Category Archives: Zoe


It’s after 2:00 a,m. and I cannot sleep. My husband, first time in a while, is now snoring soundly, dog Zoe is yipping in REM sleep. I was just laughing inside my head while marveling at my family and how I know them so well, so can get up and write a bit.

My husband sometimes talks in his sleep. He tells me I do as well. I never understand a single word he says, just put my hand on his back and say “it’s OK” and snoring starts once again. With the dog it’s different. Sometimes I put my hand on her, usually her REM sleeps are very brief and she goes right back to sleep on her own.

It’s funny how you know people 24/7, and a dog. As a wife and “dog mom” you know what everyone is up to and anticipate what they need all the time. Out? OK, it’s 2 a.m. and I can get a jacket on and do it. That is rare. Zoe’s on really great food and she is not ill often even given her age.

I never lived with someone when I was single. It is very different being with a husband, someone for 15 years as there is a sense of one-ness and camaraderie that you don’t get from going on a date to a movie. Come on, we fart from time to time, so does old Zoe.

When I leave to write or just go into the other room I listen. I know they’re both OK. ABC, Airway, Breathing, Circulation. Yes, I took the first ever course from HSUS and the Red Cross for animals, way back. Yes, I passed and worked with shelter animals and feral cats for 20 years.

I still check on them every 20 minutes I’m in our den typing. They don’t know it, but I’m there. That’s what caring people do for their loved ones. Dee

ps They are fine, I will sign off and go back to them. D


Everybody Knows Your Name

My husband is known here, a but nobody understands what he does for a living. There are doctors and musicians, many others known for their skills.

Dad was known by many and is missed by many, especially his children and fiancee and her family.

I walk our old dog Zoe and everyone knows her. Inside, outside, on walks, whatever. everyone says hello. My husband and I check different things on Netflix and Amazon prime. He’s usually home only weekends and tired so we lay on different angles of the sofa and watch something, like NCIS or lately Cheers or a movie. Never Jane Austen for him!

I’m just the retired wife at home taking care of the house and dog and writing a bit. I don’t begrudge Zoe for having the limelight and time of her aged life taking credit for her sunny personality as it is so and I know it because she has been our joy for nearly 14 years. Do you believe they would not take her as a hospice dog visitor because she eats frozen raw food? They thought she would infect people who had two days to live.

My husband and I used to have a place to go a block away for a burger where everybody knew our names. It is now a flower store, gorgeous blooms, where I shop every week. They know my name but always ask for Zoe. My husband had her photo placed on my credit card. They all know her and ask me to bring her in.

You want to go where everybody knows your name. I will miss Zoe when she passes. She is over 90 in “people years.” Her sunny personality has helped us meet people and deflect dog situations on the neighboring streets, whatever neighborhood we are in. She just knows what to do.

The happiest I see her is when we turn down the five mile road to my in-law’s ranch in Texas. She hops up from her orthopedic bed in back of my SUV and I open the windows. She knows she’ll have a feast from crumbs grandma and I drop during several days of cooking before Thanksgiving. We like it because it’s less to clean up at the end of a day!

Why remember our names? Remember Zoe. She is still with us, just getting old like me. Cheers, Dee


Inspiration and Aspirations

Never mind perspiration. I awakened thinking I was late on a Sunday to take her out. Turns out the sun was bright and it was 5:30 in the morning and I awakened her.

If I were to opine, I’d say that when her eyes first opened as a pup she realized she was living in squalor. She knew she was a mutt, and wanted to get out of there pronto. Luckily the folks that allowed her to have worms, coccidia et al dumped her litter at the local shelter. Neither I nor my husband ever grew up in those conditions but we understand them and are grateful for shelters who take care of needy animals.

We were married a year and “settled in” as much as a software guy can be coming off the dot-bomb era so decided to get a dog. We met Zoe and were smitten. She was taken. We saw other dogs but liked “Camilla.” They called the next morning, said the hold was released and that she was ours. She was so excited coming home in that cardboard box she jumped right out!

I threw the box in the back seat and she relished sitting on my lap and driving in the car (windows closed, of course, AC on). Oh this was the second shelter to nudge nudge. wink wink change the name. We were down to a list of five. After 20 years of volunteering with shelters and also helping spay/neuter over 2,500 feral cats we settled on a name. Zoe, Greek for “life.” It has suited her all these years as she is the happiest dog I’ve ever met.

Her aspirations were realized. A good family and new/no hips. Yes, by the time she was four months old, at under 20 lbs. she had the worst hips her surgeon had ever seen. I did two weeks of research and we got her in to Val the Vet at six and nine-months of age for two FNHO’s, femoral head and neck ostectomies, they took out her hips. Back then they didn’t have titanium hips for smaller dogs so she had to grow her own hips and that she did. We walked her, my husband had her sneak into the pool for water therapy and she just took it on, life as usual.

