Goodbye Little Zuzi
Anyone who has ever owned a dog will know why my heart is broken. They will also understand the pain I experienced when I had to take my little one to the vet to have her put to sleep. Zuzi, my adorable little Shih-Tzu, was with us for over 14 years, and I had hoped she would continue to share our lives for a while longer; but she has gone to doggie heaven and left us for good.
It was not just the companionship she gave us, the wagging of her tail when we returned home, the barking to let us know there was something which was not right, the licking of my wounds when I cut myself gardening, the cuddles she gave us with her little furry body, and the immense loyalty as if we were the only people living on this earth; it was also the adoring look in her eyes when she sensed I was sad with her almost-human expression, and the unconditional love she gave us without asking for much in return, except for the same love and friendship.
I probably will cry for three days, as I have done in the past when I have had to say goodbye to my poodles. This was the first Shih-Tzu I owned and she was the sweetest thing in my life.
I am unconsolable, and I know my husband will miss taking her for walkies, but there is nothing we can do, except contribute to the Arizona Humane Society in Zuzi’s name and hope somebody will adopt a dog to give it a good, compassionate home, in exchange for an unbroken bond for years to come.
While visiting my native Scotland recently, I stopped by the statue of Greyfriars Bobby, in Edinburgh and bought Eleanor Atkinson’s book: Greyfriars Bobby (1912) — the true story about this little Skye terrier, who when his master Auld Jock dies, refuses to leave his grave at Greyfriars Churchyard in Edinburgh. During the day he befriends the local orphans, is fed at the nearby tavern, but despite what the neighbours do, Bobby returns every night for fourteen years to faithfully sleep by his master’s grave, despite the weather.
Eleanor Atkinson (1863-1942) was born in Indiana, USA. It was her talent as a writer and an understanding of a dog’s loyalty which made her book one of the best animal stories ever written. This book is a must read for any animal lover, but have a box of Kleenex nearby.
So, my darling Zuzi, it is now goodbye, but you will always be in my heart which will melt every time I see a needy dog, because it was your little spirit which taught me that dogs are definitely people’s best friends. Thank you for enhancing our lives.
Where is my Kleenex?
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am a gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush,
Of quiet birds in circled flight;
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there – I did not die.
Alinka Zyrmont - www.alinkazyrmont.com