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My good buddy Ziggy
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Forum Posts: 35
Member Since:
27 September 2019
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17 December 2019 - 6:47 pm
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Earlier today my bud Zig was finally set free from the suffering that cancer brought to him. I am thankful that my 3 kids in college were able to be home to spend time with him this week. We shared so many funny and amazing stories about our time with him. He was a 100lb doberman who loved to sneak pizza as soon as you turn your back, so he had his own large pizza with extra meat yesterday. Tonight he had salmon, a rotisserie chicken, steak, a turkey leg, bacon, and we shared my favorite dessert, Tiramisu, which he loved.

My time with Zig was incredible, definitely not your ordinary stories. I got Ziggy as a pup and flew him from the US to our home in a neighborhood in Port au Prince, Haiti. He was a true guard dog as we lived in a ‘red zone’, considered too dangerous for the UN or US Embassy personnel to be in. We oversaw a small orphanage and did community development projects in the neighborhood. Ziggy always seemed to know exactly who to know and protect, and who to be weary of, and looked out for our friends, neighbors, employees, and 21 kids that we looked after.

He chased down a home invader, hid in the bushes that I had during a shootout (haha) and he helped me catch a thief that was dumb enough to try to break in our house and bit him in the nuts. icon_lol

Our time in Haiti came to a sudden end when my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago. She was immediately sent in for surgery (3 more subsequent surgeries) and started chemo. We sold everything we had in Haiti and quickly had to re-establish ourselves back in the States, but no one was willing to leave Ziggy behind. But how do you get a 90lb (he gained weight in the US, haha) dog back to the US? The main issue was the airlines’ restrictions regarding temperatures, so Haiti and Miami were near impossible to get a flight done with the climate, and his size made it impossible. 

I ended up getting a space on an old WWII cargo plane that occasionally flew down supplies from Ft Myer and took a crazy trip to the US, dropping us off right in the tail of a hurricane. My daughter and I spent days got trapped in the subsequent floods of the storm and trapped in a motel in SC as we tried driving back to VA. We would get stuck in the floods, and I would jump out of the truck with him in 2ft flood waters and he just kept looking at me like “where the hell have you brought me?!” Five days later than we were supposed to have arrived it was all suddenly worth it when I walked him into his new home and he saw the whole family eagerly awaiting to reunite. He was beside himself with joy and so were we.

This journey has been tough, but that is just life. With my wife’s cancer diagnosis and subsequent chemo-induced stroke I used to curse the disease with a giant “FUCK CANCER” any time I mentioned it. With my cancer diagnosis earlier this year I got to a point where I just started accepting it as a part of life/death. A shitty part, but still a part. Not something to be fought with as much as an opportunity to reckon one’s own life. With Ziggy’s diagnosis a few months, as heartbreaking as it was, it further deepened the acceptance I had, not with cancer per se, but with life/death. Peace isn’t the right word, but an acceptance that acknowledges our position in the universe and allows me to continue to live and enjoy every day regardless of my circumstances. 

I am not great with words so I am sorry if I sound overly sappy and sentimental, but I am just thankful for this space to bang out a few thoughts on this tough day. If you have read this post rambling post this far, thank you, and do me the favor of hugging your fur buddies, and your children & spouses as well, and even a few neighbors & strangers if you are bold enough. Enjoy life every day. 

Love you Ziggy, you helped me to be a better human.

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Forum Posts: 35
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17 December 2019 - 6:52 pm
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Chilling in Haiti, ready to eat any mangoes that fall from the tree.

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19267
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17 December 2019 - 8:09 pm
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Absolutely sobbing over here.

You have expressed your relationship with Zig and all life experiences inbetween kn a most profound and beautifully enlightened way. Every single word came from your heart…..you gave your heart voice.

ZIggy clearly was your teacher and you his eager student. You said it so well::

“. Peace isn’t the right word, but an acceptance that acknowledges our position in the universe and allows me to continue to live and enjoy every day regardless of my circumstances”

I want to come back when I can see through the tears a bit better and celebrate the unbelievable journey you and Zig have been on.  I will say this now though, I keep scrolling back and look at those treasures pictures and smile through the tears.  Such a loved and happy boy.

