R.I.P. Zacky – my faithful friend

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

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.

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

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.

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

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.

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

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.

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

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.

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

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.

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

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.

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

Zacky has taken his last walk.

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

RIP my dear friend. You were loved and you’ll be missed.

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
This entry was posted in daily events, Dogs, family, pets, Zach and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to R.I.P. Zacky – my faithful friend

  1. Kim13 says:

    I am so sorry for your loss…it is always so difficult. I can see that you gave him a wonderful home and happy days. Bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. cindy knoke says:

    So sorry. Condolences~

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a wonderful story about your dog, Zack. You gave him a second chance and he showed you an enthusiasm for life way beyond his infirmities. I’m so sorry for your loss but I know you wouldn’t have missed these years of having Zack be part of your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Meg says:

    My beautiful Zack. I’ll miss him, coming at a slow amble/trot, to get his treat. The park won’t be the same without the dear old boy. I know how bereft you and Roger must feel. My heart is with you. Meg

    Like

  5. Deb says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss! You can take comfort in knowing you gave him a good life. It is so hard to lose a fur-baby. They aren’t dogs to us…they are our family!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. noelleg44 says:

    Dear Irene, I am so sorry for your loss. Our pets are our family and when we lose them there is a hole in our hearts. There are tears in my eyes as I write this. You gave him a wonderful life but he brought joy to yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    • He certainly bought a great deal of joy to our lives Noelle and I know as you do whenever I see a German Shepherd my heart will go out and my head will be taken back to those joyous times together. The house feels very empty and it might take awhile before I stop turning the light on to make sure I don’t trip over him in the dark. Thanks for your thoughts.

      Like

  7. ksbeth says:

    i’m so sorry for your loss, irene –

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh no! I’m sorry, Irene. This post is so lovely, it breaks my heart. (Okay, bad phrase.) He was so beautiful. Pets become part of our family. I’m so happy he found a good home with you and that he bonded with both of you (and his buddies). ❤ Thinking of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. One of life’s personal tragedies to lose a faithful four-legged friend. So sorry for your loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. TanGental says:

    Bummer, Irene. Pets are so uncomplicated in their attachments and needs that it is the cruellest thing to lose one like Zack. He looks a real beauty and I do understand the pain and wrench this must be causing.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Bernice says:

    So sorry to hear about your loss. I know how hard it is to lose our beloved pets who really are family.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Charli Mills says:

    Oh, Irene! I’m so sorry to read about Zach’s passing. He had a good life with you and I’m thinking of you. Hugs & Love!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. So sorry to hear of your loss. Such a beautiful post Irene. Thinking of you

    Liked by 1 person

  14. themofman says:

    I want to keep all dogs alive and protected forever. It’s frustrating that I can’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Pingback: Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge Day Four: German Shepherds And Guy The Gorilla | A View From My Summerhouse

  16. M-R says:

    Shit. I’m almost glad I did miss this post, Irene – although I can’t imagine how I did that … I had noi idea he had such a dicey medical history: you and Roger must be very proud to have cared for him so well, and given him such a good life. I reckon that if a god spoke out of the clouds and told me I must have a dog, it would be either a German Shepherd or a Jack Russell [grin]
    I loved Zack/Zac/Zak, and I will miss him too …

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Pingback: Animal: Weekly Discover Challenge and 99 Word Flash Fiction: Big Brown Dog | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)

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