Friday, January 05, 2024

Zoe Christeen 8/1/05 - 1/3/24

 2024 has come in with not only a kick to the gut, but a Bruce Lee one-inch punch to the chest.

We lost our little girl on Thursday. & to say we are heart broken is an understatement. Its never easy to lose a loved one - a member of the family - one who has been around so long too.

I probably have told this story before but Zoe was a found dog... the story is how she got her name.

We were coming home from a ZoeGirl concert (Dating myself on that one) one winter January night. There was snow on the ground, it was still coming down & we were coming down our dark country road & the lights hit something moving on the road.  I said to Ricky, "There's a duck in the road!!!" - a duck? In January?

We pulled up close & opened the door & ZOOOOM - in jumps a little puppy that is so covered in snow - its packed on her an inch deep. She jumped across the driver's side into my lap & we just immediately took her home.

She ran into our house & ran straight up to our dogs we had then - Sydney, Buffy - who loved her & licked her, because YUM - SNOW! & then she ran to Bruno, who always was my Grumpy man & she decided she'd stick with the girls for now.

We had to work to get the snow off of her & eventually had to get her in a warm bath to melt it all. Poor baby girl!!!!  

Ricky immediately started on the "We're not keeping her - we're putting signs up".... yeahhhhh.... OK - he did put signs up but he swears I took them down behind his back. We gave it 2 weeks & no one claimed her so Welcome to the Vincent family Zoe.  The name worked perfectly coming from the ZoeGirl concert AND it means LIFE, which, if she stayed out there much longer, she wouldnt have survived.

Speaking of surviving - Zoe is the one that left me terrified of having another girl dog & having them spade.  When she had her surgery, we did all the right things. Kept her kenneled so she couldnt run with her siblings - made sure she was contained.  

I went to work a few days later & came home & ran to get her out of the kennel to go potty & as she's walking behind me, I notice a trail of blood..... this gets gruesome - but a happy ending - so be warned.

I look down & her intestines are dragging the ground - DRAGGGINGGGGG THE GROUND!!!!!

Her stitches apparently were bothering her so badly, she gnawed through them, actually ripping the incision open so wide that her intestines came out.  

I picked her up, turned her on her back so her guts would stay inside & not hanging out - threw her in my car & drove like I've never drove before.

I always say I imagine it looked like a horror movie - because of course, I had a white shirt on & carrying her, it was covered in blood. I stormed through the door, her upside down in my arms & I scream HELP ME!!!!!!! .... I always say I'll give that vet's office a gold star forever because they had her out of my arms & in surgery in under 2 minutes..... I had to call Ricky & tell him what happened. He always talks about how he couldnt understand a word I said & had to repeat it a few times before he got the story.  

They told me her intestines had just a little bit of pink in them so they were able to be saved. They said if I hit traffic or was 10 minutes later getting home - she would have died because there would have been no blood flow to her intestines. ..... yeah... having a girl dog & having them spade is now in the top 5 nightmares & fears for me.

After that - Zoe went to work with me for the next few weeks. LOL. No joke - I set up a corner of my office for her & she loved it - everyone in the office loved it. Give that girl a 7-4 job

Like every dog, Zoe had her own personality.  She was probably the most independent dog we had - she loved her alone time - didnt like people coming to our house. She would go & hide until anyone would leave.  

She is part of our Fantastic 4 - Sydney, Buffy, Bruno & Zoe... they are the 4 that got us loving the idea of 4 dogs. They made it easy.  They were a team.  To think she has actually shared life with all the the dogs we've had since 2001 is mind blowing to me. She's a staple in our dogs.  The middle man - the one who took control.

The Core 4

That saying - Though she is but little, she is fierce is totally the perfect description of Zoe.  She would back down any big dog & hold her ground. When bones got passed out, she would go & grab them from the other dogs & dare someone to come take them from her.  

But she was also the care taker of everyone.  It was a nightly routine for Zoe, Buffy & Sydney to just sit in a little circle (or triangle) & clean each others face. She was ever the care taker for the dogs - as well as us.  She loved to be near us & snuggle. 

Its so crazy to think she's been around since our first grandson too.  Or when my twin nieces were just babies.  She's been around for what feels like forever.

She knew how to bring on the cute too to get whatever she wanted by sitting up on her hind legs & giving those sad puppy dog eyes. & yep, she'd always get her way.

She had her nick names... Zoe - ZoZo - Zoe Girl - I always called her our Baby Bird too because when you would give her a treat, she would just hold her head straight up & stretch that neck just like a baby bird takes food. So darn cute. ... I would also carry her & sing "Make way for Queen Zoe" in the Aladdin tune. LOL... it fit her perfectly!

