When we started planning to go fulltime RV in May of 2014 the main catalyst was Zeke’s health problems. He started having problems with wetting the bed and subsequent visit to the vet diagnosed him with lymphoma cancer. The news was pretty devastating and made us realize how temporary life is and that we need to be sure to live it fully.
We rescued Zeke in September of 2012 and it was one of the best decisions we ever made. He brought us so much joy and got us to go fulltime rving so we wanted to remember him. We rescued Zeke so hopefully sharing our experience will encourage others to always rescue dogs. Zeke was also considered by many to be a dangerous breed because he looked like a Pit Bull. While he wasn’t one it always frustrated us that people would make judgments before meeting him and learning that he was the nicest dog or living being you could ever meet.
Good things come in small packages
Zeke came to us from the Phoenix Small Dog Rescue in September of 2012. At 80 pounds he was hardly a small dog and as we quickly learned he was one of the most unique beings we have ever met.
Our oldest dog Bonzai had started to let us know that she needed a companion after our Boxer Ozric had passed away in June of 2012, you can read my memory of him here: Ozric. Kate found Zeke on the Small Dog website and stopped by the foster home on her way back from work. When she got home she let us know that the next day Bonzai and I would be joining her to bring Zeke home.
Of course the final decision was based on if Bonzai got along with Zeke. We even asked the foster family if we could bring Zeke back after one night just in case things didnt go well. In retrospect that was one of the funniest requests ever made cause there was no going back once we let this guy into our lives.
Whats in a name?
When we got Zeke he was called Humphrey by his foster family and before that his original owner called him Tamu. Neither of these names were particularly appealing to us nor did they match his personality. Kate has a tradition of naming her dogs with a ‘z’ somewhere in their name. It started with Beezle, then Bonzai, then Scuzzlebutt, then Ozric, so we had to come up with something to keep the tradition alive. I also wanted to have a short name that was easy to call out and Kate mentioned our nephew Tate’s rabbit was named Zeke. Figuring that one syllable was short enough we settled on Zeke and he immediately accepted it as his name.
He was anything but a small dog either in size or heart or appetite or love. Before we left the foster home the mother gave us a warning that Zeke, as we would come to name him, was not the best at riding in cars and to be ready for that. So we loaded him into the back of our Honda Pilot with Bonzai with me in the back seat to ensure he wouldn’t act up. Within 5 blocks our concerns were abated as he curled up next to Bonzai and started napping like he had been with us forever.
Long and turbulent history
This had not been Zeke’s first foster or rescue. His original owner had died at home and when his body was discovered 5 days later Zeke was lying next to his body obediently waiting for his first friend to wake up. Dehydrated and malnourished he had been taken to a vet hospital for treatment and was released to his first rescue.
Unfortunately she ended up being an hoarder. After a few months he was rescued from that rescue where he apparently had spent hours in a kennel surrounded by other terrified animals. From there he was rescued by the good people at the Phoenix Small Dog Rescue and went to his first foster family.
While his breed is unknown to exacting standards we think he is a bit of American Bulldog and a few groomers have mentioned Argentinian Dogo, which his white coat and spots under the fur seem to confirm in a very unscientific way. Nevertheless he was assumed by many to be a Pit Bull and people shied away from him with the ignorance of people who judge others by sight before knowing the individual. Even if he were a Pit Bull he was still the most gentle dog we had ever met. The most force he would use towards people would be in lifting your arm with his nose to get you to pet him.
While at his first foster home he had met a few potential owners who eventually declined to take him simply because he looked like a dangerous animal. That foster returned him to the rescue and he went to his second foster home where Kate found him.
When we got him home there was some confusion and he ran to the neighbors house. I probably overreacted a bit but the thought of losing this dog before even getting him in the house was tragically comedic. Kate was more composed and recovered him from the neighbors driveway and calmed me down.
The first night I took out my camera and snapped our first photos. He was a joy from the start and we loved him right away. There would be no need to take him back to the foster family and he had found his forever home and we found another reason to never judge a book by its cover.
Love heals all
Zeke loved people. He loved getting pets and laying at your feet. He loved going on walks and meeting more people who could give him more petting. For the most part everyone who saw him loved him. One of the best things that happened on walks was when grown men mentioned how ‘handsome’ he was.
Bonzai and Zeke hit it off right away and became inseparable. Occasionally we would need to take one of them to the vet for an appointment and the other would worry and pace the house until their best friend got back home.
As with Bonzai and Ozric, Zeke was a vegan. We fed him V-Dog brand dogfood to ensure he got all of the nutrients he needed and he was very healthy. He also loved vegetables and would patiently sit near us whenever food prep was happening. There was very little that he would not chomp on and then come back for as much as he could coax from us.
There is so much to write about Zeke but I want to keep things reasonable here. If you have a Zeke story or photo please share it in the comments below. He was a very special being and we will always have him in our hearts.