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A Father's Touching Tribute to His Beloved Dog

Dogsarefamily_thumb By Dogs Are Family | February 24, 2014 | Comments (11)

Today we learned about a man named Robert Starkey and his dog Zoe. Although we only just found out about Robert and Zoe, we feel we already know quite a lot about them.

Robert and Zoe had a special bond.

A Father's Touching Tribute to His Beloved Dog
"Once Zoe moved in with me, I made a conscious decision to put her health, well being and happiness before everything else. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. She has enriched my life beyond anything I could have imagined."


Zoe enjoyed life to a very healthy age

A Father's Touching Tribute to His Beloved Dog


When Zoe needed help, Robert made sure she received it.

A Father's Touching Tribute to His Beloved Dog
"Two 12 X 40 inch pieces of pine, two bathroom rugs and a few dozen upholstery tacks later and we have a ramp for Zoe."


When Zoe could no longer walk very far, Robert made sure Zoe never got left behind. 

A Father's Touching Tribute to His Beloved Dog


Mobility may have been an issue, but Robert always made sure Zoe had fun.


Robert adored Zoe

A Father's Touching Tribute to His Beloved Dog
I get down on the floor with Zoe
While she’s sleeping
I curl my body up next to hers
I rest my head against her head

As I feel her breath
Rising up and down
I think everything is perfect
I feel this great sense of peace

And the best part
Is knowing
That she is thinking exactly the same"


Sadly, Zoe passed on to Rainbow Bridge. Robert wrote this touching tribute to his beloved dog and shared it with DogHeirs.com. His beautiful article comes with a Kleenex alert.


Zoe The Happy Dog (RIP)

A Father's Touching Tribute to His Beloved Dog

My beloved Zoe,

Your Daddy Tim went back to San Francisco last night. This was the first night in more than one year that I have spent alone. Your bed is still on the floor beside mine. I’m not ready to face the cold empty wood that rests beneath it. On my way to bed I need to take a moment to lie beside your spirit, to tell you that Daddy Bob loves you more than anything else in the world, just like I have done every night before. I miss the warmth of your body and that little sideway nudge into my hand, that you would do with your head as I massaged the side of your snout. Then, as I have done all those many nights before, I will lie down in my own bed. Remembering all those nights you would get up for a drink of water, then come close to my bed to make sure I am still there before returning to your own bed, I will whisper I love you at least two more times so you know I am nearby. 

A Father's Touching Tribute to His Beloved Dog
Zoe and Daddy Tim

I have removed your blankets and treats from the back seat of the car. Daddy Tim picked up the dozen bathroom rugs scattered over the floor of the hallways and living room meant to keep you from falling. My brain plays tricks on me the past two days. If I see something out of the corner of my eyes, lying on the floor, the vacuum cleaner, a pile of clothes. I instinctively go into caution mode, careful to not step on your tail.

Every time I open the front door my mind automatically searches for your raised head looking in my direction, ears pointing upward. My own ears search for the excited whining accompanied by the pounding of your tail on the floor. At 9:30 in the morning I expect to see you waiting anxiously at the back door to the garden. “It’s time for the adventures of Zoe and Bob,” I would say as you run ahead of me and wait patiently beside the car until I open the door. 

A Father's Touching Tribute to His Beloved Dog
Waiting for the adventures of Z & B

As I anticipated those last days I could hear the echo of voices of those who had been where I was about to go. “She will let you know when it’s time, when she has had enough.” And you did. One by one you lost your abilities to communicate joy. You turned your head away from food, your tail would rise slowly for one gentle thump and your voice was reduced to a faint whimper. But when I placed my fingers on your snout, running one finger up and down between your eyes, your were still able to gently nudge your head sideways into my hand to say I love you Daddy Bob.

A Father's Touching Tribute to His Beloved Dog

After the first injection you quickly found peace. I placed my hand upon your torso as it gently rose up and down with each breath. Daddy Tim sat directly opposite me on the other side of your bed. Just seconds after the next injection I felt your spirit pass through my body. Unable to hold back the tears, I cried tears of joy for your freedom from suffering. I cried tears of sadness for the loss of your companionship. I cried tears of pain for the natural struggle through grief that lay ahead of me. 

