Submitted by Toni Appling

Gable came to join Duke, Libby and me for two weeks and stayed almost a year. He was such a sweet soul, always wagging his tail. And, he never met a stranger. In fact, only a few hours before he left us, he trotted out into our cul-de-sac to introduce himself to someone walking a young female boxer. Always the gentleman. That was Gable.

We don’t know much about his life before he was rescued from Coweta County Animal Shelter the day he was scheduled to be euthanized. I try not to dwell on what caused his nose to be raw or how the shotgun pellets got into his little body. Thanks to Georgia Lab Rescue and a wonderful angel in Massachusetts named Sue Nowakowski, Gable was given a second chance in January 2004.  And in July of that year, he came to our house as a foster – but immediately became a permanent part of our family.

Gable – affectionately known as Gabey-Baby – quickly became a favorite around the neighborhood.  He made it a point to go up and greet everyone during our morning and evening walks.  Gabe was such a fixture, that we are still stopped by some neighbors inquiring about him. When I tell them that he’s crossed the Rainbow Bridge, invariably each person wants to relate a favorite Gable story. He is definitely missed.

Although I was reluctant to bring a senior into my home, now I can’t imagine not having that last year with Gable.  Gabey-Baby departed this world rather suddenly early one Monday morning. But he left us with some wonderful memories and a commitment to help educate other people about rescuing senior dogs.

To comfort me, and honor Gable, a co-worker and her two teenagers wrote the following poem, that I’d like to share with everyone who’s ever lost their beloved pet.

You rescued me, and gave me a loving home.
You made sure that I was never alone.
You filled my life with love & joy.
You gave me food, warmth, and many a toy.

You gave these old bones a new start,
And in return, I loved you with all my heart.
You gave my tail a happy wag, so
Please remember, that although you are sad;

You filled my life with security & glee,
And in your heart, I will ALWAYS be.


— written by Shelby, Chris and Debbie Carpenter