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Jun 16 2009

Zippy, 16, dies, goddammit

Well, Zippy took a sudden turn for the worse yesterday morning. Her hind end just gave out completely. I could stand her up all right, but the slightest little puff of wind would knock her over, goddammit. The situation was untenable.

I couldn’t find a vet who’d do a housecall euthanasia, so Stingray and I took her in to Dripping Springs.

At the moment of truth, when the vet was administering the barbiturate and I was bawling my eyes out, his cell phone started playing “My Girl.” Whoops! But he couldn’t turn it off because he needed both hands, so we all just sort of sat there drinking in the hilarity of the inappropriateness until it stopped ringing. Vets with stupid ringtones maybe oughta put a reminder on their exam room doors. “Doing a euth? Cell phones off!” I was glad Zippy was unconscious at this point. Zippy had many excellent qualities, but a sense of humor was not one of them.

Zippy and Jill

The most popular postcard at the Spinster Aunt HQ Souvenir Shoppe

We wrapped her body in a sheet, and they put it on a stretcher to take it out to the car. Our little procession went through the waiting room. Some idiot woman observed us — the stretcher, the enshrouded corpse, the tear-stained mourners — and felt compelled to announce “Is that what I think it is?”

No, lady, it’s the charcuterie platter for our gala yacht party. You’re invited! Bring your friends, if they’re as charming and delicate as you are!

Stingray and Chuck, my ranch hand, had dug a nice hole under a couple of oak trees. This may sound odd, but I liked carrying her down there. Zippy wasn’t a touchy-feely dog in life, and never would have let me snuggle her, much less pick her up. Less than an hour dead, she was warm and floppy and compliant. It was nice.

Stingray and I eased her into the hole. I stuck in a piece of mail, such as she had been accustomed to chewing the fuck up every day of her life when the mailman dropped it through the slot. It was a bill from the tax office; she had always found particular delectation in official mail.

And now she’s dead.

In a couple of weeks, a pup from a litter of Labradors bred by an irresponsible acquaintance of Tidy’s will arrive here at the rancho to pee on my floor and eat my slippers. I’m kinda not in the mood at the moment, but I’m sure this will change, because puppies are fucking cute and shit.

155 comments

  1. Ron Sullivan

    I doff my hat and salute Zippy, and thank you for sharing bits of her life and death with us.

    Damn, though.

  2. dawnrenee

    I am so very sorry for your loss. I really enjoyed your Zippy stories; thank you for sharing them with us.

    Goddammit, indeed.

  3. mordicai

    Yeah, the puppy will hack your brain & help. Still, blows.

  4. Oaktown Girl

    It never gets any easier, does it?

    On the lighter side, when the pain and grief is not quite as fresh, it will be fun to think about a list of even more silly, uncomfortable, or inappropriate songs the vet’s cell phone could have been playing at the time.

  5. Shelly

    Aw, crap! I’m sorry. My ancient cat recently died, and I can say that adding two horrible, rotten kittens to the household has been distracting and entertaining. This is not a good plan for everyone, but I hope your future peeing-on-the-floor puppy will be similarly helpful.

  6. NicoleGW

    Ah, damn. I’m so sorry.

  7. PhysioProf

    So sorry for your loss, Jill. I will drink a toast of Jameson tonight in Zippy’s honor.

  8. kimba

    My old dog passed away just a few weeks ago, and it’s just awful. I’m de-lurking to say I’m really sorry for your loss. Sounds like she had a great run, though.

  9. JenniferRuth

    I’m really sorry for you loss. Sounds like a nice final resting place.

  10. Dauphine

    Very sorry for your loss.

  11. bluey512

    I’m sorry to hear that. I’m sure Zippy will be missed.

  12. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Getting a pup is a good distraction, especially with the peeing and the chewing. Lay in a good stock of suitable chew toys and put your slippers out of reach.

    You did Zippy a kindness, hard as it is. If I were in the same condition, I’d wish somebody could do the same for me. Personally, I’ll miss reading of her adventures here.

    Of all the things that suck about getting older, losing friends is the worst. It never gets any easier.

  13. humanbein

    Bye bye, Zippy.

  14. BadKitty

    That sucks. As the owner of two elderly dogs, I can say with utter conviction, that sucks. I’m very sorry.

  15. Sutton (simply)

    I lost my baby last Labor Day weekend. She, too, had gotten to where she wet herself and staggered around and it was just time. Our vet let us in and out the back door so as to avoid scenes like you went through.

    When Daisy was young, she loved to chase squirrels. She knew what the word meant, and if you said, “Squirrel, Daisy!” she would hit that dog door like a rocket and jump over all five steps off the deck to get at the offending varmint. And then she would always pull up at the penultimate moment, I suppose so she and the squirrel both would live to play the game again another day.

