Well, it finally happened. Zaffa ate the couch. Of course, we are obligated to point out that this is only our view of the matter. Zaffa was quite proud of his handiwork, calling it the result of inspired artistic genius. He patiently explained that it expresses “the postmodern existential crisis and psychological enmeshment of life in contemporary society.”
“It does not,” we replied. You were just upset because we wouldn’t let you chase the delivery guy.”
“Precisely!” he barked. “I channelled my thwarted instincts into healthy creative pursuit. The juxtaposition of controlled balance, as evidenced by the careful placement of pillows, amidst the chaos of feathers is nothing short of sublime. I’m waiting for a call from a Manhattan gallery any minute.”
“That’s it,” we said. “Time to go channel your instincts into less destructive activities like playing ball in the yard. Although, come to think of it, we noticed the shredded remains of what used to be your tennis ball scattered all over the grass…”
“Oh! I’m glad you reminded me of that,” Zaffa woofed. “I’ll add it to the gallery exhibit. Of course, if you wish to retain these valuable works onsite, the bidding starts at $1 million…”
Zaffa joined The Lily Pond family in October 2015. He had been dumped at Brooklyn Animal Care and Control, and we received an email notification late one Thursday night that he was scheduled to be destroyed by noon the next day. We rushed down the next morning and pulled him just in time. What we saw that morning was heartbreaking. He was thin and emaciated, with ribs showing and bald patches due to lack of nutrition. All four paws were bloody. He had kennel cough and a runny nose. His eyes were sad and wary; his spirit completely broken.
We learned that he had lost his original owner in a fatal bicycle accident. He found himself shuffled to a new owner, who kept him in the basement 24/7 and used abusive methods to “train” him as a guard dog. However, the owner got tired of caring for his guard dog and after months of neglect, dumped him at the shelter.
Zaffa’s rehabilitation took time and was not without challenges. We attended to all his medical needs – including having him neutered – and enrolled him in dog obedience classes. Slowly, he began to put on weight and his fur began to grow back. He got stronger. One day, we noticed a bounce to his step and a light in his eye that had not been there before. We will be forever grateful to Teddi and Chris, who fostered Zaffa during our transition to the sanctuary’s current location. They taught him basic obedience and showered him with affection. Now our smart, handsome boy is the official guard dog at the sanctuary, protecting us from the menace of squirrels and creating multi-media art in his spare time.