My dog is 10 years old

Imaginary Karin - Zappo whippet puppy
Mother Bertha and the whole litter. Zaphod is the pup to the far right.

On March 22, in the year 2005, a litter of puppies were born in a small town in north Sweden. All tiger-striped in brown and black, with white markings. One of them, the male with the white dot on the back of his neck, was destined to be mine.

I visited the breeder and saw the puppies for the first time when they were 5 weeks old, and made up my mind shortly after. They were a lovely couple (the humans I mean) and their dogs were healthy and happy. My puppy came home with me at the end of May 2005, when he was 8 weeks old.

Imaginary Karin - Zappo whippet puppy
8 weeks old and just moved in with me.
Imaginary Karin - Zappo whippet puppy
4 months old

Most puppies are round and fluffy, but not this one. Even that young, whippets are tall and thin and bony. Zappo was all elbows and knees, his head balancing on a lanky neck that seemed far too long for his body. It was the most beautiful little creature I had ever seen. ;)

He was a nice puppy too, calm and gentle, and didn’t chew on anything other than his toys. In hindsight, I got off very easy.

The breeder warned me that whippet puppies can be really destructive, and that the “sighthound dignity” possessed by adult whippets usually doesn’t develop until they’re a few years old. Zappo was dignified from day one, I often joke that he was born an old man.

Imaginary Karin - Zappo whippet
Almost 10 years old (taken in January 2015)

And now it’s been 10 years…
10 years of walking through the forest, climbing mountains, running across open fields… and slacking on the couch eating crisps.

He is the longest relationship I’ve ever had. When I first met him I was 22, now I’m 32. I’ve moved towns, moved apartments, changed jobs and boyfriends, studied and graduated, and always he’s been with me. No matter what has happened in all other aspects of life, I’ve always had my dog. He’s been my one truly solid point in an otherwise ever-changing world.

It’s funny to think about.

Imaginary Karin - Zappo 10th birthday cake

We celebrated last Sunday with a “cake” made from his favourite treat: cat food. Wet and dry.
Thankfully he didn’t want to share it with me, haha!

Happy birthday, you scrawny old mutt! You’re the best friend I’ve ever had. <3

Comments

  1. 29 March 2015

    Aww, happy birthday to Zappo, and that’s a great cake :D

  2. 30 March 2015

    Awww! What a sweet post about your lovely dog. I enjoyed seeing his history. Zappo is such a great dog. :D

    And I cracked up seeing his cake . . . even funnier that it’s made from cat food! Yeah, I’m glad he didn’t want to share it with you XD

  3. 30 March 2015

    Awwwww, so adorable. :D Zappo is also lucky to have such a great mummy!

  4. 30 March 2015

    Aww, the cake is so cute! I hope he liked it! How did you name him? I am thinking Hitch Hikers Guide, but it might be a different Zaphod :)

    I love his markings.

    • Karin
      3 April 2015

      Spot on! He is indeed named after Zaphod Beeblebrox :)

  5. Ann-Kristin
    30 March 2015

    Finaste hunden. Jättesöt som valp och men lika fin som 10-åring. Toppen att han fick tårta på födelsedagen. Längtar till helgen så jag får träffa er alla. <3

  6. 31 March 2015

    Dogs are a mans and women’s best friend.
    It is amazing that you found Zappo.
    Zappo is lucky to have such an amazing owner.

    Happy birthday Zappo.

  7. 1 April 2015

    Aww, happy birthday to Zappo! He’s a beautiful dog :D That’s great that he was a calm and gentle puppy. I hear a lot of stories of puppies chewing up things!

    haha, I think it’s funny that his favorite food is cat food :) I hope he enjoyed his birthday cake!

  8. 8 April 2015

    So sweet! Happy belated birthday, Zappo!
    He really is a beautiful dog; beautiful coloring and he seems gentle and sweet in the pictures. :)

  9. 9 April 2015

    Wow, he’s beautiful! I love his fur so much. He’s definitely been your best friend for the past 10 years :) I hope for many more. I also think it’s hilarious that his favourite “treat” is cat food!! Too funny.