The Princess Tails

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

The New Princess


2013 is away and running and I have a new-look blog for a new Princess.

No. They haven’t swapped me and I’m not talking about Raffles. I’m talking about me. I am not the same anymore.

Before the infamous haircut and looking rather dishevelled after a 'play' session with the pup

Before the infamous haircut and looking rather dishevelled after a ‘play’ session with the pup

Those of you who started following Zac The All Black know the story. He was a very wise Tibbie. He was a world watcher, the power behind his Beloved and my protector.

He was everything to me and he filled the house with his quiet presence and his fun ways. I went from my Mum and brothers and sisters to my Uncle Zac who became my Mum, Dad, best friend and teacher.

I was the ditzy one. I got to have fun all the time. I played. I didn’t think about anything serious. I didn’t worry about anything. Well I did but I always looked to Zac for reassurance and he didn’t stress so that helped to keep me calm.

I was the one who pushed him to play all the time and wouldn’t let him rest. He was the one who would disappear under his Beloved’s desk for peace.

I would cry and bark until I got the last chew and he would let me steal it out of his mouth!

I would dash off to the leash free park and run amongst the strange dogs and if I got in over my head it was Zac who came along and put the rough dogs in their place.

When he went OTRB too soon we were devastated and I was lost.

A moment of peace

The Producer realised very soon I was not happy as an only dog

After the first weeks of intense grief passed I still couldn’t leave The Producer’s side. I began to stay in my lovely new bed and only got out to eat.

When we went to the park I would walk with The Producer and keep my nose touching her leg. I wouldn’t play.

When Miss Seven came to call with son number one and his wife I didn’t even wag my tail. I was so miserable.

Who was I? How was I going to cope? What was I going to do now?

All of a sudden pain had entered my world and I had never experienced it before. I had lost my innocence.

I feel the pain of Zac’s loss all the time and I always will. I sometimes think I hear him and I remember what he was like and loss fills me and I feel the grief again. It is a constant pain which I am learning to live with.

Looking back I realise that my life revolved around him. If he went into the garden, I went into the garden! If he went into the kitchen searching for treats I would run to be before him. I didn’t have a thought of my own. I just ran to do whatever Zac was wanting to do before him. I must have been annoying but he was so tolerant.

When he left me I didn’t know where I belonged any more. I knew I still had a loving home, cuddles, food, comfort, walks and all the things to keep me safe but what should I do with my day? Who did I turn to during thunder storms or the long nights alone?

Everything I had known and believed in and lived for had gone.

One thing The Producer couldn’t do was leave me alone. I was very vocal in my distress and she soon realised that I was not destined to be an only dog. I needed company, the furry kind.

And along came Raffles.

Seek and ye shall find! I am there - Raffles, not quite six months looming over me

Seek and ye shall find! I am there – Raffles, not quite six months looming over me

I admit he isn’t my idea of a puppy. He is almost six months old now and is about four times my size and three times my weight. Playing with him can be a rather overwhelming experience.

But if she thought that by getting me a companion things were going to go back to ‘normal’ she was wrong. It isn’t that easy.

I know The Producer had hoped that the old playful Zena would come back when she got Rafi but I’m afraid that Zena is gone. Once innocence is lost it cannot be regained.

The careless, frivolous, empty-headed Zena who shared her life with Zac has gone. That carefree Zena crossed over the rainbow bridge with Zac.

There is a new Zena in the house. A quieter Zena. A Zena who has had to take on more responsibility and I now find that I am taking on the role that Zac once played with me, though without his wisdom.

When I go out into the garden, Raffles comes too because he doesn’t want to miss out on anything.

When I have a chew Raffles lies in front of me and yips and cries until I turn away and let him have it.

He is often wanting to play and now I am the one running under The Producer’s desk to get some peace!

When we go to the leash free I try and keep up with him and check that he’s okay and not being roughly treated by the older dogs.

I am more careful.

Life has happened. What has occurred cannot be undone and I am not the same.

I am doing well, or at least better.

I am a better dog with Raffles around than without him. When he goes to be groomed I am a wreck until he gets home.

For a while I was his ‘guide’ dog. Because he was anxious in new environments they would take me to places to lead the way and give him confidence – fancy that! That made me feel proud and empowered. I was the brave one. I was the one who was leading the way. I was the wise one.

