In Memory Of Ziggy

February 27, 2023

When I first saw him, he was not the dog I would have chosen. I can picture my son Kip, shouting “What?!? You’re kidding!” He didn’t know that Ziggy with his little dark face was not my fancy, but he sure was his, …. and God’s, too! It’s obvious that this old girl needed new glasses…. glasses that could change carnal-sight into God-sight, and I fancy that now.

My son had been searching for a dog for months, but none he saw had that “I’m YOURS!” look until Ziggy showed up outside his company’s door. Ziggy was a German short-haired pointer about six months old, and it was love at first sight for both of them. My son brought him to the local pound doing the right thing of waiting the three days required for the owner to show up, and I’m sure he was praying one wouldn’t come. Kip was ecstatic that no one claimed him, and he and my daughter-in-law, like proud parents of a newborn, brought Ziggy home to let me get a gander at their prized possession. Yes, “gander” is in my vocabulary, like a goose out of water.

Have you ever been shown a newborn baby with a misshapen head that was cross-eyed? If you did, you smiled and never let on what you were thinking, eh?, but then when you saw him a few months later, he was the most adorable little guy you’d ever want to see. That’s how it was with Ziggy and me. 

My son became the alpha of all alphas to him, even like King Tut was to the world, and even though that little beast chewed shoes, tennis rackets, bags, and almost everything in sight, he was their beloved who was worth it all. My two teenage grandsons lost a fortune, or rather their parents did, in what Ziggy got hold of. “Good Lord! “What next?!” was my cry when my new mop and bucket were strewn out in the backyard looking like they had been through a war. Everyone who has a puppy knows what the chew-up of their irresistible possessions looks like in the jaws of a determined pup, eh?

Ziggy’s tail always let it be known to everyone who was “Alpha King” in his world, and it was destined to be. How could it not be, with my son’s name being Oliver (peaceful, kind,) Rex (King) IV (the fourth generation having the fourth man in his midst)? What creature wouldn’t adore someone peaceful and kind, who walked with the fourth man, the “King of Kings”?

As for me who took care of him while Kip and Lynne were at work, on vacations and gone on some weekends, I was lucky to see a few swishes of that tail. Sigh! But then, I had my moments of adoration, too… I got them, not because I was wonderful in Ziggy’s eyes, but because a treat or two did the trick, and got him to do tricks, too,…. Well, sort of. I didn’t do it to get tail wags, though: It made me happy that he was happy, and he sure was with treats, because that dog food he had to eat day after day for nine years was terrible. Poor puppy! Because of a liver condition that became apparent after he had been neutered, he was limited to a restricted diet that had the same, same old food. There’s an expression: “Food not fit for a dog,” which relays that even a dog wouldn’t eat it…. I mean the stuff at $4 a can smelled awful, but Ziggy had only that for every meal.

Now I want to tell you about his name: It took a family counsel of seven of us- two teenage grandsons, Tanner and Dawson, Kip and Lynne, Lynne’s parents and I all collaborating together to make that important decision. We each submitted three names, and then out of them, we checked the three of the ones we liked best, numbering them. After tallying them all up, there was a tie between Ziggy and Buster, and I confess I was praying that Ziggy would be the one, as this gentle, lamb-like creature was definitely NOT a “Buster.” Thank God my grandson made the choice between the two! Atta boy Dawson!

Ziggy’s name means “victory,” “victorious protection,” and surprisingly, also known in Polish origin as meaning: “to get rid of anger.” Wow! What a spiritual message he brought with him: I believe that getting rid of anger plays a major part in our having victorious protection and a life full of peace, joy and righteousness, and Ziggy became God’s instrument to tame me of mine. It was apparent that “irritation” came for a visit after Ziggy could no longer be restrained by the electric fence in our backyard. He had led quite a life with a lot of freedom running loose in our spacious yard, …. but that was BEFORE our new neighbors moved in down the street.

They had two beautiful dogs and it was the beginning of “the change of life” for Ziggy…. One look at those dogs, and it was all over for him. A couple of days after the neighbors settled in, my son gave them his phone number and told them that they could contact him any time they needed help. Well, that call came sooner than expected when Kip’s phone rang at 4:45 in the morning a few days later: Ziggy was scratching and scratching non stop at their door, wanting to get into the house to be with their dogs. Sigh! He had broken through the electric fence and after doing it again and again, his happy dog days in the backyard were over. His life was forever changed with him then being on a lead with me as the doorman… er, doorwoman to let him in and out. Now I was the one constantly hearing that scratch, scratch, scratching sound which was the beginning of my training to overcome irritation. Yes, God used Ziggy to train ME.

You, who have blogs and dogs, know what it is to have your creative flow interrupted. Argh! I never once physically hurt Ziggy, but I am sad to say I yelled at him on more than one occasion. I would repent every time I did it, telling Ziggy and God that I was sorry, but I cry when I think of it, …. even now as I write this post. But I did become more tender, more gentle, sensitive and kind in my spirit through becoming his care taker in his last days.

Ziggy started losing weight about three months ago and it got to around 15 pounds, and then for a couple of days he stopped eating. My son brought him to a veterinarian for a diagnosis and was told that it was probably either cancer or something going on with his immune system. Until a sonogram test could be made, we wouldn’t know the cause for certain. In the meantime, Kip was instructed to try giving Ziggy some rice, a tiny bit of chicken and broth for his meals. Oh my goodness! Glory came down and heaven filled that dog’s soul, not to mention joy filling his belly. Happy days were Ziggy’s as he never had been given people-food before, and he ate and relished every morsel given to him.

When the sonogram was taken, we learned that it definitely was cancer, and that the sign of the end would be when he stopped eating. It was hard, hard, hard to walk this out with him. My husband had been a survivor of colon cancer and that was rough too, but a dog can’t talk to tell you when he’s hurting, and towards the end Ziggy was in pain, but how he still loved his chicken and rice. On Monday morning at approximately 2:00 a.m., my son woke me up to tell me it was time to say “good-bye” to our boy. He had just cooked him steak for his last meal and it was “Hot dog!” for Ziggy. In the photo of him in his last moments I chose to put on the front of this post, you can see the wonder of steak that brightened his eyes that had been without life in them.

Ziggy wasn’t mine, but he was my companion all through Covid, and no other pet had that much constant time with me or personal attention. He was so dear!! Only God knows what a great loss it was for me. This is a photo of him with me, my grandaughter Julia, my grandson Carter’s bride, Kaylee, and their dog Theo, celebrating my 80th birthday a few months ago:

Not that far in the future in terms of eternity’s time, we will be celebrating the greatest jubilee ever when everything is restored in heaven and earth. Ya gotta know Ziggy will be eating manna from heaven in that day…..

and all of us will be shouting: “Hot dog!” and “Hallelujah!”

Categories: Writings

Tagged as: , ,

11 replies »

  1. There is no such thing as a pet.

    They are our cherished best friend ( well, Jesus is our best friend but they are pretty close ).

    Every family needs a friend like that. They are so special.

    Perhaps now is a time to get a cat. They are pretty special as well. I was always a dog man but now I cannot walk much we have cats and boy do they have personalities and are great buddies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so right Joseph, and would you believe?: Just this morning for the first time, my son left the door open at the top of the stairs for his cat “Batman” come to be with me. Yes “Batman”! My grandson named him when he was a teenager (No family counsel, then!) I just gave him tuna and I think I have a friend for life. Thanks so much for blessing me with your kind and loving comment.


      • Glad you have a new buddy.

        All of our cats have been feral cats. Maybe that is why they are so loving, they are grateful for the loving home.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s