We enjoyed a glorious 12 years with our Collie mix we lovingly nicknamed Zippity-do Dog. She held an endless enthusiasm for life. Zippity lived each day full-tilt from the time she showed up on our front porch two days before Christmas until her death.
I estimated her to be eight weeks old when she arrived looking more like a very wet black rat than a dog. We heard an alarming noise on our porch at 11 one night, and when I went to investigate, she was shivering huddled against the doorjamb and soaking wet. I brought her in the house and dried her off with a large, fluffy bath towel. From that moment, any time we picked up a towel, Zippity would come running to be ‘dried,’ even if it were 90 degrees outside. Since we already had a Chocolate Lab, I decided we didn’t need another dog. Before work I loaded her into a pet carrier and put her in the back of my pickup. On my lunch break, I drove her to the local animal shelter. Somewhere along the way her smiling eyes and joyous demeanor won my heart. I just couldn’t drop her off in the after-hours/holiday kennel. After work she returned home with me and became fully integrated into our family.
Lessons from a dog
If you honestly believe that animals have nothing to teach us, you must have never owned a dog. Humility, instant forgiveness, unceasing adoration and never ending playfulness during all waking hours were hers to lavish on anyone with enough time to pay attention to her. If we sat, she was instantly in our laps, if we walked she would run round and round us, if we drove she wanted in the front seat where she could look out the window. She had annual Vet visits, all shots, heartworm meds and all necessary care to keep her as healthy as possible. She ate premium hard dog food. Yet she died just after her twelfth birthday.
We came home to find her fallen in the back yard. My wife got her up and into her bed on the front porch where I hand fed her some hot dogs. She seemed to get a little better, but the next day she disappeared. We found her deceased in the woods three days later. One of the lights of our life had gone out.