I took the photo today of my boy Zeus and not only his he very photogenic (and he knows it) but he is also the love of my life.
When my son saw the picture of Zeus almost 6 years ago I had just lost the last of my JRTs in Sandy and Spud. Sandy was a JRT mixed with a dachshund and he was a tenacious little boy and he had the attitude of a dog the size of a rottweiler, but he was so sweet with us his family and his brother Spud, who was a bulky JRT but both were perfect. It was almost like the animal version of Mice and Men and Spud was my Larry….he wanted nothing more than to cuddle with his mum (me), and us being together was all he wanted. The Velcro dog as we like to think.
I lost Spud at the age of 12 as he had Cancer. He was a good boy who would sit quietly with me all day, and yet I think back with sadness when I remember the Vet saying that it would be the kindest to put him to sleep as he was no longer eating. I begged them to give him Chemo and would have emptied my savings, taken out loans…whatever was needed to get my boy better but sadly it was not to be and they told me that nothing could be done, and I lost my boy that day. His final view was me telling him that he was my boy and that I loved him very much.
It was so sad as he was always car sick but on his last journey he was sniffing out of the window and enjoying the air and I remember rushing in the Vet with him in my arms crying for help. I did not know that day that I would not be going home without him.
I don’t remember leaving the Vets that day as I was in tears and anyone who says its only a dog…has no heart and has never had a pet…..infact they are not a pet…they are our children.
When I came home to Sandy he went to the back door looking for his brother and was wondering round and round looking for Spud, and of course he was not there and he became depressed overtime as he was missing his best bud….they had been together for 12 years and nothing it seemed would brighten his life. That was until this abused, malnourished cat appeared on my door step one year later needing medical help, love and care and Sandy that tenacious JRT who would have seen any cat out of the garden on any day of the week suddenly took to Fudge, and it was so sweet just watching them nestle together. They were two tier pets as we called them. Fudge was on the 2nd step and Sandy on the 1st Step and they just gave each other that special care and love that both of them needed.
4 years later Sandy had a massive stroke and we knew it was time. In the Vets again we had to say goodbye to our almost 17 year old furry son who had brought us so much joy like his brother, and who when they were both younger would have given any premier league footballer a run for their money with their ball skills. We told him that we loved him very much and that he was to go and have fun with his brother at Rainbow Bridge and to chase the balls that Spud kept popping……but then he was gone….
The emptiness and the sorrow just came like a massive wave of hurt, anger and misery…my boy was gone and that was it…I had no dogs…no furry sons who were going to bark at every movement outside, who would announce us in their own ways of excited barkings when we came home, and no more sitting on our laps wanting more and more cuddles….that was all gone and the misery was just a dark cloud that hit there and then.
I had to get out of the Vets as my heart was hurting and Ieft Mr Points of Sue to settle the bill as I just needed air., and Mr Points of Sue tried to look stoic but I knew he was hurting after all we had just lost our second boy. Sandy was my 33rd birthday present as being an Army wife I was lonely when my own children had started school and in the local papers was an advert for JRTs and that was it. I met Sandy when I went to the house and put my bag down and he piddled on it… I knew then that this little cheeky pup was mine, and he brought so much joy and laughter to the house. The boys were little and to hear their giggles as this tiny little thing chased after them attacking their slippers made us feel complete as family.
Spud was my mum’s puppy and she developed asthma although I knew we would be offered the chance to house Spud and I actually picked him out for her, and sure enough 4 weeks later this little bundle of love came into our lives. He was dominated by his much smaller brother but wherever one was…so was the other and they could both fit in one chair and when Sandy barked at something (when he wasn’t attacking the hoover) Spud would bark although we knew he did not know what he was barking at….but his big brother had barked…so must he.
I never rested until I had both of the boys ashes back in our home and they are in a special place as I cannot bear to scatter their ashes even round my much loved roses, and have already decided that when it is my time to go….my furry children’s ashes come with me.
With both my boys gone my eldest son had noticed that I did not to find joy anymore, I didn’t smile anymore. I know that is crazy as I had beautiful grandchildren by this time and they are my joy and my heart, but when you are used to the pitter patter of tiny paws on your floors, and that greeting when you come home is something else, to have it gone is so loud in the emptiness. Nobody can give you that much joy and love in the same way a dog can and I missed it.
Then Zeus arrived and that emptiness that I felt was gone. Poor Mr Points of Sue did not get a look in and Zeus is now my Velcro dog and like Spud he likes nothing more than cuddling with me.
Now when I look at my boy I see such love and such joy and I know I talk about him a lot but he is just a loveable bundle. When we took him to the vet we found out that he had an issue with his health and it would cost us a lot of money each year and I didn’t care, and what he needs he will get.
When we are out for a walk he must pee up every bush and the first half a mile can take forever and it can be crossed off the list for exercise for me as I am stop, start, stop, start but the joy of watching him with his face in the shopping bag is wonderful as he knows that there is always a ball in there for him, and like any spoilt child there is.
He now has a large box of squeaky balls and tip for those of you who are dog lovers…the scooby doo balls in B & M are Zeus stress test free. He cannot get his teeth into and the squeaks have remained intact. £1.50 for a small ball and £2.50 for a large one is great value for money and because he only has a little jaw it is the smaller ones he likes.
When I come through the door like all parents of dogs he runs to me with his tail going and I will always greet him first as he is the baby of the family, and nobody can welcome you home the same way as your furry child as that sort of love cannot be forced. He is so sweet that even our Postie Steve loves seeing him.
So, for me my Zeus is my joy, my happiness, my baby and whilst he relies on me for his care…it is a mutual relying on each other for love and yep he even comes up to bed and he’s in the middle as he likes to rest his across me and his dad and neither of us move him…so how daft are we.
I don’t want to think of life without him as I am hoping he beats Sandy at almost 17 years and he grows to be a really old boy and where we will by that time be walking at the same rate….slow.
So don’t be surprised if you see more and more about Zeus on my blog as he brings so much joy that I want to share it with everyone.