Zazu Chooses His Forever Home

I love reading about rescue animals that finally find their forever home, don’t you? Today’s Happy Ending comes from Robyn, one half of the team at Ask Us Fort Collins, a he said/she said advice column.


When I was little, I longed for a dog.  My mom was a neat freak and would never allow any animals in her house.  She didn’t want muddy paw prints on her clean floors, or hair on the furniture, or (heaven forbid) pee stains on her immaculate carpet!  I would beg her for a dog, giving her a list of all the good things an animal would bring to the house.  She refused and told me that when I was old enough, and I had my own place, I could have as many dogs as I wanted.  

Fast forward to my 30th birthday.  Yes, 30, the age when you finally feel like life has started to catch up to you; and when “over the hill” is too close for comfort.  I was living with my boyfriend, now husband, in a place where a small dog could have a nice life.  It was time.  My husband was not too sure about having a dog.  He had grown up in much the same manner, but it was allergies in his household that kept the pets away.  I have allergies too, so we decided to look for a poodle mix breed at the local shelter.  These breeds are hypoallergenic and come in compact sizes, perfect for our living situation. 

I scoured the local shelters’ websites, and found a dog at Animal House Rescue & Grooming that I wanted to go look at.  This little guy was an apricot poodle mix and his name was Juno.  I decided to go alone.  This was going to be my dog.  I was going to adopt it and he would be my baby to care for.  I arrived at Animal House and asked to see Juno.  They brought him out to me, and asked if I would like to take him for a walk.  Juno and I did not get along.  He growled at me and was very apprehensive on our walk.  I got him to sit with me on a bench outside the shelter which just resulted in more growling and some unwanted splinters in my leg.  Juno and I were not meant for each other.

I brought him back inside and let them know that things weren’t working out.  They asked if I would like to take a look around the shelter.  I followed them to the room they had Juno in.  There were 3 other dogs in the room.  One of them caught my eye.  He was white, fluffy, and smiling at me with the sweetest face I had ever seen.  “Who’s that?” I asked. “I didn’t see that dog on the website.”  They told me that his name was Zazu; and he had just come in the day before, which is why he was not on the website yet.  He was a poodle/bichon/terrier mix.  I immediately asked if I could see him.  They put me in a little room with him, and I fell in love.  He was a busy boy; he sniffed around, nudged me and wanted to examine the contents of my purse.  I had to have him; but it was a big decision, so I had to talk to the husband first. 


I came out of the visitation room glowing and wanting more information on Zazu.  They took me aside and told me that Zazu was a “special needs” dog.  He’d had three seizures in the past year; so it was nothing major and no medication was needed, but it was definitely something to be watched.  They told me that the older lady who brought him in had adopted him a year before, and felt that she couldn’t deal with the seizures.  They explained that while he was having one of his seizures, he growled and nipped at her.  She told them the bond was broken and she no longer wanted Zazu.  It broke my heart to hear this news.  How could she just give up on him? 

I had a lot to think about.  I had never owned a dog, let alone a special needs dog, and I was worried I wouldn’t know how to take care of him properly.  I went home to discuss things with my husband.

Zazu was an abused dog.  He was so matted when he first came to Animal House that they had to shave all of his hair off.  Without his fur, he looked like a little bird; so they named him Zazu, after the little bird in the Lion King.  I was named after a bird too.  I felt like it was a sign.  I brought my husband in to meet Zazu and we took him on a walk, laughing the whole time at how energetic he was.  We decided we still needed to discuss the decision further before we committed. 

Two weeks later, we were set to take a vacation to Las Vegas for my birthday.  We had decided to wait to adopt a dog until after we returned, since we would have to find a dog-sitter and felt that would be too confusing for the new member of our family. 

While in Vegas, we saw a live production of The Lion King at Mandalay Bay.  The show took our breath away and the one actor that stood out from the rest was the talented man who played Zazu.  I walked out of the theatre, turned to my husband and said, “I am getting Zazu.” 

Another two weeks passed and finally, Zazu was in my arms, and in his forever home.  We’ve had him for two years and he has not had one seizure.  We have talked with many dog owners and vets who all suggest the seizures must have been environmental.  Zazu went from one abusive situation to another, and then finally to a loving, healthy home.  He is 8 years old and I am determined to fill the rest of his life with happiness and more love than he has ever had.  He is the perfect dog.  He doesn’t bark, wet on the carpet, or shed.  He is friendly, loves to snuggle and play, and is the life of the party.  He wakes me up every morning with a nuzzle and a kiss.  My life is complete now, and hopefully so is his. 

The best part of this story is that my mom LOVES HIM.  She even doggie sits him from time to time AND lets him run all over her immaculate house.  I never thought I would see the day.

Do we choose them, or do they choose us?  I think we choose each other.  


Share your happy ending!

I’d love to share your story and feature your pet on Tails of Fort Collins- just send me an email at !

Facebook Twitter Email