    So when the moment came for her to cross over, I whispered in her ear, “Squirrel, Daisy!” I hope she went happily, enthusiastically as always before. And I hope in dog heaven that there are lots of squirrels.

    It like to have killed me. I was in agony for weeks. I still miss her. But we got a new dog within a month or two, and I fell in love with her totally, even while still missing Daisy. I hope you will too, with your new pup.

    Is that Zippy in the postcard?

  16. intransigentia

    I’m sorry for your loss. My partner’s elderly cat met a similar end last week and I’ve been thinking a lot about how choosing to love a creature that we’re most likely going to outlive is in essence choosing pain, and yet how valid and right it is to do it anyway, for both parties. If you and Zippy would like them, hugs and time-travelling scritches to you respectively.

  17. yttik

    I’m really sorry for your loss. What a bummer.

  18. jael

    damn. thank you for sharing these pieces of her life and death with us.

  19. blondie

    Well, shit.

    Sorry to hear about Zippy.

    Until you get to meet him again at the Rainbow Bridge (Shut up! If I want to believe my beloved predeceased pets are waiting to see me after I die, I get ta.)

  20. deja pseu

    I’m so sorry for your loss.

  21. Ex-Tex

    Extremely bummed to hear about Zippy, who was a very, very lucky dog to have had you for a momma.So very sorry for your loss and your pain.

  22. Arania

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Losing a longtime friend is devastating. When my 17 year old cat died recently, I was consoled by the fact that I gave him the best life possible, filled with love (and toys!), and that he died with me at his side to reassure him that I loved him still, and that it was okay to rest now.

    Please accept my sympathies. I hope that time and new puppies will ease your pain and let you remember the good times. There are so many good times to remember!

  23. Pinko Punko

    J,

    I’m so sorry. Every dog is so special in their crazy, infuriating, unique and wonderful way. I’m happy you and Zippy were able to have each other.

    PP

  24. Magdalena

    Many condolences for your loss of Zippy. Losing beloved friends is never easy.

  25. givesgoodemail

    You remind me of the old Twilight Zone episode about the farmer who, having died, discovers that the gate to “heaven” will admit him but not his long-deceased dog, who was waiting for him.

    “Think I’ll pass, then. It don’t sound much like Heaven to me,” opines the sodbuster.

  26. CLD

    My sympathies, Jill. On the light side, you can train the newbie puppy how to spot ‘official mail’ now.

  27. Linda Atkins

    I’m very sorry you have lost Zippy. Please accept my condolences. I’m also sorry you had to hear that very ill-advised and ill-timed remark in the waiting room.

    (I know what you mean about getting to hold her, finally. My best friend acquired a rat to feed his snake, but the snake declined to eat this particular rat, so Tom named the rat Lucky and kept her in a cage. Understandably, Lucky bit any finger that came within range, so the first time we were ever able to pet her was after she developed tumors and was euthanized.)

  28. B. Dagger Lee

    Death fucking sucks, and all you can ask is that you die painlessly & peacefully in the arms of someone who loves you. (And before you are soiling yourself constantly, which often distresses dogs a great deal.)

    All hail the Zipster, gone before us to the great sucking void.

    Sorry, Jill.

  29. Kate Smith

    Well, that sucks. My sincere sympathy to you – Zippy was a great dog.

  30. ambivalent academic

    So sorry that’s she’s gone. Sounds like a lovely spot, under an oak tree. Nice that you got to give her a cuddle before her burial too.

  31. Jessica

    I have not yet acquired proper blaming status, but I had to break my lurking silence for this one–I’m so very sorry, Julie, for your loss. The death of a pet is unimaginatively painful, or at least it was for me, and hard to get over. I hope you’re taking good care of yourself and that happy memories are making the transition easier. I’m glad you got to hold him at the end.

  32. Jessica

    OMG. Jill, not Julie. So sorry–

  33. Clio Bluestocking

    Awww! Now you have me weeping like a little baby. That just sucks, and I’m so sad for you. We shall raise a glass to the dearly departed, Zippy.

  34. Lexie

    Aw, poor Zippy and Jill. A few years back I had a labrador (my guide dog, actually) who also lost the ability to walk and had to be euthanized. I had hardly been without her for 11 years, as she was with me nearly 24/7 and had traversed the continent with me stuffed under my feet in various 727s.

    My inappropriate vet story is that after the deed was done, I was signing papers in the reception area with my tear stained, sniveling face and some sickeningly chipper young thing who apparently thought we were BFFs because she saw me a few times with said guide dog in our shared apartment complex, would NOT SHUT UP about how cute my dog was and how I’m so lucky to have a guide dog that can go with me anywhere and how INSPIRING guide dogs are and, oh? Where is she anyway?

