Goodbye Sweet Zephie

Zephie left us today, Sunday November 1st 2015. At around 11.00 am, at the vet’s. The sepsis got to her. Her heart and blood pressure gave up and she lost to the fight. A fight she fought alone over the past few days, coz she never whimpered or cried or complained or let us know she was fighting it.

This was the last happy selfie she and I took of her at the Vet’s when she went for her routine check on Wednesday. She scampered around, loved and greeted all, bowled them over with her expressive eyes and said hello to a few of her own.

Zephie was a gift to me. I gifted her to myself for turning 40, and well, for just turning 40. I didn’t want anything else, and the urge was so strong that I drove to the Adoption drive at Petsmart, and when this cute little wolf like thing looked up and came over to me from her little kennel, my heart bowled over and I picked her up. That was it. She came home on Super Bowl Sunday in February 2011. We had a few friends over for the game, and it was the beginning of a love story.

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She ran like the wind. Incredibly fast, and her name was fitting. Zephie, from Zephyr, the God of Wind. She was a gorgeous pup, with her black shiny coat and the paws that she had slipped into a cookie jaw.

Elegant. That’s how she watched over the squirrels, the rabbits, the deer, the neighborhood dogs and cats and birds. Sitting at the front door, with her paws crossed. With a sense of complete control, pride and restrain.

Obedient. ..and we didn’t even train her! She recognized her rules and she teased the boundaries every now and then but there really wasn’t a time when she never listened. Until since a couple of weeks. When it wasn’t that she didn’t want to, she just seemed dazed. wandering off into the neighbor’s yard, a little disoriented. Like she was sleepwalking.

She loved kids. She herded them mercilessly when she was still young, and then she learnt to restrain. Zephie was an old soul in a young body. Mature, understanding and never demanding, her eyes spoke volumes, her body always in tune with who was around. Never jumping on strangers or friends, never licked and never really clamored for attention, but enjoyed it all when we did give it to her.

The seizures came out of the blue this spring. Her small body racked and I cried watching her the first time. Scared out of my wits, and not knowing what to do, and foolishly whispering through my tears for her stop. They happened every now and then and I cleaned after her. The couches, the carpets, and washing her. I didn’t mind, strangely. She always knew it though, standing close by, watching me and then cuddling close after. We both could use those after hugs, they were warm and special. Reassuring me in fact.

In September, she did the bravest thing. She stepped into the stream near our place and each time walked just a few more steps in. Always cautious, always checking and looking at me. She stood in the middle and she sniffed the air, and am sure she smelt something, coz she led with her nose.


Zephie trademark stance was to crouch. Real low and almost flat on the ground when she saw an approaching dog, and refuse to move until they came close and then she would dart and play.   Always brought a chuckle to all of us.

Our Zeph was a trooper. With her meds, rolled in peanut butter or cream cheese and never making a fuss with her food. She’d actually become vegetarian in recent times. Ive never seen anyone love their frozen beans with such relish and greed. The carrots and the sweet potato were gulped down with such speed, and of course she loved the scraps from my plate. I was a sucker for her. She knew it. I didn’t mind.

Over the last few weeks, she followed me around everywhere. She had slowed down considerably, and we chalked it to the phenobarbital. She had her spurts of speed and then the slower times. Still enjoyed the tussle with the neighbor’s dogs and the walks around the neighborhood with incredible enthusiasm, but she had slowed down, and over the last two weeks was having difficulty sitting up on her haunches. It hurt watching her slide down with little control over herself.

Today, while I rode with her as she clung to the blanket and rasped heavily, I knew in my heart that she was hanging in there. She would turn five in a month. She is such a pup. Way young, and I broke down through the 20 minute drive, holding her little head in my palm and stroking her whiel she watched through glazed eyes through the window.

Maybe it was too late?

Maybe I should have admitted her yesterday when she was still walking?

Maybe I should not have gone for a summer vacation at all..

Maybe I should have paid attention to her Liver Function test a little more closely…

Maybe I should have walked her more, played with her more, cuddled her more, spoke with her more and be mindful of her more.

Maybe she was only meant to be with me for four short years

She came into our lives for a reason. To love us, to be loved by her and to show us a side of love that is so rare to see in humans. A canine kind of love is special coz its most certainly not weighed or judged, it’s just given. Sometimes I wish we humans could be more like dogs. But that wouldn’t make the dogs special right?

This is one of the many pictures Ive taken of her at the local park. The bridge and her crossing over, occasionally stopping to take in the view and sniff the air for secret messages that flitted across.

Her eyes. They spoke volumes. I will never forget her eyes. Like I’ve always known, and then today, watching them glaze over me as she lay helpless saying goodbye. Ive kissed her only a million times since the last few days and it still feels less.

Thanks sweetheart. You were one of the best things to have happened to me and I will always be grateful for the time Ive spent with you. Until we meet again, heal well and don’t let anything or anyone mess with those shiny adorable eyes.

Love you so very much.

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8 Comments

  • My condolences Rads 🙁 my dog died of a cancerous tumour on her 4th birthday, a day after our marriage. I know what you’re feeling. Hang in there and cherish the memories. Much love.

    • oh no, am so sorry Shyam, that must have hurt and what timing. 🙁
      Zephie’s our first and we were so lucky to have her, so gentle, so perfect and with absolutely no trouble in any way.. Thank you..

    • Thanks Sangitha. It’s just a void more deeper than a human in many cases, maybe coz of the way they interacted with us and the bond is naturally stronger?

  • Hi Radhika….I am so sorry and sad to hear the passing away of Zephie….Ritika was talking about her all Saturday after she came from your home….lots of hugs to you and all at home…thinking of you-Deepa

    • Thanks Deepa, yeah, last week they ran around to the swings and this week she could barely get up and play with them. She went down so quickly within 24 hours and that’s what hurts..

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