Zane T: An Incredible Light That Dimmed Too Soon

AdoptionDay-26Zane had the best life–the constant and sole companion of Denis for 12 years of his life.  But then disaster struck when Denis died.  Prospects for a 12 yr old German Shepherd, even one as fabulous as Zane, are not good.  But Denis’ daughter would not give up, and she found the Thulani Program.  We took Zane in, and immediately found Valerie and Dan A. who wanted to make Zane part of their family.

Zane T.

Zane T.

Zane found his salvation!  Valerie and Dan doted over him, put up with his mild separation anxiety, reveled in his somewhat quirky behavior, loved him for everything he naturally was, and gradually convinced him that a wonderful new chapter had begun for him.  And that was exactly the case for four glorious months.  Zane settled in, gave his full love and attention to Valerie and Dan, especially Valerie who was with him constantly while Dan traveled for long periods.  The stories that Valerie passed along were riveting, heartwarming, inspirational, and incredibly gratifying.

Zane and Valerie

Zane and Valerie

But then a short time ago, disaster struck again when Zane was diagnosed with an extremely fast moving and aggressive oral cancer.  Although the news was devastating, Valerie and Dan dealt with it by emulating Zane–living ‘in the moment’, not dwelling on stories about  tomorrow, and enjoying everything Zane was willing to grant them.

They let Zane go last week, but the pictures accompanying this tribute speak volumes of the devotion, the depth of the bond, the intensity of the relationship between Zane and Valerie and Dan, and the bittersweet joy that characterized this most intense final chapter of their relationship.

We should all grieve and exalt in this example of one of life’s most awe-inspiring events.

Fare thee well, Zane, and treasure your memories Valerie and Dan.


Posted on July 11, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. My precious Thulani dog Stella and I were fortunate to be invited for play dates with Zane. Something about Stella made Zane’s eyes glaze, he was obsessed with her. Stella, being the shameless flirt she is enjoyed being literally chased around Zane’s house for very long stretches before he rested. Stella would give them a few minutes to regroup then go lick his ears and get him started again. It was sheer joy to see these dogs just be in the moment, and what precious moments they were. The chemistry between Zane and Stella is more than we can dream of, it just happens, and I am so very lucky to have seen it. Valerie and I laughed long and hard, watching two otherwise doomed dogs be happy, naughty and natural. At the last play date I made a point of laying down facing Zane and stroking his plush long coat, the same way I cuddled my long coat Shepherds, and boy did it feel good, we both sucked it up. Words truly are not enough to express the gratitude for the sincere generosity of Valerie and Dan as they doted on this magnificent animal. Thank you just isn’t enough. Please share this with your FB friends and remind yourself to be truly in the moment and enjoy life.

  2. I remember seeing pictures of Zane, a truly beautiful German Shepherd. Dogs live in the moment and Zane’s moments were good with so that is all any dog or human can ask. May we be loved so well and cared for so much as we grow old.

    I have Sigmund, another Thulani dog who happens to have dementia but is still a love and has a right to life. These old dogs teach us so much about love and life as it comes to an end.

    Thanks for sharing his life with us all,


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