    Yeah, she died five minutes ago.

    That was five years ago, and I’m finally getting a new one next month. Good luck with the new critter and please accept my sympathies in regards to Zippy.

  35. Cottonpants

    I’m so sorry; it’s always hard to lose a pet, especially when they’re your #1. I’d bring over a taco casserole if I could.

    It sounds like she had a great life, though. Rest in peace, Zippy!

  36. mearl

    My condolences to you and everyone who was close to Zippy. But it’s nice to hear that, awkward moment aside, she had a peaceful farewell in the arms of someone she loves.

  37. ttrentham

    My condolences. I’m about to go through the same thing. Our nearly 15 year old Golden is on his way to a similar fate. His hind end isn’t quite that bad off yet, but he’s getting there. He’s fine in the back yard, but if he ventures out onto anything other than flat ground, his tuchus tires quickly.

    To Zippy!

  38. Vera

    My sympathies to you, Jill. Dogs are angels, even when they’re chewing up the mail.

  39. She-cago

    Jill, I’m so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to lose a pet. Hugs…

  40. grimsaburger

    What a shame. The dying is what keeps me from undertaking animal companionship, I tell you what. So sorry for your loss.

  41. Cute Bruiser

    So sorry for your loss, as so many others have expressed.

    We had an equally inappropriate waiting room experience when we lost one of our cats a couple years back. I just can’t wrap my head around what people are thinking when they flap their gums like that. Blah.

  42. A Jennifer Original

    So sorry to hear/read this Jill. I am refraining from typing a sad face.

  43. Narya

    Condolences, J/T.

    I have a Zippy in my life occasionally, too–although (a) she’s a cat and (b) she lives with a friend, not with me.

    It’s a good name.

  44. Citizen Taqueau

    As for the impending PUPPY BOWL in your kitchen, I’ll hoist one for you and wish you the very best of luck. Puppies are adorable, but I couldn’t deal with that many. Mainly though, sincere condolences over Zippy. Nice touch giving her the junque mail.

  45. ElleDee

    I’m so sorry. I’ve been through too many pet deaths and they are the worst.

    My family dog is a lab and came via a family friend’s friend’s irresponsible breeding* too and she turned out the best. Puppies are the worst of course, so it’s a good thing they are so fucking cute or else no one would put up with their shit.

    *In this case it was accidental. The husband didn’t get the dogs fixed before a vacation when he was supposed to and the dogs got busy while they family was gone. 11 yellow lab puppies followed and, well, you can imagine how adorable and horrible they were.

  46. Hattie

    My condolences.

  47. BadKitty

    I was at the vet not too long ago when a man had obviously just had to put his pet down. He was trying so hard not to cry that it made me cry to see him. He did his best at being “manly” but I heard a muffled sob as he walked out the door.

    When I worked at a pet hospital, we had an older man keep “stopping by” for months after he had to euthanize his dog. I suspect we were the only people with whom he could discuss his loss without looking weak. I always made time to listen to him.

    It must truly suck to have to be all manly and shit when you just lost your best friend. IBTP.

  48. ElizaN

    I’m so sorry for your loss.

  49. Feminist Avatar

    I raise my dinner Taco in Zippy’s honour. Condolences.

  50. Stella

    I’m sorry to hear about Zippy.

  51. Solniger

    I’m sorry to hear about Zippy. She seemed like a fine companion. I wouldn’t have been able to truly understand the situation if I hadn’t gotten myself a puppy a month ago. Although she tests me in every way possible, I would find life without her unbearable.

    Fuck diamonds; dogs are a girl’s best friend.

  52. uccellina

    I’m so sorry. I’m glad Zippy had such a loving companion.

  53. Renee

    I’m so sorry for your loss. She was blessed to have a long and leisurely life with you.

    Good luck with that puppy:)

  54. Dicey Venison

    Twisty, I send you my deepest condolences.
    I have a nineteen-year-old cat.
    She is the same age I was when I got her.
    She has been my companion for my entire adult life.
    The most stable relationship I’ve ever had.
    I send you loving thoughts, and I am glad that you had such a wonderful friend in Zippy.

  55. Uppity

    My condolences. Cheers to Zippy.

    My dog recently took the one-way trip to the vet, although under very different circumstances. We were offered the back door out of the place to avoid the staring eyes, which was thoughtful.

  56. buttercup

    I was doing fine until you got to the bit where you slipped the piece of mail in with Zippy. Then the tears came. Love to you and Stingray. May the new puppy bring you joy in its own time and on its own terms.

  57. ruby

    So sorry for the heartbreaking loss of your dogfolk. Take care and remember the tail wagging moments.

