Goodbye Dear Friend

I am not brilliant at expressing my emotions in person, I am much better at doing so in writing. This blog post has very little to do with adoption, and is admittedly a little self-indulgent. I write it for me, you may read it if you want.

My good friend and companion of nearly 10 years, Zack the dog, passed away Monday evening. He showed no signs of being ill and died very quickly. I don’t know why this happened and I never will because a post-mortem (a necropsy as it is called for animals) is prohibitively expensive. Ultimately it doesn’t matter, it was too quick for us to have been able to do anything about it and knowing won’t change the outcome.

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Zack in the car on the way home from me picking him up.

For nearly 3 years of my life Zack and I lived alone. It was an incredibly tough time, I had just moved jobs to a startup company which required me to work a stupid number of hours 7 days a week to get things up and running. I became more and more isolated, all the while my dog kept me company.

When I was working on my laptop on my sofa, he sat next to me. He knew my routine better than I did. When I closed the laptop at night he instantly got up and disappeared up to the bedroom as he knew I was finished for the day, and I would be going to bed soon.

When I felt at my lowest, at my most isolated and lonely he was there.

When I was finding it hard to like myself, to acknowledge my sexuality, he did not waiver. He loved me regardless.

When I met my partner, instead of feeling jealous about sharing me, he realised he had another lap to sit on, more attention to be had. Zack welcomed him into our family and his love extended to encompass him as well.

When we added a new dog to the family, he went into a grump. Maybe Zack thought he was being replaced, but eventually he realised he had a playmate and ally. Someone to send in to get us when he wanted his dinner, while he waited by his bowl.

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Zack in 2013

When we adopted our children he loved them. He accepted being poked, prodded, pulled and patted. He took the rough cuddles and responded with kisses. He showed our sons that he was their dog, and they were his humans.

The video above, recorded in July this year, shows his playful side which never ceased to amaze me as he wasn’t one to be very playful. But whenever the hose came out, there he was barking with delight chasing it around.

He was a dog whose love knew no bounds, he did not know how to discriminate, everyone got some. He knew when you were feeling low and always managed to cheer you up with absolutely relentless ear-licking, all the while squealing with delight at being allowed to express his love.

So, my dog. I will remember you always. I was your first human, but I wasn’t enough, you loved every human you met. From me, to my partner, my parents to my children. You were the only dog I’ve known to enjoy going to see the vet, because regardless of what they were doing to you, you were getting attention. I remember being asked several times to restrain you while you were being examined; not because the vet was worried you would bite, but because your excited ear-licking was too distracting for them to do their job.

You had a docked tail – not my choice – but boy that tail! With that tail wagging, you could have powered the world!

Goodbye, my boy. My best boy.

You were mine. And I was yours. Forever and always. x

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