Pet Connections


Dear ZouLou:

When I went to the garden yesterday, I felt you in the sudden gust that rang only the wind chimes next to me. You’re playing your clown games in the woods there. Making noises and calling out to the dogs walking the trails; I see them stop and stare out into nothing. Oh, you wouldn’t take no for an answer, charming every dog that came around until they played with you: jumping from tables and couches, squirming behind pillows, gently rapping the old dogs with your paw. You have so much room to play now. I will visit you in winter and remember how you loved to stay out in the yard. How much time did you have to spend in your basement prison to love the outside the way you do?

We spent so many months together, training, snuggling, trying to break through. You learned so much, and I was so proud of you. How many times did I look into your eyes and see you wanting to trust back and just not being able to? Even in your pictures, it’s there. Sad ZouLou, so strong and fragile at the same time. We tried to give you everything. The last gift, freedom from your fears, was the most difficult. You didn’t know I let you win the paper towel game that day, when I wadded it into a ball and set in on the table, pretending to look away. SNATCH! You ran with it and tore it to shreds, eating every last bit. And again. SNATCH! Oh, how I wanted to save you, and fix the unfixable. You had so much to give, and taught me many lessons, that I might save another. Sweet ZouLou. I miss your bunny teeth. You’re finally at peace.


December 14, 2023