  58. MissPrism

    I’m so sorry.
    Lots of internet stranger sympathy to all of you at Spinster HQ, for what little it’s worth.

  59. niki

    I’m a little skeeved by the ‘warm and compliant’ portion of the eulogy simply because this is typically a blog about the patriarchy, which also likes ‘warm and compliant’, but my heart is with you nonetheless.

    May your new puppy friend be surprisingly well-behaved and snuggly.

  60. Jodie

    I’m so sorry about Zippy.

  61. thebewilderness

    I’m just going to sit here and cry for a few minutes in remembrance of your friend Zippy, and my friend Twerpazoid.

  62. Rikibeth

    I’m sorry about Zippy. I look forward to reading about the puppies, though!

  63. wheelomatic

    Life as a 4-legged Twisty-companion would be much better than about 97.3% of the other life-possibilities I might imagine.
    You brought each other joy.
    Peace, rest, calm, and ease to you now and always.

  64. D

    I’m very sorry to hear about Zippy.

  65. Flash

    So sorry.

  66. rootlesscosmo

    Same here. Loving another creature is always shadowed by our awareness of their mortality, and it isn’t a damn bit easier to take when it comes to pass. All my sympathy.

  67. Ugly In Pink

    Poor Zippy. My sympathies are with you. Last October I had to put down my 16 year old cancer-ridden cat I’ve had since I was twelve. The frigging doctor would not shut the hell up, even as she was euthanizing my beloved Harvey. First she complained because I left his side (to walk about two feet away for a second to get tissues so I didn’t snot all over him as I bawled my eyes out) then kept telling me to “tell him how grateful you are for your time with him” etc. etc. Let me see my cat off in my own way, dammit! So yeah, vets (and those who frequent them) could probably use some courses in bedside manner. Anyway, try not to feel too sad. 16 is a ripe old age for a dog, and few dogs have had as much love and fun as Zippy has.

  68. schatze

    Bless her hairy heart. She had a good run and so many don’t. Puppies have a way of making things better, even with their swath of destruction. Condolences and best wishes to Zippy’s family.

  69. wolfhound

    Goddammit indeed. My sincere condolences. Farewell, Zippy!

  70. Medbh

    Zippy had a long lovely life.
    Sorry for your loss, Jill.

  71. Marigoldie

    Oh man, I had a bad vet experience with kitty Olive too. The clueless vet shot the breeze inappropriately during Olive’s last moments.

    It hurts and I’m sure sorry. Bye bye, Zippy.

  72. Laughingrat

    Oh Jill. I’m sorry.

  73. birkwearingblamer

    I’m sorry for your loss. It’s always hard to say goodbye.

  74. Jeffrey

    I’m very sorry.

    It’s always hard to lose a dog, they are a valued and treasured part of the family.

    We just had to put my girlfriend’s dog to sleep; it was not fun.

  75. RedPete

    Please accept my sincere condolences.

  76. kelly g.

    Aw, shit, I’m so sorry for your loss. It never gets easy, losing a friend.

    I almost wish that dogs could live as long as humans, only then there’d be 60 million of ‘em in shelters instead of “just” 6. Sigh.

    Rest in peace, Zippy.

  77. Samantha B

    I’m so sorry to hear it. Thanks for sharing Zippy’s story here.

  78. MarilynJean

    Peace and hugs to you. Zippy sounded like an awesome companion. Everyone deserves a dog like Zippy.

  79. Tata

    Please accept my sincere goddammit.

  80. Satchel Pooch

    So sorry about Zippy.

  81. gennimcmahon

    My condolences, Twisty. Less than a week ago my beloved, nearly 12 year old hound also took a turn for the worse, and we had to euthanize her. The only thing absent from our experience was the procession, as I had her cremated.

    I do wonder which tech draws the short straw and gets to dip the dead dog’s foot in blue paint to stamp the “Rainbow Bridge” poem they send to us afterward, though. That’s got to be a rather sucky job.

  82. Ciccina

    I am so very, very, very sorry for your loss.

    I wish I could send my dog, The Biter, over to bite that flappy-gummed woman for you. She’d do it, too.

  83. Valerie M

    So sorry, Jill. You did the right thing, though.

  84. SKM

    Well, goddammit.

    *raises glass to Zippy*

    You had a pretty good run.

    All my sympathies, for what little they’re worth, Jill.

  85. Agasaya

    Wonderful post. Just as animals mourn the loss of their owners, so should we mourn their passing. Life is life as we try to remember in particular on this blog.

    Condolences.

  86. Jill

    “I do wonder which tech draws the short straw and gets to dip the dead dog’s foot in blue paint to stamp the “Rainbow Bridge” poem they send to us afterward, though. That’s got to be a rather sucky job.”