Surrounding  you with Ziggy’s eternal bright light that can never, ever be dimmed….💖

Sally  and My Chunky Spiritual  Being Happy Hannah, Merry Myrtle and Frankie

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 27443
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17 December 2019 - 11:07 pm
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I am also sitting here with tears in my eyes, you wrote the most amazing story about Zig.

First, I am so sorry you had to part ways with your amazing boy. How I wish that you could have been together longer after amputation. This was such a shock. And so not right, after all that you and your wife have been through. Your comment about acceptance instantly reminded me of this post that Jerry wrote when we came to terms with his cancer, “Buying Time on an Emotional Budget.”

Thank you for sharing so much of your own story, I know it wasn’t easy but wow. It’s obvious that you, your wife, your family, Ziggy, you are all amazing beings and so full of love and compassion. What a difference in the world you have made, and will continue to do so. For even in the afterlife, all those lessons he taught you will remain as part of his legacy, forever impacting others you interact with. 

Those photos are beautiful, and funny, and so sweet, just like your boy. Thank you for a little glimpse into your life together. 

Please do come back and share some more about Ziggy if you feel up to it. You’ll always be a part of our community.

We send lots of love, hugs and sympathy your way, tonight and always. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 953
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18 December 2019 - 6:15 pm
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I love the Chrismas photos of Ziggy and you can see the love and happiness in his eyes. I am so sorry for your loss. I do believe one day all our questions of why will be answered.

Ziggy was fortunate to be part of such a loving family….

My Beautiful Beloved Brownie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on February 26, 2019.  With all odds against him he lived an additional one year and eight days with amputation, love, and prayer.  I was honored to be his mom, and I have never been so proud!  He will live forever in my Heart!

Brownie Bubba Bell

04/01/2007 - 03/05/2020

"March Saint"

new hampshire
Forum Posts: 249
Member Since:
26 June 2019
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18 December 2019 - 7:00 pm
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I’m so sorry for your loss. ziggy was truly a special soul. Thank you for sharing this beautiful touching story with us. 

Our beautiful furry soulmates are the best part of us. I totally agree that having them in our lives guiding us and loving us makes us better people. I wish i had words to express how wonderful it is to know this kind of love and to make its loss hurt less. Big hugs to you and the family tonight.

❤ Bev, Moe cat, autumn angel Roane & angel dog Gypsy 

         Hugs ❤ Bev, nurse Moe cat, Autumn's Angel Roane & Angel dog Gypsy 🐾

My sweet soulmate Roane was diagnosed with osteo in June of 2019. Had a rear leg amp on July 2nd & crossed the rainbow bridge to be with her sister Gypsy on the first day of Autumn Sept 23 2019.

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18 December 2019 - 10:49 pm
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Thanks so much everyone for your continued love and support. It means so much. It was a tough day as all the routines and habits of caring for and loving on my buddy are still ingrained in me and I caught myself checking water bowls, looking for him around the house, etc etc. After coming home later in the day I opened the door and fully expected to see him running towards me. The silence hit me hard.

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 27443
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19 December 2019 - 10:55 am
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I know exactly what you mean. Releasing all those acts of love we do each day leaves us feeling ungrounded and adrift. When our Jerry left us, it felt like we struggled to find new meaning in our days. And we did struggle. Time healed but it was hard to be patient. You will get there too, and one day, I’ll bet that Zig is going to leave you a sign that he is still keeping watch on his pack. He’ll do it when you are ready.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Virginia




Forum Posts: 19267
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20 December 2019 - 10:15 pm
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I’ve come back a couple of times to continue  to celebrate this magnificent , truly magnificent, dog. I still get teary eyed and still cannot find words.

We understand  like no others can rhe void and the break in routine. The intensity  of this journey is like nomothers.  Soooo many emotions at the start and so much joy as the sparkle comes back as recovery  moves further into the rear view mirror. 

Yeah, your world has stopped and the only emotion  you czn feel right now s unbearable  sadness.   Each one of us who have been “there” can tell you that slowly  but surely, the happier times will come to the forefront  and helpmpush rhe grief further in the background.  It’ll still be there, but it will lessen

You have written so beautifully  about your bond with Ziggy.  You took us along in your journey  with him and you articulated  who he is and what made him that way.  Your devotion  to him….the lengths you went to to bring him back to the US…..an unbreakable bond.   Zig felt it. 

