The Crows nest!

Saturday, 14 November 2009

The passing of poor old Zak our Tibetan Terrier



It was a cold day in January 2009, the new year was upon us and our dear Sonic had not long passed to the world of spirit herself, we wanted to try and forget her last few hours laying on a vets cold steel table being given an injection to put her to rest, the impact that it caused was astounding, something fox said she would not like to see again little did we know that our faithful and loving doggie Zak would go the same way a short 10months later.



January the 10th 2009 was the day that Zak came to us, we travelled from Brighton to Essex to meet him for the first time, it was Tom, Mum and myself and fox that saw him for the first time at Donna’s place a nice home with two Lasa apso’s of her own, with what was believed to be a giant Lasa, turns out dear Zak was a Tibetan terrier, his long main of hair reminiscent of a lion, his smiley face, what turned out to be his teeth sticking out of his mouth which made him endearing from the start, several people over the next 10 months commented on that dog’s smiling at me, he had that effect on people he met and the girls he saw.

To say Zak made an impression when we first crossed paths, I took him from Donna the same day I saw him, even before the first walk, he came and sniffed me and fox, as if to see if we were suitable for him, little did I realize that he had a softness for sniffing in fact it was a way of life for him, he never been let of a lead simply because he sniff just about anything and would continue to do so, at the determent of every one else around him, but that was because he possibly had cancer back then and had to really take his time, but like myself I tend to doodle around as well so we were suited to one another, he liked to sniff I liked to stand and just watch the world go by, on our regular trips to Preston Park, just a short drive from Highfield our old home, he be in his element, so many trees new smells for his snout, and to actually be let of the lead to his own thing, this was a turning point for him, to be let loose to do his own thing something he came to cherish more than anything.



He was never a badly behaved dog even thought I put that on him at times in hind sight I deeply regret treating him as if he was taking advantage, even when his little paws were sore, I tried to push him on even more, it was only the last two weeks of his short life that I noticed that something was wrong with him internally I never thought for a second that it would be life ending, no more the funny little bark, telling me that I had an intruder in the tavern a little robin was looking for a place to sleep and have its chicks.

Now I’m happy that I gave that little man lots of hugs and cuddles and kisses, after Jewels passing, life feels impermanent and at times quite cruel.

This is a recollection of my memories of Zak god bless him, I only hope that if I made him uncomfortable or made him feel pain and loss, that he forgives me.

Our days in Highfield were numbered when Zak first came into our life’s it was already on the market, the recession and the travel from Brighton to London on a daily basis was telling on Fox, but every evening she came home, Zak always greeted her with a waggy tail, happy that she was home, as the months passed Zak would imprint on us that he had needs to and wanted above all to sleep on the same bed between us, like me he snored like a trooper, poor fox, and he move around the bed in his sleep, on a number of times I be nearly on the floor, he move so close and if I moved he move as well, getting closer and closer, his head draped over my leg, normally he be at the foot of the bed at the begging of the night, by morning as I turned to greet my dear wife, all I get is a waft of Butchers breath, and whiskers twitching, I could never resist giving him a kiss, and pulling him on to my lap with his legs swinging in the air.



As people came to visit Highfield, he woof letting me know someone at the door, not like most dogs that bark like mad, it was only one bark, he watch them as they walked around his gaff.

As weeks turned to months, our walks around the block his sniffing of anything that he deemed new or never been before sniffed, on one occasion as I walked Zak to meet Fox when she was coming from Brighton station, we met on the hill, Zak was pushing fox down the hill we never found out why he did this, it was as if he wanted to go home right there and then.

In our limited time in Highfield we had grown attached we went every where together, I had plans on taking him on a ghost watch but I resisted he was an old chap after all, the grand old age of 14years old or that is what we were told, thought you never think that looking at him his thick main of fur, hiding his age quite well it was only when he was bathed that you could see his wrinkled skin showing that time had took its toll on him, and yet still there was a young dog that lucked just inside, one trip to Preston park he met a young girl dog named Lucy and tried to have it off with her, to the amazement and embarrassment of myself and fox he tried to mount her head, instead of the usual rear end!