    At the Dripping Springs Animal Hospital, they press the paw in some kind of clay and bake it for 15 minutes. This was done while I sat on the floor with my dead dog and about 8 doodlebugs. I’m grateful that I won’t be receiving any rainbow poems in the mail.

    The cell phone thing was kind of funny, but I could have done without the tech who came in when we first arrived and took up a bunch of space for 5 minutes babbling at Zippy in baby-talk about how sad it is that there’s “no cure for being 16″ and how empty the house was going to be without her. That was just weird.

  87. Squiggy

    I’m so sorry to hear that Zippy’s gone. I hope that the love and empathy that all of us here feel for you, will be of some small comfort. We love you, Zippy where ever he is, and your whole family of sweet beloved critters.

  88. Shelby

    What a beautiful looking dog. So very sorry.

  89. Svet K

    Ah Jill, so sorry.
    Our beagle was 16, too, when he keeled over at home before we could get him euthanized.
    He’d been sick for a while, so at least Zippy didn’t go through the crap (sometimes literally) things do before they give out.

    Her little spot by the trees sounds nice.

  90. AnotherJennifer

    I’m very sorry for your loss.

  91. Orange

    I’m sorry about Zippy, Jill.

    Is it bad that I chortled when I read the part about tossing the tax bill in with Zippy? Funerals are always better with a little levity that honors the departed one’s memory like that.

    Long may the oak trees thrive, and may the upcoming puppy and Bert manage not to poop on that particular spot of ground.

  92. BMS

    Jill,

    My sympathies for your loss. Having recently faced a similar situation with our 18-1/2 year old alley cat, it’s surely a tough but necessary – and loving – decision.

    ~~Bonnie

  93. Deanna

    So sorry for your loss. It’s been a long time since I had a dog, but except for the mail part (and, well, it was pre cell phone), the story was the same.

    But dang it, I wish that I lived somewhere where my loved ones would put me to sleep when I’m ready to go.

  94. humanbein

    re: The babbling tech

    The worthlessness of words is most apparent to those who deal with them the most. My silent moments are the ones that have the most emotional resonance. There are few things you can say, and they are all short and sweet, and anything else is always about you, not about what happened or how you feel, or who you wish to comfort.

    No blame, though.

  95. Gayle

    I’m very sorry about Zippy. She was my favorite blog pet.

    I have a young male and an elderly female. Like Bert, my young dog bounces about and gets into trouble and looks incredibly cute. He’s a real attention getter.

    But my old girl is my star dog.

  96. Larkspur

    I’m so sorry, TwistyJill.

    This may help us with future end-of-life situations: we can think about it and decide in advance how we will tell the vet and vet techs what we want for our critters’ last moments. With everything going on, and all the emotions, it’s hard to switch gears and get all assertive. So, thinking of Zippy, and thinking in advance, I have to say I’d be comfortable asking the vet or tech – as gently as possible – to please let these last moments be quiet. And if that doesn’t work, we can say, “Please, shut up.” (We can always apologize later.)

    You know, it’s just so weird. This is the happy ending: our companion has had a long and enjoyable life, and is now facing pain and debilitation, and needs our help more than ever. They count on us to do this for them, so we do, and we mourn. But there’s no better situation than to be able to help them cross over.

    (PS: to Jessica the former lurker – bless your heart and don’t worry about it, and don’t go away or anything. I’m not trying to speak for Jill, I’m just saying don’t go away or anything.)

  97. Nolabelfits

    Sorry to hear about Zippy. I have two elderly pets and I’m not looking forward to their demise. I also have a puppy, who irritates the hell outta my 14 y/o dog and my 17 y/o cat. (starving pup ended up at my place, long story) At least Zippy was spared that: the irritation of a puppy always wanting to play. To an old dog a puppy just ain’t no fun.

  98. Larkspur

    Nolabelfits, I’m sure annoyance is the rule, but I saw an exception once with the arrival of two sturdy, active Westie terrier pups into a household previously inhabited by one four-legger: a very elderly, arthritic cat (Alice) who could do little more than doze in her spot in the kitchen, nibble a little, and consent to be carried to her litter box now and then.

    The pups were fascinated by Alice, but very quickly grasped that she was to be watched, sniffed, and (one time only) to be quickly licked, just for the taste. After that, they just ran around the big kitchen being puppies, and Alice lounged sphinx-like on the hearth. Her people swear that Alice lived a little longer, and seemed to perk up a little in the process, just because of the highlarious puppy antics. And puppy antics are highlarious, so long as you are not getting unduly annoyed, or peed on.

  99. sevanetta

    Aw Jill. I’m so sorry. Rest in peace Zippy.