I am more mature now. I am a Mum in a way. I have responsibilities. I cannot just be the empty-headed perennial pup that I was once. I have had to grow up.

I know that The Producer misses the pup in me. Misses the playful, ditzy, silly Zena who fell off the table and drove her crazy with the squeaky toys!

She misses the Tibetan who sneaked into the bedroom in the middle of the night to join Miss Seven and who was so full of joy that the room would laugh with her.

I just don’t feel the joy that I used to feel, but I am having more moments of happiness.

When the pup and I play in a way that doesn’t involve my being squashed, chewed or jumped on – at those moments I feel a little of the old Zena stirring, and just for a moment I forget the pain of loss and the play absorbs me and I am happy.

Those moments are good and as the pup and I settle in together the good times are increasing.

We often share the same bed and that is nice. We enjoy our walks together and it is good to feel that I have a special pal again.

As Raffles becomes a little more mature and a little more able to control his limbs, playing is a lot less dangerous! So I expect these times of happiness to increase.

Sharing a bed and some comfort from a pal

Sharing a bed and some comfort from a pal

So I face 2013 as a different Zena. The old Zena is gone and I know The Producer misses her.

But the new Zena is stronger.

The new Zena is able to look out for a puppy four times her size.

The new Zena isn’t afraid of the big dogs at the park anymore because she has one at home!

The new Zena will stare down the big dog and say ‘No, it’s my chew.’

The new Zena is very fit and has learnt to run fast and turn quickly to evade the puppy ‘hugs’.

The new Zena remembers Zac with love. She misses him like crazy and she tells Raffles all about him so he is never forgotten.

The new Zena remembers some of Zac’s wisdom to pass on to the next generation.

The new Zena appreciates what she has a little more than she did and if life has taught her it can be cruel, it has also shown her she can survive and find a measure of happiness. This feeling is different than the joy of innocence that she expressed before but valid nonetheless.

The new Zena might just rock!

So come on 2013 – let’s see what we can do with you 🙂

The new Zena plays hard!

The new Zena meets trouble head on!

Love from Zena, the New 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.

48 thoughts on “The New Princess

  1. I was sort of there in 2012. I lost my best buddy, Kenzie, in early October. I love Kacie but things are different. I have tears in my eyes for both of us.

  2. Me and Nellie look forward to hearing all about the new Zena and her adventures. Love Nellie and Jasper

  3. poignant and beautiful. Deeply touching. None of us ever get through life the “same” we are all shaped by our trials and successes… are still a Princess…just a more thoughtful and even better one.

  4. Zena that was a beautiful story…It brings me so many memories of dogs that i loved so much that left all too soon… You make the pint so clearly and strongly that dogs have deep feelings of love, loss and grief that must be acknowledge and respected by their human companions…You touched my heart today

    • I’m glad that it touched your heart, it has certainly been on my heart for a while and I think it is good to pause and remember the pals who were so special to us.

  5. Oh Zena! Me knows exactly what yous means! Me has gone through the same. When Hissy old Licorice died! Then along came Kozmo and me is a different (and stronger) cat! But me is still the Cat From Hell!
    Zena, we are string!

    • 🙂 I love your title ‘Cat from Hell’, always makes me smile in itself.
      We would love to avoid pain wouldn’t we, but if we love inevitably we will experience it and we can’t go through life not loving – that would just be so sad.

  6. Happy to hear that raffles was able to get you back on your feet and ready to take 2013 by storm! Great story.

  7. A beautiful post! Zena, we will all be here to support you and love you as you make this transition from pup to momma (for Raffles)!
    On a lighter note…I can not get over the third picture in your post! It looks like Raffles is going to eat you! 😉

  8. Hey PZ, PJ here.

    Mom’s wiping drippy water from her eyes… because of how moving your story is and how much it resembles mine after my precious Golden sister, Koko, crossed *OTRB* too soon. While Little Miss Happy Happy is probably a smidge older than me in years, she carries exuberant and endless energy like Rafi.

    PZ, we all must evolve, as we all play our parts in the Circle of Life… Please know you bring boundless joy to the Producer and we look forward to all the tales you wish to share with us.

