ziva's story

In loving memory
September 11, 2009 - February 3, 2012
My sweet little Ziva was a loveable, energetic, curious and very playful little pup.  I lost a dear member of my family the night she passed away.  The devastation and heartbreak I have felt since her death has been all-consuming at times.  I am at a loss in explaining her death.  She was only two years old and had so much life left in her to live.  In the days before she passed she hadn’t been feeling well, but I never expected it to be fatal.  I took her to my parents Tuesday evening so she wouldn’t have to be alone during the day while I was at work.  If I had known then that this was her last week of life, I would have never left her.    But we never know what is to come.    A visit to the vet revealed an elevated temp that came down once she was back at my parents on Thursday evening.   Friday, February 3, 2012, she was lethargic and weak and ate and drank little during the day.  She was quiet and slept a lot.  However, during dinner that evening, she was her typical self and wanted to share in the family dinner.  After dinner she took a turn for the worse and steadily declined.   I got the call that she wasn’t doing well and I asked them to rush her over to me so I could take her to the emergency vet.  She died en-route in my mother’s arms, never giving me the chance to hold my beautiful Ziva one last time.  Never giving me the chance to tell her one last time how much I love her.       
How did this 10 pound little Italian Greyhound manage to weave herself so deeply into my heart in such a short time?  Her ability to love me unconditionally endeared her to my heart as little else has.
A heart tumor wasn’t supposed to be part of the deal.  I told anyone who would listen, how much I loved my girls and that they would be with me for many years to come.  I cannot understand how cancer can attack a happy, healthy dog in the span of 36-72 hours and rob her and those that love her from enjoying the life we were living together.  There are no answers to the how and why questions I am left with.  She was an anomaly in more ways than one.  Cancer stole her life leaving me with a multitude of happy memories, but never enough.
We left the emergency vet in shock.  With great sadness I felt the need to share this news with her breeder Kim and my dear friend, Jaime, a true blessing for me in my time of need and grief.  If it hadn’t been for Jaime, we would have never known what caused her death.  I could dwell on the magnitude of the loss of this truly beautiful and magnificent girl, but I’d rather share with you stories of what made her so very special.  

It was in the late spring of 2010 when I decided I needed to get a playmate for my Italian Greyhound Jewel.  I contacted Jaime inquiring whether she knew of any little girls needing a home.  I left my home on July 9, 2010, bound for Jaime’s house to meet with Ziva’s breeder, Kim and a whole passel of other IG’s.  I left promising Mike (my other half) that I was only going to “meet her.”  Love at first sight brought “just meeting her” to my home that very evening.   It was a “trial basis” I told Mike.  Just to see how Jewel and Ziva would get along.  There was the usual adjustment period for these two with the battles of domination.  Not long after pecking order was decided, and we all know that Ziva, the smaller but mightier of the two became the boss.   They became playmates and were inseparable.  Anytime Ziva heard Jewel yelp at the sight of Molly (my parents cat) or Desi (my sister’s Boston Terrier), Ziva was right there to protect her.   
Ziva became my constant companion.  She was my sidekick. No matter where I was in the house, she followed.   Every time she heard me turn the doorknob to the basement she was at my side and down the stairs before my feet passed the first step.  The basement was play land for her.  During the winter months, the basement is where we spent countless hours throwing the ball around, watching my girls chase each other and play.  The basement is also where I keep my treadmill.  You see before I had Ziva I went to the gym every single day after work.  I found this impossible with Ziva in my life.  I wanted to be home with her and looked forward to seeing her at the end of the day to greet me with her sweet puppy kisses and silly little seal bark/talk.  Each and every time I stepped on that treadmill she sat on her bed with her ball at her feet and watched me.  She waited and watched.  But not a moment after she heard that switch turn off she was off that bed with the ball in her mouth.  It was her time now.  Ziva never met a squeaky toy that she didn’t love.  If a toy had a squeaker in it, she’d insist on playing and how could I refuse those sweet brown eyes that caused me to melt each time I looked into her sweet face.
The first day I had Ziva, I had to work that morning.  Mike had let Jewel and Ziva out into the backyard to sun and play.  Well let’s just say when I got home from work, Ziva was nowhere to be found.  Little did I know that she was a curious little “creeper” and managed to crawl under the fence and go on an adventure in the neighbourhood.  I found her a short time later in a neighbour’s backyard.   
Ziva had this quirky behaviour on our daily walks – she loved dried worms.  She would stop and chew the worm off the pavement and carry on chewing it much to her delight.  But that was our little Ziva.  She was certainly no ordinary dog. She was unique, funny and most certainly entertaining.  Life with her was an absolute joy.  I remember she had this adorable characteristic where she’d stick the tip of her tongue out.  I feel robbed that I no longer have her in my life.  She is sorely missed. I had something with her that can’t easily be explained – a connection, a soul mate, a friend.  I will never forget the pleasure she gave me and my family.
Though my heart is broken, I want to celebrate her life and all that she was in the midst of mourning her death.  She truly was one of a kind. There will never be another like her.  
I miss you. 

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