In time we sell Highfield with nearly £40,000 loss, but still we were happy to move, even if it was to temp accommodation in Roydon Essex relatively 7 miles from our new place Vailima near Sheering, on our first move, I learn a new thing that Zak loved to do, and that was sitting on my lap with his head out of the van, that me and Tom were riding in all our stuff packed neatly in the back of the van, it takes several hours to get to Essex from Sussex and Zak did not even woof once, and if he did its because I tried to put him on the floor, from that day forth he would always ride in the back of the car with me with an open window so he could stick his head out.

As we first looked upon the Roydon property, Zak jumped out of my arms and onto the ground he sniffed everything that his snout could find, as he reached his new temp home, he found Max’s drinking bowl and proceeded to piss on it, poor Max what did he do to deserve that, well maybe Zak was not a Chelsea supporter like Max.

There was a good walk that me and Zak did on a daily basis, from the temp accommodation there was a field walk, which would take us around 30 mins to complete, and the canal side walk that we did every time fox was coming from London, it was then that I noticed that he was getting slower and not eating his food as he would normally do, it never entered my mind that he had cancer, I mean that’s something that humans get but a lovely little dog like Zak did not deserve that, no dog or human does really.



It felt like we were there in the temp accommodation for years but in actual fact we were only there for a few months we even pondered on buying it when we felt that Vailima was slipping away from us, solicitors and estate agents were total shits, and the communication between them and us was a pain in the arse.

But things worked out in the end and we were packing again, and heading to a new home, by this time unfortunately Jewels our darling little tabby cat passed away, like my mum I sat up all night with her to see her slip away of old age, her little body mostly skin and bone, she always had her tiger stripes, I miss her too as much as Sonic.

There was a special place that Zak just loved to visit, namely the Rye house near Roydon, he get so excited and bark wildly wanting out of the car and sniff and pee up every tree in the place, he had this little routine that he loved to do was walk along the out line of the old house, and a walk along the canal near the house and just watch the geese, he even met a little lady jack Russell there once, he gave her the usual greeting of a sniff and face rub, and we pulled him away before he could mount her, sometimes he be like a teenager than an old boy, but that was our darling dog, he knows what he wants and what he likes, Donna said he did not like big dogs well my mum and Tom have a large Alsatian called Tara and Mick and Trish Alsatian called Max and Zak did not have any problems with them, but then there are very well behaved dogs, He did not like unruly dogs, and would give a warning bark he even went for one some time ago, which was a surprise for me, and old boy like him taking on a young bull dog.

Not that he was ever aggressive, on the contra he was very meek and mild, almost like the dalai lama, inward thinking if I could liken him he be more a Yoda come Bernadette, the pain he must have endured in silence only in the final week of his life was the pain showing, by the low grumbles never raising, as if in agony.

Our time at the temp accommodation, was almost at an end, and the move to Vailima was on the cards, we would finally say good bye to Roydon and our regular visits to Rye house, we would only visit that place on one or two occasions when we moved home.

His new stomping ground would be Harlow town park, new smells new dogs, the love of his life when he got a chance to bump into her was Boo, a Tib terrier just like him, he would only meet her 3 times before his death, but even during his first meeting his body got more and more sluggish, even the walking was taking longer and longer, he was eating less, drinking less.

We kept thinking that maybe he was getting bugs from the other dogs that visited the house, but all our excuses did not see him better, he was off his food and was eating fresh chicken daily and having his liver chews which was for a cat be he loved them and of course his training treats which were small enough for him to swallow, in one gulp.

As we settled into Vailima, the first one to make a pal here was of course Zak, nobody who saw him could not resist patting him his long fur, making him look like an Ewok from Star wars fame, he had no trouble in making pals, a lesson I still have to make.

The summer was decent for England, Zak would spend most of his time going in and out of the house, making his mark on all the plants of the garden, bird watching but never worrying a single visitor to our garden, he had regular visits from Tara, and K.C. Nicky’s little dog, they did have a run around on occasions but Zak would tire very quickly, and promptly plant himself on our bed or settee and go to sleep.

