Story submitted 2011-03-17
"This is dedicated to the memory of Zigi Zigenbein, a brave little dachshund with a big heart.
Zigi was abandoned by her owner, who asked the dog pound to destroy Zigi. I always believed that Zigi chose me. While most of the dogs either barked compulsively or laid impassively at the back of the kennel, seemingly resigned to their fate, Zigi's eyes sparkled as she walked calmly to the front of the kennel and kissed my face through the bars. She had this calm, Zen-like quality that is difficult to explain, it was something to be experienced.
For eight years, Zigi was my best friend and constant companion. I was a first year medical student when she first presented with congestive heart failure. Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of the Cardiology, ICU, and Emergency vets & students at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Hospital, Zigi and I had an additional four months together.
I still miss Zigi every day. I find myself looking for her sweet little face, sparkling eyes and wagging tail. Sometimes I think I hear her little feet gently padding across the floor. Sometimes I think I see her shadow, only to remember that she has left me for a better place.
I know that no one else will ever love me the way Zigi did. I never thought much about the hereafter until Zigi's death; now, I sincerely hope that there will be a day when she and I are "together again"; perhaps she is waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge...
All of the blessings of the universe upon you, my dear Zigenbein. May your memory never be forgotten.