Dear Little Zee,
Gosh, you’re really gone. It’s amazing and numbing and wonderful and heartbreaking and joyful and astounding all at once. When we met you in August, you were an eight-year-old pit bull with goopy eyes and a physical disability in a large shelter. You had either a dark future or a long road ahead of you, we thought. But when we said goodbye to you just a few short weeks later, you were a shining star. A celebri-dog. An elder-belle. An internet sensation, a remarkable fundraiser, and a snuggle-bear with fur like velvet and eyes that can melt even the most hardened of souls.
But your new family does not have hardened souls. Zee, you were happily napping and drooling on the couch when I had this conversation, but I took a liking to your new mama as soon as we talked on the phone that first time. I loved that she was not put off by your age or your disability, but in fact drawn in by it. I loved that she and her hunny — your new daddy — had been waiting for the right time to adopt their first dog and thought carefully about what type of dog would be the best fit for their current and future family. When they came over to meet you, I loved how they loved you. How they kept remarking at how sweet, social, and soft you are. How you don’t mind being picked up and held. I loved thinking about how you would teach them so much about the purity and sweetness of a good dog’s love, and their lives will be forever changed by you.
Zee, you have bolstered our faith and pride in humanity. You have showed us how much compassion and love there can be for a tiny underdog in this world. That although puppies and young dogs will always be in the spotlight, there is enough space on the stage for a humble, lovable, older gal like yourself to bathe in the warm glow too. The amount of support we received while you were in our care — in the form of donations, quick emails, and long, emotional letters — really blew us away. We cried often while you were with us, but our tears were not tears of frustration or sadness, but rather tears that spilled over when our hearts were so full from the love of our community that we couldn’t fit any more thankfulness inside ourselves. We will always be grateful for the way you wiggled your way not only into our lives, but into the lives of hundreds of others who know you through photos and stories alone. Thank you, Little Zee.
With love, longing, and tenderness,
Foster mom, foster dad, and Sir Chick (who is so proud to share his Elderbull title with you)