An account of what happened the day I lost my baby Zelda. I wrote this some weeks after her passing....
I had just finished teaching my Saturday morning class, and the weekend had officially begun. I was so excited for the day, I had so many fun errands to run and just wanted to take a quick nap before heading out for the day. As I lie there, with Tiffany and Link (my lab) in bed with me, I heard some strange barking. I knew it was different due to Link's reaction. The hairs on his back stood up, and he was barking louder than normal. What felt like forever, was only mere seconds that it really took me to recognize that it was Zelda's bark I had heard. I raced outside and was shocked to find two dogs in my front yard, pouncing on top of my poor, innocent Zelda....
Before I continue though, let me take a second to go back. To go back twelve and a half years to be exact. I was merely thirteen years old when I started to really beg my parents for a dog. See, my parents went out a lot on the weekends. I was old enough to stay at home, and I just stayed in my room and played video games all night. Deep down though, I was lonely. I had no siblings my age to stay with me, and I couldn't have friends over most of the time.
So for the most part, I was just very lonely and yearned for some company. I don't want to make my parents out to sound bad, I just also really wanted a dog so bad. I love animals, especially dogs, and always wanted my own. My parents did not share my same enthusiasm about getting a pet though.
Well, once I got my mom on board that was all it took. She wanted to get a Schnauzer, because our family has always gotten that breed of dog, and it also had to be female, because according to my mother, male dogs pee everywhere. Anyway, once I agreed to her terms, we searched for mini-Schnauzers and once we found someone breeding them, we met to choose our dog. I can remember the night we rode to these people's house, and the joy I had picking her out. She was so tiny, and so cute, and she just made me feel so happy. On the ride home, I can remember dancing in the car, I was just ecstatic.
It's not just her funny quirks that I remember the most. It's the things she did for me. It's when I was a kid, or even through most of my young adulthood, if things were hard, or overwhelming, she would sit right up by me and start licking my face. She could tell when I was sad, and at times I felt like she was taking care of me. She warmed me over with her unconditional love. The kind of unconditional love that only a faithful dog can give. I loved it, and I miss it so much.
I cannot sum up my twelve year relationship with Zelda in words. There is no way I could do it justice to how much she meant to me, and my Mom both. I always knew that she'd die, and I had come to grips with it several years ago when we thought she had cancer. I prepared myself for the day she would grow old and die. But you can never prepare yourself for what I saw.
They were on top of her, biting her, shaking her, it was vicious. When I ran out there, I didn't even know they were pit bulls. Honest to God, my vision blurred and I lost all sense of safety as I ran into the dog fight and immediately kicked one of them off of her. In the process, Zelda bit me by accident, and finally my neighbor who owned them came in and helped me separate the dogs. Once the smoke cleared, I was about five feet away from Zelda, I had walked off, holding my bleeding thumb. I started to regain some awareness, and started calling out for Zelda. I couldn't find her in the grass. She sat up. Fractured ribs, a hernia, and multiple bite wounds, she sat up for me. I saw her, clearly in pain, as she collapsed back down to the ground, and I lost it. Tiffany rushed her to the vet while I stayed to see the ambulance and then I drove to meet her there.
All day Zelda was in critical condition, and later that night, as they performed surgery on her, it was not enough. Her old heart couldn't handle it. I choke up, as I write this to you all. It honestly hurts to even think about what I saw. It's just never something in a million years I thought that I'd picture seeing Zelda in. She was old, and she deserved much better than how she had to leave. She still had years left. And had I not been careless letting her out of the house, she would still be here today.
I was talking to someone the other day, and they said something that really hit home with me. Zelda has been in my life for over a decade. She has been with me through my entire teenage life, and all the way up to manhood. She was in my life every day, and I have never experienced losing someone to death that has been a part of my life that much or that valuable before. I've never felt this kind of pain before. And honestly, I'm sad that it had to be her. I could think of much more deserving people of a pit bull attack. I am still coping and dealing with this. It may seem to be "too much" for some people. Well, that's just how much she meant to me. I will not just be "over this" any direct time soon. But I must learn to live with it. I have no more tears left to cry, so all I can do now is keep standing and moving forward.