Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Saying Goodbye to Zoey

I was not a child who grew up with dogs or cats in my home. This was not a hardship for me since there were many friends in my New York City neighborhood that had pets and I could always go to their places and play with Scottie or Tiny or Killer.

My sister and I were allowed goldfish. But the lack of cuddle ability made them unsatisfactory. Also, the fish liked to fool us by floating belly up to the top of the tank and playing dead. It seemed to us they liked to do this too many times to count. We were not amused.

I grew up and never felt the want for a dog or cat. If I were honest, I would admit that if I did want a pet at any time, it would probably be a cat. But a scant 14 years ago I was introduced to a tiny black and white Jack Russell terrier. She came to live with us.

I did not want her at first. My family did.
Zoey. It’s Greek for life.

Oh, we’re not Greek. It just seemed like the perfect name for her.

She brought life and love and wonder to the family for every one of those 14 years since she walked over the threshold of our house.

A few weeks ago we learned that Zoey had cancer in her lungs and there was no hope for recuperation.

She was suffering.

This morning we could see she was also failing.

We wanted her to have peace.

I would like to say that I was very brave and accompanied family members to the vet for the final visit.

I can’t say that. I was a coward.

I did say goodbye to her before she left with the others and thanked her for being the best little dog ever. I also apologized for not being very welcoming when she first arrived in my life. She looked at me with glazed eyes that seemed to say, “Oh that? Pshaw! I knew I would get you to love me.”

I received a message from the family. They have left the vet’s office.

It’s over.

It was peaceful.


  1. Having had animals all my life, I completely understand the difficulties in letting one go. They become a part of the family, whether you want them to or not :). You and Zoey are in my thoughts.

  2. I completely understand. I'm not brave about it either, even though I know it's best for them. This was a touching post.

  3. My heart goes out to you, Marisa. I've been through this more than once. It's never easy. Each time it takes me a while before I can think of them or talk about them without tearing. Pets become family members. Mine are my furry kids.

  4. Family isn't based on blood. It isn't based on two arms and two legs. It isn't based on knowing people or making lots of money. Family is based on love and if there is one thing animals know, it's love.
    The good news is that love doesn't go away either. You'll share stories and memories for a lifetime which is the true blessing of life.

  5. Losing a beloved pet is never easy. I don't blame you for staying home. I lost my own precious cat Jhingo to pancreatic cancer. She was 14, quite an accomlpishment for a manx I'm told. I made that last trip to the vet just as your family did. I am truly sorry for your loss.

  6. Sniff.

    I've had to be "brave" before too.

    Once, the vet said that this is the price we pay for being a good pet owner. Zoey didn't suffer being hit by a car or getting lost or worse.

    I'll be thinking of you today.


  7. Very sorry for your loss.

  8. So sad, so hard. I'm sorry. I know that place.

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