Of all our Bernese mountain dogs Zoe was unique. She was always calm and very low maintenance, I think she’d get annoyed with Oliver and his antics, barking and his constant seeking of attention. And so it was, Zoe tolerating Oliver and always the first to greet us or head out with us on a trail run or a ski.
Before we knew that Zoe was sick we decided to get a new Bernese puppy. A female, so we could breed her and have another litter or two, besides whats another dog when we already have 4, and 60 chickens and 6 Nigerian dwarf goats? Along came Pippa, a burly female with the same markings on her forehead and face as Zoe. At first we thought that perhaps Zoe was stressed by the new puppy and wouldn’t eat because of that. However, after turning her nose away at all food for 3-4 days we knew something was wrong. My wife Tricia quickly went into action as she always does with everything, especially with the animals, and the grim diagnosis of CANCER was made, a rather aggressive form with extremely poor prognosis. Tricia was determined to make sure that Zoe’s last days would be the best they could be. As Zoe just layed there in the coolness of the barn all of our dogs took their turn watching over her. First it was Pippa just laying at her feet, then Reuben, then Bella. Come to think of it I don’t think Oliver ever took his turn, I think he was oblivious to the whole thing.
Over the course of 7 days Zoe lost approximately 9 pounds, and it was decided that we would go to the vet on Friday afternoon. On Thursday I arrived from work in the late afternoon, and as I washed my hands at the kitchen sink I looked outside fixing my gaze toward the barn. There was Tricia giving Zoe a complete grooming, stopping every now and then to wipe a tear or hug Zoe with all her might. As I watched, tears began rolling down my face, especially as I saw Zoe’s tail wagging the whole time she was groomed. I went to them to help out, (I mean to just be there) and Zoe smelled of essential oils that Tricia had prepared her with, I took my turn to hug both Tricia and our beautiful, loyal and trusted friend Zoe. We all took one last walk in the trails, Zoe, Pippa and Tricia in the John Deere Gator, and the other 3 dogs trailing behind.
Most dogs I’m sure have not had the life Zoe experienced here with the love and caring that we consistently bestowed upon all of our dogs. I know it’s a bit cliché, but great dogs show unconditional love, always. Zoe was a great dog and friend. We will miss you Zoe, but you will always be in our hearts and out there in the “Field of Dreams and those magical trails” forever.