Making the Most of Her Second Chance

Here’s something I’ve been thinking a bunch about recently — how much Zoey enjoys life, and how it would have been such a waste for her not to have the chance to live it.

Let’s start from the top.  Most of you reading this entry are probably already aware of the Zoey’s medical travails in the days after we first got her.  When I spoke with the owner of the puppy mill that bred her, the owner was quick to offer us another dog just like Zoey once our puppy died and/or we ran out of money for vet bills.  She was actually unfathomably cavalier about matters (given the number of puppies bred there every year, I guess it wasn’t so unfathomable — dogs were like objects to her), clearly more interested in the cost to her of what was taking place than in the health and well-being of the animal.

The pet store owner, in my opinion, feigned interest in the dog’s health but was clearly more focused on minimizing his potential financial liability.  When we applied for a refund on the cost of the dog under the NYS Lemon Law, his semi-interest dwindled to none.  However, trust me when Zoey was in the hospital they were calling numerous times daily to check on her status and beg us to take her back to the original veterinarian (the pet store’s vet).

But Zoey did make it through, thanks to our sense that the vet at the first practice was dead wrong in his diagnosis, the unbelievable care she received at NYC Vet Specialists, the fact we’re fortunate enough to be able to afford such high-quality care, and her own toughness.

The breeder wrote her off, the pet store owner wrote her off, and, I’m afraid to admit, there was a moment or two where we were unsure she would pull through.  As I handed her away to NYC Vet Specialists I cried, kissing and hugging her gently as this might be our last chance together.

Zoey at NY Vet Specialists very, very ill.  I took this picture because I didn't know if she would make it through the night.

Zoey at NY Vet Specialists very, very ill. I took this picture because I didn't know if she would make it through the night.

But there she was, ready to come home after days in the ICU, with all the hair shaved off her right hind leg, and left front leg but strong and getting stronger by the day.

How many of us can say that we would make the most of a second chance at life?  Zoey’s living proof that those who are fortunate to return from “the other side” can and do take nothing for granted.

For Zoey is a voracious lover of life.  She loves people, old and young, always looking to run over to and jump up on them while on her walks.  She loves to cuddle when at home, sometimes demanding to be loved on and petted, lying on her back, rotating her front two legs around and around and begging for the belly rub she so desires.  She loves other dogs, pulling on her leash so she can go over to them to sniff and play, never snapping or being overly aggressive, merely wanting to play.  She loves her toys, wanting to run after them, take them from Abby, fight over them with Abby, and put them at our feet so she can start all over again.  She loves her food, playing with it.  Tossing it in the air kibble by kibble.  Lying down to eat it when she’s ultra tired and running over to Abby’s bowl when we’re not looking.  She loves her sister, playing, cajoling, taunting, partnering, fighting all the time; she’s fearless with Abby, often times to the older dog’s dismay.  And she loves us, seeking our love and attention, playing coy when she knows she’s done wrong, playing it up when she’s done something cute or sweet.

Lord knows, Zoey isn’t perfect.  But she is making the most of every waking minute while she’s with us.  And to think that she almost wasn’t, that her life was basically over within three months of its beginning simply because of the circumstances of her first 10 weeks, first at the mill, then in transport to NYC, and finally at the store.  What a waste that would have been.  Zoey has brought so much joy to us, and, quite frankly, to virtually every person she comes in contact with, that I’m perpetually thankful that she was saved.

Kudos to everyone involved in doing so.  And special thanks to Zoey, who shows us each and every day what it means to love life.  I know I can take a lesson or two.

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