Home is Where we Hook-up

July 6, 2008

Zoe the later years

Filed under: Dogs,Pets,Travel — Heligypsy @ 3:07 pm

Zoe and I had a trip to the vet last week. Nothing is wrong, per se, but it was time for medication refill and an overall check-up. I arrived armed with a notepad listing several items to discuss and questions to go over. And thank-goodness too, as our French-Canadian vet, friendly as she was, was moving like a tornado and without notes I would have forgotten more than the two vaccine updates we will have to return for next week.

There was a time in Zoe’s life that she required major daily physical exercise. Swimming has long been the best activity for her, the impact on her 3 legged body much less than the miles of chasing rabbits in sagebrush. Days without strenuous exercise were days I paid for, tormented with incessant barking, digging, she chewed the seat backs in my new car once – my fault for leaving her there for so long. We always made a crucial priority to “run” her, especially on long days drives. Now, however, the extent that she is able to move around is so drastically reduced. At 13 yrs. old, she sleeps most of the day and will hop pathetically a few hundred yards and flop to the ground with a “harumph” I watch her hobble around, I lift her whenever I can so she doesn’t have to do stairs and I can hardly imagine describing her antics as a pup to someone just meeting her. Ever see a “crazy daisy”, a foam flower sprinkler attachment? She would bite at and chase spraying water for hours on end. We could throw sticks in the swift moving Owens River and she would launch off the rivers banks, retrieve the stick and be ready again, and again, and again.

Now I am driving her to the waters edge, helping her ease into the water, lightly tossing one of two sticks for the day and we call it good. Each day I wonder if this could be one of her last, she is just so old and feeble – still my loving friend, but hardly the dog I remember.

Each new person we encountered in the vet was full of surprise to learn her age, I think one woman may have not believed me,

“She looks SO good!”

And so it turns out, this is what I am really paying for when I bring her in for an office visit. She does not have heartworm, her hind leg is not failing, ok, so she’s eating dirt – not a deficiency just a weird habit (and not a new one, either). But most importantly, I watch these new medical professionals interact with her in amazement at how wonderful she truly is.

Today is not her last day, and tomorrow probably isn’t either. A young technician and I laughed about this, she shared with me her own little story about going to vet school,

“Now I come home everyday, and my dog is sick with something new, I am sure of it!” I am so glad to meet a kindred spirit of pet obsession.

Keith and I secured a boarding facility for Zoe for the 6 weeks we will be in Italy. Took three tries (and an offer from my mom to fly her to Bishop) before we found the right one. But we did find it, and as far as leaving Zoe for our romp around the Riviera I am all set.

Now, I just have to pack!



  1. Hi guys! Zoe is one lucky pup to be bouncing around the country with the two of you! She truly is doing wonderful for her age….as are most of us! Give her a hug from me! Italy huh? LIfe must be real rough!!! Lucky you!

    Comment by Bonnie — July 9, 2008 @ 9:25 am | Reply

  2. I was thinking about Zoe. Thought she may come “home” to Bishop to stay with Grandma and thought we would get a visit in before Italy. She does look GREAT! The wheelchair was cute… and I remember the leaps into the Owens! Love to all of you.

    Comment by Debbe — July 15, 2008 @ 1:40 pm | Reply

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