My story, faithful friend, happy companion – a dog.

Dear Zac

Dear Zac

Yesterday was one of the hardest of my life. Saying goodbye to you. Taking you to that clinic knowing we would be leaving without you and never have you with us again. Your eyes watching me, trusting me, loving me. I hope I didn’t let you down.

The house is too quiet today. For such a little fellow, you filled my life. You were with us for only eight years, a short but bright life.

I remember driving to pick you up. I was excited and as so often happens, you chose us. You came with us without looking back and I don’t remember an occasion over the past eight years when you showed any fear.

You confidently looked out on the world and you took me by storm.

From the beginning you stubbornly taught me that you would not tolerate closed doors. We compromised. You slept outside our bedroom door. You were happy. From that moment on you taught me to understand what you wanted and what you didn’t want. It didn’t mean you always got it, but you certainly tried!

You entertained us and brought life into our home.

2 years after having you we brought Zena into our family and you lovingly accepted her. You became her playmate, her parent, her protector and without any trace of jealousy you let her sleep in your bed and play with your toys.

You had such a big heart.

But your big heart was not enough to keep you going with all the health trials we have been through with you.

You bravely dealt with kneecaps that slipped out, shoulders that were sore and regular ear infections. For seven years these issues were painful for you at times, but the times in between were pain free and good.

Recently though, the pain has been a constant with you. We saw it in your eyes. The distress of constant itching, ear infections, the discomfort of arthritis. We saw it and did our best to help.

We tried special food, shampoos, medicines. We saw you struggle and it broke our hearts to see our brave boy dealing with all of this. You had such a gentle nature and you deserved a stronger body.

I thought we were coping, not winning, but coping.

When I woke today you greeted me and brought me Big Dog, I didn’t know it would be for the last time and how I ache this morning as I get up and you’re not there to greet me.

We took our walk and we had a good time, though you couldn’t do the full walk any more. Again, I had no idea it would be the last walk we took together.

I washed the sores around your face and we spent lunch together, you cuddling up on my lap as usual.

It was then that I noticed that your ear was worse and you had scratched it until it was bleeding. I called the vet and made an appointment.

By itself it was treatable. Taken with everything else it was an indication that your body was breaking down. How much could we put you through? How much pain, suffering, medications and procedures could we expect you to have?

If by a surgical procedure we could have made you better, we would have. I knew walking into that surgery that I would face the same question from the vet that he had asked me the last time I saw him. How was your quality of life? This time as I looked into your beautiful brown trusting eyes I couldn’t say it was good. It was deteriorating.

Suddenly the decision was made and everything happened so fast. You came home for a big dinner and a lot of spoiling and to give us a chance to say goodbye.

Even now I find it difficult to grasp. You are no longer here. The house is quiet. I can put the television on without you rushing to the screen.
If I could bring you back I would, but I would want you back healthy and fit.

As I walked from that clinic I wanted to rush back and take the decision back, to have you with me again. If we could turn back time, I would go back eight years my little pal.

But I can’t. We only had a short time together but you were so special to me. A furry soul mate.

I want you to know my friend that you have been a great companion. You could not have been better.

You have been a great pal.

You have been my partner in this blog and great company throughout your years with our family.

When I struggled with my health you would curl up beside me, undemanding and giving.

We will always remember your quirky ways.

We will always remember the way you howled if you felt you were being ignored.

We will remember the way you loved television and I will feel a pain when your favourite shows come on. Who will keep the bad guys away now?

We will remember the way you hated getting your paws wet and always insisted on walking on paths, even in the garden.

We will remember the way you always sat on your mat with that expectant look on your face whenever it was time for a treat.

We will remember the way you enjoyed your occasional sausage treat and the way you loved going into the village and I’m sorry that we didn’t take you more. I had hoped to take you when the better weather came but it was not to be.

Through this last night Zena, The Princess, who you looked after so well has been crying. Her crying turned to howls early this morning and as I got up comforting her I found the tears coming again. It hurts not to have you here. We all miss you

My precious boy, I will miss you for always. We have a Zac-shaped hole in our lives and it will always be there.

For those of you who have followed this blog I thank you for your encouragement and support.
This blog was truly inspired by Zac and his sometimes solemn ways.

He had a way of looking at me and the things around him which such a deep and thoughtful expression and I used to wonder what he was thinking, hence this blog.
This will be my last blog. In memory of my wonderful pal.

I have had other dogs but none as special to me as Zac.

