My Pet: My Zac is worth his weight in gold
I read with interest about Martina's Jack Russell, named Sparky (Sunday Independent, August 13). Nine years ago, my husband died and I was sad and lonely. Friends suggested a visit to the DSPCA and my son and I did as advised.
He drove me there and we admired the beautiful dogs, all running around. But in a corner sat a sad and terrified Jack Russell, shaking all over and eyes popping out of his head. I ignored all advice and said: "That is the dog I want."
I learned that he was about one year old and had been thrown out of a van or car in north county Dublin and had a dislocated hip; nobody wanted him. A wee girl standing near me said "Call him Zac.''
I took Zac in my arms and sat in the back of the car and cuddled him as he shook. Ever so often, he would look up at me and the shivering lessened. That was nine years ago and Zac has proved to be the most truly loyal friend anybody could be so lucky to have. He dislikes the odd visitor but seems to love others, especially my family and my grandchildren. At night, he is on guard at all times and awakes to the slightest noise. He is just brilliant and Heaven must have sent him to me.
His only problem, which is my problem, is that nobody can cut his nails. Every six weeks a vet puts him to sleep, cuts his nails and gives him a second injection to awaken him. Quite costly, but he is worth every penny. His loyalty is beyond belief and I hope I will have him for years.
Zac has likes and dislikes. He dislikes some of my friends. When they arrive he disappears behind the sofa, as if ready to defend me. Once an old male friend called. He had a bad knee and had been told by his doctor to keep kicking his leg when sitting. He sat down comfortably, but next he started to kick his left leg. Zac thought he was about to kick me and rushed out. He obeyed my order to lie low but kept his eyes on my visitor for two hours. He loves to be petted by female visitors and wags with delight when they arrive.
Here's the greatest thing he did. One morning he rushed into the back garden and kept barking and then running in for help. I saw two males running out of my neighbour's back yard.
Evidently they had been about to rob the neighbours' house but Zac's barking disturbed them and they disappeared over the back wall. When the family returned, they brought me a lovely cake and I gave Zac a slice. He is worth his weight in gold and I hope he will live to a bright old age and continue to be my guardian.
Mairead Duffy, Glenageary, Co Dublin
Finest hour: Disturbing two intruders in a neighbour's garden
Likes: To be petted
Dislikes: Many of my friends
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