& she loved her little treats.  Eggs were her favorite. & give her an empty peanut butter jar & her whole head would fit in side of it to get as far down as she could. The other dogs would wait till she was done because she could neverrrr just reach the bottom.  But they'd have to wait till she left the jar because that was her game.  Just protect it knowing they wanted it.  She knew she couldnt reach it, but she'd be darned if you were going to take it from her.  She was too funny.

Zoe is also the dog that got banned from so many groomers. We would take her to get a hair cut & we would get phone calls - "Come get this dog".... not even joking. She HATED getting her hair cut - I think more than anything, she hated being confined. When they would put the thing around the neck, she would alligator roll & try to get out of it. They thought she was going to hang herself - they couldnt leave her for a second.  Finally, we were asked not to bring her back. Not even kidding.

Zoe hated to get her picture taken too.... if we got a picture of her looking in the camera - it was a good time.  Why do some dogs just hate looking at the camera? Trying to get pictures was a struggle LOL

We had to learn how to groom her the past 10 years. I think we did pretty good actually for someone who didnt know how to do it. I'm sure our neighbors heard our "grooming" days because she would just scream the entire time - she hated everything about being held down.

We'd let her hair get long to put it off as long as possible!

As Bruno was getting older, Zoe was too...but Bruno needed like full time nursing home care... & it seemed the minute he passed away in 2021, Zoe immediately started needing our attention.  

Her front leg was bent always - the vets said this breed has a tendency to have legs like this & the age didnt make it better. She really hated to be carried - Miss Independent again! - she would struggle to get in & out of the doggie door on her own.  & then it became harder & harder for her & she ended up needing - & appreciating our help getting in & out.  

We would have to do potty trips at 1am - her favorite was 3am... & in the rain, & snow...& we were so happy to do it for her.  She gave us such joy - we were going to take care of her when she needed us.

In 2022, she ended up getting a small bump that came up right under her tail.  We took her to the vet & they lanced it but they said it would keep coming back. ... & it did.  She had to live on a prescription of antibiotics every few months to keep the infection out of it - but it continued to grow. They couldnt do anything about it because of the location - & her age. At this point, she was 17 years old & putting her in surgery for a delicate procedure wasn't an option.

It never really bothered her in the sense that it prevented her going to the restroom or giving her pain.  

So between having to clean this tumor & her legs giving out, our little girl was so dependent on us... & I think the last few months - maybe year, she didnt mind it. She loved the hugs & the attention & special care.

Probably a few months ago, she was starting to lose control of her bladder so we had to start using diapers on her. She actually didnt mind it & they helped her so much.... but we could see she was wearing down.  At this point, she's over 18 years old....

Zoe's last birthday

... which we're still confused of her age.  I thought her birthday was 8/1/05 - & we found her 1/15/06... but looking back in pictures, I see pictures of her posted in May 2005.... so was she born 8/1/04 & we found her 1/15/05?? I'm so confused. 18 and a half - or 19 & a half? ... regardless, she was getting up there... & being such a fighter. Her style.

New Years Day, we noticed a dramatic turn in her.  She just flopped down.  Didnt hold her head up well.  Didnt want to eat like she usually did.  She ate still & drank.... but Tuesday, she didnt want to drink anything. Didnt want to eat either.  I got her to eat some Peanut butter in the morning but it didnt sit well on her stomach.  Ricky had to run home at lunch to check on her & she wasn't feeling well.  

I ended up working from home on Wednesday 01/04 & just kept her near me all day.  It was a tough day. She would sleep but then wake up & you could tell she was uncomfortable. At one point, I held her over my arm & worked & she rested that way.

Ricky got home from work & she was resting.... but then she woke up & things took a really bad turn.  At that point, she hadnt ate or drank anything in nearly 24 hours. We were taking syringes of water & giving to her & it would make her sick. She started barking - something she didnt do - & we knew it was time to help her.

We got to the vet & she just barked the whole time... it was like she was asking for us to help her get relief from the pain.

They put us in "the room" - we hate this stupid room where they put you when they're going to put your animal to sleep -& we held her & loved on her & she just was in pain at this point. The vet heard her cries & came running in.  He gave her a shot that just relaxed her & gave her instant relief.... & he left us with her for the next 10 minutes to hold her like that & say our good byes.  I'm so thankful for this time. She wasn't crying any longer.  She was relaxed & comfortable.... & we were able to thank her for all the incredible & wonderful years she gave us.  

so many years.... she has been a part of our world & so many friends & family's world too....

I told her she was going to get her hearing back & her sight back -& her legs would be good & she could get her ZOOMIES back - to find her sisters & yes, Bruno & run with them like the wind.  Go take their bones & run my sweet girl.

Every single day when I leave the house, I tell my dogs, "Take care of each other - Momma loves you".... I left her with those last words when she left this world - Momma loves you sweet girl.


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