Bunker Mentality: A Fond Farewell To Our Special Girl


It ended as it began cradled in my arms.

In July 2006, my significant other, the Yard Sale Queen, knew that I had lost my 15-year-old Yorkie Alexis six months prior, and she knew 2-year-old Zoey’s family wanted to find a “good home” for her.

“We could be a good home for this Yorkie,” I thought.

We went to look at Zoey. When first introduced to her I scooped her up in my arms and cradled her, while she was on her back. She never squirmed. Her bright brown eyes stared at me as if to say, “I trust you and want you to take me home.”

A week later, we did just that. As we drove away with a furry little bundle of love jumping from lap to lap, you could almost hear Sister Sledge singing “We Are Family” in your head.

The Yard Sale Queen and I were thrilled and enjoyed Zoey for more than 11 years.

She would play hide-and-seek by hiding under the bed. We would call and call for her. Finally, she would sheepishly slither from under the bed.

If I went to get the mail, she would sit by the front door staring through the glass awaiting my return.

At night, she would get so close in the king size bed that she almost pushed you off.

One thing about Zoey is she loved giving kisses to the point of making it difficult to breathe as she licked nonstop. She never wanted to stop showering love on us. You would have to pull her away to get her to stop. It always brought a chuckle.

One cute trait was how she reacted when she stood onto a lap and you blew into her face. She would slightly turn her head but stare at you while she slowly and gently took a paw to your lips, gently pulling on the bottom lip. It was a game she loved to play.

She adored belly and ear rubs. Zoey was well behaved having her teeth brushed and nails clipped, never moving a muscle. Above all, she loved to lie beside you on the sofa.

When she was let out into the yard to do her business, she would either bark to come back in or stand at the back door, put her paws on the sill and peer inside looking for one of us to heed her call.

Recently, her age began show. She suffered two seizures in two days, one was particularly scary. Her kidneys were failing. Her appetite waned; cheese that she loved held no interest. For two days she didn’t eat.

Blue Ridge Animal Hospital was fantastic throughout. Dr. Laurie Miller provided honest answers to troubling health questions. Several times during a weeklong period a vet tech called to check on Zoey.

But her declining health forced me to make a difficult decision. It was time.

I cradled her on her back in my arms, while valiantly choking back tears as the vet administered the drugs. Her eyes shut and the life slowly flowed from her. I could feel her take her last breath.

I tried driving away from vet’s office but was suddenly overcome by tears that flowed like a waterfall. I pulled back into a parking space and wailed for minutes over the loss of our beloved and loyal best friend.

To some people may say it’s just a dog. Bullfeathers. To me and the Yard Sale Queen Zoey was our family.

“We didn’t find Zoey,” the Yard Sale Queen said, trying unsuccessfully to control her tears. “She found us.”

Zoey stole our hearts.

“She was our baby,” the Yard Sale Queen said. “She was a special little girl.”

That she was.

A good friend sent me the poem “Rainbow Bridge,” which holds out hope that we will meet Zoey again. We can’t wait.