Favorite Walk: Our favorite walks are at Allegany State Park, the Allegany River Trail, and a six mile trail in the woods by our house.
Best Tricks: give me kiss, give me paw, other paw, two paw, give me hug, playing hide and seek, diving face first into a foot of snow and pulling out a mouse, pouncing at Aggie to make her run, jump (over fences), speak to me!
Arrival Story: Zeus was given to me as a birthday present by my husband. He is the best present I have ever gotten. We had been to see him when he was a few weeks old, but I had no idea he was going to be coming home with us in a couple of months. He is such a clown and makes me laugh and smile everyday. He is always ready and willing to go. He gives the best kisses and has the most beautiful howl. He always has a pretty song to sing to me when we are getting ready to go for a walk, ride, or go swimming. Please watch his videos!
Bio: Zeus would have been fifteen years old on November 11, 2013. In early February this year we took Zeus and Nikki to Allegany State Park for a walk in a winter wonderland. It's their favorite place to go. We even got dad to go. It was a great and special day. I have a photo book with wonderful pics I took that day. Zeus and Nikki so excited to go and had so much fun running through all the snow. I'm so glad we went because as it turns out, it would be the last time we would ever go. A couple of weeks later Zeus starting limping on his front left leg. It seemed to be a shoulder injury, but I just thought he might have sprained it from slipping on some ice in the driveway. After many medications, x-rays and tests at our vet, with little improvement, we had no definitive diagnosis and were referred to Veterinary Specialists in Rochester. They had the means to perform a CT scan which showed a ruptured disc, chronic IVD disease, and multiple soft tissue nodules in the lung parenchyma consistent with metastatic disease. So my boy was dying. We were shocked. We still are. The vet couldn't tell where the primary source of the tumor was and we would have to put Zeus through more testing for that. I couldn't put him through more painful procedures being over 14 years old. The answers would not have done anything to prolong his life. We decided to put him on comfort care and and take him home. We stopped for ice cream on the way home. When life had gotten too painfulfor him to navigate, we thought it best to put him to sleep and that happened on April 23. It was an agonizing decision and horrible day. My life will never be the same without him. We went everywhere together. He was my best friend. He had a heart of gold and steel determination driven out of love. No body ever greeted me when I got home the way Zeus did. I miss him so much it is agony. But we shared a wonderful life together and I am so grateful for that. Goodnight Sweet Prince. I can see you in my dreams running with a great pack of Angels at the bridge. Run, fatboy, run!!! Just please wait for me...
...is it really possible that it has been six months since you have become an angel? I still don't know if I did the right thing, letting you go. Did I wait too long or was it too soon. Did I make the right decision in having the vet come to the house. I thought it would be better for you, so you could be at home and comfortable. You hated going to the vets. It was never my intention to cause you any more pain. It haunts me everyday my sweet boy. I would have done anything to stop that if I knew it was going to happen. I loved you so much, and still do. I don't know whether to talk about you in the past or present tense because while you are gone from earth, I KNOW you are still with me. The magnolia tree had more flowers on it this year than any other. Did you send them to me? I dried some to keep because I know you did. A Mourning Dove made her nest there too. Did she know? I look through all our pictures. Some make me smile and laugh, some break my heart all over again, especially the ones of dad hugging you. I wish I had more of me hugging you, but I was always taking the pictures. I don't use my camera much anymore. I have gotten some nice pictures of Aggie, Nikki, and Bogie, but I couldn't stop taking pictures of you. Your spirit always showed through in every picture. Your eyes truly were the windows to your soul. Six months, but it feels like time has stood still. I keep looking for you. I love and miss you so much. Meet me on the other side.
I took Nikki down to the river trail for a walk last weekend. It was the first time we had gone there without Zeus. It was one of his favorite places to go walking, running off leash in the winter, and bike riding. I was hoping that we would run into other dog walkers so Nikki could say hi to them, but only saw two small dogs that the owner picked up as they walked by. I was a little disappointed, and so was Nikki, but we had a nice walk together so I didn't think too much about it. I told Nikki maybe next time we would meet another dog. I didn't know I would end up meeting three very special dogs that afternoon.
