Credit to Amber Winkler

Izzy and Ollie

The Zimmerman family’s beloved first dog was Izzy. She was an 11-year-old German Shepherd with a light coat that had been with the family since she was four months old.

“Everybody in the family loved her,” freshman Sophia Zimmerman, the oldest of two children, said. “She wasn’t anyone’s particular dog.”

Izzy wasn’t too affectionate but she was very protective of everyone in the household. Izzy was the most protective of the youngest child, James Zimmerman, who had bonded the most with the dog ever since he was born. Izzy was timid but she was playful. Although Izzy wasn’t the most energetic dog, the family started to believe something was wrong when she wouldn’t go outside at night when it was too dark. She would just sit in the grass, waiting to go back inside.

“We took her to the vet when she was 4 or 5 years old,” Sarah Zimmerman, the mom of the family, said. “And they were like, ‘Yeah she’s got this thing going on.’”

The vet confirmed that Izzy was partially blind. To make sure she was comfortable and able to see, Sarah and Sophia would give her eye drops twice a day and the medicine that she needed. They would also make sure that Izzy wouldn’t go outside too late at night when there wasn’t enough light out for her to see her surroundings. The family even got another German Shepherd, Ollie, for Izzy to have a friend to be around all day. Despite the eye drops Izzy had taken, it was later found out that she was living with cancer.

“I didn’t really feel anything at first,” Sophia said. “I kind of didn’t believe it.”

Around three years ago in November, Izzy died due to her eye cancer. At first, it was very hard for the family to come to terms with losing their first dog to such unfortunate circumstances. Though the bond the family had with Izzy will forever allow them to keep her close to their hearts.  

“Remember that your time with them is short,” Sarah said. “Enjoy them while you can.”

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