Zebby

After ending up with a rescue pitbull/mastiff cross Bella by accident, who turned out to be the sweetest, most even-tempered, people-loving big baby ever; my boyfriend and I decided to adopt a companion for her. Being converted by my big baby, I chose another unwanted pitbull mix; a five-week old puppy I named Zebediah. He was so tiny I could hold in my hands, and so young we had to feed him puppy milk formula. We started taking him for walks in the park with our big girl as soon as he was vaccinated, and he would follow along at my heels. Sometimes he would get confused and lose sight ot me, and just sit down in the grass and wait for me to come back and find him - he was still so little he almost disappeared in the long grass! People would laugh and smile at the sight of tiny Zebby and huge Bella trotting along together. In spite of being separated from his mother too soon, he grew into a happy, healthy, bouncing boy with a permanent smile on his face, and people would stop in the street and comment on how handsome he was. Working from home as I did, he was my constant shadow and followed me everywhere; he thought I was his mother. When I took him to strange places he would play happily with other dogs - as long as he could dash back every few minutes and check on me. He and our big girl Bella brought me so much joy and happiness, and I never thought I wouldn't get to enjoy another ten years or so with them. But I lost him a month ago when I took him for a walk, thinking to give him a much-needed happy outing. He had been neglected in the previous few months as I had been going through a stressful time, breaking up with my long-term boyfriend and trying to find a new place on a budget. He had been needing a new collar for some time; he had broken the previous one after taking fright at something - he was very strong -  and in the stress  of everything that was happening I had not got around to it, something which will haunt me always. I cannot get over the guilt; as I lost him after tying him up outside a shop while I went in to buy smoke alarms for my new house. I was inside for maybe two minutes - when I came out his old collar was snapped and he was gone. We were in a very busy street with many speeding cars and trucks very close by and I knew in my heart that I would never see him again; it seemed to stop within my chest as I stood there, staring at his empty collar. Though I hoped against hope, combing the streets with my ex, we found him at the SPCA three hours later. He had been hit by a truck half a kilometre from where Ieft him, apparently running in terror. He must have been frightened by something outside the store - he was always a little spooky in noisy places - and simply taken off. He was heading towards home when he was hit. His back was broken, and he was put to sleep before the SPCA could get hold of me. I miss him more than I can say, and will always feel to blame for his death. My guilt at not taking care of him properly, and at not being there in his last moments, when he must have been so scared and looking for me, will never leave me. He was not quite two years old. I know I don't deserve to feel better when he is dead because of me, but if anyone has a similar experience I would be grateful to hear from you. Perhaps we can help each other.
bellamy86 bellamy86
26-30
3 Responses May 17, 2012

I am so sorry for your loss.  I found this site, and for some reason, skipped the first story, but read yours.  Oddly enough, my dog had to be put down 5 months ago today; and his middle name [yes, he had a middle name :) ] was Zebediah!  He was a 10 year old chow/lab, and just as you described your dog- despite them having perceived "aggressive breed" tendencies, he was the biggest baby.  I rescued him when he was one month old; I was 17.  He died at 10 years; I was 27.  He lost his sight, most of his hearing, and just about all of his awareness, over a span of (his final) 3 days.  He spent the last couple weeks in and out of the emergency vet clinic, along with our regular vet.  On his final day, they finally told me that it wasn't some fluke- it was a brain tumor.  I, too, had recently moved back alone, and felt that I had been giving him a less desirable amount of walks and such... It hurts to think about that.  I had recently started a new relationship, and he did an amazing job of being supportive during that time- even bringing my dog a happy meal- for his last.  I wish you help in your healing, and hope for the same- even 5 months later.

Thank you - I was spared the pain of seeing my dog ill and having to put him down, which is a terrible thing; but you can be grateful for the ten years you had the joy of his company. A dog's love and companionship is always worth it : ) Though your Zebediah is just as irreplaceable as mine was, I hope you have the pleasure of one day saving another dog you will love and enjoy just as much.

I am so sorry for your loss.  I found this site, and for some reason, skipped the first story, but read yours.  Oddly enough, my dog had to be put down 5 months ago today; and his middle name [yes, he had a middle name :) ] was Zebediah!  He was a 10 year old chow/lab, and just as you described your dog- despite them having perceived "aggressive breed" tendencies, he was the biggest baby.  I rescued him when he was one month old; I was 17.  He died at 10 years; I was 27.  He lost his sight, most of his hearing, and just about all of his awareness, over a span of (his final) 3 days.  He spent the last couple weeks in and out of the emergency vet clinic, along with our regular vet.  On his final day, they finally told me that it wasn't some fluke- it was a brain tumor.  I, too, had recently moved back alone, and felt that I had been giving him a less desirable amount of walks and such... It hurts to think about that.  I had recently started a new relationship, and he did an amazing job of being supportive during that time- even bringing my dog a happy meal- for his last.  I wish you help in your healing, and hope for the same- even 5 months later.

Thanks so much for sharing and I am so sorry for your loss. Im not able to really talk about it yet but for over a year I have been blaming mtself for the loss of my best friend. It was a very hot day and because I was trying to save money on my power bill,i think she maybe got too hot? And she acted funny but i was broke but I should have taken her to vet. Because of my selfishness i lost my best friend. There's more but it makes me too sad. I should've done a million things differently. Your post helped and I know you were a good parent! I hope you feel better.

Thank you so much for posting - the feeling of blame and guilt; and thinking of all the things you wish you'd done differently, is one of the hardest things to bear. It is good to hear from someone who understands the feeling of losing your most faithful friend. I know losing loved ones - sometimes in terrible ways - is just a part of life we have to accept and there is never a reason why. I miss Zebby every day, but I am doing my best to let go of the bad feelings and remember all the good times I had with him, and how much happiness he brought me - I know you can say the same.