When my husband got home from golfing, we took a trip to and went to Oktoberfest in Orchard Park. I wasn't real excited about it, but it was a beautiful day and I wanted to get out of the house and was looking forward to being outside since I had been very ill all summer and was finally on the mend. First, at the fest, we saw a beautiful black lab, who licked my face so much it made me want to cry thinking of how Zeus would leave my face soaking from a good kissing. After a few minutes of lab kisses, she rolled on her back so I could give her a belly rub. Sweet, sweet, sweet. It felt so good to be kissed like that again! When we left the fest, I had to stop at a park bench to get something out of my handbag. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed movement, and when I turned and looked, there was a family walking a 6 month old female Leonberger. Oh was she was gorgeous! If I hadn't turned my head, we never would have seen her. And I got more kisses! We pet her for a little while, and I had a just a "little bit" of a dog high. What a great treat! After that, I started talking about Zeus with my husband. Telling him How much I love Zeus and everything I miss about him. I told him I missed hugging Zeus and the way he would turn and give me a kiss in my ear when I did. I said "I wished I could hug him again and feel his kisses on my face". Then on the way home, I'm kind of day dreaming of the two dogs we had met, and my husband pulls me out of it when he says, 'Look, a husky!" I looked up and said "that's not a husky, it's a malamute! TURN AROUND TURN AROUND....PLEASE TURN AROUND!!!". If he hadn't, I think I would have jumped out of the (moving) car to go see this beautiful dog. Steve turned the car around, it just took too long for me! : ) So this maybe 14 year old boy is holding the leash to this huge malamute while his family goes into a grocery store. We pull up, jump out and I ask if we could pet him. Yes. OMD! He was amazing. All I could think was he looked so much like our wonderful friend KJ. His name is Mogul. We must have talked with the boy for half an hour petting and kissing Mogul before his family came out. When they did, Mogul let out three "WOOOOOS", each one longer than the first. What a beautiful voice he has. My jaw dropped, and it was music to my ears, not having Zeus to talk to me. Then I thought to ask if Mogul liked to be hugged, and if I could hug him. The boy said yes to both. I hugged Mogul. OMD...My heart felt like it was on fire. He felt like Zeus in my arms, he smelled liked Zeus, he sounded like Zeus. He WAS Zeus in those moments. When it was time to let go, Mogul did the most amazing thing. He reached his head around, and kissed me in the ear. Just like Zeus did. That was it, I started crying. It was like God and Zeus planned the day for me. It was like hugging and kissing Zeus again, just like I had asked for earlier in the day. I still can't believe it happened. I couldn't stop thinking about it all weekend and do everyday. The timing was just to perfect to be a coincidence. I know it was a special gift from my precious boy.
I had been so depressed being sick and thinking that I would never be well enough to have, and take care of, another dog again. This gave me so much hope and lifted my faith again. I just had to share with you, as I know you will relate, understand, smile and probably cry and think of how your angels have let you know they still are with us through the years. Whenever I think about this, the intensity of Zeus' presence on this day still overwhelms me.
Zeus came to me in a dream last night too. He was coming down the hallway like he would when I was sleeping too late to wake me up by woofing at me. I woke up and looked for him it was so real. I miss my angel horribly and long for the day we will all be reunited again, running in eternity with my pack without getting tired.
Until then, THANK YOU God and Zeus for this unforgettable, wonderful, perfect, precious gift.
God saw you were getting tired,
The cure was not to be.
He wrapped you in His loving arms, And whispered, "Come to Me".
You suffered much in silence,
Your spirit did not bend,
You faced your pain with courage,
Until the very end.
You tried so hard to stay with us
Your fight was not in vain
God took you to His loving Home
And freed you from your pain.
A golden heart stopped beating,
Four loving paws at rest,
God broke my heart but reminded me,
He gave us His very best.
"Where you are is where I want to go".
Missing you until we can be together again.
I LOVE YOU,