She is a wonderful dog, loved even by friends who say they aren't especially fond of dogs. She is a voracious cuddle monster, and a loyal companion who wants nothing more in this world to make us happy. The feeling is mutual.
In the year since she joined us, she has been nothing but a delight. She's now great on the leash and is a pleasure to walk. She's still fussy about letting us trim her nails, but she lets Matilda's groomer do it, which is a compromise with which we both can live. And she's still scared of other dogs when she and/or they are off-leash, but if we introduce her in a structured way that lets her know she's safe, she's fine. I don't know that we'll ever totally undo whatever made her terrified of every other dog in the world (besides, inexplicably, Dudley), but there has been marked improvement.
And because even the animals of Shakes Manor carry teaspoons, she has been an excellent ambassador for shelter dogs and mixed-breed dogs. Those funny little Dorito ears have started a lot of conversations about where she came from, and she sits patiently, grinning, while I tell the story again of finding her at the pound, of looking into those big brown eyes for the first time and knowing down to my bones that she was my dog.
So, in honor of Zelda's first year with us, here is a little video celebrating her happy life in her forever home and showing what abundant joy rescuing a shelter dog can be.
Set to Fontella Bass' "Rescue Me."
Text Onscreen: On July 16, 2011, we walked into the local Humane Society, and we saw a little black dog who didn't even have a name… [image of Zelda curled up on a blanket] We decided to give her a name. [image of Zelda grinning with "Zelda" in text beside her] And a forever home.
Video clips: Zelda riding in the car, with Dudley peeking his nose over the backseat. Zelda sitting, wagging her tail, looking up into the camera, and grinning. Zelda greeting me at the front door, grinning and wagging her tail excitedly. Zelda and Dudley playing chase in the backyard last summer, seguing into digging and investigating together in the fall, seguing into chasing each other through the snow last winter. Zelda running toward me through the snow, grinning; I zoom in on her and she puffs frosty air, then runs off across the garden again. Zelda lies on her back on the couch with her belly exposed and legs in the air; I rub her special belly spot and her back leg kicks wildly. Zelda lies on the living room floor on her belly, back legs out behind her, chewing on a rawhide; she turns and grins then goes back to chewing. Zelly leaps and grabs her plushy raccoon; sits and grins and twists her Dorito ears in a funny shape; looks at me and wags her tail; greets me excitedly at the front door; brings Dudley a giant plushy duck; runs across the garden toward me, grinning; pulls a plushy lobster out of the toybox and lies down next to Dudley on his dog bed; lies beside Dudley in the grass; chases a ball in the garden; scans the garden alertly; runs wildly at the dog park.
Still pictures of Zelda lying on my legs; cuddled on the sofa next to Iain; napping between Dudley and Sophie; napping next to Matilda and Dudley; napping next to Olivia.
Text Onscreen: Shelter animals make great pets. Opt to adopt.
Image of Zelly looking regal and generally awesome.