Richard & I wanted to expand our family of 3 to 4 with another Beagle. We wanted an AKC dog like Nike, a white and chocolate Beagle with a copper nose. Well, that took a little longer than expected, but it was a February Friday when I found her online!
So husband went to work, I went searching and I found her! I called Richard, told him I had found our baby girl and I was leaving to check her out. At this point in life, we still didn’t have a GPS so I grabbed my map, grabbed Nike and off we went. After driving about 3 hours during traffic on a Friday, we got to the place. It was so windy, but there she was, my future baby girl! She was gorgeous, her sister was really pretty as well, but my girl was gorgeous. I wasn’t impressed with the parents, but whatever. So, in my excitement, I realized I didn’t have enough money, so I told the owner I’d be back the next day.
I took the wrong exit on the way home and ended up in Sacramento instead of Concord. Richard laughed about my almost 7 hour trip and still no baby girl. The next morning, loaded with gas and money and Nike and crate and everything else, off I went to get that my girl. It rained all the way down to Los Banos, so traffic was slow, but I was so happy she was still there waiting for me. Got her in the truck and that little dog cried all 110 miles on the way back home. Good grief!
We named her Zoe. She was a white and lemon Beagle, with a mind of her own. She was loud, she chewed my shoes, she went through 2 walls, she went through the carpet down to the slab, she pulled plants out the pots, she’d pull away from you and drive Richard crazy. It took a lot of training and lots of love, but I got her heart. A lady at the dog park told me Zoe was a Greek name, and that the name Zoe meant ‘life’. Little did I know, she was going to give us 12 little lives.
Zoe eventually got better and then one day Richard calls me and tells me he found Nike and Zoe stuck up on a slope. My naive brain thought they were stuck up on the fence or something… what do you mean stuck? Stuck! Nike was stuck in Zoe. My goodness gracious! My baby girl was still my baby! What on earth did Nike do?! I called the vet almost in tears, and asked if they had a version of the morning-after pill for dogs. I think they were giggling in the back when she told me they didn’t have any. “Your dog will be alright. Call us back to make an appointment to check her out.”
I went home, couldn’t even see Nike, well not for a few hours anyway. The pregnancy lasted exactly 63 days. This was as close as I was to a pregnancy. We had been trying for a while and couldn’t get pregnant. I was enjoying every part of her pregnancy, feeling all 5 puppies moving inside her belly, the vet appointments, everything. Richard built a whelping box, we got a light to keep the puppies warm, we got blankets, a puppy fence surrounding the area, we got it all ready for the babies. I had to work that day but I left the camcorder ready to record it all, and Richard called me and put me on the speaker when he delivered all the puppies.
Oh, that puppy breath, how they fit in your hand. Zoe let me hold each one of them, but God forbid Nike went a mile into that vicinity because Zoe would give him more than a piece of her mind! The puppies grew up as expected, the tiny pees and poops became larger, their little cries became good little barks, their little area became larger and larger. Zoe was a wonderful mama throughout the whole thing, and Nike was a great daddy to all 5 growing puppies. Time came to see them off, and off they went to make other families happy.
A few months later, we tried our first in-vitro treatment. It didn’t work out, and while I went through my bundle of emotions, Zoe stayed by my side and she wouldn’t let me cry alone. It was so comforting to have her and Nike there for me when I was the most devastated. We kept trying but Nike and Zoe proved to be more successful than us.
The x-rays showed she had 9 puppies in her belly, my poor baby was so huge, she could barely move. This time I took the time off to be there for her and deliver the puppies myself. I had Richard on speed dial and he walked me through the whole process. Zoe kept going outside and I kept bringing her back to the whelping box. We got 7 puppies out, and she was done. I was worried because she looked like she wasn’t done but she couldn’t get anything else out.
Took her back to the vet, got x-rays, and I can’t remember what happened, doctor took care of it, and we went back home to 7 hungry puppies. The first puppy wasn’t eating like the rest, went and got food for the puppy and a tiny bottle for him, fed him and everything, but that itty bitty puppy didn’t make it. Zoe trusted me with her puppy the whole time. I could see it in her eyes, she was so exhausted sleeping in between feeding the puppies that she would follow me with her eyes when I was trying to feed the pup.
Zoe’s puppy didn’t make it, so Zoe, Nike and I went outside and buried the puppy. Next to the grill. Richard wasn’t happy about it, but hey, it was dark and I was too emotional to go up the slope at night and kill myself in the process. Anyways, Richard got over it, those puppies grew up and off they went to their new homes. Life went back to its usual normal, and Richard thought we should move to Texas, and so we did.
We left California September 29th and arrived to San Antonio, TX on October 1st at 5:30 am and first thing Zoe and Nike do, is get in the backyard and wake up everybody in town. Welcome home! Time passed, we all adjusted well to Texas. Couple years later, we tried our 2nd and last in-vitro. I think Nike felt it too but Zoe was on my lap the whole time. My baby girl knew I was finally pregnant. The morning when I woke up and found out I was bleeding out, Zoe was glued to my feet the whole time and Nike was right behind her. They were both anxious about the whole thing, and when I got back home, she was back on my lap or by me when I was pumping for Samuel.
The night Richard died, both Nike and Zoe were by my side the whole time. I got Sam in bed, Nike curled up next to me, Zoe made sure my hand was on her head, I guess it was her way to let me know she was there for me. I sold that house, moved my 3 babies to the transition house. This was the first time I’d leave Nike and Zoe outside all day while I worked. I set up a dog house with a porch to keep their area nice and shaded with a fan in the summer and a heater in the winter. Zoe was really Nike’s rock while we were gone and we all survived our new life pretty good considering the circumstances.
Couple of years later, Zoe started looking a little woozy, losing her balance over nothing. Took her to the vet, he sent us to a specialist. I called a friend for help, he took Zoe to the specialist, called me from there and pretty much said the diagnosis was not good at all. The choices were letting her go or spend a crazy amount of money in trying to figure out the reason, not even the cure, just the reason why. It broke my heart but I didn’t want to make her suffer, and my friend thought it was best for me and Sam if he took care of Zoe.
Zoe left us that day, I told Sam after picking him up on the way home, and our focus became Nike. Sometimes I wish I had gotten Zoe back home and done more to keep her with us, but me working days in a row and everything else we had going on, I don’t know if it would’ve worked. I lost my baby girl, the one who was there for me through everything, and I wasn’t able to be there for her at the end. Not a day goes by when I don’t think about my strong and loud baby girl.
Once Nike joins her, Sam and I will go find us another white and lemon Beagle to go with a white and chocolate Beagle we’ll also get. They won’t be Nike and Zoe, but they will make new memories with us, and be part of our tiny family.