Tuesday, April 8, 2008

In Remembrance....

I have spoken a lot about our chihuahuas recently, but I have never mentioned this guy. There is a reason for that. It has been difficult for me to write about him.

His name was Zico, named by my husband after a Brazilian soccer player (futbol for the rest of the world not in the U.S.)

We lived in eastern Washington when we got Zico. He was a mix of lhasa apso and some sort of terrier that jumped the fence. He was desperately needing a good home. We gave him one. He was a tiny little ball of fur when we first got him..the runt of the litter. He melted our hearts immediately and became the love of all our lives.

Zico was a small dog, but with a big dog bark. He used his bark generously in all situations...even some that we would've preferred left silent. He was the barking doorbell in our home. He warned when the phone rang. He warned us when there was any strange goings on in the home or outside the home that shouldn't happen. He was small, but a wonderful guard dog.

He had a few other idiosyncracies that caused some problems. He was a very poor traveler and didn't tolerate car rides at all. Everytime he got in a car, he threw up. We concluded that he simply just became carsick and so we avoided car trips with him. That was tough because he really wanted so much to be with us when we went anywhere too.

Zico hated strangers. He loved his immediate family but anyone he did not consider family was not very welcome. We had the same babysitter for almost 10 years and he never really warmed up to her. She simply wasn't family. By the end of his life, she only had gained the status of "barely tolerated" in his mind.

It was last summer that we knew that Zico was not doing well. He had gained weight, poor energy,and simply "looked unwell". We were so strapped for money at the time until late this winter that we could not afford to take him to the vet. But I knew what was wrong with him and I also knew that the only thing a vet could offer was to put him to sleep. None of us could bear to part with him and he seemed to want to be with us so much.

We coddled him and cared for him until the last. He had lived with us thirteen years and his time was close. One night, he seemed to want to be very close to me all evening. On the way to bed, he walked with me to my bedroom. I sat down and looked at him and he watched me for a moment. Then, he plopped down right in front of me, laid on his side, turned his head to look at me....and died. I held him very close and cried for a few minutes before wrapping him up in a blanket and placing him in our cool garage until morning. My husband had already left for work, my son was sleeping and my daughter was staying the night with friends when this happened, and it was two days before Christmas.

Zico was a very special family dog. Losing him really was like losing a part of our family. We all loved him dearly.

We had made a myspace site about him before he died and it still exists.

We created a myspace in rememberance of him and I wrote one little blog...written as if it were Zico writing it, as follows:

I now reside in heaven

I'm Zico, and my family made this site about me. They didn't make it for me, they made it about me. They tried hard to understand everything I was thinking and tried to put those thoughts into this site. They didn't get it all right, but the gist of it is mostly true.

I love my family. They have always loved me and taken care of me. However, in the last few weeks of my life, it became too hard to take care of me. They considered ending my life artificially at the vets to ease my suffering, but they couldn't let go. I understand that. I didn't want to let them go either. As hard as it was for me, I wanted to stay with them every minute and be with them.

Today was the last day of my life here on earth. I knew it was coming. I felt the need to be so close to my family all day, but I knew it was time.

It was about 10:45pm and dad had just left for work like he usually does. Mom was getting ready to go to bed. I had to follow her into the bedroom because I didn't want to be alone. She went into the bathroom and sat down and watched me while I came in the bathroom door. She saw me, bent down to pet me behind my ears like she always does. I've always loved that and she knew it. I was tired, so very tired and I laid down. Suddenly, I felt something very odd, turned on my side to look at her...and saw her face one last time.

It was a really strange sensation, I could hear her voice and feel her hand on me, but then everything just sort of faded away and the next thing I know I am in the best place ever. I'm no longer sick. I can run around and be a young dog again. That's the best part. I miss my family but something tells me I'll see them again.

I love all of you and will never forget you!!!! Don't cry though, because I really am doing well and in a better place now. Be happy for me, please!