Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling remarks from my mad, muddled, meandering mind.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Zane the Magnificent

Blurry tail
While I usually restrict the posts on this blog to gaming related stuff, it is my main venue for other things I want to put out there. Slice-of-Rowan's-Life posts. This one is tragic, so if you want to skip it, I understand. Thank you to everyone on Facebook and Twitter who posted condolences. I have read every one, but don't have the heart to respond to all of them individually.
His first portrait, at the shelter
In May of 2011 (not a prolific time on the blog), I personally shopped for a dog for the first time ever in my almost 40 years. The house had been broken into a couple times, and my teenage daughter was not feeling safe, so we decided to get a canine companion. Up to that point in my life, I would say I was tolerant of animals, but I'd never really gotten attached to any.
Always happy

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
True to his compassionate namesake, Zane formed a special bond with Bella and her puppy, perhaps sensing they needed more protection than the others. Lucy and Zane were inseparable.
Sweet Lucy
loves her Unca Zane
Over the past few days, Zane had seemed out of sorts. He'd vomited a couple times, and was listless. He'd had bouts like this before, but had recovered. We figured something he'd eaten had disagreed with him. Then yesterday morning, he refused to eat, and soiled himself and his blankets during the day. By 4 o'clock, Scooter was concerned enough to call me at work to say we needed to go to the vet. Our local vet, suspecting a possible rat poisoning, directed us to a pet hospital about an hour away, where they discovered an autoimmune condition had destroyed virtually all of his platelets. He had lost a lot of blood through his digestive tract and probably elsewhere, leaving him weak and severely anemic. We had to make the decision to end his suffering. Scooter and I bawled, feeling like we'd lost a child—and guilty that we couldn't do more for him. My daughters were inconsolable.

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


  1. Very sorry to hear. :( It's funny how the little furry guys can worm their way into our hearts so thoroughly. But, you know what it's like to outsiders who wouldn't understand the emotional bond. But, remember the good things: you have him a great life for these years, and you have wonderful memories now. :)

  2. That is one of the hardest thing to do in the whole world. Had to give up my sick dog logan, a couple years ago because we just didn't have the money to fix his problems and he was very very ill. You still feel like your abandoning them though and wish, for months (years) that you could have done things differently.
    It's like losing a little part of you.

    Stay well Rowan, and hopefully you can continue to remember the good times

    DAMN IT.. now I'm crying

    1. Thank you, writing this post helped. Yes, they could have tried to help, but the cost was simply more than we have, with no guarantee it would help.

    2. I know that pain. When one of our cats was sick, we spent about $2,000 on him for various tests. In the end, it was incurable cancer so we still lost him. :( So, sometimes you have no choice, but it still hurts to lose them.

      I understand about the catharsis. I wrote a post on my own blog when our cat passed away: http://psychochild.org/?p=163 I thought your post was beautifully written and gave a real insight into Zane. As I said, though, just remember the good times. :)

  3. This post brought tears to my eyes. Dogs are so special, their hearts are just so big and full of love, and all they want is to be by your side. They become a part of you just as you become a part of them, and though I never knew Zane I still remember how happy you were back in 2011 when he joined your wonderful family, and I'm sure he was happy too to have found his forever home. You guys gave him a life that was filled with good memories and joy, and he must have known he was very much loved. I'm so sorry to hear about his passing, and my thoughts are with you, Sctrz. your daughters and your other dogs who must be missing their companion. Big hugs to you all.

    1. Thanks, GeeCee. We'll miss him, but are happy he shared our home.

  4. I'm very sorry to hear that. I have a 13 year old Border Collie myself who probably doesn't have much longer -- and I had a massive scare a few months ago where I thought it was over. You do really get attached to them. My condolences.

    1. Thanks. That's the scary part. You ever know, you just know their lives are not as long as ours. Zane was hardly our oldest dog, nor would I have guessed he wasn't our healthiest.