Friday, September 08, 2006

Remembering Hosie, With Love.

We lost a very dear member of our family over the Labor Day weekend.

Our dear, sweet, dog, Zoe, is no longer with us. I'm still pretty emotional over her loss, and I miss her deeply, and I'm not quite sure I'm really up to writing this post at all, but... as CityMama reminded me recently, some things just need to be given over to the universe. So, here goes.

//Deep breath//


Everyday last week, I sat down to blog about Hosie, as my grandma nicknamed her, and what she meant to me, to our family, and what a wonderful dog she was. But the words just wouldn't come. How do you reduce six years of love and companionship, to a couple of paragraphs? How do you memorialize your best friend? How do you wax philosophical about a loss that doesn't even seem real to you? I guess you go back to the beginning.

When I first decided I wanted a dog, I was at an emotional crossroads, and really needed some unconditional love. I saw an ad on Craig's List for Zoe, who was living in the house she was born in, with a nice family. She was the runt of the litter, and the favorite of the little girl in the family, a 3 year old, who slept with Zoe in her bed. The family didn't feel they had room for another dog in the house, despite their daughter's attachment to her, and this is how I came into the picture.

I knew as soon as I saw Zoe that she was coming home with me. And within a matter of days, she did.

She was a tiny thing, a little golden nugget, not even 20 pounds at 4 months old. She was afraid of the wind, and the traffic on Ceasar Chavez Street. She was too clumsy too walk down the stairs in our Mission district flat, without help. She was like Hazel or Violet was at that age, always wanting physical contact with me, never letting me out of her site, peeing all over the house. I had no idea that a dog could be so emotional, so cuddly, so loving. We couldn't have been a better match.

When Hazel came along, a year and a half later, Zoe was sweet and gentle with her. She would lay at my feet when I changed diapers, and cuddle with us on the couch while we nursed. She liked to smell Hazel's bald head, and lick her tiny little feet. We didn't force Zoe to give up her nighttime spot on our bed when Haze came on the scene, and I think she appreciated that, and valued being part of the pack.

When Violet came along, Zoe was excited to meet her, and seemed to take her responsibility of guarding two little girls very seriously. Violet struck up a special relatioinship with Zoe when she was old enough to pursue Zoe's company. They had an unspoken agreement, that in exchange for a percentage of all Violet's meals and snacks, Zoe would always make room for Violet on her cushion in the living room, and allow her to mess around with her food and water bowls daily. It was an arrangement that suited them both.

Zoe was a wonderful friend to our children, and our friends' children, to Mike, and especially to me. Her death came, like so many faithful family pets' do, before it's time. She will always have a place of honor in our hearts, and I will never, ever forget her sweet-smelling ears, her goofy sense of humor, her loyalty to our family, or all those nights spent cuddling in bed.

I love you, Zoe. I hope you are resting peacefully.


Blogger Kat said...

Cyber hugs from me to you, Alisyn.

I relate to your post only too well. I also lost a pet, before his time...a cat named Fica. I adopted him from an accoutant, when she moved in with her new husband - who was allergic to cats. He was unlike any animal I have ever met. Just like your Zoe.

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Brandy said...

Oh Alisyn, I am in tears over the loss of Zoe. I have often found myself thinking about her with love over these years. I feel like she was a part of my family during those puppy years. I credit Zo with changing me from a cat person to a dog person; which means that it's because of her that I now have Chiquita, my side kick. I have always thought these two dogs would get along and had hoped they would meet someday.
I remeber the last time I visited your home, Zoe remebered me and would not get off my lap the whole time we sat in your living room. That memory and the 'tampon' incident will sit long in my heart.

I love you Zoe!

11:42 AM  
Blogger Green said...

My love to your family; I'm so sorry for your loss. Our dog was put to sleep the summer before I turned 13, and I know that when I get my own dog (which I will, some day) that new dog will be named after my childhood dog.

Hugs to you all. I hope the day when you can think of your dog and smile instead of cry comes soon.

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

omg! oh, A, I'm so sorry. As one pitty mama to another, I'm so sorry for the loss of your sweet girl. That is terrible.

6:12 PM  
Blogger Debbi said...

Oh Ali, I'm so, so sorry. How sad for you and Mike and the girls. My heart goes out to all of you along with much love. It's so hard losing a pet, because they are so much a part of the family. Hugs to all of you!!!

6:29 PM  
Blogger lesley said...

i think about you guys every day and zoe too. i remember when you first got her way back in the mission. so tiny! so eager! she was a sweet, funny and special girl. i am so very saddened and so sorry. :(

6:19 AM  
Blogger Ms. Crazy said...

I'm so, so sorry. Hugs to you and your whole family.

6:16 PM  
Blogger posthipchick said...

I am so sorry. The love of a good dog is like nothing else.

8:29 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

oh a., i'm so so sorry. that is so sad.

9:13 PM  
Blogger ECR said...

I made it through the text, but when I saw that pit bull face, I got verklempt. I love those dogs so much. I remember you posting about having to explain a dog's death to Hazel. I am so sad that this explanation had to come so soon after. I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful Zoe.

11:49 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

Binky (or ECR) sent me over. I am so sorry for your loss, Zoe sounds like she was pretty near to perfect. I don't know what I would do if I ever lost one of my dogs before their time especially now that my daughter is starting to become a part of their lives.

I hope your wounds heal and you find the right salve to soothe the scar.

1:46 PM  
Blogger happygal said...

Oh no! Alisyn, I had no idea. I'm so, so sad to hear about Zoe. She was a good friend and we will miss her very much.
It seems really sudden. Let's talk soon, 'kay?
Meanwhile, just try to think of her in a better place...maybe a peaceful place full of trees where pitbulls can run free...

lots of love, bee

1:51 PM  
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