Keeping the dog dish ready, just in case
Terrie Lynn has no memory of the Dec. 9 three-car accident one mile east of the West Glenwood exit on Interstate 70.One car almost ended up in the river, and Lynn landed in the hospital for nearly two weeks.”I was begging for them to release me before Christmas,” Lynn said. With three cracked ribs, a punctured lung, a broken collarbone, fractured pelvis and hip, and a concussion, Lynn was lucky to be alive.And she knows it.”I’m so lucky to still be here. They told me that I didn’t have a pulse,” she said.On Dec. 9 she was heading home to Silt from her job at Stat Nurses International in Basalt when her car was clipped by another. Lynn’s car went into a spin, crossed the median and was struck by a vehicle going eastbound. Fortunately, she was wearing her seat belt.As happy as Lynn is to still be here, there’s also great sadness and worry. She had a passenger the night of the accident and no one has seen her since.”It wasn’t a normal thing. I don’t take her to work very often,” Lynn said of her 4-year-old Peek-a-Poo named Ginger.Lynn’s voice cracks and tears appear when she talks about Ginger and that night.”I miss her so much. She’s a good little dog and I want her back so much. She’s my baby,” Lynn said.No one at the accident scene remembers seeing Ginger, but Lynn is still hopeful that this story will have a happy ending.”I’m just hoping; hoping that she’s OK. My biggest fear is that she’s out there suffering; scared,” said Lynn, who was released from the hospital on Dec. 22.It hurts to talk about Ginger and the what ifs. In many ways, the pain is just as bad as her battered body. She knows that her injuries will heal. It’s the mystery of what happened to Ginger that torments Lynn.”It’s very hard. I still have her water bowl and her food out. Her toys are still out too,” Lynn said, struggling to get the words out.”It’s the little things,” she said, taking a deep breath. “The other day, I dropped a french fry on the floor and she wasn’t there to pick it up.”The tears come quick as she talks about the little things.Then a resolve takes over.”I’m not giving up hope. I hope that someone has her and is taking care of her,” Lynn said.Lynn struggles to remember the accident. Maybe something will jolt her memory back and she will remember what happened to Ginger. For now, all she has to go on is what people have told her.”I’m sure she was totally scared. Once I would get on straight stretches, she would curl up in my lap and lay down. I don’t know if she was in my lap when the accident happened or not,” she says.Ginger’s leash and blanket were found and police walked up and down the highway looking for her.But nothing.”She might have been thrown into the river; she could be dead – I just don’t know. There was no blood inside the car besides mine,” Lynn said.Then she remembers something else she was told. “After the accident, I had gas all over me, so I’m sure that Ginger did too. I don’t know how long gas smell stays but maybe Ginger smells like gas.”Lynn’s tone changes when she takes about hope. It’s the same tone that she has when she talks about how happy she is to be alive.Friends placed a lost dog classified ad but the three calls offered no hope.Ginger was wearing a black collar with a pink heart that has Lynn’s cell phone number on it.Once again, Lynn’s voice comes alive. “They found her leash but not her collar.”Lynn says Ginger lifts her leg to pee “like a boy, but she’s a girl.”The description brings a tiny chuckle.Family and friends know how much Ginger means to Lynn. That’s why it was so hard to tell her when she got out of the hospital.”All I wanted to do was go home and be with Ginger. I didn’t even remember that she was with me (in the accident),” she said.Lynn again talks about how lucky she is. She could have died and she doesn’t take her good fortune for granted.But the pain of wondering what happened to Ginger makes her recovery time more difficult.”I want her home with me so we can both recover together.”Lynn, 44, has no children and again says, “Ginger’s my baby.”She will continue to hold on to her hope that someone picked up Ginger and will bring her back home soon.Until then, or until she finds out exactly what happened, Lynn will keep Ginger’s water bowl full, her toys on the floor, and maybe have a french fry or two at the ready, just in case Ginger comes home.Dale Shrull is the managing editor at the Post Independent. Anyone with information about Ginger, a 4-year-old Peek-a-Poo should call Terrie Lynn at 970- 618-5853.
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Imagine Glenwood and The City of Glenwood Springs is slated to host a virtual town hall at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 11.