Zig knew he could count on you and you could  count on him.  I love how he protected his family with ferocious loyalty,  and yet was so gentle  with the children.

Zig also knew he could count  on you to love him enough to release him from his earth clothes that ni longer allowed him to be Zig.  He also knew he would ALWAYS be with you nestled quietly in his very own corner of your heart….and he has you with him in his heart eternally.

You two certainly  lived a life of fulfillment and adventure, with lots of fun and spoiling  sprinkled  in!   He wouldn’t  change a thing!  He had a blast sharing his life with you!  He had more joy in his short life than most dogs ever have three times his age!

I can only imagine how happy and free  Zig was when  got to the Rainbow Bridge and how he was bragging non stop about having the best life evvvver with you!  I’m  sure one of his favorite  stories was how he bit that idiot thief in the  nuts!!

Thank you for sharing Ziggy with us, as well as all the profound  life lessons he taught you.  When you can, we would  love to hear more and, with pictures of course.  I love every  single  photo you shared.  Truly a life well lived and a life well loved💖

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

Forum Posts: 35
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2 February 2020 - 9:29 pm
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Today was ziggy’s birthday. I miss him deeply everyday. Tears still flowing. His collar, blanket and ball are still next to me in my office. Again, so appreciative of this community that understands. 

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Picture of Zig playing soccer (he was on the red team, haha) with kids in Haiti on his first b-day.

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 27443
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2 February 2020 - 10:29 pm
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Awww happy birthday in heaven to Ziggy! What a sweet memory of that soccer game, he looks so joyful. That happy tongue of his says it all!

Of course you miss him, especially during milestones like this, they are so bittersweet. It takes a while to get through them without the grief crashing down hard. You will get there in time but for now just know that it’s ok to feel the way you do. And there is no rush to move any of his things. When the time is right, you will know.

Thanks for checking in with us and sharing his birthday. We are keeping a candle in our hearts and a beautiful picture of him in our minds, knowing that he is at the Rainbow Bridge playing soccer with all his buddies. I know our Jerry is there, it was his favorite game.

Much love headed your way… 

❤️🐾

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

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Green Bay, WI


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2 February 2020 - 10:41 pm
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I’m just now seeing this….so, so sorry for your loss. I’ve thought of you guys a lot since you joined the community here, wondered how he and you were doing. The pictures you posted are absolutely priceless, he was an amazingly beautiful Doberman. I have no words to lessen your pain, I know how deeply you grieve your boy….I still grieve for Nitro to this day and its been 2 1/2 years since he left me. Take care of yourself, and remember, Zig might be gone, but you are still family here.

Paula and Warrior Angel Nitro

Nitro 11 1/2  yr old Doberman; right front amp June 2014. Had 6 doses carboplatin, followed by metronomic therapy. Rocked it on 3 legs for over 3 years! My Warrior beat cancer, but couldn't beat old age. He crossed the Bridge peacefully on July 25, 2017, with dignity and on his terms.  Follow his blog entitled "Doberman's journey"

http://nitro.tripawds.com

"Be good, mama loves you".....run free my beautiful Warrior

Forum Posts: 953
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3 February 2020 - 8:41 am
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Ziggy is so beautiful and your story has really touched my heart. I can picture Ziggy up on the bridge playing soccer, and I am positive he is the captain of his team.

It is obvious Ziggy was well loved and extremely happy!

My Beautiful Beloved Brownie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on February 26, 2019.  With all odds against him he lived an additional one year and eight days with amputation, love, and prayer.  I was honored to be his mom, and I have never been so proud!  He will live forever in my Heart!

Brownie Bubba Bell

04/01/2007 - 03/05/2020

"March Saint"

Forum Posts: 59
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4 February 2020 - 7:29 pm
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You wrote such a beautiful tribute to your sweet boy!  I could feel the love you had for him in your words.  I loved each and every picture of Zig. Such a handsome boy.  I am so sorry for your loss, and I hope that soon you will be able to think about Zig with only happy memeories.  

Thank you for sharing Zig with us!

Pam

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