It’s been almost two months since we lost our Zo-doggie.
I didn’t go into detail in my memorial post, and I still don’t feel its time to re-live and share with the world the events of the day. I will say that she was ran over and had to be put down. And it was the absolute hardest decision my husband and I have ever had to make.
She was a daddy’s dog. I had never seen my strong, rock of a husband so broken. He is not one to show his emotions easily, but there was no denying he was hurting. His emotions were clear when he had called me with the bad news. The boys were asleep when he got home and I knew it was my turn to be there for him. This man has always been my rock. When I had a miscarriage, when I had our babies, when Laken was hospitalized as a newborn for bronchialitis, and any other time I’ve needed a shoulder to cry on.
In a weird way, I look at his vulnerability as her gift to me. He may not like for me to go into too much detail. But seeing him emotional and being able to support him in a way I’ve never had the chance to, was a beautiful thing and I believe it was good for our relationship. Thank you, Zoey.
The days that followed her passing were filled with tears and memories. When Clint was feeling better, I let my own emotions go and spent the majority of a day crying.
You wouldn’t expect her absence to make such a difference in our lives. She was tiny, we didn’t take her for walks and she was generally low maintenance. But every time we let Pepper out and she didn’t follow, every time we had to only fill one bowl of food, every time we called for Pepper and didn’t have to call for both. Not hearing the jingle of her collar or the sound of her bark. She barked at everything. Pepper is more quiet. When the garbage truck comes and I don’t have to yell at the dogs to stop barking, I miss her. It took some time for Clint and I to feel normal again. For days, we cried at bed time, missing having her snuggled up with us. That was one of the hardest times for him.
Zane is a different story. When Clint told him her story, he didn’t cry. He almost did. He made the scrunchy sad face. But the tears never came. We told him she’s in heaven and she’s not hurting anymore. We told him she won’t be coming back. Which is something we’ve had to tell him many times since. For days, he asked if Zoey was coming back. He also liked to tell people, “Dad’s dog got run over by that big metal truck,” which sounds sad and awful but the way he said it was really quite comical. I’d ask him if he was sad about her, and he always said no. But when asked if he loves and misses her, he always said yes. I feel like he accepted it and knows she’s okay. He still talks about her sometimes. Just the other day, I took a picture of all of us, including Pepper, and I said “Look Zane, we’ve got the whole family.” His reply: “But not Zoey.”
Laken, of course, is too young to really understand or even attempt to explain it to. He was generally unaffected by her absence. But, if we point to a family picture and say, “Where’s Zoey?” he points right to her.
Pepper spent a few days moping around. Poor thing. I don’t know if she understands. She saw that Zoey was hurt. Did she figure it out when she didn’t come home after a few days? I don’t know. But she was definitely sad for a few days, even with all the extra love she was getting. But she’s perked back up and his her happy, playful self again. I’d say she enjoys being our only dog, but she takes our leaving way more seriously. She had never shown any separation anxiety, but every time she’s left alone- even if just for a few minutes- she is whining, crying, jumping and excited when we get back.
I’ve been surprised at our talks about getting another dog. There’s no plans yet, but I think it will be sooner than I would have imagined. If we see a dog that seems like a fit for us, we will surely take her. Pepper needs a buddy.
We have Zoey’s remains, memorial keepsake from the vet, and condolence cards on display in our living room. We still tell her goodnight. When we buy a house someday, we plan to plant a tree and mix her ashes into the soil.