Success Story Of Pet Transition:
March 11, 2015
The Best Gift I Never Wanted
Today marks the 2nd anniversary of my Zena’s transition. I miss her velvety fur, her intense gaze that could look right through me and I miss our long meditative walks that were made more powerful by her presence. 15 years of aligned sweetness. And with all of that, I am still delighted by how much she surprises me to this day, how I think of her and I feel peaceful. She left this world with so much grace and elegance that it brings me to my knees. We are made better by the love of a pet…..
Here is her story,
I never wanted a dog. I travel too much, and I have a distinct aversion picking up and throwing drool-soaked tennis balls.
However, my boyfriend’s dream of having a dog was bigger than my not wanting one. He’d say things like “I’ll take care of it…love it enough for the both of us. Trust me, it’ll be the best gift you never wanted.”
After a couple of weeks of trying to put this subject to rest, I knew it was a matter of time before I was gonna “lose,” (amazing how someone’s aligned vision can alter how you see things)….so over a romantic dinner of pizza & beer, I gave him an exhaustive list of dos and donts for getting said dog, which I thought would’ve dissuaded him for months. Shoulda known by the look on his face that I had another thing comin’.
That…very….next…Saturday he scheduled a day full of doggy interviews. After an excruciating eternity with a gallon of hand sanitizer, and a value pack of lint rollers, I muttered to myself all day….”Best…gift…never….wanted?…….right.”
I thought I deserved a reprieve from another week of doggy ownership prison.
Instead he dragged me to our last appointment – Meeting a woman at a KMart parking lot. She came screeching around the corner, slammed to a halt, popped the hatch…………and my whole world changed.
If my crazy list had me ending up with a dog attached to it…this pup was a match. 8weeks old, the most velvety soft fur & intense eyes that said, “Please take me home.”
We named her Zena w/a Z & I fell muzzle over paws.
She was a bundle of joy. And so easy to be around. Potty trained in less than a week, we taught her to ring a bell by the door to go out. She liked her toys better than our socks and shoes, so not one was ever injured. As luck would have it, in a moment of curiosity, she smelled something yummy in the garbage can and when she tried to reach for the rotting goodies, her collar got caught in the garbage bag, which she dragged around for a few moment until we could step in to release her, which scared her so bad she never went near the tower of yummy smells again.
I learned something quick…Like a bullet out of a gun, The Girl could run.
She LOVED being chased. Faster than the fastest whippet, at the dog park, she loved it when all the dogs would chase her and because of her size, she found under the picnic table was the perfect solace for rest until she was ready to burst out again. Her marking were such that it looked like a huge grin on her face and was especially prominent when she ran. Such all out unabashed joy.
3 years into Zena’s timeline, the boyfriend and I moved our separate ways….
Lucky Me….I got custody. Zena took on a new role – my healer. She started doing this funny thing. She would jump on the couch, sit really close, turn around 3 times and then push herself as close as she could to me. It was so comforting. Then….Out of the blue she’d do some silly goofy thing just to make me laugh, like she was training me to move on and know that Life is Supposed to be Fun.
Each and Every day she could change my Mood by prancing to the door and sweetly welcoming me home. Didn’t miss a day……….for 15 years.
When our walks became shorter and shorter and she moved from pulling me in front to slowly drifting behind, I started to mentally prepare myself for the inevitable. I’d say to her, “I’ll be ok when you are ready to leave. And…If you want my help…I want such a clear sign that I will never feel guilty for making that decision.”
Months later on one of my many trips, I had a dream that was amazingly real:
Imagine snow everywhere, Zena’s favorite weather…and she’s in front…Urging me forward. In my dream she took me to a small pond w/a beautiful stone bridge and as soon as she hit the water, she transformed into a koi fish and swam under the bridge. Then…from under her…… a shark appeared. It looked as if they were telepathically speaking.As soon as I thought that thought, the shark backed up lunged forward and violently killed the koi fish.
I woke screaming…and then thought….ok is that the sign? Cause that seemed pretty clear.
Came home resisting making this decision, so consequently, NO SLEEP. As the days passed, she made it very evident that she was prepaving. The details are unimportant, what was important was her undeniable communication that she was ready to leap, which was making my decision more clear.
What sealed the deal for me was when I was drifting off at my desk one day – in that moment between sleep and waking -my Dad, who passed 3 years earlier from Alzheimers said to me clearly – “I wished I had been given that choice.”
In that moment, I became a woman on a mission. Since Zena was not a people “person”, taking her to a busy vet’s office? – not an option, so I thankfully found a Vet who would come to my home.
The morning of, I took Zena to her favorite park and spring had burst into full bloom.
We got back to my place, met the Dr who could not have been more wonderful. She told me everything that would happen, “there are 2 injections, one to calm her, and the other to do the job and the effects of the 2nd are instantaneous.” I had given the Dr. a bunch a treats to give Zena cause I knew she wouldn’t like her. Zena had devoured a bucket load of them and then as if on que – she slowly turned… went to her favorite spot….slowly laid down, sphinx like and looked back at us with one last treat hanging from her mouth….I said to the Dr. “She’s ready…Let’s do this.”
The first shot took about 15 minutes to take effect. As the Dr was coaching me with just the perfect amount of guidance, I was able to tell Zena how much I loved her…..petted her still velvety soft fur…and thanked her for blessing my life.
The 2nd injection….was beautiful. As her soul left her body a siren from a fire truck screeched through the air and …. Then silence…..it was over. All I felt was that my frisky puppy was free again…I still see her with that beautiful grin running at breakneck speed today.
The next day while walking to work, I heard a siren from a firetruck….and it stopped me in my tracks. I remembered when Zena was a puppy, she had loved to howl to those sirens. AND on top of that remembered that we had taped her doing that on one of those recorded picture frames. I’d love to share it with you…below. What’s funny is that she noticed in the middle of our taping her that we are standing there, so the last part seems like she is saying….why are you standing there with this picture frame in front of me?
Zena……..the best gift I never wanted.
Contact Rie Ruzicka here: Facebook.com/marieruzicka