All in the Family
Jackson Mika Ford Thunder


Labrador Retriever

Zackariah Ford Heimes, that was his full name. We only called him his full name when he was in big trouble, wich he rarely was. Zack was born on November 6, 2002, and died on the morning of September 11, 2009. 11/6 and 9/11. they are the same if you flip one upside-down. Zack was 5 years old when he died, almost 6. That year would have been his golden birthday. For a golden dog, who never lived to see the day. Zack was about 4 months old when we got him, and already quite big. He grew up to be a big dog. He came from a long line of hunting dogs, and the sport flowed thru his veins, although if he wasn't a hunting dog we still would have loved him. He was king of his house, but one terrible summer day his reign ended. Ed, our neighbor at the time, was not a big fan of my father, so he decided to take it out on my puppy. Zack was in the yard on his chain while dad was in the garage working on his 1971 Ford Bronco. So Ed walked over to Zack and gave him a 'treat'. That 'treat' happened to be a 6 inch long steak that was about 2 inches around. Zack, thinking he was being rewarded for something, ate the thing whole. The instant he swallowed the steak whole, the poison that Ed had injected into it started wreaking havoc on his poor body. Dad rushed him to the Dell Rapids vet, where Zack puked up his 'treat'. He was completely paralyzed, and finally, after three days, he could muster up enough stregnth to wag his tail. This happened on a Monday. Dad used to get me on Tuesdays from my moms, so that Tuesday he called me and told me what had happened. Zack could still not get up by the time I go to see him, so every hour we had to flip him over on his other side to keep the blood flowing. He had to eat icecubes because he could not lift his head to drink, and we had to hand-feed him soft food from the vet. Zack always liked his food, and the best day of my life was when dad was putting out his food, and at this point Zack could crawl on his belly, and so he cralled for the fist foot, gained his feet, and walked over to dad, where he collapsed to eat. I cried. When Zack played, he would play for hours. He would chase his kong or a stick until he passed out. We had to give him frequent breaks and a lot of water to make sure that didn't happen. He could run almost perfect, but he could no longer swim, and when he walked his back legs were very bowlegged and his fronnt feet took baby steps. When Zack died, he was cremated and put in a small wooden box with his picture on top. A few months later, his baby brother, Ford, would join him on top of dad's dressor in a wooden box of his own. Every year, on Zack's birthday, dad takes me hunting, all day. One of us carries the birds, one of us carries Zack in his little wooden box. Ed took away my best friend, and for that I hate him, and will never forgive him. I will never forget Zack, and will always love him. Zack's ashes are now on a public hunting area just out side of Dell Rapids, S.D.

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