A Tribute To My Dog

   When my family adopted my German Shepard, Zoey, I could not be more excited. Sure, I was more of a cat person, but there's just something about a dog--man's best friend and all. She was the cutest puppy I'd ever seen and that holds true today. She was a rambunctious little thing and brought so much joy into our lives, even if it was quickly followed by frustration and chewed up couch cushions.
Sadly this past week Zoey passed away. She had been living with a brain tumor for a while now and she wasn't doing too well. I've never understood the loss someone goes through when they lose a pet until now and this is a very hard process. Now I don't know what Zoey would have wanted because, well, she was a dog, but as my goodbye I'd like to let you all in on the crazy dog that was Zoey.
   I remember when we first got Zoey our house was in quite a state of shock... well, at least the cat was. Our first pet was my cat Patches, and she was (still thinks she is) queen of the house. When the runt of the litter, scrawny, excited, ready to explore everything and every one, German Shepherd entered the house she could not have been more offended. I remember her just staring at Zoey for what seemed like hours, sizing this 'thing' up. As time passed, they grew to accept one another. Zoey always wanted to be friends, but Patches just couldn't get over having to share her castle with another animal. Typical princess.
    Good 'ole Zoey just couldn't be phased, though. She was ready for anything and let everything roll off her back. She was such an excited little puppy. Always wanting to get places as fast as her little legs could carry her. I remember my mother coming upstairs to wake us up in the morning and Zoey racing up with her ready to wake us up whether we wanted to be awake or not. Most of the time it was not. But she'd come racing down the hall and you would hear her coming and hurry up and pull the blankets over your head because you knew as soon as she got in your room the slobberiest (I am an English major, I promise) puppy kisses were coming your way-- bad breath and all. She'd jump on top of you and, no matter how hard you tried to keep the kisses away, she'd nuzzle her little snout under the blankets and some how make it to your face. Just how I wanted to wake up-- slobber and dog breath. And as soon as mom would start going back down stairs, Zoey would race after her. I remember one time Zoey ran down the stairs after my mother, run under her feet, sent my mother falling on her butt and Zoey just kept running. Nothing could slow her down.
   Going for walks was always an adventure! You see, Zoey was very protective of our family. So if anyone came to close she'd start growling and warn them to stay clear of her family. Pretty sure she scared half the neighborhood. As she grew up walks became increasingly more difficult because, being a German Shepherd, she was pretty strong. My dad was the only person who could walk Zoey and have any kind of control. If any of the kids tried walking her it turned into Zoey walking us, which I'm sure was also pretty entertaining for the neighbors. Sometimes we would have to run to keep up her with excited, ready to explore pace, which would get her even more excited. Then she would see us running, start running herself and, well, you can imagine.
     Zoey loved being outside, though. That was her favorite. I remember countless sunny days sunbathing outside with Zoey. It was never actually sunbathing, though, because if you laid down long enough she'd come over and lick your face or pee a foot from your head, so then you had to play fetch with her. And Zoey never actually played fetch. It was more, "you throw me the tennis ball, I will never give it back and you will struggle to get it free from my slobbering mouth so we can repeat the process four more times before you give up and I tear the tennis ball in two". Oh, she was such a mischievous dog at times. She knew exactly what bothered us and what she wasn't allowed to do. My mother has an allergy to dogs and her main rule was the dog is not allowed on the furniture or in her room. Monday thru Friday we'd pull into the driveway and see Zoey sprawled out on the couch, livin the dream, soaking up the sun and relaxing. But as soon as she saw us, up she went and down off the couch. We'd walk in and her she'd look guilty as hell but her little tail would be wagging as if to say "I know you saw me, but just remember, I love you".
    As frustrating as these games of 'fetch' or her mischievousness could be, I could always count on Zoey to be there for me. For 12 years there was no fear of burglars or ghosts or monsters under my bed because Zoey would scare them all away. I know that if any of us were in any real danger Zoey would have done everything in her power to protect us. She was always up for a cuddle sessions--even when cuddle sessions would turn into "oh my god, get off of me Zoey, I can't breath!" She was the perfect dog and the best of friends. We could always count on her to eat every thing anyone left out or some how make a mess out of nothing, but we loved her anyway. I think the hardest part of her leaving us was not being there with her on her last day. It's all still a little surreal, but I know she's much happier now and is sitting on all the couches and chewing through all the tennis balls her heart desires. I know dogs can't read and all, but I love you Zoey and I'll really miss  you. Our family just won't be the same without you.

Rachel Lynn

1 comment:

  1. These dogs photos are looks very cleared and fresh . Just attractive .