On Finding Princess Zelda

I’ve mentioned my dog–Princess Zelda–in my blog a few times. And today, when we were spending some cuddle time together, I thought back to the time when we found her; it’s a great story that I really wanted to share with you all…because Zelda is pretty much the most amazing dog ever!!

There’s kind of a backstory to this, so bear with me.

In 2012, my parents sold our childhood home, it was seriously one of the most devastating things to ever happen….my friends are still mad about it because our house was the coolest. Dad was trying to get a job out of the Alabama area and selling the house and downsizing were a necessary evil that had to happen in order for them to move out of the state. They sold their house and a lot of things that they couldn’t take with them and moved into an apartment. And during the time that they were trying to sell the house, my sister’s pets (Elsie the dog and Dandylion the cat) needed to be out of the house for hours at a time so the Realtor could show the house to potential buyers.

The husband and I offered to take the pets off mom and dad’s hands for a year (because apartment pet deposits are freaking crazy—it needs to be a year or longer for it to be worth the money!) while they sold the house, moved into an apartment and got accustomed to apartment/city life again. Since Dandy and Elsie were used to me, and the husband and I eventually wanted a pet of our own, it was good “pet parent” practice.

They are the cutest ever….here’s a pic:

IMG_9368 IMG_9411

 

Skip ahead to 2013–the year of owning pets is almost over, we’ve been talking to mom and dad about getting their animals back and talking to each other about getting a dog. We were thinking a beagle puppy and naming her Princess Leia. We had all these dream dogs and ideas about where to get our new pet.

One night, our friend Michael came over to get my husband’s help in studying–the two of them majoring in mechanical engineering. (Freaking geniuses!!) While I overhear Michael’s homework and it’s all going over my head I decide to take Elsie out for a walk behind the apartment. Once we’re outside, I let her off the leash so she can roam a little bit. We had been walking for a quite a while when I see Elsie’s ears go up and she starts growling: Elsie doesn’t do well with other dogs so I quickly put her leash back on and let her go discover whatever it was she was barking at.

Our apartments had literally just been built and there was leftover concrete in a pile way behind the apartments. There were big concrete slabs piled up with an asphalt barrier around it. (Weird, but just go with it…) She runs up the asphalt and looks into the concrete slabs and starts barking–and then I hear another dog growling back. Immediately, I start running back to the apartment eager for a dog rescue.

I burst into the room and say, “Uuuhhh, guys, I think there’s a puppy trapped under the rocks…”

Wordlessly, the guys get up and put on their shoes and we all run out there together. I get there first and sitting on top of one of the slabs is, what looks like a brindle colored pit bull, wagging its tail. I try to get closer and it runs away from me and hides under the slabs.

We eventually located her and I was sent back for food, treats and water. Right away, you could see she was hurt: her face is swollen, her ribs and hips are protruding and she has a hard time chewing food. She lets us get close enough to give her food, sometimes taking the treats out of our hand but not letting us pull her out of her hiding place. She starts growling if we get too close. But over the course of an hour and a half, the moon coming out and the darkness setting in, she gets used to us. We’ve all got flashlights and the guys have gloves as we try and attempt to get her out.

Unsure, at the time, whether the dog is a boy or girl, Michael says, “He looks like the Godfather, we should call him Marlon Brando!!”

Eventually, after the husband has called around a few of the vet clinics for help, he sends me to get the dog kennel and put it in the back of our car and to pull it around to where the dog is. After that’s been taken care of, he takes a deep breath, reaches in despite her growling and pulls her out. Immediately, she succumbs to his strength. She’s skin and bones, obviously exhausted and will not put up a fight. We discover she’s a girl, temporarily call her Arwen, and get her in the car.

All three of us drive to an emergency vet clinic and in the harsh yellow lights at 9pm, the dog’s fate is decided. A sweet girl tells us that we have two options: one, we leave the dog there and they will cover everything. Fixing her up, giving her the shots she needs and putting her up for adoption. The only downside, we can’t adopt her or find out anything about her–we just have to give her up. The other option is that we cover everything and we get to keep her—but the emergency vet clinic fee is already WAY more than we can afford and we don’t even know how she’s been hurt.

This sweet dog is curled up in my husband’s arms: dirty, sleeping, scared. And my husband and Michael are giving me the most desperate “can we keep her?” eyes that I’ve ever seen. We all three talk about it: Michael even offers to give as much money as he can to help us fix her up so we can keep her!

The sweet girl came back to us, seeing we were obviously conflicted and told us that she was a vet student. She would examine the dog for free and we could find another vet the next morning that might be more affordable. After an examination she tells us that the dog is 5 months old (she’s slightly smaller than a medium size dog and is only a puppy!!), she weighed 23lbs and had a tooth knocked out of socket on her left side (hence all the swelling) and her jaw was broken. She was either hit by a very slow moving car or someone had hit her with something hard.

So we took her back home with us and let her sleep outside on our patio in the kennel with lots of towels and decided to find another vet that could fix her up in the morning.

The vet we found was able to fix her up and give her all her shots for under $200…..we had a new puppy! The name Arwen just wasn’t sticking the night before or that morning. We’re in the exam room alone, the dog up on the counter wrapped up in a towel, sleepily looking at us as if she depended on us. We needed another name: we start listing off fun dog names but none of them were sticking. Finally, I looked up at my husband, “What about a name from the Legend of Zelda video game you liked so much? What about a name from there?” Immediately he replies, “Princess Zelda.” And the name stuck.

Even now, you can tell that she had a bad past; men make her very scared and very nervous….it took Michael a year to be able to pet her again! But despite her being nervous, she’s the sweetest and most loving dog I’ve ever had. She keeps me company when I’m at home and her devotion to our little family is amazing.

She is the bestest dog ever and we are so blessed to have found such a loving, pet friend. We’ve had her about a year and she has changed so much in just a year.

Zelda IMG_0498

 

She’s obviously had a hard beginning, but she has adapted so quickly as a part of our family and I can’t imagine having any other dog but her.

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