The Princess Tails

The Musings of Zena, a Tibetan Terrier sharing her life and wisdom with Raffles, a Standard Poodle

The Unhappy Princess


This is me btw – I know there is a strong family resemblance.

As the days have continued we have done most of the ‘firsts’ without Zac. The first walk. The first trip into the village. The first drive in the car.

These are some of the hardest things. There are still more to come of course.

I am not sure how I will react to the first thunderstorm. Zac used to bark back at thunder, he wasn’t afraid, he enjoyed it. I didn’t like them but when I was with Zac I wasn’t afraid of anything.

For the first few days I was sure he was going to come back. I kept willing him to walk through the door, but I knew from the behaviour of His Beloved that something really bad had happened because she was so upset. I just didn’t want to accept it.

I could sense that she was shocked at the speed of it all too, so was I. In the morning we woke up, the usual happy family. By that evening we were devastated. How quickly things turn.

The pain was heart-rendering and then I could sense guilt in his Beloved. I heard her talking about what if’s. What if they had tried a different vet? What if they had used a different food? Useless thoughts.

This event has sobered me. The old me would never have given any time to think much at all but now the house is so quiet I have nothing but time for thinking.

I know his Beloved was worried about me after a few days because I wasn’t eating. I didn’t feel hungry. I felt sick all the time.

I still wanted to go out for my walk in the morning but I wouldn’t leave his Beloved’s ankles. I wouldn’t play with the dogs at the park. I felt isolated from them all. I felt so lonely and I didn’t feel safe anymore.

After five days I began to get used to the silence. I became used to that aching hole and the feeling of half of me gone was familiar. I don’t know if that will ever lift. I don’t know if I want it to.

I don’t want to forget Zac and I know his Beloved won’t forget him. It won’t be possible.

I found that I could eat again. It felt strange to stand at my bowl without Zac scoffing from his bowl next to me but I could do it. That gave me confidence.

When we went to the park I recognised some familiar furry faces and went up to meet them. I even had a quick run with one.

Wait for me!!!!

His Beloved and I are working through things.

My routine has changed a little but not too much.

I know that things will never be the same. I can never return to the carefree, untroubled Princess that I was, but I am beginning to accept that he has gone and I am beginning to cope. I am less frantic.

His Beloved has talked to me about Zac and she has stopped crying every time she thinks of him. She can laugh at some stories of when he was young and she can look at his photographs. That helps me too.

I still have pangs of guilt when I forget him for a moment and get immersed in a smell or a play.

Last night some dogs came on the television and I ran to the screen barking but there was no Zac to join me and I quickly stopped again, for a moment I had forgotten he wasn’t there to rile up, that made me feel guilty too.

Don’t think that I’m going to talk about Zac all the time. I won’t. It is just still fresh for me and I am still adjusting to being a single dog. It is quite a change.

For instance, I won’t be able to get away with anything any more.

They knew straight away that it was me who had rolled on Ajay’s bed and disarranged the pillows! When Zac was here there was always a certain amount of doubt about which one of us might have done such things, not any more. The buck stops at me!

I have realised that I can no longer push Zac into doing things on my behalf. I have to make it plain what I want.

If I want to come in from outside I have to ask. Before I used to rely on Zac to notice I was at the door and tell his Beloved.

And then there is the food. I always left that department to Zac. He was always more into food than I was. For instance I haven’t bothered with treats so much since he’s been gone, I’m not that interested. It was Zac who used to ‘assume the position’ and sit on his mat for a treat whenever he was brushed, cut or could think of a reason why he should be rewarded!

One thing that concerned his Beloved was the thought that maybe there was a special diet out there which might have helped Zac if she had known about it. So she is changing me over to a raw diet to see if it helps my itchy tummy. This is nothing like as serious as Zac’s allergy problem by the way. She had researched raw before but her old vet didn’t recommend it and sometimes it is hard to know what to do for the best. So instead she gave us special, no grain food made in Australia.

Now however she feels more confident about trying the raw diet and I’m pleased. I like raw and of course now I can’t rely on Zac to tell her so I had to let her know. This I did by not touching any of the old food she put out and only eating the raw. I thought that would be pretty obvious but she didn’t give me any more of the raw roo meat.

So I went to her, sat and looked up at her like Zac used to. It wasn’t a complete success. I didn’t get extra meat but I did feel that she understood. I shall have to wait and see what the next few days bring. There seems to be a lot of waiting and seeing at the moment.

I guess I am having to take on more responsibility for myself. I am having to be more assertive. I think the fun will come back in time but I haven’t felt much like playing yet.

