|His first portrait, at the shelter|
After encountering a complicated adoption process at the local no-kill shelter, we decided to check out the city pound, where we met a beautiful Queensland Heeler "mix" (I think he may have been a purebred). In a kennel with a rambunctious Lab, we saw this unflappable dog with eyes of two different colors. We decided he was perfect, naming him "Zane" after the main character in Piers Anthony's On a Pale Horse, a favorite of both my daughter and me.
|Workin' on his tan|
I didn't realize how lucky we were. Zane was just about the most well-behaved dog I know, able to learn quickly and responsive to commands. Despite his initial calm (a result of nervousness we think), he was full of energy, loving to be outside, playing and sunning himself. Often when he slept, he would twitch and make funny barking noises. We'd joke that he was chasing bunnies in his dreams.
Being a cattle dog, he was ever watchful of his herd, as it continued to grow from just my daughter and me to include my new bride and her daughter, their two dogs, the two dogs we took in from a coworker who was moving, and finally a stray Scooter rescued, gravid with two pups.
|Zane's pack of precious|
|loves her Unca Zane|
DoubleUnder said on Twitter that "Dogs are so wonderful." Zane was the one who taught me the truth of that. He was precious to me. Before Zane, I was not a dog person. Now I have a pack of them.
The house feels empty now, even with the rest of the pack intact. Our other dogs seem to be searching for Zane. Though they may have picked up on his illness long before we did, none of them really understand where he's gone. I'm not sure I really understand either. Or why he had to go, especially so young. I'd like to think he has joined our tiny Ivory, chasing bunnies in open fields. . .
|One of my favorite pictures: Zane on the move|