Can You Help Us Carry A Little Weight?

I’m sorry that this post isn’t in line with where I’m trying to take Step One: Make Fun!, but I wanted to share something and I couldn’t think of a better place to put it. It’s personal and possibly soppy.

Our Dobermann cross, taken in 2011The photo to the right is of our beautiful girl, Zelda. I took it a little over a year ago. Some months before, Zelda had an operation to remove a mast cell tumour that had come up on her right flank.

After that photo, a second tumour manifested, then a third on her left ear and a fourth on her flank. The vet operated to remove the last two (which involved almost completely removing the floppy left ear you see in the picture) around four months ago – only for yet another to start growing at the bottom of the surgery scar on her flank (we later noticed two small lumps within what was left of Zelda’s ear).

That tumor had been slowly taking Zelda from us. Her weakened condition turned a dodgy dismount from our couch a few weeks ago into hip damage that left her struggling to get her back legs under her. She’d also slowly gone off food other than canned pink salmon, and even that she struggled to keep down. Though Zelda spent a lot of her life lounging around the house, she was always worrying at the tumor on her flank since it got bigger than a ten cent piece (at the end, it was so big that I could cup my hand about it). Even when Zelda left it alone she rarely rested easily, twitching and jerking, moving about in the middle of the night.

So today we made the very, very hard decision to put her to sleep before the monster she battled so bravely took any more comfort from her.

In that picture, I’m scratching her in one of Zelda’s most favourite scratching spots; right above her tail. It was docked before she came into our lives. Another was the one on the white blaze on her chest, which made her stretch her head up and shake her back leg (she was trying to scratch there too).

In the seven and a half years since Vickie’s son found a stray Dobermann pup wandering the streets of the Pyramid Estate and took her in (he couldn’t keep her, having two dogs already), Zelda gave us so much loopy, bossy, gorgeous love. And single-handedly converted me into a Big Dog person.

I got back from the vet’s a half an hour ago, and soon I’ll bury Zelda in the back yard she loved to explore and lounge in. But right now, I hope you’ll forgive me sharing this with you – sometimes, we need a little help to share the weight. And a brandy, lime and soda, which Vickie mixed for me. (I made her a coffee.)

Rest, our lovely dog. Your mum, your dad and your big little brother Ziggy miss you so much.

But What About You?

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