    Wishing you a happy, healthy and abundant new year. 🙂

  9. Awww little Zena, I have read about your beloved Zac over on his old blog, and he seemed indeed to be a beautiful soul. I know you will always miss him, and he can not be replaced, but I hope the wound heals a bit over time of his constant absence. It is such a blessing you had such a wise friend to teach you all the doggy ways of the world. I am so happy you have Raffles and the Producer to be there for you, and remember the misses Zac just as much, so perhaps you should go give her a little cuddle. Thinking of you, and Wishing you happy thoughts for the new year Zena & Raffles from Kirby and Lea.

    • Yes. He was a wonderful fellow. Very stubborn, very gentle and unforgettable.
      Yes, I will give her a cuddle. I make sure we have cuddles every evening to take her mind of Zac and if she stops rubbing my tummy I bop her face to remind her. I think keeping her busy is the best way to go 😉

  10. Such a beautiful and touching post. Raffles and Zena look so happy together. Happy New Year to you all. 🙂

  11. You did have some hard times Zena but it sounds like things could be easier now the monster pup is settling down 😉

  12. That was so lovely typist has actual tears in her eyes!!

  13. That was lovely Zena, sad but lovely. You are doing such a great job with Rafi 🙂 Things can only get better darlin 🙂 We can’t wait to see all the antics you two get up to in 2013 🙂 xx00xx

    Mollie and Alfie

  14. Zena you are one amazing girl……it’s really hard to lose a companion – a guide – a best friend…..but you and Zac were even closer than that. You were part of each other. I know Zac will ALWAYS be with you and I think he’s sending you strength and wisdom from the Bridge to help you teach Raffles “the way”. He’s proud of you – and all of us who know you are proud of you too! Here’s to another year of adjusting – it will be the best year yet for the New Zena! You’re a true Princess………

    Love and Hugs, Sammy

    • You are so right. Zac and I were part of each other. I hadn’t thought of it like that before but it is true. I look forward to 2013. One things for sure – I’m being kept a lot fitter!

  15. I remember about this sad day you lost Zac- (and now my keyboard is flooded with tears)
    I love the old Zena and the new too – you are always gorgeous. I think Raffles knows it ;o)

    • Sorry to make you cry, it is sad to remember but more sad to forget if you see what I mean. The Producer is having to come to terms with the new Zena. She misses the joyful old Zena but the new Zena might just surprise her!

  16. What a wonderful post – so poignant and yet so full of hope and positive perspective. You truly are an enlightened Princess! 🙂

  17. You do rock Zena!
    It’s sad that things had to change, but it sounds like you’re making the best of it and Rafi couldn’t have a better big sister than you:-)

  18. Aw, Zena, you are making mom’s eyes all leaky. We are both really glad that Raffles has turned out to be such a blessing. I bet Zac is really glad too; he would not want you to be sad while you still have so much wonderful life to be living. I think the new Zena is a very sweet and special pup, just like the old Zena was 🙂

  19. Thanks for sharing, Zena. We are all changed by the journey we share with those we fiercely love. Losing them is so tough, but it makes us all so much stronger in the end, if only for having loved them. Big hugs to you, princess.

  20. This look brighter for you now.
    We haven’t and won’t forget Zac, but we are also eager to read more about your adventures with the white horse.
    Have a great 2013.

    • Thanks Leo. Yes, my adventures with ‘the white horse’ could get interesting. He won’t be a decent hero until he can master the use of his back legs though! At the moment he is still so uncoordinated 🙂

  21. oh my sweet furriend Zena…I have failed you…I was late to comments…(glares at Mom)…Zena, I did not know Zac…my loss with yours…BUT I do know you…and YOU ARE SPECIAL, YOU ARE SMART, YOU ARE BOOTIFUL…and YOU are LOVED! Raffles will be your furriend as you were Zacs…but you will never ever lose you playfulness…it live within you…in your soul…you will find it to help Raffles become his REAL SELF…you totally are the most ROCKIN’ DOG Zena!!….paw hugs, Savannha

    • Awwww thank you Savvy (blushes), you are a fantastic furriend and to think ignorant people think dogs and cats can’t get along 😉 licks Zena xxxx

  22. Last year was a difficult one for you, that was a lovely tribute to Zac. I’m sure he’d be proud of you. Best wishes for 2013.

  23. Pingback: An Inspiring Start to the Year! « Everyday Adventures in Havachon Heaven

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