GIBBS IS GONE – Marilyn Armstrong

Today, sometime around the middle of the afternoon, Gibbs died.

He was having what seemed a normal day. Up in the morning, begging for treats. Barking like crazy at anyone going up or down the stairs. Then, he went to sleep on the sofa.

We were going to a concert and friends were coming over for dinner and coming with us, so I was just getting ready to get dressed for the event. Garry went in to feed the dogs. Gibbs didn’t show up for dinner, so he came in here to shake Gibbs awake, which we often have to do because he was had become a very heavy sleeper, something  I attributed to aging.


Garry shook him, but he didn’t wake up. He shook him again. Gibbs normally woke as soon as you touched him. I had that instantly bad feeling you get when something is very wrong. I went over. His eyes were open and were unresponsive. He was warm and his nose was cool and moist, but he was not breathing.


He had died on the sofa in his sleep sometime between mid-morning snack time and four in the afternoon.

We had him for 3 years and 11 months. He was just about to turn 13 in April. He arrived on my birthday, nearly four years ago. He never seemed as old as Bonnie. I  always assumed he would outlive her.

I hope we gave him a good home. We had him at the vet just four days ago for his 3-year rabies shot and while we were worried about those enlarged glands in his neck, he was on antibiotics in the hopes it was merely an infection.

The vet said it had to have been some kind of cardiac event, possibly a slow-growing tumor — the kind you never know about because there’s no prelude, no warnings. We’ll never know for sure.

On the way back tonight, I almost went to look in the shed to see if, by some miracle, he had woken up. But I knew better so I didn’t.

I’ve had many dogs over the years, but I’ve never had one simply die in his or her sleep like that. I’m a bit in shock right now and of course, we have to take him to the vet for cremation tomorrow. I would have liked to bury him here, but we live on rocks and without a backhoe, we could not dig deep enough to bury him properly.

He didn’t make a sound while he died and I was sitting just a few feet away. He must have been asleep. Owen points out that he died on his favorite sofa without that terrible, prolonged illness that is typical of old animals. I hope we gave him a good home. At least for these last years, he was free to come and go and get some of the love he never got when he was young.

Rest in peace, Gibbs. You were a beautiful boy.

Categories: Death and Dying, In Memorium, Marilyn Armstrong, Pets, Scottish Terrier

Tags: , ,

104 replies

  1. One of my dogs had a heart attack between my coming into the house and getting her food. Just minutes. It was shocking and sad. I’m sorry for you and losing Gibbs. ❤ I"m grateful he died in his sleep in a place where he was loved. I'm sorry I didn't see this before. I haven't even been trying to keep up because I've been painting and not following along as well as I did. I send you love and hugs.


    • I haven’t been keeping track either. I’m pretty tired and the amount of incoming stuff is overwhelming. Not keeping up has been a real life-saver.

      Yes, I’m glad he went peacefully and very fast. It was so unexpected. I’ve never had in the past 20 years only 2 dogs. It feels strange.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sad News for You all, lovely that Gibbs died in his sleep, at peace. Comfortable and warm. He knew he was loved I am certain.


  3. My most sincerest and heartfelt condolences.


  4. So so sorry, Marilyn. I’m traveling and somehow missed your blog. You did give Gibbs a wonderful life. You can’t doubt that. And he had the best death possible. Our cats were still leaving food for Annie when I left, in spite of the fact that she just started honoring them with her presence at meals less than a month ago and hadn’t been eating for her last few days. Very hard, I know, and I’m really sorry for your loss. xoxo


  5. So sorry for your loss. He sounds like he died a peaceful death. I hope i go like that.


  6. Mar, you gave Gibbs (and all of your dogs) the best home any dog could wish for. They weren’t just “dogs” to you, they were your true, fuzzy fur children. You made Gibbs happy. You gave him playmates, fed him, played with him, slept anywhere he wanted to (pretty much) and spoiled him rotten. People want to come back as your dogs in the afterlife. I would lol. Nothing you did wrong Mar, everything you did right. R.I.P. Gibbs ole buddy..hope you’re having a beautiful life at the other end of Rainbow Bridge. ♥


    • He went in peace, and that’s a good thing but there’s a hole in our world. The other two are very quiet. Bonnie sniffing around. She can smell him but where is he? it certainly a shock for humans and dogs. I have to hope these were the good years of his life. We did our best.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You did your best and then some! He lived a happy and comfortable life with you. He left in his sleep, which, is a good thing. Most of us want to go out that way. Will miss that goofy little guy!


  7. I am so, so sorry. Having my own anxieties about Maggie (she was 15 last month), I hope when she goes over to Ranbow Bridge it will be as Gibbs did, in her favourite place and in her sleep. Hopefully that will not be for a while yet, but yu never know. each day is a bonus when they get older.
    I am sure he was loved and had a good home with you and Garry. They leave a hole, it hurts deeply, but the memories linger and smooth the edges eventually.. My thoughts are with you at this sad time. ❤


  8. I’m so very sorry to read this Marilyn. I’ve loved reading about your dogs; the love you have for them shone through the posts. RIP Gibbs


  9. oh my dear i am so sorry. I know how that feels, been there, more than once. It’s a kindness when they just drift off, even though it gives us no time to ready ourselves.
    (That last drive to the vet is for us, not them, basically. )
    At least he had some good, happy years with you, and with the other dogs, and could bark his head off when he felt like it.
    I’m gonna miss him too. He really kind of transcended spaces here.

    Hugs to you both, and to the dogs.


    • He was unique. I think all Scotties are, but it was wonderful how he came around from being completely anti-social when we got him to loving everyone as the years went on. And he really had the Wolfman’s face and a bark to match.


  10. I am very sorry to read this. At least he got the chance to bark at me last year. He was nice and a good house dog.


  11. Tears, Marilyn, for you and Garry and all of us who have lost beloved pets. What a great way to go, however, without all of that extreme illness at the end. You gave him love and a wonderful home; I’m sure that he loved you, too:)


  12. I am so very sorry. Losing a pet is never easy, and I know you’ve been through that a lot just in the time I’ve known you. Yours and Garry’s love for Gibbs was obvious in the way you talked about him on your blog, and you gave him the best you could give him, which is all that can ever be asked of a pet owner. My sincere sympathy to you both, as well as to Bonnie and Duke, who I know will grieve his loss as well…


    • I loved watching him develop from being completely anti-social to being a friend to one and all. It was an amazing transformation for an older dog who had been completely neglected for his entire life. I thought we’d have him longer. He never looked old. We miss him.


  13. Awww so sorry, Marilyn, poor old Gibbs 😦


  14. Deepest condolences. You and Garry are in shock, so be kind to yourselves. Bonnie and Duke will be mourning in their own way, too. Gibbs went quietly, surrounded by the love of his family and home. His spirit will visit you, and he will be waiting to greet you one day.


    • I hope so. I keep wondering if I missed something, but I don’t think I did. If I did, it was very subtle. Meanwhile, I just miss him. Bonnie keeps sniffing around for him because to her, the whole house smells of Gibbs. There’s nothing I can do for her. Or for that matter, for Garry or me.


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