Thursday, October 6, 2022

Off Topic: Zena the Dog

By Margaret Dore

Kalispell Montana.  Approximately two years ago, my friend, Dr. Annie Bukacek, purchased a dog for protection, naming her Zena. It soon became apparent that Zena was a different kind of dog. For whatever reason, she never learned her name, but she knew when we were talking about her. She was smart, silly and very social.  

Zena loved to make friends with the people who came to Annie’s office. Sometimes they brought her treats. She made friends at the local Starbucks, meaning more treats. She reached out to a lonely woman at the bank, making the woman’s day.

Per Annie, some of her patients wanted Zena present in the exam room, for comfort. Per Annie, Zena would look the patient in the eye, sometimes touching the patient with her paw or laying her head on the patient’s lap.

Zena loved to go to the dog parks in Kalispell and Whitefish. She learned how to get along with other dogs. She was very fast and loved to run.

On the negative side, Zena was sometimes an escape artist. Last week, she slipped out of a friend’s home and was hit by a car. She died instantly.

Zena wasn’t perfect. But in her short life, she touched many people and did much good.

* * *

Published as a letter to the editor in the Daily Inter Lake, October 6, 2022.