Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Goodbye, my Happy Old Man

With an extremely broken heart and many, many tears, I seem to find myself typing these words once again just two months later. We made another heart wrenching decision last night, as we said goodbye to Zeus, allowing him to run free over the Bridge... no more pain, no more cancer.

Zeus ~ Forever our Happy Old Man
2001 ~ 2015

Zeus was my first fur-kid, my baby (sure, my family had pets while I was growing up, but he was my first baby).  He's been by my side for what feels like forever.  We bought our home, moved in, and less than a month later we brought home a 7 week old sweet baby boy.  From that day forward, he loved us unconditionally and would do anything for his humans. (His Daddy might not love that I posted the pic below right, but it's one of my favorites)

NicZeus_22111c MattZeus_2213

I do realize that Zeus lived a very long life, much longer than ever expected, and am so happy that he was here with us to celebrate his 14th birthday. (Did you see how much he enjoyed that cake?!?!) But, it's still not long enough. My boy endured so many things during those 14 years, more than any one dog should. Even when he was a puppy he went through a spurt of "growing pains" (the vet had a more clinical term for it, but basically he was growing too fast).  I'm not sure if that resulted in his later TPLO surgery and arthritis, but I'd guess so.

Zeus_80906b Zeus_baby

No matter the health challenge, Zeus faced everything head on, always with a tail wagging and a remarkable attitude.  Seriously, he always wagged his tail at the vet.  He loved Dr. C and his "girls" and would get so excited to see everyone.  He loved that they all knew his name and showered him with attention.  A few months ago, a tech was taking him for blood work and as soon as the door opened, we heard 2 or 3 voices coming from the back "Oh it's Zeus!!!" - "Hi Zeus, you good boy!" - it made my heart melt and we smiled so much. 


Zeus always loved being outside, lounging in the sunshine.  Whether it was in the driveway or on the back porch, if the sun was out, he wanted to be out there... even if it was 35 degrees!
Zeus_60209c Warm enough to lounge on the porch, and his humans are home all day... Yup, Zeus is one happy camper! #dogstagram #instadog #seniordog #happydog #BestDogEver

He wasn't such a big fan of rain (ever see a 130-pound dog stand outside and cry because it was sprinkling?), but sure did love romping in the snow.  Before his arthritis slowed him down, he loved to jump and catch snow balls... and jump at the birds flying by.  He also loved to watch for the hot air balloons overhead and would jump and carry on whenever he spotted one.  It all started one day when he was outside, jumping up and down, barking at the sky.  I had no idea why, until I looked up and there they were... 2 hot air balloons.  He spotted them all on his own and was so proud.  After that day, if you said "Zeus, where's the balloon?," he would immediately start looking up at the sky, getting very excited.  I've always wondered if the people in the balloons could see my crazy boy trying so hard to get their attention.  

Balloons_Zeus_907marked Balloons_ZeusRUN_907

Zeus loved his siblings, and was always such a good big brother to them, as well as the foster babies who passed through our home.  He helped Sophie thru her extreme shyness when she first arrived and she's always looked up to him as her protector.  For awhile, she'd only want to go outside to do her business if he was with her, and he always accompanied her to the vet.  

 Oldest & Youngest... Happy Dogs! #dogstagram #instadog #siblings #ilovemydogs #houndmix #labmix #mutt #ilovebigmutts #seniordog #ilovemyseniordog

Tut and Zeus were great brothers.  They loved each other, though Tut would sometimes get on Zeus' nerves.  Sometimes little brothers don't understand when you just want to lounge and not run around chasing balls. 


Zeus and Lola, who'd been together the longest, had a truly special bond.  I know his heart was shattered when we lost her, just as mine was.  I know he missed her deeply, and I can take some comfort in knowing that my babies are together again.


Zeus had this amazing will to live.  He surprised our vet so much by not only getting thru Vestibular Disease and aspiration pneumonia last August, but another 2 bouts with aspiration pneumonia after that.  After we got thru it, she made sure to let us know how remarkable his recovery was and that she honestly didn't think he'd make it.  She attributed it much to our nursing care and the love we had for Zeus, although I think the love he had for us was just as big, if not bigger, a part.  Our vet, who nicknamed him the "Happy Old Man" a couple years ago, had revised that to be "Stubborn Old Man" when she realized he wasn't giving up on life so easily.  He taught us all so very much about having a great attitude in life...

Zeus_61709I am going to miss Zeus' kisses so very much, and that big nose of his.  He always had a way about knowing when you needed a nose nudge and kiss.

I'm going to miss snuggling with him, having him get up on the couch and plop his big 'ole head in my lap.

I'm going to miss giving him a hug -- there is nothing quite like having such a big, solid dog to hug tight.

I'm going to miss asking him if he wanted to go for a R-I-D-E and seeing the pure joy on his face on those days when he got to be my co-pilot.

