My parents golden retriever passed away yesterday. While I never grew up in the house with her there, she was still my favorite...aside from the dog I actually did grow up with, Barkley. She wasnt simply...a dog. She was a family member. No matter how many days...weeks...months passed by between our visits to my parents house, Zoe was always there to greet us as we walked in the door...her big tail swishing back and forth...nudging your hand with her head to let you know that she wanted you to pet her and that she was excited to see you again. She would be content to sit beside you for hours at a time...soaking up your attention and love..petting her head and kissing her big doggy nose.
I really have only had to deal with the loss of one other pet in my whole life...that being Barkley. It hurts even though I am miles away...and I didn't see her everyday...it still hurts...even though she wasnt MY dog per se...it still hurts. The loss of course is making me remember all of the moments I had with her...and those memories make the tears sting my eyes...but they also make me chuckle to myself.
Zoe was a funny girl...she had a big personality...she had a kind heart and made me laugh so many times. I would sit there in my parents house and just look at her sometimes and laugh...just the mere thought of her goofiness and the big doggy smile on her face made me giggle. I would hear stories from my mom on the phone about how stubborn Zoe was and how she sometimes seemed to have selective hearing when my mom would try to get her back in the house from outside. I remember sitting in my Dads big lazyboy recliner and Zoe would stand next to me...and if I pushed gently on the right spot on her back, she would start to do this little dance...my mom called it the bumper dance. Zoe would run into the living room and pull a hedgehog squeaky toy out of her basket of toys...come barreling into the family room with it in her mouth and start to play. She was such a sweetheart though because when my parents other dog, Abby would come and try to play too...Zoe would drop the toy for her and let her have it. Zoe's favorite spot to lay down and nap was in the bathtub....I know it seems like a random and odd place for a dog to want to nap....but she did...Zoe loved baths when she was younger and would actually try to swim in the water. When Emma was a baby, Zoe would get very concerned whenever Emma would cry...she would come running almost as if she wanted to fix it and help me calm baby Emma down. Zoe loved food....she loved to eat...she would sit in front of us as we ate...drool falling from her mouth...and her eyes....oh those big doggy eyes made me want to give her anything I had. Zoe was a big girl....but I think she would have given anything to be able to be a lapdog anyway.
I have so many memories of Zoe and I will cherish them always. The mere thought of her still makes me smile and chuckle to myself....and now there is a pang of heartache and longing to hug her and kiss her and see her running around playing with her "hedgie" still....I'm sure that pang will always be there. I am greatful for the time I had with Zoe. I am greatful that she brought so much joy and love and laughter into my parents life. I know I will see her again one day....and I know it will be just as it always has been...she will greet me with her big tail swishing back and forth...and a big doggy smile on her face. RIP sweet Zoe. thank you for all the beauty and love you brought into my life.