Monday, June 3, 2013

Zelda's story

We are telling Zelda's story here to help raise awareness of the slaughter of the innocents that is happening every day in America. Zelda and her human family were victims of pit bull advocacy. Such attacks almost never make news, but Zelda and others like her deserve to be remembered. Mr Jones shares his loss, and the story of a beloved animal companion:

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.

I will spare you all the countless and hundreds of Zelda stories and moments that I could recall through her twelve year run on this Earth. All I can say is that in every sense of the word, she was my companion. She was very human-like, and very frustrating at times, and she had a mind of her own! But she loved me, and she respected me, and I loved her more than a human should probably love his dog.

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. 

Goodbye Princess Zelda, I will love you forever. And I will never forget you. I will miss you more every day you are gone.


  1. Mr. Jones,

    I so appreciate your bravery in writing this.

    It is very personal for me to hear your story, and it has made me choke up.

    I also have a dog that is the world to me. He also was attacked by a pit bull, but he was lucky and survived. I made sure that the attacking pit was deemed dangerous by the city, the most I could do legally given the circumstances, but it still went on to kill another dog. Thankfully, after its kill, the pit was finally put to sleep. (prior to this it had attacked my dog and one other in the neighborhood in a manner in which it was obvious it meant to cause death)

    My dog was ripped open in his abdomen (about 8 inches) the day of the attack and required several hours of surgery to survive as well as may days of recuperation with drain plugs all over his body and a headcone. He was more lucky than many other dogs and pets.

    Stories like your own break my heart, while making me feel lucky to have my dog.

    Better still, they put me in the mind to try and stop future attacks, those personally seen and unseen.

    If I had been there with you that day, I can guarantee I would've fought alongside you to save your dog. Mr. Jones, I humbly offer you my sword.

  2. Oh my Lord

    What a sad story, and the photos really rip my heart out.

    Mr. Jones, it is not "too much" at all and you are totally entitled to your grief and loss.

  3. re zelda
    sad to hear this story about a special dog taken from someone in this brutal and unnecessary fashion. some people just see a story of a dog fight , an accident or loss of a replaceable piece of property but i see it as much more . for me this is a crime and a tragedy and people who care need to start thinking and acting like this .

  4. mr jones, i'm sorry for the ugly savage manner in which your pet left this world. i am sorry for your loss but you should not internalize one iota of blame. your dog should be safe on your property.

    these stories only add fuel my to my fire.

  5. Mr. Jones,

    Very well written. I feel your pain. Like Dawn James, these stories only add fuel to my fire.

    Don Bauermeister

  6. I used to have a Schnauzer just like her. You are not to blame. Pit bull advocacy and dog fighters did this.

  7. Thank you for sharing your heartbreaking story. Your story is personal, but you described perfectly how much our dogs mean to us and the devastation these barbaric and senseless attack bring. Thank you. I am so sorry for your loss.


  8. schnauzers make wonderfull loyal companion dogs from what ive heard from several people who have owned them . when there are so many good dogs out there , why would someone take the risks of owning a pit-bull? unless you like the idea of what, everyone knows, some of them are like . where theres smoke .....theres usually fire .

  9. The two dogs I interacted with most as a small child were a mutt owned by my grandparents and a mini-schnauzer owned by my closest uncle.

    Dawn is spot on here:

    "but you should not internalize one iota of blame. your dog should be safe on your property."

    You had no way of knowing that your dog was in danger in that situation. Zelda would not have been in danger if fighting breeds were not present, and at that point you could not have predicted what was to come. Like my dog, Zelda, probably survived many happy encounters with mutts, labs, and the like. Until it happens to you or you become aware of the problem so other way, fearing the death of your pet by another dog is not on your radar. It wasn't on mine.

  10. I'm always heartbroken when there is another one of us who loose their beloved pet in this horrible manner. I only hope the dogs that did this had a peaceful and humane death, so they won't do it again, and that they won't graduate to humans. God bless.

  11. Zelda's death was in no way your fault, and you did all you possibly could to save her. In her last moments of awareness no doubt she was thinking of you, with love.

    Thank you for including those sweet photos as well. She was beautiful.


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