Don’t look back my little Pal, look forward to the next adventure and know that if possible we will be with you again one day.

From the one who is proud to have been loved by Zac The All Black – a very wise and gentle Tibbie.

72 responses

  1. This is a beautiful tribute to Zac. Thank you for sharing his life with us through this blog.
    Sending hugs and purrs

    August 31, 2012 at 8:31 am

    • Thank you for following and participating in our journey.

      August 31, 2012 at 9:18 am

  2. It is very hard to read this with tears streaming down my face. It is beautifully written. Long may Zac live in our hearts. We have only known him for such a short time but he has really touched us. Our thoughts are with you. Liz, Jasper and Nellie

    August 31, 2012 at 8:35 am

    • Thank you. It is so hard to do the things we normally do. today as I walked Zena in the park, I saw my boy trailing behind and I wished so much he could still be here. I am lucky to have had him.

      August 31, 2012 at 9:18 am

  3. Dear Beloved – although we have never met, I feel as though I know you and your lovely Zac.

    I went to bed thinking about you last night, and the very difficult day you had, saying good bye to your special Tibbie. My heart goes out to you. I wish I could take your pain away.

    Much love from Bella and me. x

    August 31, 2012 at 8:56 am

    • Thank you so much. You were one of my first followers and a great encouragement to me so I thank you so much for that and for your support.

      August 31, 2012 at 9:19 am

  4. What a loving tribute. Excuse me, I have to wipe my eyes now.

    August 31, 2012 at 9:07 am

    • Thank you for supporting this blog. It has meant a lot to me. I feel in a way we were just getting started, but it wasn’t to be.

      August 31, 2012 at 9:22 am

  5. Devastated. We had not known Zac for long, but he stole a piece of our hearts. May he run happy and free over the Rainbow Bridge

    Thank you for sharing this with us…

    Love and licks, Maureen and Solo xxxxx

    August 31, 2012 at 10:04 am

    • I take comfort in the fact that he is now pain free, if I have to experience pain in order for him to be free of it then so be it.

      August 31, 2012 at 10:13 am

  6. I am rarely speechless, but this is one of those rare times. My heart hurts for you. This was one of the most beautiful tributes I have ever read. I am sorry I didn’t get to know Zac longer, but I am happy that I finally found him. My heart goes out to you with my deepest sympathy. Zac was blessed to have you and I know you were blessed to have him ((((hugs)))) “Mom” and Dakota

    August 31, 2012 at 10:40 am

    • Thank you. Yes, I do feel blessed to have had such a special little pal. He was full of life and character and a rare find. It makes his loss the keener for us, but we have some wonderful memories of a special friend.

      August 31, 2012 at 10:46 am

  7. We have only known Zac The All Black through his blog for a couple of weeks but I am very, very sorry that you have had to let him go. It takes great love and courage to do that for our best friends. You and your family are in my thoughts.

    August 31, 2012 at 11:29 am

    • Thank you. I am sorry he had such a short life but I know he enjoyed it.

      August 31, 2012 at 1:29 pm

  8. I’m in tears reading this. I feel for you. You had something very special together.

    August 31, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    • Yes I think we did. I think because I was in poor health when I got him we became very close and had an understanding of each other. We knew in the last month it was coming to an end and he was loved, held and trusted until the end and that is the best I could do for him eventually.

      August 31, 2012 at 5:29 pm

      • A few pets are extra special. I’ll miss you if you’re not blogging anymore, but the important thing is to do what’s best for you. I hope that you and The Princess can be of some comfort to each other.

        August 31, 2012 at 8:46 pm

        • Thank you. I will miss blogging too. I will still follow all of you and perhaps sometime in the future when the loss of Zac is less raw I may return but obviously not with Zac The All Black, he has worked his magic.

          August 31, 2012 at 10:06 pm

  9. Thank you for this heartwarming tribute. Allthough I’ve had just found your blog, I was very touched by the stories, he made me laugh and smile and cry. I’m so sorry for the lost of your beloved Zac. I hope you can comfort yourself with the wonderful memory you have. Zac will be always nearby.

    August 31, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    • Yes, he made us laugh and cry too and although now the tears are flowing, we can still laugh at his antics as we remember them and we will continue to enjoy his life and be thankful he chose us.

      August 31, 2012 at 5:31 pm

  10. So sorry to hear about the loss of Zac. We just knew about the sad news from Dakota and thank you so much for the beautiful award that you gave Dakota and he has passed it on to Eva.

