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Paws For Love - Zoey and Cindy Gardner

This is the love story as told to me by Cindy Gardner, Mommy of Zoey, a Yorkshire Terrier from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Tell me about the first time you met Zoey, when and where was it? How did you feel and what made you feel that way?

I met Zoey in January 2010, through a great breeder. I was the first to pick, but I had only two to select from. I knew right away even though I only had two, I knew. If there were twenty in the litter, I know I would have picked her. I knew because I truly think she picked me! She was different than her sister, she was very active! It was her personality, I remember thinking, “This dog is for me! “ I had a feeling that her sister knew, she was probably thinking, “I don’t have a chance.” She went and laid down and accepted that her sister Zoey was the one. One month later I went back to pick her up to bring her to her furever home with me.

Thinking back, how would you describe Zoey’s personality as a puppy? And as an adult?

Her personality was the same as a puppy as when she was an adult, a clown. She was sure of herself, confident, and funny. Zoey always made me laugh. She was tough and didn’t take crap. Same from beginning to end. She was amazing.

And now how would Zoey describe your personality?

She rubbed off on me, she made me silly and fun. I was a pushover. She had a way of calming me down. She made me want to have fun, she brought out the best in me.

What did you learn from Zoey?

I learned what true love really is, she loved me for who I am. No conditions, no matter what. I learned how to have fun and enjoy life.

What are the top three things you always want to remember about your love?

1. How she showed me unconditional love.

2. How she loved to cuddle, and just how much fun she was.

3. How tough she was. Nothing stopped her from doing anything!

When did Zoey earn her wings?

April 12, 2020

When did you join Paws? Do you remember how you found Paws?

June 2020. I found Paws from a woman in another pet loss site. She told me about you, Pam. You were counseling her and I found Paws.

What has or is helping you get to the other side of grief? What advice would you share with someone who recently started grieving?

What’s getting me thru is the support from everyone in Paws and my other pet loss group I am a part of, and of course my counseling with you Pam. I’d tell them that grief is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. It takes as long as it takes. Don’t be hard on yourself, be gentle, just breathe. It’s the hardest thing. Don’t compare your grief to somebody else’s, people grieve differently, do not compare.

Where are you now in your grief?

It's been six months since I lost Zoey and every day is still really hard. Losing her has left quite a void and I miss her terribly. There hasn't been a day that I haven't cried. I just take it one second, one minute, one hour, one day at a time. I have noticed some better moments of late, so I know that I am healing, at a slow pace, but I am healing. Zoey is still the light in my life. So she will help me heal.

Using your spiritual and intuitive mind

If I could get a message to Zoey from you, what would you want to say? What would you want to let Zoey know?

I'd want her to know how much I love her and miss her. I would give anything to have her back. I'd thank her for loving me and bringing me so much joy. My life will never be the same without her. I can’t wait until the day we can be together forever. I'd tell her to have fun while she's up in heaven and not to be too bossy with the other dogs.

And if I could get a message from Zoey to you what would she like you to know?

She would say, “Mommy, I’m having fun! I don’t want you to worry about me! I love you and I'm always with you! Thank you for spoiling me and for always taking such good care of me. I know you always did your best for me. Thank you for taking me to work with you, I loved that! I really wish you would have given me more of those peanut butter cookies though!!

Is there anything else you would like to share with you Paws Pack about Zoey?

Zoey was an exceptional dog. Losing her so suddenly at only ten years old was not something I was ready for. To say that my life is forever changed is an understatement. Someone told me that the harder you love, the harder you grieve. I'm finding that to be very true. So every time the grief steals my breath, I remind myself the love was worth the pain. Zoey was so loving and sweet. She was my whole world, my baby. What helps is that I'm starting to realize she's still with me. She has sent me so many signs to prove it. Our love for each other will never die and I know that she's waiting for me. One day we'll be together again... forever.

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