A Father's Touching Tribute to His Beloved Dog

I take comfort in the fact that you are here with me. I will try to emulate your stoic ability to accept what comes next. I will carry you in my heart to the end of time. Each time I face a new challenge or walk down a new road, I will remember the unconditional love that drove me to take care of you, to put you first. I will apply that to myself, using what you have taught me about what it means to see life from the perspective of a dog.

You can read more about Zoe on her Facebook page.

Copyright 2015 DogHeirs. All Rights Reserved.

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Comments on this Article

This story is so touching. I know how he feels. My dog Loki is so dear to me, and he sleeps with us each and every night. Just feeling his paws pressing against my arm or side, and hearing and feeling his breathing brings me solace and a definite joy. Dogs are so loving and committed to us. We are beyond lucky and fortunate to have so dear companions along with us for the journey. Loki ... I wish you would be with me forever, but sadly, you are nearly 11. I do not know how I will bear it when you are gone. I love you so much.
I'm going true something like this, may ANGIE is not able to walk any more and I'm not ready to let her go jet, I will never b ready, may heart is broken in millions pieces, I love may baby so much, I rescued her from the street and no one care, she is may soul. I'm sorry you loss your baby but u know? she was love bay her DADY and that make her one of the most lucky girl ever!!!!! GOD BLESS YOU SIR X BEING THERE ALL THE WAY FOR HER!!!!!!!
I just re-lived, with tears, the same occurrence of about 5 years ago with my buddy Hankster; he will always be with me in spirit!! Thanks for sharing!
And the best part Is knowing That she is thinking exactly the same" Those words hit home to me as only a dog lover would understand such words. I am so glad you came into this little lady's life and gave her love, understanding, dignity and companionship, which she returned to you one hundredfold. God has already blessed you by giving you such a wonderful gift named Zoe. May He bless you in the rest of your journey here on earth.
I fully believe all dogs go to heaven. I also fully believe there is a very special place in heaven for people like Bob. I lost my best fur friend almost two years ago, and as any dedicated dog mom, I'm so sad she's gone, but so thankful for the blessings she brought into my life. It was only fair to give her the life she so deserved. One day we'll meet our beloved pets once again. Bob....please let your love for dogs carry on with another dog so deserving of love. The world needs more people like you. Godspeed Zoe...
Robert thank u for sharing your story...I am crying right now, cause i know i will have to go through that one day...i hope not soon...I am 38 and i have now my first dog, Bernese mountain dog Jakob ...he is 5 and i love him with my body and soul.... I am so so sorry for your lost and i hope your heart will get well soon.....
I have no words to express my grief that you feel Robert. What a beautiful selfless act taking care of Zoe and putting her needs first - you sir are a great humanitarian - I wish we had more souls like yours. I am glad that you were with her in those last moments. Sending peaceful thoughts for you and Zoe.
I did see the Kleenex alert but read the story anyway and now I'm crying at my desk. What a wonderful story. Dearest Robert, thank you for giving your Zoe the best life possible, I know you were the world to her because you made her your world. I am thinking of you and sending lots of healing love and light.
It's always hard when they pass. My first dog Tana who lived for 17 years died in my arms at home. It was really hard because she was always there when I was growing up. When you are young you think that you are indestructible, and it's hard to wrap your head around the fact that she's gone. I lost my second dog when she was 14 years old. Even though I new what to expect, it was just as hard perhaps in a few different ways. You think that all the experience and things that you have learned about dogs to keep them healthy and happy will allow them greater longevity, but sadly it is not always the case. Now, I can't imagine how my life would have been without them, and I am so glad that they were a part of my life. Having dogs all my life I think has matured me into a more balanced person. When you bond with a dog you look after their needs the same way one looks after a child. You develop a better sense of empathy, always trying to determine how your dog is feeling and what their needs are. They make you try to think before you act because you love them, making you more tempered. Yes I miss them dearly, but they gave me such a beautiful gift. They shared their lives with me, and that memory will be with me forever. Robert, Tim, you have my heartfelt condolences for your loss of Zoe. She was lucky to have you. Peace
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