Zoe in 2013
The Lady I rescued and I had already completed an early morning lap around the park when we came upon Ed and Debbie with her Greyhound rescue Hugo. Right away we knew something was wrong. Ed, dressed in business clothes was alone, we held our breaths waiting for the lagging Zoe to catch up but she didn’t. We only heard Ed’s quiet words, “Zoe’s gone.”
The Lady nicknamed Zoe the “Queen of Portage Park.” That’s because everyone, dogs and people, had to have her approval to walk in her presence. Zoe and I were great pals. She always sauntered up to greet me with her fluffy, swishing tail when we met for our morning walks in the park. But not just the pack, there were other regulars in the park that she liked to greet. Such as the swimmers waiting on the steps to the field house for the pool to open. Zoe always had to go up the stairs to get greeted and petted.
Ed adopted Zoe from a rescue farm in Indiana at about six months old. The Lady might not get this story straight as it’s been awhile since she heard it. Zoe already had at least one strike against her, being returned from someone who couldn’t handle her. That’s why they didn’t want Ed to adopt her saying that Zoe wouldn’t adapt to life in the city. He was probably right, Zoe had some really bad habits that she will remain legendary for.
First, there’s the herding. Despite her pretty Collie face and swishing tail she’s not a pure breed Collie. If you look closely her body shape is more square, resembling an Australian Shepherd. Zoe was never on leash, except on mowing day, when her favorite nemesis, a little tractor mower, came by. She would take after that mower like it was a sheep that needed wrangling. Not to mention, Zoe always walked in the back of our pack, making sure no one would stray, keeping us all together. Barking at those who did to get back in line. She’s also been known to take after a school bus or two.
That is unless there was a squirrel to catch, her other favorite bad habit. She would torment the poor squirrels to no end. Chasing them up the chain link back stop to the softball diamonds, barking and running back and forth. We’re pretty sure that there were a few she almost caught.
Zoe could never avoid a mud puddle. She loved to stroll through the muddy water, leaving her white paws black, it was like the dirtier she was, the happier she was. These pictures are from 2013, one of those now rare days when the whole pack was together, and the Lady had her DSL camera with her. Luckily capturing some decent shots of a very special dog that will be greatly missed. In the back of her mind she knew why she wanted to take those pictures, not just snapshots of a beautiful summer day in the park, but to document a special dog in our lives that we will never forget.
Zoe always looked happy.
Smiling with that swishy tail.
These last two pictures are from 2014, poor quality cell phone photos, but now priceless. No one will miss Zoe more than Ed, but we will miss her too and she will always hold a special place in our hearts.
There were some signs a few months ago that Zoe, about 10 years old, might be reaching her end. Maybe Ed was in denial, but who could blame him. Since then every morning going to the park we expected to get the news. But unfortunately between vacations and other things, we kept missing Ed at the park. So we never got a chance to say goodbye to Zoe. The Lady plans to start taking a lot more pictures in the park again.