As the Autumn approaches the leaves turn to vibrant colours and fall to the ground, Zak is no longer eating properly he go days with out eating, then all of a sudden will start eating again, he is on fresh chicken all the time, he eats less and less treats like his rodeo’s which was a firm favourite of his is left to get hard and stale.

The cubby skin is getting thin, our worry is he has another infection; we keep a watch on him and again he starts to eat again and drinking his water, we include milk for him, which he takes, a month or so later, we notice that he’s spinning around as if dazed, we decide to take him to the vet.

Our sister Nat, grooms pets for a living and re-homes unwanted and neglected doggies, budgies and all sorts of heart broken animals, her stance on life is like ours, and Zak always loved paying her a visit and meeting Spud, Lilly bear,, and Ozzy.

Autumn turns to the begging of winter, Halloween is upon us and Zak has stopped taking his Chicken, and very little fluids pass his lips, after a few days we take him to the vet that Nat, said was good and caring of animals, its deemed that he has Oedema and that his ears are infected and that it would take at least another 24-48 hours till he was over it, we given eye drops for his eyes which has been sore since we first got him, and a massive can of flea spray, we take him home, and still no water or food passes his lips, this goes on for another 4 days, we end up getting an emergency appointment at the Epping clinic, by now he has not eaten in 4 days since his first appointment and the other 3 days before the first visit to the vet, so nearly a week has passed with no food, and very little water, he is constantly sick, in the evenings.

Our sleep is nearly none existent Zak needs to go out so much to be sick, his legs barely able to carry his tiny frame, in the end I carry him in my arms into the garden and slowly let him walk around doing his thing still sniffing and back to the house ever so slowly, I walk behind him in the rain, he walk off into the Jade room and just lay on the floor, mumbling softly.

We arrive in Epping, we ask for directions to the vets a rather pleasant lady tells us how to get there, in no time we find the vets, we sit for a short time in the reception, Zak is outside with Fox, sniffing the place, wondering if he going to pee like he normally does in new places, B&Q, Maplins, any garden centre or vets he don’t care he pee’s, just for the sake of it.

It’s not long before the vet, an Australian guy takes a look at Zak feels him all over, we tell him what the other vet had said, but still he was sick not eating and drinking, in a futile attempt at sticking up for his buddy since they both work for the same company, he stands up for her saying that her diagnosis was right, but there was an underlying problem, he continues to touch and prod Zak in the end he asks me to feel just under his chin, I feel two lumps like ping pong balls, the same again under his chest and rear end all are swollen, this he claims is gland problems, and that he needs investigations, blood, drips, cultures and drawing of fluids from the glands, for a proper diagnosis, we agree to this, even thought its going to cost us up to £800 even more we still not got the bill yet and that’s not including his ashes and casket we possibly looking at over £1000.

Its been 4 days since Zak has moved on where his soul is I do not know but I believe that he is doing just fine in the here after with all the other Tibetan Terrors up there, guarding the gates of Heaven from the dark Legions of the under world.

I got a call from the undertakers today on the answer phone, I did not call back not really feeling up to it just yet, I will respond tomorrow morning.

For some reason, I have a Tibetan singing bowl, I found myself playing it the day after he passed over, I don’t know if he heard its singing, I did find some comfort with in its tone.

We have talked about another doggie and we both agree that we will take another doggie but we decided to wait till after Yule and the new year, thinking that it be nice to have a holiday and I can do some courses in the coming months, I do believe that if you take on a dog you have to be there for it, unlike a cat that can entertain its self a dog need company all the time.

Needs change like underwear on a daily basis, now we have seen a doggie we both agree we like named Alfie, a 2-3 year old Tibetan/Griffin mix, he looks like a Tibby but has the fur of a Griffin which looks weird, not a nice looking dog but he looks like he has tonnes of personality, a bit like us, I will keep you updated on our final choice, we also looking at getting a Tibby puppy, but were only thinking of this at the moment we have phoned a few breeders we got from the Tibby association in the UK

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