There are two kinds of book reviews: There are reviews about upcoming or newly-released titles that are meant to hype up the next Great American Novel. And then there are reviews for titles that have been around for decades, or maybe even centuries. These reviews allow the reviewer to tell the world how a particular book has changed their life. My dog reviews of Murphy and LT are more like the first kind of review. This review about Zoey is more like the latter.
Zoey, like a good book, came into my life at a point when I absolutely needed her. Her ceaseless companionship was what I needed during a time when I felt utterly alone. There were times while I was battling depression when she was the only reason I would get out of bed. She depended on me, and that kept me going through my lowest points.
In return for making sure she was fed everyday (a very important aspect of dog ownership), Zoey gave me six years of memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life. There are so many stories I could tell: the time she watched a mouse eat out of her food bowl; the time she played a little too rough with a twenty-year-old dog and ran over him, causing him to barrel roll; the time she lifted her leg to lick herself and audibly farted; the time her burp made me and a friend gag; the time she let Murphy spoon her even though every single day she pretended that she disliked him. I could go on and on.
But here’s what you need to know about Zoey: she was gorgeous. She was a Chow-mix and had a beautiful coat. The lining around her eyes was black, making her look like she always had her makeup on. But Zoey was more than just her good looks. She loved to get pets, but wasn’t pushy about them. There was nothing in the world she loved more than hanging out with you on the couch. She was extremely intuitive and would rush to anyone’s side if they were upset. She was hilarious, albeit usually unintentionally. She was prone to tripping and sliding because of her extra-furry paws, but would always pretend like nothing happened. She put on a brave face every time I clipped her nails, even though I know she hated it. And she was loved by everyone. I mean LITERALLY everyone. There’s not a single person with a pulse that met Zoey and didn’t like her.
But don’t get me wrong; she wasn’t perfect. Every dog has their faults, including Zoey. She lived her life perpetually in the way, always laying under your feet or walking slowly in front of you. She lost her hearing as she got older (or became an asshole, it’s still unclear) and would not hear/would ignore commands. Her farts were smelly, and her breath was even worse. She shed constantly, so the house was always filled with dog hair tumbleweeds. She would beg for food in the most unsettling way: by sitting ten feet away from you and staring. She barked at every sound that resembled a door closing or opening. But honestly, if I could have one more day with her and all she did was fart and ignore me, I would spend every single second of that day with that smelly bitch. I loved her, and still love her, very much.
Zoey’s last day felt much like reaching the last pages of a story you wish would never end. I knew the day would come, but it still sucked in every possible way. She left the world bravely and without pain.
In the following days after her death, I was honored to find out just how many lives she touched. I was inundated with photos, videos, and notes about how amazing Zoey was. She made just as much of an impact on others as she did me. It makes me proud to know that I could share something as amazing as Zoey with the rest of the world.
I want to tell you a story. I adopted Zoey when she was seven years old. She had lived those seven years with my boyfriend Nick’s sister Brooke, but due to Zoey’s inability to get along with other large, female dogs (a problem she had for the rest of her life), she was unable to stay in the home she grew up in. I had told Nick that I was interested in adopting a dog, and when he told me about Zoey and how old she was, I knew that her chances of getting adopted from a shelter would be slim. I said I would take her.
I first met her at Brooke’s house. Zoey immediately laid by my feet and rolled over so I could rub her belly. I was in love. Brooke dropped Zoey off at my house a couple days later along with her crate, some toys, and food. I later found out that she sobbed the entire drive home after dropping Zoey off. So, Brooke, thanks for making that decision, even though I know it was hard on you.
Nick stayed over because I was nervous about how it would go. That entire night, Zoey paced the house, unable to settle in her new environment. I thought I made a bad decision. How could I possibly care for a dog that can’t even be comfortable in my home? Looking back, it was clear that she was confused about what was happening, but I read it as Zoey not wanting to be there. It hadn’t even been 24 hours, and already I failed as a dog owner.
The next day, Nick left for work, and I was left alone with Zoey. I didn’t know what to do to make her feel better. So, I did something that always relaxes me: I played some music. To be specific, I played her Streetlight Manifesto’s album Everything Goes Numb. I turned up the speakers and danced. Zoey immediately began to dance with me, and we danced up and down the halls, bonding over our sweet moves. That night, Zoey slept peacefully in the bed with me. For the next six years, she was mine, and I was hers.
Just like everyone should have a classic book that changes their lives, everyone should have a Zoey. I recommend her to anyone with a soul.
10^10 out of 5 crones