This memorial page was created to remember our dearest Zyon born on 08/02/2003 and passed away on 05/05/2016. You will live forever in our memories and hearts.
On Thursday, Zyon, passed away at 3:35 am while visiting family in Arizona. I was at his side, letting him know how much he was loved, and held his paw as he passed. I probably would not have posted anything, but I felt it may be easier this way since he met so many people and had so many friends, human and non-human.
Zyon came into my life in 2003. I didn’t even want a dog , but I went with the idea. At the time, I was in a long-term relationship and we were in constant contact with the breeder. We had waited months for the litter of pups to be ready to take home. When it was time to go pick a pup, we didn’t pick him. His breeder suggested that we take him, that he was a good fit, but we had our eyes on another male pup. I remember looking at the pup the breeder was suggesting, and I saw this big-eared, black-masked, free spirited pup who wasn’t paying attention, wasn’t interested in us, and who was smelling the ground and looking at everything and examining everything with his big black nose. Completely aloof. We decided we liked him and took him home.
He was to be a champion show dog, but the relationship I was in at the time failed and ruined all that. I resented at first having him left with me, that he suddenly was completely my responsibility. I didn’t want a dog. At first it felt like a big burden, felt unfair, just another way I got the bad end of the deal. But within several months, I found a deep comfort that he was there. He proved to be there for me for another 2 failed and painful relationships. All three of these breakups were extremely heartbreaking and each was a complete different learning experience. Zyon was my comfort during the dark times. He was always there. He was a constant always. He was always at my feet of the bed, or near my side. Never leaving me if I was heartbroken and never leaving me when I was sick. He was highly affectionate, caring, devoted, and sweet. He was so patient and loving, he was just happy and content being with me. Sometimes he would nudge his butt against me, just to let me know he was there, or maybe it was to make sure I was there for him.
Until he was 2 years old, I thought he couldn’t bark. That he was just too sweet to be a guard dog. He proved that theory wrong when we lived in our first apartment together. There was a night someone knocked at the door, I looked to see who was, but I didn’t see anyone. Zyon growled the deepest warning of a growl and loudest bark I ever heard. I didn’t open that door. That was when I knew I had a companion that would protect me no matter what. I felt safe with him.
Sometimes though, he was really stubborn. There were times he didn’t want to do things because he didn’t see the point of them. Like chasing a ball, why would he chase a ball when he could chase a rabbit? What was the point? He was too smart sometimes. He knew how to unlock a gate. He learned from his actual doggie grandmother. While on a walk, he would just stop walking if the leash got wrapped around him (always my fault of course). He would stop when we went on runs if there was a storm drain because he didn’t like to step on them. There were numerous times he stopped when we were running and I almost hit the pavement. If he didn’t step on one of your feet, he sat on both of them instead. He hated flies. He would eat them, or have a huge fit if one got in the house. He would make me swat it dead, and show it to him before he could relax. He whined a long pathetic whine when he didn’t get his way. He didn’t like his feet touched. He thought he was smaller than he actually was. He always got compliments, and people who were not familiar with his breed, were intrigued with his ridge. He was handsome. He was a true Rhodesian Ridgeback.
He loved to run. We used to go out late at night and run fast in grassy parks. He loved to chase and be chased. Whenever I bought him a fuzzy stuffed toy, he would just nuzzle it and seemed to just clean it. He never tore them apart and he never chewed them up. He liked to play with them, and I still have almost all of them since the day he was brought home. When given a big treat, he would play with it excitedly for about 5 minutes, doing almost a funny in-place trot, then he would settle down to fully enjoy it. Zyon also loved car rides. He liked to sit in the back seat and I would drive him around everywhere. I had to roll the window down when he pawed at the door. That was my signal he wanted to put his head out. We went to so many places together. Zyon wouldn’t lick you, but he would instead wake you up with his cold wet nose. Kinda just a poke to wake you up.
A few years ago, Zoey came into our lives. A poorly trained, Pitbull pup who you could tell someone also mistreated. I made the decision to rescue her since Zyon seemed to miss having a fuzzy friend around, and because she was young. I had my work set out for me and she was the complete opposite of Zyon. But, I knew she would keep Zyon on his toes as he was getting older. They weren’t the best of pals at first, and they had to warm up to each other. Zyon would look at me a lot with a look of “when is this thing leaving”? Zoey is rowdy and would always run into Zyon or go right under him. When Zoey was getting scolded, Zyon would look at her with an annoyed look and then look at me with a look of “is she leaving yet”? But he was patient, and they became great friends. Zyon and Zoey found that they loved to chase each other.
Over the last several months, Zyon was losing a lot of movement and strength in his hind legs. He was checked for degenerative myelopathy, but he was negative. Additionally, last month he was sick and after several tests, his vet suggested that he may have a cancerous tumor. He was not able to walk very well when I took him in, and I thought that was going to be the day. I brought him home, and thought that it would be his time within the next few days. The next day, after starting meds, he greeted me standing at the door with his tail wagging. He seemed to be doing a bit better, but he did have some bad days where his hind legs seemed to really bother him. He just finished a round of antibiotics and prednisone and was acting himself more or less. My plan was to have him rechecked once we returned to San Diego and after we visited with family. I also knew that he was getting older and that his health was deteriorating each month. I knew that I had to make plans and be somewhat prepared. I had a plan in San Diego. I did not have a plan in Arizona. I guess though, you can never be fully prepared.
Zyon didn’t eat his breakfast on Wednesday. Being highly food driven, I was a bit concerned. By the afternoon, he stopped drinking water. I decided to let him rest and that I would take him to the vet I found the next day. To gauge how he was feeling, I tried to give him his most favorite thing in the world, a small piece of cheese. He didn’t want it. He didn’t want dinner. I found another veterinarian and decided that I would have someone come to my parents house first thing in the morning, it was a horrible decision to have to make. I made the earliest appointment and I had hoped the veterinarian would tell me I was wrong. That he just was having a bad day. By early morning, he started to downward spiral incredibly fast. Too fast actually. He and Zoey were just playing the night before, and it was hard to understand why everything was happening so fast. I called to see if the vet could come immediately. It was after-hours. I felt helpless. I then knew he would not make it until morning and that he would not make it if he was rushed to pet emergency. I didn’t want him to go in pain or at all the way he went, but I am grateful I was by his side as he passed. I cried my eyes out.
For almost 13 years, Zyon was my rock. He was always there when I needed someone. He was always my companion no matter what. Zyon was a very friendly dog, and he had a great personality. He was gentle, but protective when he felt someone he cared about was in trouble. He loved being around people and loved being part of his family. He enriched the lives of my family, and those that got to know him have their own stories with him. He lived with me with different roommates, he was friendly around other dogs and cats. Thankfully, my family was able to see him in his last days. He was cremated on Friday with is favorite orange blanket, Zoey’s blanket, and some pictures of his family and friends over the years. The ride home will be a strange. I will miss him riding in the back seat, and Zoey in the front seat.
Thank you to everyone who brought happiness into his life. Thank you family for loving him and giving him the best doggie family ever. Thank you Mom and Dad for always dog sitting when needed. Thank you June for providing me with such a wonderful companion. Thank you Gentle Journey for Kendra. She was very understanding and exceptionally caring. She made the most painful experience a bit easier. Thank you Entrusted Pet for also taking care of the final steps.
He’s been gone 5 days now, and a miss him a lot. I am truly heart broken.
Rest in peace Mister Zyon. You will be missed so much and will be forever loved. You were a good boy.