This morning Zack had a large bleed and we had no choice but to say goodbye to our dear friend. Zack came to us as an older dog (6) with a myriad of problems. He’d had a lovely younger life with his mistress who obviously loved him dearly however her life circumstances changed and she left him at her childhood home. What happened then we do not know but Zack was rescued by an older lady, Ros, and taken into her home. A friend of my mothers knew her and knew we were grieving the loss of our German Shepherd Jerry so it was arranged that we take over Zack’s care as Ros could not manage him with her other two dogs. The photo above was the one we were sent to see what a lovely dog he was. The old English Sheepdog and one of the smaller dogs were those who lived in his foster home.
Ros brought Zack up to inspect his new home to ensure that it was suitable. Zack had attached himself to Ros and when she left the next day without him he went berserk. He climbed out the bathroom window, flattened himself to get under gates and howled for hours. He was desperate and he didn’t want to be with us at all. Bit by bit we won him over and he attached himself to me like a limpet. For some reason that we will never know he was petrified of men, cringing when he was near a man. Brooms also caused him immense alarm. Due to this fear it took some time before Zack would go near Roger but over time he grew to love and trust Roger as well.
He was skinny when he came to us weighing only 35 kgs. Ros had told us that he had pancreatic insufficiency and required medication to give him the enzymes he needed to digest food. Still it didn’t seem to work and he was constantly hungry. He was poetry in motion to watch him run and his hunger and speed allowed him to catch low flying ducks. He’d spend hours in the dam attempting to catch ducks that were swimming but here they outsmarted him allowing him to swim so close to him then taking off in a swarm to land on the far side of the dam from whence he had just come. The procedure would be repeated for hours at a time. We eventually solved his problems when he was diagnosed with Crohns disease and started appropriate treatment. His weight went to a perfect 40 kgs.
Our move to Noosaville made a difference to all our lives. We all missed having land around us but we were so close to the dog park we spent many hours there. Zack immediately seemed to relax as though this was more what he was used to – a suburban lifestyle. Ros had warned us that Zack was not good with big dogs and we noticed that when he was on a lead if we passed a dog he gave the appearance of being ready to attack. Roger had been suggesting we let him off and see what happened and one day, seeing him wanting to play I did just that. We discovered that he didn’t have a mean bone in his body.
He loved playing with Scout and a little Cairn terrier and many of the other dogs. Some dogs such as Sundance and Tara he was happy just to walk alongside. He loved seeing Meg in the park knowing she always had a treat for him.
As he got older his medical conditions destabilised and thanks to Kaori she kept him working both internally and externally. We noticed that he enjoyed other dogs company in the park and thinking that he may enjoy the company of a friend at home we took on Bundy another rescue dog. Although Bundy was a bully Zac loved having him in the household. They looked out for each other in the park with Zac seeing off any dog that was giving Bundy a hard time, returning balls to Bundy that other dogs had taken and sniffing every smell that Bundy with his spaniels acute sense of smell found. Bundy on the other hand knew that Zac could neither see or hear particularly well and could at times get lost would act as his seeing eye dog. He would notice that he was way behind and go and get him and lead him back to where we were.
They loved sharing the river but they didn’t like sharing the lounge room. Zac however would ignore Bundy and come in and lie on the mat whilst we watched television just enjoying his family being around him.
Zacky has taken his last walk.
RIP my dear friend. You were loved and you’ll be missed.