Zoe is a trouper. All these years later she is kind of a mascot in our community and all the kids call out “Look, it’s Zoe!!!” My name is irrelevant. She is so kind and gentle to people, little ones, other dogs, even cats. She does have a forever home and has since she turned six weeks old. She is an inspiration to me for the light she gives others, and an aspiration as to what one can do with no hips.

I’ve had two dogs. The first was abused by a Deputy Sheriff, terrified of men in uniform, men with a cap, men in general and all children. I cured her of that in a month. Well, until my Navy neighbor came out in his dress whites. I just said “Chani, it’s Chris!” and she ran up to him and luckily didn’t get any yellow fur on his uniform. He usually wore a tee-shirt and camo shorts to work. She had never seen uniform or lid.

Zoe was to be raised from the day she turned six weeks old, a little puff ball, to now, with love and training and knowing she would be with us for the rest of her life. We’re family. We have inspiration, aspirations and have shared some perspiration to get there.

I like to think our little family has harmony. My brother just says Zoe is needy. Well, she has her own sign language (stare language) and sometimes he and usually I, know what she wants or needs. Out? Need “Precious” that is her only toy?

There was a terrible story yesterday about a tremendously malnourished, frightened and probably abused dog. She looks like my Chani before rehabilitation. Now with a foster family, I hope she gets the food and care she needs to find her own forever home. I know we saved Zoe, as in Texas rather than have two hip surgeries many would have put a bullet in her head. She chose well. Zoe has taught us too, and made a lot of friends. I will be with her, holding her, until the last moment of her life. Right now she’s happy and healthy.

Zoe was offered a mowed goat pen first time in Texas 13 years ago, so I asked my husband to go without us. Then his dad scrubbed an old dog crate and put it in my husband’s old room. Zoe walked in and out in a few seconds and wanted the bed. Now she stands on the sofa on “grandpa’s spot” and watches him come home from feeding the cattle. As she ages I do not wish to fly her anymore. If I’m driving, she has her own setup in back with 4″ orthopedic bed…and she still loves the car. When we fly in “grandma” is always upset that Zoe is missing, even bought her a matching stocking to ours last year because “she’s family.” We do up to five days of cooking and need someone to pick up crumbs. That would be Zoe. Here’s to the dogs in our lives! Dee


That’s Planning II, correct? My husband said he was glad to have an entire week with me and our old dog Zoe. He sleeps most of the time and works the rest. He does take a bit of time out to eat and to walk the dog, but all the time he is with the dog he is talking on the phone. She’s on a 16′ leash with him (never for me) so eats icky stuff.

At home he is on his headphones, on his laptop, or cell phone. “I enjoy spending time with you, dear.”  He prefers electronics.

So I made a list and emailed it to him. Breakfasts, dinners, sights to see. He offered me Europe and I said no. I need to plan that for us, where we want to go, what we wish to see and what we’ll do with the dog.  Of course, what kind of food we will eat……

He doesn’t know that most travelers do not schedule a three-day weekend in Europe for vacation due to travel time and jet lag. Then again he’s been sent to India for work. Two days travel each way, four days at work and he flew home to work, not to us, because the trip was shorter that way. I understand. No, I think it was abuse on the client’s part as my husband is very tall and said client said everyone flies coach, even after longer than an eight-hour flight.

I’m letting him sleep as much as he needs to do the transition. He’ll also be doing an opposite time change so when he visits weekends we can make sleep and meals work and ease into a new schedule.

Today I’m making chili, Pedernales Chili or my riff on Lady Bird Johnson’s 1962 recipe from near Austin TX. They served 5,000 including JFK that day. The recipe is on the LBJ Library’s website. That recipe was the most requested document from the White House until JFK was assassinated.

He gave me back the list of what he wanted to eat before going back to restaurant food. He also chose a museum to visit today. I took Zoe out before seven, then fed her. We’ll take her out before we leave. Oh, he decided to make fluffy pancakes yesterday. Goo (egg glue) all over. And the egg whites never puffed in the stand mixer because he doesn’t know how to crack and separate an egg properly. No yolks in the whites!

I love him and that he wants to use every machine in my kitchen. Yes, my kitchen, we made egg pasta with my hand-cranked pasta machine one day last year. That was less messy than the pancakes! Cheers and happy cooking, Dee

My Zoe

The belle of the ball. Oh, she was so sick when we took her home. Just six weeks old, coccidia and hookworms but we took care of that immediately until her hips went out and we had them removed at six and nine months then (thanks Dr. Val) she was great. A mascot around the neighborhood she enjoys her status as grandma to the pups and mascot out and about.

I talk about her and my many years of  volunteering to ask readers to ask the family if you want a pet, what type of pet, make sure you know that your kids are ready for that responsibility whether it’s a guinea pig or a dog. It is a serious responsibility. I know parents don’t like this extra task, however if your child takes it seriously, they’ll be better children, students, and spouses and parents one day.

