Well, it’s been a little over three excruciatingly long weeks since I said goodbye to my little bud.  While I am grateful for his visit that I wrote about in my last post, and for the visit that Richard got afterwards, and for the fact that I know he is fine, I am just sad and in a foul mood to boot.  I’m also angry, if I’m honest.  I miss him so much.

I wanted to talk about the relationship between Zato and Cadpig.  Caddie was a puppy we fostered for the local shelter (along with her siblings) after they were left in a box at the dumpsters during a snowstorm.  They were too young to stay in the shelter, so we agreed to take them.  We were warned that they probably would not make it since they were too young to be away from their mother, but being the hardheaded, determined folks that we are, we took them home.  Out of 9, we lost only one.  The smallest of the puppies we could not part with, and Richard named her Cadpig, after the runt in 101 Dalmatians.

Caddie and Zato were best buds right off the bat.  She followed him everywhere and he always looked after her.  She was so tiny.

Zato would always lick her head and play with her, and as she grew, so did their bond.

They were as close as they could be up until the very end.  The day before he got his wings, Caddie went to Zato for her usual head licking session, and he turned away.  She seemed to understand and didn’t press it. Until then though, it was a daily thing for those two!

Zato and the Pig have VERY different personalities.  Whereas Zato was very cuddly, Caddie does not liked to be touched, especially on the head.   She will tolerate a tiny bit of rubbing on her back, but not much. She is also easily spooked.  She is a really sweet girl who likes people and gets along great with other dogs and even likes cats, but she is just the way she is! We decided not to take her to the vet when Zato left because she would be too freaked out, and we figured she would understand on some level that he was gone.  After we put up his picture, she would look at it and cry for a few days.  Then she seemed ok (well, normal for the Pig, anyway!).  Someone told me that she couldn’t possibly see a 2 dimensional photo, but I reminded them that this is the same dog who growls at and hides from the dog on the Milk Bone box.

One of the things I miss so deeply about Zato is our sofa cuddle, something he did until the last week or so.  I’d lie on my side and watch tv, and he would always get behind me and rest his head on my legs.  I can’t tell you how much I miss that.  It makes for a lot of crying sessions on the sofa.

I was half asleep the other day after a really rough, sad day where I didn’t even leave the house, when I felt something against me, and to my surprise, found the Pig, for the first time ever, right where he used to be.  She stayed there for an hour, and I didn’t dare move or touch her.  I just smiled with tears in my eyes and thought, “Thank you, Zato.  Good girl, Pig.”