Opinion

A void filled by a furry friend

TORRENS TALK

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. So, it seems fitting to introduce the newest love of our lives, Zoë. Before I go any further, I want to thank everyone who sent me an e-mail, letter or just stopped me to express their condolences when Chandi died.

Losing Kimba was hard — she was a great dog — but I had Chandi to help me get through it. Not so, when Chandi died.

It was very hard to be in a no-dog household for the first time in almost 30 years. (When our first two dogs died, we went to the animal shelter within the week and got Chandi.) We waited almost four months before we went to the Kitsap Humane Society (KHS).

It was two days after Christmas and the place was packed. In the intervening years, KHS had instituted interviews prior to allowing animals to be adopted. We had no problem with that, but were surprised we would be able to leave with a dog the same day. In the past, the selected animal had to be neutered and checked out before being turned over.

I always find it hard to go through the kennels as I would love to take them all home. The animals are there through no fault of their own and are awaiting adoption to a loving home. My husband and I went in and started looking.

I found a male German Shepherd/Siberian Husky mix. I started to look for Dave when he located me first. He had found Zoë — a female version of what I just discovered. Even though I prefer females, I was a little loath to give up on the one I had found. But, I went to look and she was a very happy, lively dog.

Her story was she had been picked up three times over the last year for wandering around Kitsap Way. After the third time, a letter was sent to the owners who then decided that KHS could keep her. Within a couple of days of being at the shelter, Zoë was spayed and put up for adoption. And that was just two days before Christmas.

We were warned her roaming was a trait that could be a problem and KHS wanted assurance we knew that and could deal with it. We said she would either be with us on a leash or in our run. She would not be left to her own devices.

We had looked at another dog a couple of months earlier, but it didn’t feel right. If one believes in fate, then that was the right thing to have happened. Zoë is all that one could ask for. She is a loving, smart, friendly and eager dog.

In some ways, Zoë is the best of Kimba and Chandi. She has Kimba’s sweetness and desire to be cuddled. She is smart like Chandi and is as energetic. Zoë looks like a Husky from the front and a Shepherd from the rear.

Walking Zoë is always an adventure. Numerous people have stopped me to comment on her looks and to pet her. One even asked if she was a wolf pup. Her exuberance in meeting new people can sometimes be overwhelming, but her demeanor always wins out.

She loves to play ball, so much so that I seem to be developing tennis elbow from using the ball chucker all the time. She stays in our yard with us and doesn’t seem at all tempted to take off for parts unknown.

Zoë travels well and having her with us has meant we have discovered parks and off-leash dog places we wouldn’t have otherwise. The trunk area of our SUV is now hers. She has a dog bed and two chew toys plus we have a special bag all filled with dog stuff: leash, dog bowls and food, towel, treats.

Zoë has filled a void in our lives. She was a gift during the holiday season and is truly a heartwarming gift that keeps on giving. We’re going to have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Val Torrens covers local issues for the CK Reporter and North Kitsap Herald.

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