Early October 2008 I began searching for a Wheaten terrier female. There were already four dogs in our family but three were quite old in doggy years. I had begun thinking that the three older girls would probably all go to heaven within months of one another. I knew that would be devastating and that it would leave a gaping hole in my heart. I have lived with severe depression for many years and knew I would need the love of a four footed baby to make it through such grief. Also, my two-legged baby was serving in Iraq.
I really didn’t know that much about Wheaten terriers. I had seen photos and had fallen in love with those deep brown eyes. The more I researched the more I loved these dogs. I contacted WIN and Gwen informed me they had just rescued two Wheaten adults but if at all possible wanted to keep the two together. I couldn’t commit to making a home for the two. I asked that they keep me in mind should a female become available for adoption. A few weeks later I received a call from Karen White who was fostering ZuZu. ZuZu was the female of the two rescued adult Wheaten’s. Karen said they had separated the two to see how they would do and that actually ZuZu was doing much better alone. We made plans to meet.
On 10-30-2008 I headed to Karen’s house to meet ZuZu. The first thing I saw when I pulled up in front of Karen’s house was Karen and ZuZu standing at the glass door to the White house. I’m pretty sure my mouth dropped open. ZuZu was absolutely beautiful.
I entered the house and knelt down to greet ZuZu, not knowing about the “Wheaten Greetin”. I was soon on my back in Karen’s front room being greeted by not only ZuZu but Molly and Megan as well. It was wonderful. I laughed and laughed as the girls licked all over my face and hands and raced through the house and back again.
ZuZu and I bonded on the spot. I signed the paperwork, received pertinent info from Karen as to ZuZu’s health and feeding and asked questions about the care of ZuZu’s beautiful fur. I told Karen I had just received the wonderful news that our first grandchild had been born only days before and I was on my way to meet the child. Karen offered to keep ZuZu for the next few days if I wanted to travel on to meet the baby and pick ZuZu up on my way home. No Way! As I said, ZuZu and I had already bonded and I was taking my baby with me. We buckled ZuZu in her new seatbelt harness on her new blankie and ZuZu and I were off on our first journey together.
I found out later that ZuZu had been fostered by Karen and Ray on a previous occasion. It was Karen who found ZuZu at an animal shelter. At the time of ZuZu’s initial rescue she still had some of her puppy coat. Karen said her fur was matted and she was full of fleas but she still had her happy personality. Karen shared those initial photos with me. ZuZu did have a chip but the family never came forward after contact was attempted. When ZuZu came into care the second time Karen said she and Ray wondered if maybe it was a sign that she was meant to live with them. I am so very grateful they gave me the opportunity to have her in my life.
We traveled on to Wichita Falls, loved on the baby and eventually moved on to my parent’s home to visit. My mom said ZuZu should be named “Velcro” because she never left my side. Anywhere I went, ANYWHERE I WENT, ZuZu was right there beside me.
When we did finally make it home my husband Mark was immediately taken with ZuZu. She charmed him just like she did me.
Now, almost three years later, we have lost three of our older girls. ZuZu is our baby girl. She is absolutely, totally spoiled rotten. The first time we left her alone to go shopping we returned to find she had literally cried a puddle. Her whole face was wet with tears. Mark and I decided we’d never leave her alone again. If a restaurant did not have a window where we could see ZuZu, and she could see us, we went to a different restaurant! Yep, she’s spoiled. She has her own Milk-Glass feeding bowl, shaped like a flower (ZuZu Petals), she has too many toys to count, and Karen’s favorite…she has Ugh booties to wear on our walks when it has rained. Yep, she’s spoiled.
I have to lavish compliments on Karen and Ray’s care of ZuZu. She is a wonderful pet and has been from the very beginning. She has never had an accident in the house and she has beautiful manners. She waits for an invitation before she jumps onto our bed knowing she will sleep right up there between my husband and me. We’ve tossed quilts across our leather sofas so that she can join us while we watch television, but she always waits for an invitation. She walks well on a leash and, most of the time; she comes when I call her. Sometimes she needs to chase one more squirrel or make one more circle of the yard before coming in. That’s just fine. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.
Karen has never become annoyed with me and my endless e-mails. We had a health scare but it turned out to be allergies. Karen immediately sent e-mails to Gwen who opened the consult up to other breeders/owners giving me ideas to put to our veterinarian. We were prepared to park an RV at College Station if we needed to take her to the specialists. There is no amount of money that could replace this girl’s presence in our lives.
When my son returned from Iraq he had adjustments to go through and ZuZu was there to help him. Many times I came in to find him on the sofa sleeping with ZuZu right there on top of him, guarding him. He calls it, “Watching his back.” ZuZu always knows when she is needed.
Attached is an updated photo of ZuZu. Just as beautiful as the first day I saw her. A few years ago ZuZu “ate” a quilt. She was upset over another dog coming into her home. She had to have an extensive intestinal surgery to remove the quilt. She was in intensive care for almost a week. Last week we took ZuZu to the vet because she just wasn’t acting right. Turned out she had scar tissue form in her intestines from the prior surgery. She had to have surgery again. She is home now and is doing wonderfully. Our house is so empty without those spry little nails clicking on the floor as she follows me room-to-room.
Thank you WIN for allowing ZuZu to become a member of our family.