Today has been difficult to say the least. I had clients in a city about an hour away all day, and finally got home around 5. But as I drove towards my house, before turning down my road, a dog lying in the road caught my attention. I knew the fur was familiar, one of my own. The ears, mine too. And the tail, usually wagging, not. I pulled over and got out, confirming it was my Zekers. He was gone already, although it looked like he hadn't been there long. A nice man, I'm so thankful for him, stopped and helped me get him in the truck. I personally am a religious person, and the man kept saying to Zeke, "Go with God, my friend, go with God." These words kept me from being completely hysterical... Z has never been an escape artist--ever. But a couple months after my hubby and I moved in, Z suddenly discovered after seven years of being a crazy high jumper, that he could jump crazy high. And, that this skill could easily get him over the 5-foot gate into the front yard where we were, or to the front door where he could let us know of his skill and happily run in when we came to greet him. So, we haven't been letting him out unsupervised and I've been working on it. Today I was gone all day, so hubby had the dogs. Poor sweet man, he worked a 36 hour shift with no sleep, so he came home, let the dogs out, stepped inside for just a minute to grab some water and collapsed in the chair. He woke up when I came inside and told him. I feel so bad for him, he feels beyond horrible. I truly do not believe it was his fault, and have been sure to tell him that more than once today. I do not feel that he did anything wrong. He was exhausted and fell asleep, that's all there is to it. He did not open the gate and let Z out, nor did he hit him. It was purely an accident. We buried him in our back pasture, with tennis balls of course. Zeke can't go without tennis balls. I'm sure he has an endless supply now. Our home, though still home to 5 dogs, is so different. Z had such a big personality, and we are already seeing such a difference. Gypsy is very clingy; she knows something's up. Although Z was always growing tired of her, Gypsy adored him. Zeke was my shadow, such a velcro dog, always right behind me. If a door was closed he waited on the other side for me. He always kept tabs on me, remants of his separation anxiety when he was a pup. I don't know how to imagine life without my shadow. And he adored my hubby. Besides me, he was his favorite person. My hubby says he can't look at a tennis ball without thinking BOING! (Z's favorite trick). Zekers was such a lover, always my snuggle buddy. It is so hard to take this. Hubby and I are clinging close to the rest of our furry family and dearly missing our Z. Our home is not the same. Z taught me so very much as a trainer...I cannot possibly thank him enough for all the lessons he gave me. Such a smart guy, never slow to learn anything. I loved him so much. Can't handle any more now, surprised I could say this much. Just needed to confide in other dog-crazy people who understand the gaping hole Zeke leaves. We miss you Zekers, and love you so much. Thanks for everything. Rest in peace buddy.