It's with a broken heart and soggy keyboard that I let everyone know that Zelly passed away early last night from complications with lymphoma and liver cancer. My family and I made the decision to let her go once we learned the lymphoma was causing the breathing difficulty she was brought to the vet for. She passed on in my arms, surrounded by my mom and dad, and my friends at the Humane Society who knew Zelly.
Zelly was adopted at her foster group's apartment complex event two and a half years ago. I had just moved back to St. Louis, and saw flyers outside my apartment for a dog adoption event. I had never actually owned a dog before, but I knew I wanted someone to keep me company at my new apartment. So I went, having no expectations at all, and relatively little knowledge about what I was getting myself into. I remember seeing plenty of dogs that were full of enthusiasm and spunk, and probably got adopted that day... and then there was Zelly; in the corner, under someone's chair, barking at the commotion. I don't exactly remember what it was that made me go "that's the one!" (or what made me see Red later and go "that's the two!"); I was too excited to really remember what happened after I took her for a walk, but I came home with Zelly and Red that day.
I told this story to my girlfriend, who had an idea of what happened...
"Maybe she just knew who dog people were, gravitated towards them, and you noticed."
"Well, I wasn't really a dog person then."
"Maybe you knew who could turn you into a dog person, and you gravitated towards them."
And she did. Her and Red turned me from "someone who has dogs" to "a dog person". For that reason alone, Zelly is irreplaceable in my heart and in my life. My parents were also having problems at home, and Red and Zelly visiting for long periods of time always helped the situation. They eventually stayed at my parents house for good, and changed my parents' life for the better as well.
We made the decision to get a planter with her ashes, and we will plant her tree in my parents' backyard, around the big open space where she would hang out every time she went outside.
I miss you, Zelly.