(December 2003 — January 2010)
I miss you with all my heart. Originally, you were intended as a Christmas gift for Chad. He was 4. I will never forget the joy on his face the day that he met you. You were six weeks old.
You were the cutest little thing I had ever seen. You were a tiny ball of white fluff with two black patches over your eyes and ears. Often cute puppies grow up into ugly dogs. Not you. You stayed cute until the very end.
You became part of the family in no time at all. You and Chad spent hours playing – chasing and catching one another – forging a bond between a dog and a child like I have never seen before. The kids loved you and you simply adored them. You had endless patience with them picking you up, carrying you around and you never once got grumpy with them.
The most difficult time of the day for me is usually early evening. It’s the time of day when most people are home with their families – a heartwarming time to be celebrated. For me, it’s a time of day that I am at my most vulnerable, at most risk of feeling sorry for myself, a time when I am left to face my reality – alone.
So many nights I thought I was alone when in fact I wasn’t. You were always there – your presence always so comforting. How many times have you seen me cry? How many times have you seen me laugh? How many times have you seen me reading or talking to my computer or seen me just sitting staring into space, lost in my own little world? But you were always there with your big brown eyes, tail wagging, watching over me and ever waiting for just a little recognition and appreciation, yet so undemanding.
I so often longed to pick you up and cuddle you. Somehow, you just knew that I couldn’t do that, but it didn’t matter. You adored me no matter what. You followed me wherever I went – you never left my side. If I sat outside baking in the sun you would be lying underneath my wheelchair. If I touched my chin to my control the sound of the motor would rouse you from your deepest sleep and you would gap it out of the way in time so that I didn’t have to feel the guilt of hurting you. If I sat inside on the Lazyboy, you snuggled in behind me. At night time you slept beside my bed on your special cushion underneath my dressing table.
Even though I never actively fed you, somehow you just knew that I was in charge. If you needed anything you made sure to get my attention, always allowing me to give the instruction after which you always responded with an appreciative hop, skip and jump as you ran ahead of me glowing with pride. You were never ashamed to me.
Your adorable little face has been seen all over the country on my inspirational pamphlets. So many people commented on how cute you were but you remained for ever humble. You made me so proud.
You were the only one to really know every single aspect of my life as a quadriplegic. You saw it all! Ironically, you ended your life in such a similar way. It was heartbreaking for me to see you have a stroke and being paralyzed on the one side of your body. I couldn’t bear to watch you suffer and see you lose your dignity. I could so relate to your predicament. I made a choice to let you go – just because I could. I cannot help myself from secretly wondering… what if my family was given a choice?
Goodbye my darling Zoe. I miss you and I will never forget you.
Why walk when you can soar? YOU are soaring!