Wow, another new year already here? The way Christmas and New Years fell this year robbed me of my typical week off to tackle projects around the house. Instead, I got two days, one of which I spent brainstorming a project and the other of which I spent working on currently existing projects. Those days (plus another one I spent almost entirely in the office) were book-ended by lovely trips to visit both sides of parents and dear friends. A girl really can't complain.
Anyhow, that's not really what I want to talk about today, so I'll try to come back and do a post about the holidays another time. As well as a post about what we accomplished around the MP last year. And a post about our hopes and dreams for 2013. Stay tuned for those come... summer?
Today, I want to talk about this guy:
This is Zeppelin. I know I've talked about him before, I want to tell his story, part of it at least.
Zep was born on tax day, 2001. In mid-June of that year, thanks to a nasty sunburn (mine) and a farmer who decided to put a box of puppies outside Wal-Mart in an effort to give them away, Zep became mine and I became his. At that point, he was a ten pound ball of black fluff, and he had the most energy I'd ever seen in a dog. A mix (I was told) of Chow and Springer Spaniel, Zeppelin the puppy came to me seemingly potty trained (he even 'pointed' to pee), willing and able to chew anything and everything, and intensely stubborn. By six months old, he weighed in at about 50 pounds--his full-grown size--and continued to be certain he was a lap dog. His puppyhood lasted until he was three or so. Just about the time I couldn't imagine him ever calming down, he started to. And then we met J, who insisted that he calm down a bit more, but who assured me on an early date to the dog park that he knew we were a package deal. While J will still tell you that he is only "the guy who feeds me" to Zeppelin, I get to see his reaction when he hears J's car in the drive or steps in the hall. While I may still be his 'person', Zeppelin absolutely adopted J into our pack.
On Friday, J dropped Zeppelin off at the kennel, a place he's gone to since we moved to Lexington more than ten years ago. As usual, he was excited to visit Keshlyn and was happy to be left there. Yesterday, while I waiting in the long line of folks picking up their pets, I pictured Zep running out to meet me as he always did--tail wagging, bright clear eyes, and a bounce in his step. That isn't the dog who greeted me. I immediately knew something was wrong, though for a moment I thought perhaps he'd just woken up from a nap. He seemed rather groggy. Since our vet is on the way home, I decided to pop in and have his vitals checked to reassure me that all was well.
Long story short(er), the vet expressed concern about a fever, rapid heart rate and enlarged abdomen. He suggested x-rays and bloodwork to diagnose the problem, and returned quickly to tell me Zeppelin's stomach had twisted on itself, an emergency situation, and that I needed to take him to the emergency vet immediately. We headed there, and J met us. It took the vet there very little time to review the records our vet sent with us, have a quick chat with him, and then give us the news that our boy was in rough shape. We talked, we cried, we called our priest and prayed, and we made the gut wrenching decision to put Zeppelin to sleep.
I am so thankful to Zeppelin, who taught me in a way no roommate ever could, for teaching me not to leave piles of classwork on the floor.
I'm thankful to J, who loved us as a package, always supporting my affection for my first 'baby', and who came to love Zep on his own, as well.
I'm thankful for the folks at Keshlyn, who for ten years provided a safe and happy home-away-from-home for Zep, and I am thankful that I never once questioned or worried about dropping him off there.
I'm thankful for the folks at Tates Creek Animal Hospital, who provided top notch care for Zeppelin for more than ten years, especially in the last six months.
I'm thankful for the folks at the emergency vet, who gave us time and information to make the best decision we could, who assured us that it was the best decision after we'd made it, and who gave us quiet time with Zep before, during and after his passing.
I'm thankful for 11 and a half really good years, with a really good dog. I'm thankful for the opportunity to 'parent' a dog who was as fiercely protective and as sweetly loving as Zeppelin.
I'm thankful for Zep, who was a good boy, and whose mama loved him very much.