I'm going to miss him constantly asking me to open up the back door so he could go lounge on the porch... and I'm going to miss going out there to just sit and watch him enjoying life.

I'm going to miss his bark, which he seemed to have lost after his first bout with aspiration pneumonia.  It got so faint and light.  But, when his Grammy and Grampy came to visit on Sunday, he surprised us with some big Zeus barks.

I'm going to miss how happy he got when you said "Grammy and Grampy."

#TBT Zeus trying to get the birds to play with him... #throwbackthursday #dogstagram #birdfeeder #happydog #ilovemydogs #cancersucks #megaesophagus #bigdog
I'm going to miss that smile.

I'm going to miss that tail, which we always said was a lethal weapon, and those welts it left on my legs from happily wagging so hard.  

I'm going to miss those big, big beautiful eyes looking at me... filled with so much love and devotion.   

I will never, ever understand why my boy had to endure this cancer at the end of his life.  Why he was cursed with the pain and sickness, as opposed to just having "old age" issues.  Why he had to be so sick for his last days.  It's not fair.  Cancer sucks and it has surely turned our world upside down this year.  

Rest in Peace, my sweet baby boy.  We love and miss you
more than words can say.  Run free with your sister,
and please keep a watch over us.

Pure love 💜 He always steals my #Brookstone #nap pillow and blanket and I don't care. #mybaby #dogstagram #ilovemyseniordog #seniordog


Marjie said...

I am so sorry. Words are not enough to express my sympathy.

bob said...

"Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears, but laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you...I loved you so…'twas heaven here with you."

tubby3pug said...

Zeus was an amazing dog and u gave him an amazing life. 14 loved filled years I'm so sorry fir your loss
Retro rover

Tweedles -- that's me said...

You don't know me, (we came from Retro Rover,, but I am here to tell you that your tribute was beautiful for your beloved Zeus.
There is never enough time,, never.. The paw tracks he left on your heart will remain forever, and that is where he will now be,, in your heart,,, and no more sick,, no more cancer.
We are so sorry

Blueberry's human said...

Beautiful words about your boy, Zeus. Thank you for sharing him with us. He had 14 amazing years with you and you with him. I can only imagine the gaping hole his departure left in your heart. Sending you warm hugs, love, and prayers. Run free, Zeus - you were loved, and are still.

Idaho PugRanch said...

We are so sorry to hear about Zeus.
!4 years of love and memories, he will live on in your heart
Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

Unknown said...

We are so sorry to hear about Zeus. Our hearts go straight out to you.

Golden Daily Scoop said...

So sorry you are going through this again so soon. I bet the two of them are cuddling together right now! May time heal your broken hearts and memories comfort your soul.

Robin said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. It is heartbreaking to let go of a beloved pet. *hugs* This post is a beautiful tribute to Zeus' life.

Jans Funny Farm said...

We are so sorry for the loss of your handsome Zeus, especially so soon after the loss of Lola. It is never easy and always hurts.

Barbara Rivers said...

Tears built up in my eyes as I read your tribute to Zeus. I am so very sorry for the loss of your big boy. May he run free with Lola.

Unknown said...

What a special dog I can't express how sorry I am for your loss, especially a double loss like you have just experienced.

M. K. Clinton said...

I cannot begin to tell you how very sorry and heartbroken that I am to read this post. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Carole said...

My heart breaks for you as we went down this road with our Dixie last August. I hope you can find comfort in your memories and with your other loving dogs.

The Ladies of Beaglebratz Manor said...

Mom Kim here - I am so sorry Zeus had to leave you. I had been offline for a few months and wasn't back until later in 2015 due to medical issues (mine). I just lost my Shiloh on 3/9/16 also due to cancer,also didn't know he had it until a few short days before. Yep - cancer bites big time - since a few years ago I also lost my dad to cancer, also in early March. Your Zeus sounds a lot like my Shiloh was - a goofball - I could dress Shiloh in anything and it wouldn't phase him. And like Zeus, he wanted to lay close to his mom. And even tho Shiloh was smaller than your Zeus - he was still bigger than any other dog I ever had so when his tail wagged which was almost constantly, yep, it was a drum beat. Shiloh also loved being outside like Zeus - that was Shiloh's "hunting" time. And I almost forgot but you reminded me when you talked about how excited Zeus would get when he saw the hot-air balloons in the sky; no, Shiloh didn't do that - he only saw them once when one flew over our house - it was so funny as it was flying low and right as I opened the backdoor to let Shiloh outside and as he stepped out onto the deck, the balloon fired up the hot air - Shiloh's head jerked up to see what made that noise then when he saw the balloon, his gaze fixated on that balloon and he followed it as long as our back fence would allow - I wish I had a video.

Ok - enuf of that. You did write a beautiful tribute to Zeus - he was a most beautiful boy. It is so hard and so sad to read of another doggy gone to the Rainbow Bridge because of cancer. I am just so very sorry for your loss.

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