I am not a brave and fearless Tibbie like Zac. I am his Princess, gentle and a little timid. And yes, I like pretty things. I step lightly, I can run, I am agile. Zac was not agile. I don’t mind walking on wet grass and whilst I don’t love baths, I don’t hate them like he did. I quite like to feel clean and tidy.

I didn’t need to think or worry or work things out. He did all the thinking (and more) for us both. He did bring me up though and some of his ways must be in me by nature (he was my blood uncle) and by nurture. Only time will tell how much.

One thing I have always done better than Zac, though he would never admit is, is to sound an alert. If someone comes into the drive I bark. Zac always thought that was rude. He thought everyone was his friend. I don’t. I will bark. His Beloved tells me I am good for doing that.

I have had to re-think what I will call his Beloved. Beloved was Zac’s name. He adored her and she him. She loves me too but we have a different relationship.

So I have been thinking of an appropriate title for her which is mine, all mine. Anyone have any ideas?

Love Zena, the unhappy Princess

Author: Zena

I am The Princess (aka Zena), niece of Zac the All Black and awesome Tibetan Terrier who took me in when I was just a six week pup and tried to teach me all he knew. When I was six and he was eight, Zac crossed over the rainbow bridge and all of a sudden I was alone. I could no longer be the ditzy, happy-go-lucky pup that I had been. This is a diary of how one Princess managed when the world turned real.

12 thoughts on “The Unhappy Princess

  1. Lets think….Humommy…….Mommikins…..Darling ( lady and the tramp ).. Ma. Maw..Precious… Things will get better Zena, for you and your family. It’s still very early days, and I think you having your own blog, will help..
    Luv’s ya all
    xx00xx Mollie and Alfie

    • I think the blog is helping. It keeps us in touch with everyone for a start and stops us moping which is good.
      Hmmmm Darling? Lady and the Tramp was one of Zac’s favourite movies, he really rather liked Lady. I rather like Precious but Beloved tells me there is a rather unpleasant character in one of her favourite movies called ‘Lord of the Rings’ who uses the phrase ‘My Precious’ in rather a sinister way so that scared me a little bit.
      I think I will sleep on it and expect inspiration to come to one of us soon.

  2. *Gasp*… Zena, so lovely to hear from you!!! I’m so glad you and Beloved are writing together. :0) Keep it up, Missy! Wisdom and insight run in your blood. And you have a lot of preciousness to offer. xo

    • 🙂 For you who know me so well to use words like ‘wisdom’ and ‘insight’ about me is overwhelming!! Maybe one day I’ll live up to your regard, in the meantime you can tell Magic I might have some Princess Tails for her one day soon. It is something Beloved and I are working on, you could call it therapy. But Beloved keeps going off at a tangent – very frustrating.

  3. I’m glad to read that things are settling step by step.
    I mentioned to Molli that I was not concern but wondering about you a few days ago, glad you and Zac’s Beloved are ok.
    We all gonna miss Zac’s tales, but we’ll remember his fondly too.

    • Thank you for thinking about us. All the support has helped and encouraged us to keep in touch. Somehow it helps that Zac’s story is out there and we have enjoyed our fellow bloggers and don’t want to lose touch.

  4. Our thoughts remain with you but we know you will come out swinging and the memories will, eventually, become pleasing, rather than devastating. Zena, you are beautiful and we are looking forward to your stories! Guilt is a necessary step through the grieving process – it happens to everyone but don’t let it take over. In your heart, you know you did everything you could. I am so sorry you are having to go through this. God Bless.

    • 🙂 Yes, I know you’re right. Took a slight downturn today when Zac’s Beloved was putting some movies of Zac together on her computer – All of a sudden I could see him on the screen and it brought some of those emotions back and I whined a lot. She turned the photos off. Maybe one day in the future I’ll let her make her movie.

  5. It’s nice to hear from you Zena. Things are different and it takes time to adjust. I hope you gradually find more confidence.

  6. Dear Zena, so good to have a contact with you. You are looking for a name for Zac’s Beloved, who we have to say is now your own Beloved. But if you want to make a distinction for the sake of Zac’s memory, something in the language of Tibet might fit the bill. You’ll have to help with the search, I can only suggest.

    While the wound of loss is raw, do as you’re doing. Don’t rush into things. They’ll settle in their own due time. Meanwhile, many of us are feeling with you, as we will for some time to come.

    • Thank you for joining us 🙂
      I did think of something from Tibet but couldn’t pronounce them!
      Then we thought of something from Wales instead but we thought they might be hard for others to pronounce so in the end I settled on The Producer which makes me The Star!!

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