In 2011 I got a message from a FB friend asking if I would take her dog. She knew I had other little dogs, she knew I was home a lot as a SAHM and her dog needed more attention than she could give him, and she knew I was a sucker.
I didn’t need a new dog. We already had a housefull with 2 other small dogs and 2 cats. But I said I would take him. Because back then “No” was not in my vocabulary.
We met in town to get him. He was a tiny thing with eyes that popped out, probably because he had just been informed he was going to be living with 5 young boys. I named him Ziggy Marley. After one of my favorite singers.
He came with a Lightning McQueen blankey and a small kennel. He cowered in the corner of the kennel under his blankey and anytime anyone tried to come near him he turned into a crazed Tazmanian Devil, snapping and growling and flipping his shit. To avoid being bit I would push his food into his kennel with a broom handle and talk soothingly to him through the bars. In response he bit the bars. I was worried we wouldn’t be able to keep this dog who was terrified and snappy in a home with small children.
Then one day Drezdyn, who was 2 1/2 at the time, crawled his happy little booty right into the kennel. Drezdyn had a chip on is shoulder back then. Rightfully so. His Daddy had passed away earlier that year and he was a tough shell to crack because of his loss. He kept people at a distance. So did Ziggy. Ziggy recognized a kindred soul in an instant and instead of flipping his shit he moved over and let Drezdyn join him.
From that day on they were best buddies. Drezdyn would crawl in often to hang out with his doggy. They fell in love. Hard. When I had to wash Ziggys blankey Drezdyn would take him out of his kennel and put him up on his bed. Eventually Ziggy stopped needing the kennel altogether. He became a part of our family.
He went everywhere with us. Hiking in he woods, to the park, for random car rides witth his little face poked out a window smiling. (I swear to God he was smiling.) He was still a huge asshole. If you tried to touch him or came too close he would growl and then go nutso and attack your shoes with your feet still in them. He was a badass. He just happened to be the size of a hiccup. He was tough. Except he also was a giant mamas boy and he followed either me or Drezdyn around like a shadow. At night he would climb up in my bed or Drezdyns bed and burrow under the blankets and sleep by our feet. He had decided we were, after all, pretty darn acceptable as a family and he was here to stay.
His biggest flaw? He loved chocolate. Possibly more than I do. Once he ate an entire King Sized Hershey bar. I had been saving it as a special treat but frankly was more scared he was going to die after eating a candy bar as big as HE was and wasn’t really too upset. But he did not die. In fact, he went on to steal cupcakes, cookies, candies and more than once I walked into the room to find him with his little face buried in my coffee mug, lapping at the coffee like a serious caffeine addict on a binge.
Ziggy was a grouch. Like an old man on a front porch bitching about hooligans. The whole world was his hooligan. He was “Grumpy Dog” on my Facebook page. Long before Grumpy Cat was a trending thing. But we loved our asshole dog. He was the most loved asshole there ever was.
Today Ziggy Marley passed away.
I woke up, came out of my bedroom and there he stood breathing weird. I knew right away. Drezdyn picked him up and lay him down on his bed. He sat beside him, petting him with a look of bravery on his face. I stood there sobbing and my baby boy at only age 6 was simply stoic. No he didn’t want a hug. He wanted me to tell him when Ziggy had for sure stopped breathing and could he please dig the hole?
If you want sweetheart. Anything you want. I am so sorry for loss and heartache and for the fact that we always outlive our furbabies. You are only six years old and already you have had to bury 2 of your dogs, your brothers dog, your other brothers cat and your Daddy. This loss comes closest to when you lost your Daddy. I’m so sorry for this.
Aidan, the 12 year old, dug a hole in the far back corner of our yard. Drezzy wrapped him in an old towel and kissed his little head. He drew a picture of Ziggy and buried it with him. Carried Ziggy outside, helped place him in the hole, and then asked to help bury him. My tiny boy took the shovel that was twice his size and started digging into the heavy soil with a look of determination on his face. Except with every scoop of dirt a grunt/sob escaped his lips. And there was Aidan, his hands on the shovel to help his little brother.
Oh my heart.
Ziggy Marley, you truly were the most loved asshole there ever was. If you were still here I would gladly share my chocolate with you. And even my coffee.
Drezdyn isn’t real great at showing his emotions. He is an awful lot like I was as a kid.No tears. He says “I am really sad. The only thing that can make me happy is riding my bike right now.” So I let him. Because its all I can do. I can’t fix the rest but I can let him ride his bike in the middle of a school day.
You will be missed, Ziggy- Zoo. ❤