Doug sent me this photo yesterday, a pic of Zuma (not her original name) on the couch in our kitchen after we’d had her a few weeks and Emma had bathed her and we had her dewormed, de-grossified, etc.
She bounded into our home the first day as a gangly crazy happy lunatic puppy on long wobbly spider legs, skin over bones. She was so pathetic looking, wild and enthusiastically out of control.
She pranced in, parade pony style and immediately headed for the kitchen couch, the center of our home, where Doug and I love to cook and hang out together and with Emma when she’s home.
Wait Zu, you’re supposed to eat in elevated bowls. That’s why we bought that kit for you. (This is a few months later than previous pic). Same couch. Before she gnawed the arms off it one day.
Zuma instantly claimed that couch as her spot, even though our two cats Magyck and Ocho scowled and protested and gave her a kung fu chop whenever she walked past them. Magyck would eat from her bowl when Zuma wasn’t paying attention.
He doesn’t even like dog food, he’s just a jerk cat sometimes.
When the cats were out and about doing whatever they do on the farm, Zuma would revel in the joy of occupying the old couch, watching me, lounging, spidery legs stretched out, unintentionally blocking the path through the kitchen. As the months passed and she grew and grew, everybody would walk by her, nonchalantly lifting her limbs and softly apologizing to her. She didn’t mind, we all just carried on, it was normalcy in our crazy busy house. Awww, everyone was so understanding.
The day she arrived, Zuma quickly took over our home. Not just because she rapidly became a ginormous creature, but mostly because she has a huge, expressive personality.
Magyck and Ocho quickly relocated from “their” comfy couch, swearing at Zu in cat-cussing fashion. They’d been running the house for years and vocally resented this big black zoned-out newcomer. Zuma obliviously ignored them and their scathing swipes and looked sideways as she slowly crept onto the couch. The ten pound cats eventually decided, “we can all share the playground” and retreated to sleeping on top of the couch, over the 60 pound puppy’s head. Cat dominance. They thought.
Emma took Zuma for a jaunt just after she came to us. I was horrified for people to see her in public, she was ribby and her skin was awful. Emma had done a great job cleaning her up but this was a very thin puppy. Emma was proud of her, Zuma knew that Emma had given her a chance to see a better life and Zu goes CRAZY when she sees Emma.
Zuma tries to be friends with the cats but they aren’t into it. They’re cats. Dogs have owners, it is said. Cats have staff. They all get along, as long as Zuma doesn’t cross the kitty line, but the cats rule the house and honestly, Zu doesn’t have a problem with it. She just wants to get along.
I knew Zu would be a heart breaker. She will be. Aren’t they all? This blog/book isn’t about just Zuma. It’s about ALL the dogs we love and share our life with. What a wonderful journey they take us on, as all dogs do. It’s not just this trip, but our whole life journey together, where she is opening up a multitude of colorful doors and avenues we would never have experienced, if not for her. I’m not claiming her to be the Best Dog In The World, but Zuma has an AURA about her that I’ve never experienced with any dog before. She exudes good energy and the people we meet totally get it.
Positive energy is good. Looking at the distressed state our world is in, it’s so nice to live full time with positive energy. Zu is always at my side, at my feet, taking up the entire king-sized bed when Doug’s away (don’t tell Doug that). Uh Oh. I think he’s caught on.
We’ve lived with a LOT of dogs. I would have ten Great Danes if I had room (and enough couches) and had enough time to devote to them and make them feel as special to me as Zuma makes me feel. Great Danes are wonderful, graceful, kind and accepting dogs. Zu is always open and trusting to new canines, even if they snarl and snap at her face. She just forgives. And forgets. How many people can you say that about?
I couldn’t take photos of her in those first few weeks she came into our life. The thought of looking at the photos later, if she didn’t pull through, was more than I could bear. She was so thin, a flea infestation had caused her to lose hair on her undersides and hind end (the warm areas where fleas like to dwell). Her skin was peeling, rotting off in layers from her paws and the undersides of her lower limbs, caused by laying in her own feces and urine in a crate that was too small; she couldn’t stand up or turn around. Then a Good Samaritan woman stepped in and saved Zuma and said to the owner ENOUGH. It sure as hell was ENOUGH.
The caring woman took the puppy, stuck up posters and offered her to a good home. We feel so grateful that our daughter Emma was alerted to the poster by the kind and caring receptionist Brenda at Yankee Clipper in Rockport, Maine, owned by our friend and outstanding groomer, Liz Czak.
We feel truly blessed we were able to bring this puppy home to become one of our family …. a BIG part of our family!
Zuma came along at a very dark period in my life.
People think I rescued her. No. Zuma rescued me.