Twelve years ago today we adopted dog Zoe, a herder, Australian Shepherd mix, from a shelter. A few minutes on the road she popped out of the cardboard box at just six weeks of age, a 6-pound cotton ball, ready to tear the squeakers and filling out of any stuffed toy, no she does not have any stuffed toys.

Luckily my husband was driving. I tossed the box into the back seat, she sat on my lap and looked out the car window. She’s loved us and “her” car, my car with revved up orthopedic bed and cargo net, ever since. She only pops her head up at off-ramps and stop lights. She knows the ranch from miles ahead.

As she knows home. After two hip removals and growing her own hips, she deserves a home. It was fate that brought her to us. Someone had a claim on her and we were called the next morning and they said the family said no and we were next on the list. That’s why she’s Zoe. She’s an internal fighter when it comes to her own well-being and is so sweet to other dogs, humans, even cats so she’s something special.

Age five months, the cat parade. Me, Zoe, Meow Meow (a feral who had about 12 places to be fed but slept outside our door because as a pup Zoe was going out 8X per day) and a mockingbird who was chasing the cat. Yes, if you’ve watched or read The Princess Bride, Zoe and I were The Brute Squad. I doubt we could have taken Meow Meow’s lunch money….

Over the next few days after adoption we dealt with severe coccidia and hookworms, later I did two weeks of research on all kinds of hip treatments after her surgeon pronounced her, at 25 lbs, the worst case she’d ever seen.

I think she was sent to us for a reason, me to be “food wench” and disciplinarian and walker, and my husband, the long walker and fun guy. We got her hips done and did physical therapy for many months. It was only when she got her paws onto our counter and ate a pound of marinated steak I realized she was OK. Now she’s old and I have to “Otis” her to bed at night.

Congratulations to Zoe for 12 years with a family who loves you. Cheers! Dee

ps Thanks to responsible no-kill shelters everywhere. One of my four was a family “surprise,” a kitten at five weeks that I had for 13 years. The others are all from shelters and even the “broken” ones can make the best companions. Adopt. Spay/Neuter. Train. Love. Those are my rules. D


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