I went to pick her up later after the surgery. She was all drugged up and sleepy. It was dinnertime so I put her on the floor next to me in the kitchen while I cooked. When she woke up, I sat down on the kitchen floor, laid her head in my lap and pet her while she fully came to. She looked at me, and I think in that moment that she completely attached to me. I know I completely attached to her.

I’ll admit that my first intention was to get a dog for my young son. However, she became my dog, and I became her human. We were very attached to each other!

I was the sun around which Freebie revolved. She followed me everywhere. When I walked around doing housework, she’d be right behind me, every step of the way. Sometimes it could be annoying, because I’d constantly be running into her and tripping over her! If I sat down, she’d sit right next to me.

I remember playing hide and seek with my son when he was little. I could never hide because Freebie would give me away! She sniff around and find me and lead him right to me. I learned to put her outside if I wanted to stay hidden.

When I’d pull up in the car after being gone, she’d come tearing around the side of the house to meet me at our gate by the driveway, barking and howling, and looking so excited to see me that I’d feel like the most loved human in the world. If she was in the house when I got home, she’d be waiting for me at the door.

Freebie could talk. She was a mutt, but we’re pretty sure she was part beagle, and could she howl! She’d talk to get let out, to come in, when she was in a playful mood, when she was trying to tell me something. I swear I got to the point where I could understand what she wanted by the tone of her howl!

She could say, “hi”. Sometimes she’d walk into the room where I was, and I’d say “Hi Freebie!” and she howl out something that sounded remarkably like a Scooby Do “hi.”

Saying "hi!"
Saying “hi!”

I miss having her lay next to me no matter where I was sitting, having her sit in the kitchen while I cooked dinner (always hoping for some food to drop!), waiting for me when I got home, waiting outside the door to whatever room I was in. She was a fun companion. When she was younger we’d go for walks at the park, play tug, and run around in the backyard. As she got older and her leg got worse, we couldn’t go for walks, and we didn’t run around the yard, but we did have lots of moments when I’d just sit and pet her. She liked to lay in the sun and in the mornings I do outside and sit with her in the sun. Her fur was warm and she’d smile at me. In those quiet moments, she’d often lay her head in my lap, just like that first night.

I’m sitting writing this at my desk, and it’s sad that she’s not laying next to me. I walked outside this morning to take out the recycling and was heartbroken to not find her out there. I wandered from one of her spots to the other, as if I’d find her laying in one of them. She’s gone.

We buried her in the backyard. I’m glad to have her there. It’s where she belongs–here with us.

glager 004

11 thoughts on “Farewell, Freebie”

  1. oh kim! why didn’t you say anything. is that what you were doing yesterday?? ((hug)) i am so sorry. i am so not a dog person, but freebie was a total sweetheart. <3

    1. kimberlysbarton

      Thanks. No, that wasn’t what I was doing n the morning when you called. I didn’t say anything, because it made me cry to mention it!

  2. So sorry, Kim. My pool guy leaves the gate open sometimes and Isis has learned to open it if he doesn’t lock it right. There are moments when I can’t find her and freak out. I go running through the house, “Kids! Do you have Isis?” I didn’t want that dog, but I love her so. I love coming home and have her all excited, tail wagging a mile a minute with something in her mouth to show me, “Hey Mom! Looked what I brought you?” Such the retriever! (((Hugs))) our animal companions give us and teach us so much.

    1. kimberlysbarton

      Thanks. I remember that panicked feeling of seeing the gate open and the dog missing! Our animal companions do add so much to our lives. I never thought I’d miss a dog so much.

  3. Shea McIntosh Ford

    So sorry for your loss, Kimberly! I hope to have a doggy relationship like that one day. I’ve only had one dog in my life, and while she was a great dog, I couldn’t seem to connect with her that way. Maybe I need to reexamine myself instead…

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