    The puppy will get you. They always do. That’s the nice thing about puppies, I guess.

    (P.S. Absolute *arsehole* in that waiting room. Geez. Kind of made the mobile phone thing seem like a mere amusing faux pas.)

  100. HistoricUpstart

    Oh, the part about the piece of mail put a lump in my throat too. I am sorry, Jill. The puppy will be a good thing.

  101. Vibrating_Liz

    Oh Zippy. It’s always so so hard, even when you know it’s coming.

    My old Dixie Rae is probably 17–she was rescued from a dumpster 7 years ago and was already elderly & cloudy-eyed then. Now she’s completely deaf, blind, toothless, and incontinent. She’s also cursed with canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome which causes aimless wandering and repeated night vocalization (i.e., waking up and barking every goddamn hour during the night) that is driving me right up to the very brink of total exhaustion. But I still love her.

    For the past six months now it’s been touch & go: is it Time? Will it be today? Tomorrow? Wait, is she asleep or ??? But not yet. Amazingly she still has a strong heart, a fierce appetite, and loves to lie on the deck in the sun. Hoping against hope for one last warm sunny summer before the Noble Truth of Impermanence inevitably kicks in and breaks my heart yet again.

  102. terristrange

    Oh no, I’m sorry.
    It’s good that you buried her with a bill, I’m sure it’s what she would have wanted.

    viva la zippy.

  103. Kwailin

    Jill, my condolences.

  104. dawn coyote

    I think I recall you saying that Zippy was your favorite person in the world. Mine is a cat named Sweet Pea. Losing these ones is like losing our people. It doesn’t feel any different to me. I loved Zippy a little through your stories. I’ll give Sweet Pea extra kisses tonight in her honor.

  105. darms

    Condolences here, too, pets are family and so very hard to say goodbye to. But the bit about the one last letter to chew, especially a tax bill, that is why I’ve been reading you for years. Thanx yet again. And may the puppies assuage your grief…

  106. K

    Oh, Twisty, I’m so sorry.

  107. admirerofemily

    Sounds like Zippy was a very lucky, cared for dog who lived a long and happy life.

    Here’s to Zippy, and hoping Puppy-to-be manages to avoid the rattlesnakes, porcupines, scorpions and whatever else heartwarming nature crap Texas throws its way.

  108. Violet Socks

    I’m so sorry. My heart goes out to you.

  109. Cass

    I’m so very sorry, Jill; there can’t be many things more painful. Thanks for sharing your story.

  110. eve

    Jill, so sorry to hear about Zippy. They just break your heart when they have to go.

    I had a stupid person at the vet comment on how I was carrying my very old cat in an open top bag to the vet before she passed away this year. Yeah lady, she’s not jumping out because she’s paralyzed, now shut your pie hole.

    To Zippy!

  111. Jo

    I am very sorry for your loss. She sounded like a grand lady.

  112. pheenobarbidoll

    Damn. That had me near tears and then I read “Squirrel, Daisy” and lost it.

    I’m so sorry. I’m going to go hug my old, stinky weinie dog now.

  113. SoJo

    My deepest sympathies. Zippy seemed a real trooper.

    *hugs*

  114. magriff

    RIP Zippy.

    How’s Bert taking it?

    My sister’s tough-ass cowhand friend Jill buys shots from a vet and puts her animals down herself, might be a good plan, if one is competent enough to do so.

  115. minervaK

    You’ve passed the litmus test that separates humans from the other upright-walking creatures who masquerade as them: you’re willing and able to mourn the death of an animal. I salute you both.

    Love, MK

  116. littlesister

    I know Twisty would not have approved but I would like to send you some internet *hugs* whilst her back is turned (and hope her jaundiced eyes don’t notice from Outter Space).

    In Dog We Trust.

  117. littlesister

    Pheenobarbidoll; “Squirrel, Daisy” got me, too. I have a Daisy, she chases our cat :)

  118. Erzebeth

    So sorry for your loss, Jill. I’m sure Zippy is very grateful for the full, happy, loving life you gave her. And, awww, that postcard is so beautiful. It hurts like hell now, but in time you’ll be able to remember the good memories most of all.

    Been there twice. And my two current kitty girls are both 13 now, so I know it’s coming again – even though they’re still perfectly healthy. The very thought of it makes me tear up when I look at them sometimes, so I know I’ll be a total mess when it does happen.

  119. Vinaigrette Girl

    So sorry for your loss and heartache. Zippy had lovely ears, didn’t she? that alone would have won my heart, let alone her twisty company.

    A puppy: OK, not a substitute, but my hat is off to you for taking on another life’s companion. Lucky pup!