    This is a very beautiful tribute to Zac. We are sorry that we didn’t know Zac earlier but we are sure that he knew how much he was loved and cared.

    We feel your pain and loss as we had lost two of our beloved furries two years ago. Zac’s passing will leave a big hole in your heart but those fond memories of him will fill up the hole soon. We hope he is running free and happily over the Bridge now.

    Thinking of all of you. Hugs!!!

    August 31, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    • Yes, there is a huge hole and I will always miss him. I am seeing him everywhere at the moment, he is no longer lying under my desk as I type, or under the coffee table as I read and yet I only have to give a quick glance and I think I see him. I do hope that one day we get to see our pets again. And he was very loved, I just wish we had longer with him.

      August 31, 2012 at 5:28 pm

  11. I didn’t know you very well Zac, but you had a wonderful loving family and a great life with them. I have tears for your family who are not the same without you. I am grateful that your family were able to make the hardest decision in the world so that you did not have to experience pain any longer. I also understand that when that one special, soul mate comes along it is very hard to accept they are no longer with you. Zac will always be in your heart and you have this blog as a wonderful tribute to him. Thoughts and best wishes to you all. Rest In Peace Zac xx

    August 31, 2012 at 6:31 pm

  12. A beautifully written, heartfelt tribute to a glorious boy. Goodbye Zac and goodbye Beloved, we’ll miss you both. xxx

    August 31, 2012 at 6:51 pm

  13. All the comments above are how we feel..We will miss you..perhaps one day Princess will say a few words.. Tears rolling just to let you know, we are thinking of you all.
    All our love and hugs x
    Mollie and Alfie

    August 31, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    • Thank you for your thoughts. You never know perhaps The Princess will have to grow up a little now. Time will tell.

      August 31, 2012 at 10:04 pm

  14. Pingback: Goodbye to furriends, my nip vocation and awards « Texas, a cat in New York

  15. Anonymous

    We just found your blog today and as tears flow down our face, we can see Zac the All Black and a dog with a strong personality, who loved and was loved and he has a great family. He is now meeting up with others over the Rainbow Bridge and running free and We know tonight as the sunsets on your world he will be watching over you! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and life with Zac as it reminds me to enjoy the now with my family and pups because that is all we are sure of! Hugs

    September 1, 2012 at 1:24 am

    • It saddens me that we didn’t have longer with Zac and I regret not writing about him sooner. There was so much to him that I still had to share, but time ran out too soon with him.
      And yes, I agree, enjoy the now as much as you can because it can change so quickly.
      Thank you for your thoughts, it is a more painful time than I would ever have imagined.

      September 1, 2012 at 10:01 am

  16. a beautiful tribute to a beautiful soul xx

    September 1, 2012 at 4:16 am

    • Yes, he was a beautiful soul. Stubborn at times, but beautiful.

      September 1, 2012 at 10:01 am

  17. We are so very sorry for your loss. We will dearly miss reading your posts, but thank you for letting us in on your life while we read. This was a great post, to the last word. Zac was a beautiful pup, and from reading your posts, he sounds like he was one in a million. Thank you for letting us all in on a piece of your life with him.

    September 1, 2012 at 4:24 am

    • To me he was so special and I am glad that I was able to share a little of that with you.
      Zena has been crying all night again and I held her this morning as she whimpered and whimpered. He was special to her too.

      September 1, 2012 at 10:02 am

  18. Just wanted to make sure you guys are OK and we are thinking of you πŸ™‚ xxxxxx

    September 3, 2012 at 5:18 am

    • Thanks guys. You have been a great support and a real help to me. Knowing that Zac was remembered by you all and that you understand our pain has been a huge comfort.
      We are coping. The house is quiet and empty and I still have a pain but I’m not bursting into tears more than a couple of times a day. Zena slept through the night for the first time last night, the other nights she has been crying and howling. She is very sad and very anxious, not daring to have me out of her sight. But we’ll help each other and I’m determined to remember Zac with joy one day and not this overwhelming sadness.
      Thank you so much for caring.

      September 3, 2012 at 9:19 am

  19. I’m sure that if Zac could say one thing to you, it would be “Thank you”. Letting a pet go is never easy. Mummy knows this very well. But by doing so you showed him and final show of love and a final kindness.

    Whee loved Zac very much and were heartbroken to hear of his passing.

