Last Friday we said good-bye to our beloved, seven year old Rhodesian Ridgeback, Zebu.
He was the first being we co-parented together all the way, from his sweet puppy-start to his much-to-soon end.
He was diagnosed with an aggressive and malignant cancer in January, and given 6 months to live. In many ways that diagnosis was a gift. We knew what was coming, we knew what to expect, we were able to be more intentional and present with him in his last months with us. We didn't always do it perfectly, but I am grateful for that time. We spoiled him, we made him as comfortable as we could, and when he reached a point that the pain and the illness became too much, we knew, and we were able to plan his passing.
We called our doctor of the last 10+ years. The same doctor who gave Zebu his puppyhood vaccinations, the same doctor who neutered him and helped him through various illnesses. He came to our home. We held Zebu in our arms, on his favorite bed, his head laying on my husband's lap. We told him it was ok to go, we told him we loved him, we thanked him, and we peacefully let him go. He went quickly, like a deep sigh of relief.
I thought there would be sobbing, but there were only quiet tears from us both. I know that this is something that will hit us in waves, creeping up on us in unexpected ways. Like today when I prepared to go for a bike ride with Zane and realized there was no petulant pup, crowding us at the door begging to come along.
The house is quiet. But I still feel him here, as I did with Sativa after she passed last year.
He was so strong and so brave at the end. There was always so much more going on for him than he let on. I know I will be a better mother in many ways for having loved him and being loved by him. He was our lion hunter, who trembled at the sound of a motorcycle. He was our 90lb lap dog and our ferocious protector. He was our sweet boy.
We love you Zebu, we miss you. We hope you are somewhere warm, running along the water's edge with Sativa and that there will always be plenty of soft fluffy beds for you at the end of the day.
And, I am sorry for that time we made you wear the princess crown. We couldn't resist. I hope you are laughing about it now.