  120. Sophie

    Aw, I’m so sorry for your loss. Zippy looks like a beautiful dog, I’m sure the world is a better place for having had her in it.

  121. Sylvie

    Sorry to hear you’ve lost a friend. Glad to hear you’re giving a home to another one.

  122. Catherine Martell

    I’m very sorry to hear it. She sounded like an excellent creature all round.

  123. arlene

    Sorry for your loss Jill. Would that all dogs had such considerate owners.

  124. procrastinatrix

    My condolences. I hope Bert doesn’t miss her too much, and that the puppy helps to cheer up everyone at Spinster Aunt HQ when s/he arrives.

  125. Helen

    Sorry to hear about Zippy. Yes what with this plus the quills, I’m sure Bert needs a few extra scratches this week.

  126. LJ Dugan

    Twisty, I am so sorry about Zippy. Sounds exactly like what I went through with my beloved Pagan. I know you miss her terribly.

  127. Roozen

    Jill, I am very sorry to hear about Zippy. I am crying after reading the posts and comments! That is one fantastic picture/postcard.

  128. speedbudget

    Dammit. I hate when the good ones go.

  129. Val

    My deepest condolences on your loss of dear Zippy…
    Folks have asked me many many times how I stand it when I have to perform euthanasias, but most of the time it is truly a mercy-killing/”good death”/cessation of suffering/etc…
    But many times I am half-blinded by tears myself – it’s always sad, even worse when a long-term patient.
    Hell, I’m half-blinded by tears right now, reading about it after the fact! Enjoy the new puppy.

  130. Amnesiac

    Sincerest condolences.

    If that photo is anything to go by, then you lost an incredibly beautiful, commanding dog. And if 16 is anything to go by, then Zippy had a good run indeed.

    C

  131. weeza

    So sorry. The paw in clay thing, I’m totally going to do that before my 15-year-old, mostly blind, mostly deaf, three-teeth-left, stroke-afflicted, limping, skinny-ass lurcher who is on even more tablets than me forces me to assist in shuffling off his mortal wotsit. Though the vet has been telling me ‘maybe six months’ for about five years now. And if anyone else utters the words ‘long innings’ at me whilst shaking their heads sadly as he dribbles on their knee, I’m going to punch them in the face. To Zippy!

  132. slade

    Jill…fuckshitpiss. I can’t bear pets leaving us. I’m sorry. My cat (yes, I’m a cat person because of my cat lifestyle and because I adore their independence and basic dislike of people) is 16.

    There are times that he is the only light in my soul. I’m glad you have another dog and another on the way.

    I just cry like a baby when pets die. After all, animals are better than 99% of the people out there.

    Be kind to yourself…whatever that is for you. Drink, dance, swimming, sleeping, and/or good drugs.

    love,
    slade

  133. sonia

    sorry for your loss. it’s so weird/hard when a long term pet dies.

    glad she had such good times at your Deluxe.

  134. Marguerite

    I am so terribly, terribly sorry. I hope Zippy is gamboling beautifully and happily in lush fields, chasing rabbits, chewing mai and waiting– a long, long time, I hope– for you.

  135. charlotte

    As craptastic as you’re feeling now, you gave Zippy a final act of superhuman love and kindness (more than we can do for those humans among us who’re actively asking for it, like my Grandma during her final days). And dude, wherever she is, she’s smiling at you now, from beyond piles of shredded mail.

    Plus, that new puppy? She may have sent it to you. Happened with one of my long-term deceased cats who sent me another one to take care of, I swear.

  136. Gender Blank

    So sorry for your loss. Sending love from New York.

  137. incognotter

    I just saw the news. I am so sorry for your loss.

  138. Remora

    Damn. So sorry.

  139. tinfoil hattie

    I am so sorry.

  140. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    A fable for everyone who’s had to euthanize a beloved animal friend:

    A person who’d euthanized her/his dog at the end of a long, happy life together met up with the dog On the Other Side. The dog was, of course, overjoyed to see her/him. The dog asked, “Where is the Angel? Ever since I got to this place, I been wondering” and the person didn’t understand. The dog explained, “Just before we parted, when I was so sick and miserable, you took me to see the Angel. I don’t know what he/she did, but the next thing I knew, I woke up here. And I wasn’t suffering anymore. I thought I’d see the Angel here, but so far, I haven’t.” The person told the dog that when the Angel’s work on Earth was done, he/she would certainly be joining them.

    When my Abigail was hospitalized with end-stage kidney failure, one of the vet techs was so kind to her. She wasn’t wealthy, but she used her own money to buy Abby a cheeseburger to tempt her back to eating when she’d lost her appetite. She cooked chicken breast for her and hand-fed her bite-size pieces. When I was low on funds around the holidays, this Angel slipped us the equipment and the fluids Abby needed to survive. Kidney failure is a really crappy disease, but this vet tech did everything she could for both of us, and I bless her for it.