    Rest easy Zac and run free over the Rainbow Bridge

    Nibbles, Nutty, Buddy & Basil (and Mummy)

    September 3, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    • It was a rough week wasn’t it? You were surprised by the sad passing of Bingo and I had no idea I was in the final few days with Zac. We did our best for them, they were very loved and in the end you are right, we showed our dear pets how much we loved them by letting them go.
      Thank you for thinking of me.
      I hope your pain is easing and you will be able to remember the good and the funny times that these special guys gave us.

      September 3, 2012 at 10:01 pm

  20. Hi. It’s Us dropping in to see how you are? Just thought We’d like to keep in touch. Love Nellie and Jasper.

    September 4, 2012 at 11:39 am

    • Thank you. would love to keep in touch. We are coping. I’ve stopped sobbing every time I think of him so that is progress.

      September 4, 2012 at 1:32 pm

  21. Hi, thanks for stopping by my blog. I’ve been thinking about you.

    September 5, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    • Thank you for thinking of us. We’re getting used to it being pretty quiet around here and Zena has stopped howling at 4.00am but is still very sad. We are adjusting and missing Zac desperately but relieved that he is no longer itchy and struggling. We would hate to miss out on our stories about Clowie.

      September 5, 2012 at 5:12 pm

      • I’m glad that you and Zena are feeling a little better.

        September 5, 2012 at 6:18 pm

        • Thank you, I think we’re both cried out at the moment. A tribute to our guy.

          September 5, 2012 at 6:53 pm

  22. Hay, I’ve got a job for the lovely Princess tommorrowz πŸ™‚ Wez miss ya and Wez not leaving youz out..yor family πŸ™‚ Pop by coz Wez being Doggy..Come have a laff at the court case..Luv’s ya all Mollie and Alf xxxx

    September 6, 2012 at 7:29 am

    • We’ll be there. The Princess needs to be diverted πŸ™‚

      September 6, 2012 at 10:19 am

  23. Princess, youz waz just fantastic…see, you can do it πŸ™‚ Now get ya self out there Gal πŸ™‚ Wez will be here to hold ya Paw…Lovez youz xx00xx

    September 6, 2012 at 7:47 pm

  24. Thoughts and best wishes are with you at this hard hard time 😦 so sad to read this, x

    September 8, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    • Thank you for your thoughts. It is sad but we were blessed to have such a character filled pal, even if it was for too short a time.

      September 8, 2012 at 9:55 pm

  25. So sorry to have stumbled across you (from jaspersdoggyworld) when it’s too late to get to know each other, even so, your tribute to your beloved Zac has reduced me to tears. We were in the same position 2 months ago …….. Our thoughts are with you.

    September 10, 2012 at 2:35 am

    • I’m so sorry you have been through this, it is so sad to lose our pals, they become so dear to us. I wasn’t going to continue blogging, and I’m not on this page, but I have wanted to keep in touch with all the lovely people and pets that I have met online so I am going to continue telling the story of Zena as she learns to adapt to life alone
      Feel free to pop in and visit and I do hope that you have some great memories to look back on and are healing from your loss.

      September 10, 2012 at 8:58 am


    My pal Zac is gone? I…. don’t have any words… bye bye Zac, my friend. I’m gonna miss you! 😦

    September 12, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    • I know. I’m still reeling that he has gone. There is a huge hole in our hearts and our house and we will always miss him. Such a special little guy who was born with lousy genes.

      September 12, 2012 at 3:57 pm

  27. OMG! I couldn’t stop crying. When we lost Hail I was actually surprised at how hard it was on me when we’ve only been with him 1 year. I can’t imagine how your loss must feel being with Zack all those 8 years.

    October 6, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    • Yes, it was awful and really eight years is quite young for his breed so I feel cheated of the years we could have had with him. We are all still grieving in the house, I think however long you have these furry pets, some just really worm their way into your hearts so completely that they will always leave a hole.

      October 6, 2012 at 4:32 pm

  28. This post is so beautiful yet heartbreaking. It brought me right back so when I had to say goodbye to my very first puppy, Mona. She was 13, almost 14 and was spoiled beyond belief. She was my best friend and faithful companion since childhood and saying goodbye to her was the hardest thing that I have ever had to do. I have two dogs now, Greta and Stella and I try to remind myself everyday that they won’t be here forever. I want to care for them and love them as if today could be their last. It’s unimaginable to think of life without them, these faithful companions and best friends. Thank you for posting this. I will think back on this (and of Mona) when I get mad or impatient with Greta or Stella.

