Ya Gotta Love the Zzzzzs!
Our family pack wouldn’t be complete without Luci at Precious Paws Pet Sitting. Her service is wonderful and continues to make our regular schedule work even when we are not at home. Which can be a difficult task in a multi pet home, we have 5 dogs each with a unique personality and story that makes us love them that much more.
In 2006 my husband Jaron and I bought our first house with acreage. Before we finished moving in we got an Australian Shepherd puppy we named Zeus. Later that year we got a playmate for Zeus, a mini Australian Shepherd puppy Zada. Our little 4 legged babies grew together and even with their size difference the two Aussie pups became great friends and we all quickly developed a strong loving bond.
In 2008 our pack started to develop. We began simply researching local dog rescue groups. Soon we felt the need to adopt a rescue dog, especially since we purchased our first two as puppies from breeders. We both agreed it was the appropriate thing to do. Take a misfit, unwanted, problem prone pup and give him so much love and attention that he wouldn’t know what to do. So….after lots of searching and paperwork we added our “Wild Man” Zeb, another mini Australian Shepherd to our pack. We fully intended to stop at three, but it’s funny how things work out.
Just a few weeks after we got Zeb settled in, Jaron was at a friend’s house helping with some work outside when they noticed a random black dog. After some neighborhood investigating no one recognized the lab mix or knew who she belonged to. So she just hung around with them outside all day. The next day when Jaron returned to help finish up the project the skinny tick infested black dog was still there waiting to get back to work. They even had to leave for some materials and she ran after the truck for almost half a mile. As they pulled back in the drive they could see her sitting on the porch waiting on them. That evening Jaron brought Zena home and added her to the mix.
Finally, October 2011 while at work Jaron noticed a particular dog visiting his shop that caught his eye. They had regular canine visitors but this one was different, super thin, nervous, very skittish and an Aussie. It took my husband two days and half his lunches to finally earn some of the dogs trust. After checking with the small town vet and several area farmers and with no word of any missing Australian Shepherds, Zales came home to join the Z-Pack. It’s truly a great feeling helping and taking in something that can only help themselves so much and making them part of your own. We see it every day in their eyes and in their ornery doggie smiles.
Having multiple dogs is kind of like having children. They are noisy, always eating, getting into things they shouldn’t, not listening and have medical emergencies. I wish they could tell us where it hurts! Animal injuries are awful, not only for them but also for us doggie parents. We hurt when they hurt basically because we don’t know what to do for them or how to make them feel better.
In the summer of 2011 we started to notice our oldest guy Zeus, though not that old, was having difficulty getting around. It was painful going up and down stairs and getting up from sitting or lying down. After numerous vet visits it was determined he needed to have knee surgery. We elected to do the lateral suture procedure which uses a synthetic suture to keep the knee together and replace the torn ACL. Sounds simple right? The easiest part was the actual procedure. Zeus came home happy and ready to romp around with his siblings. Little did Zeus know he was restricted to strict leash rules and wouldn’t be able to run and play with the others for at least 3 months. It was a long 12 weeks, but with diligent work on exercises and swimming he has made a full recovery and back to his happy self.
Unfortunately while we were working with Zeus and his knee we started to notice Zena limping and painful in her front right leg. We began with simple x-rays of her foot. They showed nothing and the limping became worse to the point where she basically didn’t use her front right leg at all. Another trip to the vet showed the real problem was in her right shoulder, but the situation was complicated and we headed to K-State Vet Med Hospital for another opinion. X-ray results showed a section about the size of a quarter of bone tissue that appeared suspicious in the shoulder. A July 2013 biopsy from the vet school reported that it wasn’t cancer so it was suggested we do a bicipital tenotomy which would cut and release the bicep tendon that runs across the shoulder in hopes to relieve some of her pain. It helped for a while but a month later she was still in obvious pain and would wake us up at night crying out. It broke our hearts, we knew we had to do anything we could to help her feel better. On February 24, 2014 we met with a surgeon to discuss options and made the difficult decision to amputate her right front leg and shoulder. She was in the doggie hospital for 3 days, but from the first time we saw her after the surgery they is no doubt in our minds we made the right decision. From that point on she has been a completely different dog, happy and full of life. Sometimes I wonder how long Zena had actually been hurting, or how many miles Zales must have walked scared and hungry, or what any of my dogs’ lives were like before the Z-Pack. You always hear about people finding stray dogs, but sometimes you have to wonder if they find you.
We love our Z-Pack. They are our family and they fill our lives with joy. Occasionally we get away from home and need someone we can trust to watch over the dogs when we are gone. We found Luci with Precious Paws Pet Sitting online and immediately made arrangements for her to come meet the pack. Luci fit in perfect!! Everyone loves her and I think they look forward to her visits. On those occasions we feel comfortable knowing that Luci will give them love and attention in our own home from the time we leave until we get home. She is dependable, trustworthy and loving. We all appreciate her so much.
Thank you for all you do.
Tana, Jaron and the Z-Pack