In loving Memory of Zoe

January 20, 2009
Everyone in their life has had something that means the world to them and they never want to lose. Whether it is a person, an object or something else living like a pet. I had that something special and it was my dog Zoe. You see, she was not like any other dog; there was something different about her that made her unique from the other dogs I have ever met. She seemed to have a personality that was more human than dog.

My family and I went to Sea World Pet store in Salem, New Hampshire one night and my sister Keri and I saw this very cute puppy inside the cages. In our home, we had a Bernese Mountain Dog named Gus, but my sister and I wanted another dog, and one that was a puppy. We begged my mom and my dad to let us get her but they said no they did not want another animal, They said we would not take care of it and it would end up being my mom’s responsibility. My sister and I promised that we would take care of her, and she would be our responsibility and we would feed her and walk her. After trying to persuade my parents to get the dog, we ended up leaving the pet store without the puppy. Later on that week, I was leaving school and at the beginning of the school driveway, I saw my mom standing there as she usually did, but she was holding an English Labrador Retriever puppy on a leash. I ran up to her and asked her whose dog it was and she said it was ours. She had called my dad who was on a business trip and convinced him to let her buy the puppy. She said we needed a name for it. My sister and I started yelling out names, anyone that we could think of but none of them seemed to fit her just right. My mom interrupted and said, “what about the name Zoe?” I am reading a book, that is the main character’s name, and it seems to fit her. We all agreed on Zoe, and headed off to bring Zoe to her new home.

When we got home, we showed her around and then took her outside to play in the yard. She played ball, and was so cute and small. She had so much energy that no one could handle right away and it took sometime of getting used too of having a puppy in the house once again. She listened to what we wanted her to do, and she played outside all day. We all got very close with her, and she loved all of us.

As she grew up she was able to do more and more, and we were able to teach her more things. She learned sit, stay, down, come, paw, and other paw. She was actually a very smart dog. She loved to go for walks and chase birds or chipmunks running along the ground. She loved the outdoors. Car rides were also one of her favorite things to do. Every weekend my mom would go to Dunkin Donuts and Zoe would go in the car in the passenger seat right next to my mom and stick her head out with window. I guess she liked the feeling of the wind hitting her face and making her ears fly back.

Some things about Zoe that stick out in my head are mostly the little things that she used to do. We would buy her a new toy and she would play with it by throwing it in the air and tossing it around until she was ready to rip it up and take out the squeaker. Squeakers were one of her favorite things. Any toy that had a squeaker would be her favorite and she would run around the house squeaking it. Once she was done playing, she would come into the family room and dig her sleeping bag out of the corner and move it around until it was just right, then she would lie down and fall fast asleep. Every once in awhile she would have a dream and start kicking her legs. She was such a loving dog and would give anyone a kiss at anytime whether you wanted one or not.

In the summer, my family goes up to our lake house in New Hampshire, and it is right on the lake so Zoe used to go swimming in it all the time. We bought one of those little kid-fishing poles where there is not a hook but a fake plastic fish on the end. When we would cast it into the water she would leap off the steps into the water and swim out into the lake after the fake fish. Once she got near it, she would grab it in her mouth, swim it back to the dock, and then of course shake the water out of her fur onto everyone else. We have a speedboat and whenever we went on it, she would sit right at the tip up front and lay there with the wind blowing through her face and making her ears fly in the wind. She was so content whenever we were on the boat. Whenever Merrie, Kristin or I went tubing or water skiing and she was on the boat she would sit in the back and watch us and once we got back into the boat she would go up to us and kiss us. And if we ever fell off the tube or ski’s she would go to the side of the boat closest to where we fell and just stare at us until she knew that we were alright. She was a loving dog and did not want anything to happen to her “sisters”. We also have a slow moving boat and she always used to sit on the very back lying in the sun with the calm breeze against her fur. There was no place she would have rather been.

