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Zephyr, Angels & Rattlesnakes


By Barbara Jorgen Nance

   Zephyr is by definition a soft, warm wind from the west and namesake of our newly adopted rescue puppy. We weren’t in the market for another dog after losing our basset hound, Beauregard, to a rattlesnake bite, but this sweet homeless pup drifted into our lives.

   A period of time has passed since the rattlesnake event, but to me it feels like a nanosecond. This is one of those chapters in life that won’t be forgotten anytime soon, for you see, Beauregard died for me 24 hours after the bite. The rattler almost got me, but Beau took a step forward between us and was struck in the chest. This aggression sent my dachshund, Rocket, to the moon and back in anger. She tore into that snake like a wild animal, flung it in the air and was struck when it landed. After shaking it violently, she flung into the air once again. She was bitten a second time, but proceeded to shake the life out of that rattler, splattering all of us with snake guts. She was on her leash, but uncontrollable. Lightning, our other dachsie mix, was hiding behind me, not wanting any part of this fight.

   We were close to home and the dogs were rushed to the Animal Clinic. Sadly, Beau did not survive, but Rocket was able to come home after three critical days in the hospital.

   One wonders why we must endure such happenings in life. Are we to be strengthened by such hardship? Does it make us stronger in order to help other people in the midst of their hardships? Do we learn to appreciate, at a deeper level, the gifts that come to us in life?

   I believe it is all of the above, but mostly the gift part. That’s where Zephyr comes in on the current of a soft warm wind. She’s a Chihuahua mix of some sort. She has big feet for her size, big soft eyes that could melt anyone’s heart and floppy ears. Maybe Beauregard sent this angel to us, since those are basset traits. Zephyr does live up to the analogy of soft, warm wind and angel, most of the time. This little puppy has softened my sharp edges that I was left with after the rattlesnake incident.

Although you can’t easily tell a young puppy they are supposed to be a soft, warm wind when they’re in hurricane mode. Sometimes our little angels wear their halos on crooked, don’t they?

   Surviving puppy training will be the next challenge. Zephyr has three other canine role models in the household to look up to. Rocket dachsie, Lightning rescue dachsie mix and Itzy Bitsy rescue Chihuahua. This trio can help me puppy and poopey train.

   As dog owners, we are so very lucky to have our four-legged friends to take us on walks down the zigzagging , sometimes rocky road of life. They are furry guardian angels when not in hurricane mode.

   Now, go pet your pet. Be happy and grateful for all they give back to us.

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