    October 17, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    • It is so hard isn’t it? I am glad this spoke to you as it did to me. I have met so many fantastic people through this blog, people who really understand the grief of losing a loved pet and it gave the freedom to really express those emotions, something I wouldn’t necessarily have done in real life because so many people don’t understand.
      The blogging community has really helped me through this time.

      October 17, 2012 at 3:46 pm

  29. I’ve never read any of your posts. This was the first one. But it made me cry. So sad!

    November 9, 2012 at 7:08 am

    • I’m sorry it made you cry and yes, it was so sad. Zac was my special boy and we shared a lot together. He wasn’t around long enough and I am still missing him.
      In order to answer all the wonderful messages of support I opened up a blog in the name of Zena, The Princess Tails which talks about her struggle to adjust to life without Zac and our eventual purchase of a Standard Poodle puppy.
      I still miss Zac every single day and he will never be replaced. I wish he was with me and I still dream about him. I realised when he had gone how much he drove the day, how many ‘routines’ were instigated by him! When he left we were bereft.
      He was a stout hearted, character-filled guy who I will always love and remember however many other dogs come and go.
      Thank you for dropping by.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:49 pm

      • You just made me cry again! Lol. So sorry for your loss. I’ll check out Zena as well πŸ™‚

        November 10, 2012 at 5:58 am

        • πŸ™‚

          November 10, 2012 at 9:32 am

  30. Oh, Zena,Raffle’s and Zac’s mommy, I came across this randomly while reading your blog tonight. I had no idea that only a couple months before there was another member of the family, that passed on. I met the Princess Tails blog in late september,and wish I had been aware and been to give you my deepest condolences. I will not say what I am sure many others have been saying on here,in the risk of just being repetitive, but your story made me cry,and I don’t cry easily at all,when reading even when it comes to something that truly haunts me or saddens me.You are a amazing writer,I feel I was there with you on this journey. I’m so sorry for your loss. I know Zac is in a happy place,watching over you as your guardian angel.

    November 30, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    • Thank you for your kind words about my writing. You are all so supportive which is why I continued to blog with Zena. When Zac died I wasn’t going to continue and I couldn’t continue in the same way because Zena is different. Zac was my special guy. He was sometimes solemn, always stubborn and he looked out on the world as a watcher. He was my special pal and it always seems we don’t have long enough with the special ones.
      But with all the online support I felt I had to stay a while to say thank you to everyone and before long I found Zena’s voice and so here I am still blogging.
      Only other pet owners would understand what a hole there is when they go and I love to think of him watching me and I still find myself talking to him! Now tell that to my undoggy friends and they’d lock me up πŸ™‚
      I do appreciate your support – thank you.

      December 1, 2012 at 8:30 am

      • I amvery glad you continued blogging – or I never would have came across your wonderful blog on Zena and Raffles, or knew about Zac. Yes,I am also considered a crazy dog lady to most of my friends, but that is fine as too me owning a dog and loving it so deeply is a wonderful thing to have in life IMO, and Im sorry of the many people who miss out on it- I am so thankful for this community and you included. Once again thanks for sharing your doggy tailswith all of us, I’m sure Zac would be happy to see you arestill blogging about his little pal Zena. πŸ™‚ xo(hugs- from Kirby and ma)

        December 2, 2012 at 1:13 pm

        • Thank you, hugs and licks back xxx

          December 2, 2012 at 5:22 pm

  31. Wiping my eyes… What an amazing tribute!!!! Bless you fellow dog lover!!!!

    February 4, 2013 at 11:56 am

    • Thank you, he was a dog worth writing about.

      February 4, 2013 at 4:19 pm

  32. I am so sorry that you had to make that difficult choice for Zac…That last goodbye is always the hardest to do, especially when there is that part of you that wants to selfishly keep them with you. He lived a wonderful life with you all, despite his health issues and knew he was cherished to the very end. He is up there watching over you along with my little old man and waiting for the day that he can run and play with you and The Princess again. I’m glad that you have continued writing on with Zena’s voice and will look forward to reading her adventures.
    Many hugs and much love,

    May 10, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    • Thanks Anastasia. It is heartbreaking isn’t it? I have revisited that decision over and over and it is only now that I am gaining perspective and peace about it, knowing that it was the right time, knowing that he had been through enough suffering even though I felt I hadn’t had enough time with him.
      I do hope that our pals are waiting in a very special place for us and that we’ll see them and be with them again.
      Thank you for following the story of Zac and Zena and the unexpected places it seems to be taking us! – Vivien

      May 12, 2013 at 10:23 am

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