Later on in her life, she became sick and so we brought her to the vet because she was drinking a lot of water and not acting quite like herself. Once there they ran some tests and gave us the results. The vet said that they diagnosed her with having Type 1 Diabetes. We would have to give her insulin twice a day, and keep track of her blood sugar, how much she ate, and how much energy she had throughout the day. We got good at keeping her calm at first and then we were able to tell when she was low, or if she needed anything. She also became pretty good at getting shots, and following us around when she knew that she felt low. I do not think she actually knew that she was low but she knew that something was not right. The scariest thing that ever happened while she had diabetes was when we decided to take a walk up in New Hampshire, up to a bat cave. We had been walking through a trail in the woods for about an hour, when all of a sudden Zoe started to whine and she started to turn back like she wanted to go back, and then she no longer wanted to walk. We could not make her walk all the way back because she could barely walk as it was. Therefore, my dad ran back to our cottage and got my neighbor to drive his truck through the woods to come and get us. Once we got back to the house we tested her and she was 70 when she should have been over 100, so we fed her a bunch of sugar and in just a couple of minutes she was back to her old self.

There have been many times where we have had to take care of her. She had to get a toe removed because there was a lump growing on it, and starting to take over her foot so once they took it off, they tested to see if it was cancer and it was. My family and I were all devastated when we found out that she had cancer and there was not much we could do about it. We took care of her the best we could and pretty much spoiled her.

We continued to do everything that we used to do but we included Zoe in a lot more things. We have another dog at our house and her name is Holly. We got her when my old dog Gus passed away. Holly and Zoe loved each other and were like sisters. Holly would walk Zoe on her leash whenever we took the both of them for walks, and they would sleep together at night, and just play together when no one else wanted to play. They were the best of friends for dogs. They did everything together and did not like to be apart although Zoe did like to be alone sometimes. Holly on the other hand is not very good at being an only dog. She would always walk around the house looking for Zoe whenever she was not there.

Zoe just recently passed away. It was very random and heart breaking for my whole family and I. I was just playing outside with Zoe and Holly when all of a sudden, Zoe started gagging and then she sort of just laid down as if she could not move. My mom wanted to bring her to the vet right away, so my friend carried her to the back seat of our car and I sat in the back with her on the way to the vet. We were all worried. Once we got to the vet we went to the emergency room and they said that they needed to do some tests and that we should come back in an hour to pick her up. My mom and sister went back home and I went over my friends house who lived right down the road from the vet. About an hour later I called my mom and asked what the vet had said and she said that there were still waiting, and would call me when they had heard something from the vet. About another hour went by and then I got a call from my mom and she said that they had found more cancer in her throat this time and that they did not know if they were going to be able to do anything to save her. They said that the cancer had just spread rapidly all of a sudden and her body could not handle it, all that had made her so weak. They said that the cancerous lump was so big that it was moving her windpipe over and that is what was causing her to be unable to breathe. I got off the phone with my mom and they said they would call me back. Right as my friend and I were about to go to the vet my dad called my cell phone and said that I had to come to the vet right away and I would have to say good-bye to her for the last time. He said that we had to put her to sleep because there was not anything we could do and that she was suffering. I burst out into tears and rode to the vet’s office with my friend. Once I got to the emergency room at the vet’s office, I asked the receptionist where Zoe Durgin was and she pointed to room number four. I ran into the room burst open the door and wrapped my arms around Zoe. I sat on the floor patting her velvet soft ears, and rubbing her back. She would wag her tail every time one of us said her name. She looked so helpless lying on the floor not knowing what was going on. All she knew at that point was that she could not really breathe. The vet came into the room to find that there were more people there before than when she left before. She said that there was nothing that we could do and that our time with Zoe was short. She left us alone in the room as we said our good-byes. My whole family was sad and did not want the moment to come where we would have to say our last good-bye. We all sat there talking about some of the good times we had had with her. And she kept looking at us with the saddest look on her face. After about twenty minutes, they decided that it was time to let her go. I did not want to be there when they actually put her to sleep so my friend drove my sister and I back to our house where we waiting anxiously for my parents to get home. When they got home my mom had eyes filled with tears, and my dad just looked blank. It was an extremely sad day/night.

The next day we were still getting used to not having Zoe there. Everything we did reminded us of her in one-way or another. We all miss her terribly and it just is not the same without her.

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