If the hamster dies, show it, bury it with them. Don’t tell them the cat went to heaven. If they’re old enough take them to see Fluffy be euthanized with your hands on her head and tummy while they say goodbye for the last time.

The kids don’t have to stay the entire time for the pink shot. You do. You owe it to your pet for his/her service to you, because you think they only wanted to be fed and walked and took up your time. My dog is getting old and as I lifted her up to the bed, all she cares about is taking care of me and making sure I’m safe. Us, but he is the fun guy and I am the disciplinarian and food wench, she only cares about me! Food! Dee


Yes, it means death. It is allowed for pets but not for people. Only secretly for people.

For a cherished pet a proper parent should make the decision when there is no other alternative, hold that pet and be there.

For pets I would ask that there is a special room with a panic button. My old dog got up five times after the anesthesia and I couldn’t call on anyone. It was heartbreaking for me because I knew it was the last time I would see her alive and I didn’t want her to suffer. Because of what I went through, they’ve a “death wing” with a separate checkout and back door for payment, and the rooms have panic buttons to summon assistance.

I know that this is to prevent grieving pet owners from paying the death bill in front of others at the front desk. Two friends arrived at the hospital and visited my Chani before she died. In the end, Chani had bled out and had no hope of survival.

When I got home I called a dear friend and her husband answered the phone. Are you sitting down? Yes. I lost Chani. I’ll be right there to help you find her. This is an Army Ranger, yes, the Army Ranger.

No, she’s gone. What do you need? Companionship and a good glass of Pinot. He ran for me with a precious glass. I jumped the wall 200 feet away and we missed each other. He’d called his wife to come home, and when I arrived he arranged to have Chani’s remains given to me, not fodder for a pet cemetery.

I had spent six years trying to gain legal leash-free areas in our city. The entire neighborhood donated money to the city for a tree in her memory. The city decided the type, location and size of tree and the money and we paid  it. Then there was a big fight with neighbors who didn’t like dogs in “their” park.

Time was spent with both of my parents, who are gone now. They both had onsets of debilitating diseases that were accelerated by either medical mistakes or diseases of just being in a hospital. Mom died. Dad just died weeks ago. I can’t even find his grave. They both went through torture just to decide to die. My pets had a better death.

We scattered Chani’s ashes, at night, everywhere. But I’ve the last thing she brought to the park, a large teddy bear I bought at a garage sale for fifty cents, from a woman who hated me for trying to allow dogs in the park. A milliner friend, dear friend, placed ashes in the bear and sewed on a heart with lace and beading and everything.

I spoke with said other mother this evening. My new old dog, 13 years, would eat Chani’s bear so I keep it up high, always remembering the family that called me their daughter and still do so. She’s getting older. We had a good talk this evening and I promised a visit.

As to trees, there are so many now I can’t even see Chani’s on Google Earth. I heard the Wicked Witch of the West is no longer controlling “her” park so will visit, place flowers and water on her tree, and meet the people who made me, me. Thanks from your only daughter, Dee



What’s Next?

I’m stuck with paying bills, doing taxes, an old dog who needs blood work and a home without my husband. Of course we’re still together, it’s just that the jobs got divvied up.

My husband flies home every weekend, usually the plane is late, sometimes a few hours late. He wants a frozen thin-crust pizza and a 2-liter Dr. Pepper. He sleeps ’til noon Saturday, we have lunch and he takes a nap later.

What I don’t know is that if we go where he is, or make his commute shorter, will he still just sleep away the weekend? I’m getting bored with TV and computer while he snores. There’s only one way to know. Visit.

It’s all thunder and lightning and rain here, supposed to be snow. The wind is fierce. Oh, the rain is coming down now, I can hear it. Zoe (the dog) is not going to like that in the morning. I’ll have to find her rain coat. It’s not like she wears clothes or I dress her up. This is for -6 degree weather and snow. It is weather-proof. No, she will not allow any kind of “hat.” Or boots for the excess salt that is placed on sidewalks and streets so the City does not have to plow snow.

Dog towels have a place in this world, I think she has more towels than us. I just dry her off. The storm seems to be moving away, that was a quick one, oh, another has hit. Hard. I’ve always liked thunderstorms but our dogs have not. This old gal is OK with this and fireworks. After all, Pyro Paula was her good friend, creator of the largest land-based fireworks in the USA. Zoe has cataracts now so perhaps she has to depend more on hearing than sight.

Zoe is very smart but not with traffic. If her vision is diminished (we just found out) I hope her hearing is good and that she behaves on the end of my martingale collar and braided leather leash. I’ve arthritis for 30 years, mis-diagnosed for 20. Even though she is 32 lbs. and old, she can pull me over on ice.

I love my husband, our families and our dog. My family moved a lot. It’s an incredible amount of work to move again but I’ll need help this time. Zoe just hid under my desk at my feet. I think it’s time to lift her back up to the bed and say goodnight and good thoughts. Dee