I have written before about our fur babies. About our special girl, Zoey, who we adopted when we first moved to New Orleans in 2009 and who was diagnosed with a brain tumor 6 years ago around this time. She was our Outlier. I’ve also written about our Boy Bleu, who we adopted in late summer 2012 to be a companion for Zoey Girl. However, I haven’t written much about our roly-poly girl, Zora Belle. This is one of the few mentions, from Summer 2015:
We got a new dog a month ago to try to fill the void left by our much loved Zoey. It took a couple of months of searching–applying to a local border collie rescue, checking out Petfinder every day– before we found this roly poly, ball of fur at the County Line Pet Hospital on Chicago’s Far South Side.
She was named Panda by the shelter–and considering that she is at least 20 pounds overweight–the name fit. Her extra weight is really ‘weighing’ her down and we have put her on a diet and exercise regiment to see if we can get her to a much trimmer, zippier, healthier weight. Channeling a healthier dog, we have renamed her Zora Belle, after one of Terry’s grandmothers.
Zora is quite the poser.
And except for a few glitches, gets along well with Bleu.
Oh, Zora. You, my Dear, are a trip.
The main reason she was such a poser was because with her extra weight in her booty, she was literally weighed down with 20 extra pounds and would sit like one of those buddha statues. She was so heavy, that she couldn’t roll over onto her back, and she was so out of shape, that she struggled walking up our two flights of stairs.
However, that is past tense. Within 2 months, she was able to run around at the Cottage, playing with her brother, Bleu, and cousin, Magnus.
By fall, she had started to lighten her load and was bounding around.
By the following year, she had slimmed down 20 pounds and when we moved back into our condo, she was gamely heading up the 3 flights of steep stairs leading to our 3rd floor unit at least 4 times a day.
Zora has a ravenous appetite and a bit of a nervous bladder. For the ravenous appetite, per a vet’s suggestion, carrots have become a staple of her diet, supplementing her dog food and acting as her main snack. Seriously, she eats more carrots than dog food in a normal month!! Zora and Bleu’s 30-pound Science Diet dry food bag lasts about 6 weeks–we go through at least 15 pounds of carrots a week!!! We shred the carrots in the food processor that Grams got us as a wedding gift (which was rarely used before we realized chopping carrots was a royal pain) and add the carrots in with their other food. She also has a special bowl that makes eating a little slower.
Unlike Bleu and his DNA (Malamute/Bull Mastiff/Chinese Shar Pei), Zora’s DNA is 100% Border Collie, as is her behavior–herding, keeping us all in line, etc. I thought she might have some Corgi, because she has very short legs, but her DNA test was definitive: Border Collie.
Like Zoey, Zora is extremely in tune to Terry and my moods. Unlike Zoey, Zora often pees when she is stressed and anxious, which is a major challenge. Zora is also ALL about her schedule and so Terry and I mess with her world and schedule regularly by changing up our plans, which results in the ‘occasional’ household accident. Since Terry and I are both working, and Zora is all about her schedule, we have had to get a dog walker here in Chicago for mid-day walks. In NOLA, we opted for the awesome Canine Connection doggie day care, but there are no doggie day care locations close to us here on Chicago’s South Side. We have been very happy with our Out U Go dog walker and his daily report cards on his visits are very unique.
Zora can be intense, but she is the friendly one on our walks. She has never been one to jump very high and has always required a helping lift in and out of vehicles–which became much easier once she lost her extra weight! Unfortunately, because of that extra weight, she now suffers from arthritis. Luckily, Truprofen/Carprofen and CBD work wonders!!!
It is truly gratifying to see how Zora and Bleu’s relationship has become closer over the years. Currently, they are thick as thieves.
And, these two are telling me it is time to go to bed.