Zac followed my partner along the footpath near our home, one afternoon when Mark was walking towards the gym. An Aussie Terrier, starving and weary. These gym sessions were daily events and sacrosanct at the time. This day, instead of continuing on his route, Mark bent down, picked the skinny runt up in his arms and proceeded to knock on dozens of doors up and down the hills, asking: “Does anyone know this dog?” No-one answered in the affirmative. We rang several vets in the area, looked out for ads and put up notices; nothing.
Once the two children saw him, his white coat shot over by a splattering of deep grey and a dash of beige round the eyes and ears, they fell in love. Fast. Two weeks later and our daughter had fallen so madly in love with the little mutt, it started to look as if he was ours to keep. And we had finally settled on ‘Zac’ for a name.
Like many adoptive parents, we dreaded, during the days that followed, the knock on the door, or the phone call that might announce the arrival of the ‘natural’ parent or parents of this undernourished, but otherwise perfect, little fellow. Luckily that never happened, and he fitted into our household like another family member.
He was the gentlest little creature. He put on weight quickly so that I didn’t have to carry him on long walks anymore. He loved chasing the ball that my husband threw almost to the moon.