Two years ago, I was diagnosed with several different illnesses. In my early 40's I found that I was unable to work anymore, and disabled. This was hard for me to accept so I became very depressed.

Then in Christmas of 2002, my sister bought me a very special present - this funny looking four month old little black dog with no tail. A schipperke it was called. I had never heard of this breed before. Her name was Maryann, from the TV show Gilligan's Island. You know the skipper and Maryann? I thought it was cute so I kept the name for her.

Instantly we bonded. She was a real trip. A handful at first, but so very intellegent. It wasn't long before my depression was gone because I had something else to think about. And that was trying to keep up with her and her antics. I thought it would take forever to train her, but realized it was me that was being trained. She was definately a momma's girl, every where I went she was right behind me. And oh did she love to run, she was like the wind, a little black tornado. She had a special ball she loved to play fetch with. She would jump two feet high or more and catch that ball. She had a football and it was a riot to watch her play with it. She did so many amazing things I had never seen in a dog before. She was VERY protective of me. She didn't like anyone acting like they were going to hit me or play fighting. Even papa. Sometimes when he and I would hug and kiss, she would have to have her lovies too. She jumped up in my lap wherever I was to snuggle. And slept in the bed with us, wanting me to stroke her until we both fell asleep.

She understood every word you would say. Sometimes, I had to spell things in front of her, like treats, outside, or going in the car.

She was great with kids and kids loved her too. In fact all my friends got a real kick out of her.

One of the amazing things she learned was predicting when I was about to have a seizure (one of the illness diagnosed...seizure disorder). She would paw me and bark at me, then bark at my husband to get his attention and then back at me.

One other time she wouldn't let me near my bed, I thought she had gone batty until I found out why. There was a spider there and she killed it before I could get in the bed.

There were so many things I could go on about her intelligence, but I am already aking this so long.

We lived in a Mobile home most of the time we had her, and then decided to buy a house that had a nice fenced in back yard where she could run. Two weeks before we moved we rescued this little golden terrier mix male, Tayles (tails). Those two became instant friends and were so cute together. Running and chasing each other, even ate and drank out of the same bowls. They really loved each other and became mates. I thought it was cute how they wouldn't fight over a toy, but would play with it for awhile then give it to the other to play with for awhile and just take turns.

Three weeks ago today, I was baking, and cooking dinner. Tayles was laying on the bed, and I assumed Maryann was also, because they were always together. My husband came home from work, and Tayles jumped up to greet him. But no Maryann. I asked him, Where is she? I thought she was probably just in the back yard, so I went out there and she was nowhere in sight. We called her and called her, no answer. I looked at the back gate, and someone had jimmied the gate enough that there was a small space she could get out of. When I saw that I became hysterical. We had the whole neighborhood out looking for her and
calling her name. I was a basket case, because she was so little and so black, she would never be found in the dark. And she had never been away from me overnight, and was not familar with our new surroundings.

Then sadly she was found. We had a chip in her ear, and the SPCA called me saying that she had gotten hit by a car and didn't make it. I was so hysterical my husband was afraid I would go into a seizure. Thank God I didn't. But my heart is so broken. She was my baby, my little girl, since I can't have kids of my own. And poor Tayles has been looking for her, moping around the house. It just breaks my heart even more.

Well, it's been three weeks now. Tayles is doing better, still misses her, but is playing and has really attached himself to me. Like her has become my shadow. Poor little guy has been through a lot. First his family leaves him and then his mate disappears. And he might have been a papa.

She would have been two in July. Our time was very short, but this Christmas present was a much more blessing that I ever could have expected. I will forever miss her, her personality was one of a kind. And I thank God for the time we had. I will never forget how she would look up in my face as in this picture here, taking in every word.

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