Ziggy

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…just an ordinary dog

Looking for a cover story for this issue was challenging. I wanted to find a dog or cat (or rabbit, hamster, turtle, lizard, bird, etc.) that was extraordinary in some way. The story would highlight the exceptional abilities of the animals in our lives. Differently abled animals like Insta-star Boogie Shoes or our summer cover cat Charlie, whose blindness hasn’t mattered a bit to this incredible cat, are perfect examples. Perhaps a senior athlete like Trixie, our spring cover dog, or a service dog would be the type of animal featured. Considering the possibilities, I kept coming back to the thought that most people share their homes with a more or less everyday kind of pet. With that in mind, I’d like to share the story of my dog, Ziggy.

Lady

Lady»

Ziggy is an ordinary dog. He came into our lives about five years ago. My dog Diesel passed away suddenly, leaving behind his companion, Lady, a dog we adopted from a local rescue organization many years prior. Lady was about 17 and preferred having a pal. I researched breeds that might be a good match for our particular family and decided on a wire-haired vizsla.

Ziggy’s transition into our home was quite smooth. He took to Lady, the cat, the grandkids, and our active lifestyle like a champ. He liked being where the action was, and like most vizslas, alternated between being calm and running crazy eights around the house and yard.

At about four months old, Ziggy ran through a sliding glass patio door. His injuries were substantial, and recuperation took several months. Little did I know that the accident would be just the beginning of a chain of Ziggy accidents, illnesses, and events that would pepper our lives. His tales have provided a never-ending source of stories for Pet Companion Magazine.

His injuries and illnesses aside, he is the best dog I’ve ever had (sorry, Lady, Diesel, Duke, and Cocoa).

Ziggy is my constant companion. Sure, he knows sit, come, down, the other essential commands and has good manners—but it’s his goofy antics that make me laugh. He points to things I would never notice on my own. Watching him spring straight up in the air or prop himself up on a wall to get a better view is an example of his endless curiosity. His focused concentration when looking for a lizard is a fantastic thing to see. He’s never met a ball, toy or puzzle that he isn’t charmed by, and he graciously turns his head if he doesn’t want to taste a new treat. He LOVES other dogs, and he’s blissfully unaware that he weighs 85 pounds and doesn’t fit comfortably on a lap. He likes to sneak his “inside” soft toys outside to get me to play-chase him around the yard. His favorite way to lay is on his back with his feet straight in the air. When I’ve been sitting at my computer too long, he drops a ball at my feet to remind me to get up and move around. Whether I’ve been gone for five minutes, five hours or five days, he greets me with the same enthusiasm. My Ziggy—who hasn’t had to overcome any life-altering challenges and hasn’t mastered any incredible feats—may look like an ordinary dog to the rest of the world, but he’s an extraordinary companion to me.

I invite you to share your stories and photos with Pet Companion Magazine. We want to celebrate what makes your furry, feathered, scaly, or slimy companion extraordinary.

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