A Girl’s Best Friend
In Memory of Zorro (2002 – 2017)
A small nose peaked out of the flaps of a cardboard box, sniffing the air curiously. Several children’s excited eyes watched as a snout pushed through to explore further. A quiet whine emitted from the box as the puppy inside heard unfamiliar voices around him. A pair of calloused work hands reached in to lift the small pup from his dark surrounds.
A bright world of rolling grass and bushes greeted the puppy as it blinked its dark brown eyes. The puppy’s sleek long black tail wagged slightly as he was settled on the ground, is dark fur soaking up the sunshine. A white zigzag on his chest gave him a unique mark and several hands reached out to pat him.
He had been separated from his mother and siblings and brought to a new place with large paddocks to explore. He had a new family with his master’s family which included several young humans. He was soon taught that his name was Zorro. He was also called Zoz, Puppy and Doggy, which confused him a little but he soon became used to it.
One of the young humans was a girl and though at first the puppy wasn’t super interested in her, except for naps on her lap in the sunlight, he grew to become quite close to her.
It also helped that she seemed especially generous with treats and affection. She’d brush his thick fur which shed enough hair to make up another dog. She’d even slip him food when the rest of the family shooed him away at meal times. You see, he was supposed to wait until they had finished their food but his begging, cute face always seemed to win her over.
There had been one dark night one summer evening, when he’d found that his chain was able to be slipped from. The shadowy crescent moon rose in the sky as he padded his way around the yard to check his territory. Finding everything to be fine, he made his way up onto the veranda of the silent house. His claws clicked on the wooden boards and he whined at the sound of a baby crying in the distance.
His ears pricked as he heard a movement inside the house. Footsteps creaked their way to the sliding door and opened to reveal the girl. She didn’t say a word, as he approached with an excited wag of his tail, and she scratched his ears affectionately.
His ears pricked again as the baby cried out once again and he twisted his head in that direction. He whined as the baby continued to cry. The girl was also looking over in the direction of the cry, her hand automatically patting his back soothingly. He lay down as she sat down beside him but his ears remained alert for any other sounds from the dark.
“I guess this is a pretty good way to spend the early hours of Christmas day,” she whispered to him. “Merry Christmas, Zoz.”
They’d stayed together until the sun peaked over the mountain peaks and brought in the morning.
There were moments throughout his years where the girl would just sit with him in the sun and whenever he lifted his head to look at her she’d reach down and pat him. They’d play tug-o-war with empty milk containers, which always ended with him getting to chew it happily. She spoke to him about many things, a lot of which he didn’t understand but he could always tell that no matter what her mood was, a wag of his tale and a snuggle were the best things he could offer.
As the years moved on, his white zigzag wasn’t the only white hair appearing in his fur. A white ‘beard’ appeared on his chin and his movement became slower. Instead of tug-o-war they were both happy just to sleep in the sunlight, with him laying at her feet.
One day however the girl, who had now grown quite tall and into an adult, came to visit him at his kennel. Excitedly he wagged his tail, with his ear laid back adoringly. He had a bit of trouble getting up because of the arthritis in his back legs, but he did so with enthusiasm. She ruffled his hair on his head and scratched his ears as she knelt down before him.
“I’ll be back in a couple of weeks to visit, old man, so take care of yourself,” she told him as she scratched behind his ears.”I’ll miss you, so I’ll have to take holidays from study to come here and relax with you.”
She had then gotten up and walked away his tail slowing its movement as she disappeared into a vehicle and drove away. He was disappointed since he was sure she had come, like always, to let him off for a walk. Instead he lay back down and waited for his master to come home.
Exactly a week later, from health complications, Zorro suddenly passed away.
The girl came to visit later and knelt at where he had been buried and she pat the ground softly. Her heart ached a little but she knew he was no longer in pain and she was certain he was in doggy heaven.
“Although I’ll miss our sleepy moments together in the sun,” she said, tears dripping from her cheeks, “you can rest properly now, my friend. You don’t need to worry about me, you can let the angels protect you while you sleep this time.”
This week was an interesting week and I use the word ‘interesting’ as a good and bad description of the week. Monday was not a good day, although I had hopes of it being a brilliant one. It was first day of class and I left early to make sure I got there on time and… I got totally lost. It took me half an hour to actually get to the place I study and then continued to get lost in the building. Class was good though, so at least that’s one thing.
Evening came and I got a call from my brother who was trying to contact my parents urgently. Of course I am nowhere near my parents now, but I found the number of where my parents where visiting that evening (after many other tries to contact them via mobiles). But I got onto them and relayed some serious news.
You see our family dog of nearly 15 years, Zorro, wasn’t well, by which I mean he was dying. My parents were able to get home but they had to put him down.
To deal with my sadness and just the emotions I was feeling I decided to write a story in memory of Zorro.
~ ❤ ~ ~ ❤ ~