Friday, July 22, 2016

Goodbye Zulu

After only 11 years of friendship we said goodbye to our old girl Zulu last week. 
I have to say a few words about her because she has been the biggest part of my adult life. If you're here for home improvement feel free to skip ahead to the next post! 
Zulu went by ZuZu, Z, Zuluy, pony, houndie, and a zillion other silly nicknames. She was a birthday gift for me when I turned 22. I had moved about 3.5 hours from home for one of my first big girl job and didn't know a soul. There were times in my life where Zulu felt like my only friend. She was there for me through every break up. Every new job and promotion. Every illness (I had a rough couple of years there with mono, malaria, and MRSA hitting me in rapid succession). Every move. Together this girl and I moved to five different places. 
 She wasn't afraid of fireworks, the vet, or thunderstorms but barked like a lunatic if someone came to the door (or back in the landline days the phone rang). She has been a good little friend to the two other dogs we've had and our cat. 
 She accepted Chris as her family right away and tolerated a new baby like a champ. 
 She has always been a little sickly. She has always had nasty teeth. We have to put her under every year for a teeth cleaning and she barely had any teeth left. Her breath has nearly always been terrifying.
 In the last year or two she had become really arthritic and had a limp. We spent about $40 a month for the last year to medicate her, but near the end she could barely walk. 
I won't lie. Losing her was devastating but also a relief. With her barely able to walk near the end she got a pressure sore on her leg that I had to re-bandage in a multi step process daily. To take her outside I had to carry her in and out multiple times a day. She was cranky with Lila near her, afraid of being messed with or stepped on. She had to be carried to and from meals and would struggle to stand up and yelp with pain when she laid down. 
The day before she left us she got sick and threw up. Then she kept throwing up every couple of hours. 
 I had been at the vet a couple of years ago when a woman came in with her dying dog who threw up over and over again in the waiting room and died. I sat there holding Zulu bawling with the owner. I had never seen a dog die on their own and the smell stuck in my brain. The smell came back to me while Zulu was sick and I knew this time was different. Her quality of life had really declined and she was miserable and holding on for us. 
We gave her permission to let go. Chris came home from work and said goodbye and Lila and I took goodbye last pictures with her.

The innocence of a child is so sweet. It's the end but she clearly didn't know it. 
 My dad was kind enough to take her in for me so someone would be with her but I wouldn't have to see it. 
Lila woke up looking for "Z Z" for a few days but seems to have forgotten. Oscar was very nervous and confused but also seem to get it now. Linus is still struggling. 
 I've got no pretty way to wrap it up. Losing a pet is like losing family for me. We're so sad, but thankful she isn't in pain anymore and that there was no doubt that it was the right time for her to go. 

 Goodbye my faithful girl. Thanks for helping me get through some rough stuff!

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