    I know most of y’all don’t believe in the Great Hereafter, but it pleases me to think that, in Paradise, this particular vet tech is going to get the seat next to the oven where the chocolate-chip cookies are baked.

    Sorry for the length and the extreme high level of clumsy sappiness. When Death bites one of us, we’re all awkward (hence the stupid things some folks say and do), but I think we gotta try to look at people’s hearts and find the comfort they’re trying to offer us.

  141. slythwolf

    I’m very sorry for your loss.

  142. roughseasinthemed

    Condolences. She was one gorgeous looking dog.

  143. RK

    Sorry to here about Zippy. I liked that dog.
    RK

  144. Sarah

    Hats off to Zippy, an excellent dog in all respects.

  145. Chaser

    I’m sorry to read this. I, too, enjoyed the Zippy stories. 16 is a very distinguished age for a large dog.

  146. prosehack65

    Lost my 18 year old Aussie 2 years ago, my 11 year old Border Collie last fall. Some things just ain’t't right, you know?

    I rescued an American Bully Dog who’s about to turn 1–not to replace either of them, but because my life with no dog is unthinkable.

    Thank you for doing the right thing for Zippy and not keeping her around for “you.”

    And, not that it helps, but the 18 year old was hand-raised, and when I used to bottle feed her, I would sing “My Girl” to her. To the day she went stark deaf, she would wag her tail when I sang it to her.

  147. Human Bean

    I just lost my rottie sister Trixie not long ago and buried her with her “bluey”. I got a new dog shortly after — an english mastiff named Brighid — and maybe your love mileage will vary, but it took me a few months of quiet internal grieving to get over Trixie and start loving Brighid properly. Of course, being Wise Aunt, you know all this, but I just wanted to give you a little solidarity in case the Puppy Cute doesn’t quite pack the punch in the Cute Receptors of your lobes right off, and ya might find yourself staring at the little scamps over the rim of your margarita glass thinking, “I should have gotten a chinchilla.” as they chew up your favorite spinster boots.

  148. The Hedonistic Pleasureseeker

    I will design a martini and call it the Zippy. A toast to Zippy. Good dog. Sniff.

  149. prosehack65

    These comments…I think I’m going to bookmark the page and whenever I am having one of my “I fucking hate the world because people are mean and sucky” moments, I’m gonna come back here and read these comments. They (almost) restore my faith in (2-legged) humanity!

  150. Rana

    I’m so sorry.

  151. Shopstewardess

    I too am sorry. I haven’t managed to find the post where you called Zippy the best person you knew, to quote it correctly, but a good dog is beyond price. It’s good you and she had so long together.

  152. Jill

    If I didn’t say it before, I’ll say it now. Zippy was the best person I knew.

    I found a tuft of her fur a few minutes ago and started bawling all over again, and it’s been, like, 5 days. I can see her little grave from the window of the Spinster Lounge, though, and for some reason — which is totally out of character for me — this is nice, in a completely melancholy way.

  153. Frumious B.

    You have my most sincere condolences on the death of Zippy.

  154. Suzz

    Oh, Jill, you have my sincerest sympathy (the real kind, not the pity kind). Just a week or so before you, I went through something very similar with the cat I’ve loved since I was 6. There was an unfortunate accident, and then a trip to the vet and some euthanasia and a backyard burial and lots of wet faces. A new homeless kitty magically made her way into our abode only days later; while she is a lovely distraction, I know that she does not replace Blaze, as your new pup will never replace Zippy. Time heals these things, I guess, but in a way I like to relish those tuft-of-fur tears that come days/weeks/months later. The longing is just a reminder of how incredibly awesome and world-improving your friend was!

    On this animal-related note: new kitty here has yet to don a moniker. Any ideas? My mother has been seriously considering the name Twisty, which is funny because she doesn’t read the blog-a-net. No joke. (How would Twisty feel about being an accidental namesake?) We’ve also thought about Harold, both for gender-busting purposes and as reference to a favorite LOLcats picture. Fiddlesticks, I hope I got that html right.

  155. The Hedonistic Pleasureseeker

    The Zippy Frozen Martini

    2 shots lemon flavored vodka
    1 shot coffee liqueur
    1 single espresso (brewed)

    Mix and stick in freezer for an hour or so before drinking.

    Ideally the vodka is Ketel One (40 proof!) and the coffee liqueur is Starbucks (not as sweet/syrupy as the others) If you have a super-sweet tooth try lemoncello/kahlua in place of the vodka/Starbucks. The vodka/starbucks version is Zippier, though.

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