Smile Because it Happened

My dad asked me to put together a blog to celebrate the life of their sweet little dog, Ziggy. Since my blog is about all life, I decided to post it on my blog and share it with all of you. My parents have always taught me to celebrate life so today, we as a family, celebrate the life of a little Lhasa Apso who gave us so much love over the past 16.5 years.

Written by Bob Barrese – April 18, 2014

Today Marie and I, for the first time in almost 17 years, start our day with just each other. Our beloved Ziggy, the Lhasa Apso who thought he was a Lion, is with us no more. Anyone with a beloved pet who has had to see them succumb to the infirmities of old age knows what we have been going through.  But, today we want to talk about the Ziggy we all loved and invite others who knew him to do so too.

From Ziggy’s Dad

Ziggy, you always looked like a puppy and your cuteness kept you out of a lot of trouble.  I remember how you used to play fetch all day with the tennis balls but only those “Medfield” tennis balls were good enough; what was that all about? I know how much you delighted in chasing squirrels, rabbits and always wanted a piece of pretty much any canine that dared enter your turf including those two surprised Coyotes in Medfield, MA. On the streets, you were totally fearless with no concept of how small you really were. You loved visitors and would pop into their laps unless we grabbed you first. Everyone seemed to love you, Ziggy. You lived in general co-existence with Slippers, our 20 pound black Maine Coon cat, who could be mistaken for a panther cub. When Slippers passed away a few years ago, it was just you, me and Mom.

We couldn’t have a better friend whether we left to get gas or were out of town for a week, you were always overjoyed when we returned. The last few years you had separation anxiety and your cousin Albert and Auntie Donna were so great caring for you. Over the past few months, Mom and I took turns traveling because we didn’t want to leave you alone.

In 1997, you replaced the hole in our hearts left by your predecessor Gizmo, our very first dog. Your litter was special. Siegfried, your brother Roy and his other brother Giles were sired by Prestidigitator in Canton Massachusetts. Roy seemed like more than a handful and Giles was apparently “show quality” so we knew you were our dog. It took just a minute to fall in love with you, and it will take a lifetime to forget you.

I remember that you were a proud graduate of PetCo training school. You were such a smart and willful pup. I know you allowed me to think I was Alpha but you never really conceded numero uno. It was probably best that there was never really a battle of wills to establish dominance.

We were amazed that you figured out how to bounce a Kong down the stairs so the treat would loosen. When we moved to a new house with carpet, you figured out how to bounce the Kong off the tile with a neck twist and throw!  Unlike Gizmo, you figured out that squirrels don’t disappear, they go up trees and if we hid a treat under a cup, you knew to knock it over.

I’ll miss you burrowing in when I scratched you behind the ears (especially the left). I’ll miss your happy face that would meet me at the door with your tennis ball in mouth. I’ll miss running around Wildwood Park until I was exhausted.  I’ll miss you falling asleep on me when I dozed off on your couch.

I’ll end my post with the best quote I ever heard about the death of a loved one:

“Don’t cry because it’s over, Smile because it happened.” – Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss)

Love, Ziggy’s Dad


Bob Barrese
Today it is almost 2 months since we lost Ziggy. Today also we will be Grandparents as Angela welcomes a new Grand Son into the world in about an hour. The baby will likely not be called Ziggy or Zeigfried so really no connection other than old life out, new life in.

Ziggy’s Mom and Dad
Today, we buried Ziggy’s remains in the backyard realm where he reigned supreme terrorizing rabbits, squirrels and the occasional possum for 11 years. In better days he’d just hop up on the stone garden oval, built by the Caputo twins and sniff his brains out. I won’t even begin to describe his discovery of rabbit babies a few years ago.

So this will probably be the last blog post and he’ll just live on in our hearts and memories. I can’t say how much going to this post everyday has helped me, along with all of the cards, emails and Facebook comments; people did remember Ziggy. Thanks again Angela for doing this with all the other stuff you have on your plate.

Jeff & Jean Bragg
In Scottsdale we discussed how well Ziggy was doing considering his age. I was really surprised and sorry to hear that he had passed. You should take some comfort in the fact that it was due in part to your loving care and attention that he lived so long. Speaking from experience, we know the loss that you are feeling is like losing a member of your family. You are in our thoughts.

Ron and Lois Brewster
Lois and I were very sorry to hear about Ziggy. He was a joy to be around and had a personality to marvel. 17 years of a wonderful life is something for which to be thankful.

Liz Ladd
As a friend of Anthony’s, I have heard many wonderful memories and stories about Ziggy. Although I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Ziggy personally, I have known (and lost) brave and bright kindred animals. My thoughts are with your family as you remember your friend.

Perry Bump
Bob & Marie, I’m sorry about Ziggy but agree with “smile because it happened”. Dogs make such wonderful companions. It sounds like you have a lot of wonderful memories of Ziggy. Perry Bump

Anthony Barrese
When the great American composer, Charles Ives was 14 years old, he composed the text and music for the following piece. It is inscribed “To the Children’s Faithful Friend”

The text is as follows:
One evening just at sunset
we laid him in the grave;
Although a humble animal
his heart was true and brave.

All the family joined us,
in solemn march and slow,
from the garden place beneath the trees
and where the sunflowers grow.

Karen Schuetz (
We are sorry for your loss. We will always remember how he loved to play fetch with the tennis ball and he had such a little bounce in step. He was always ready to play & take on dogs way bigger than himself, especially Kody & our obnoxious Reeses. We enjoyed taking care of him when you were out of town. I love the picture of Slippers and him, because I can remember seeing the two of them right in those places when I would come over to check on them. He will be missed. Hopefully, he is with Kody in a place where he can run, play, fetch balls and have endless amounts of doggie treats!
Karen, Kaitlyn,Kourtney & Kris

Eric Skalinder
Dogs are little people in furry suits and so often treat humans better than we treat each other. A sad day. Woof!

Marie Barrese (
I can’t express how much his passing has left a hole in my heart.. For 16+ years he was always there.

When you first came into our lives, you were always into mischief. At that time I was sewing quite a bit for Medfield HS and you thought all the scraps on the floor were for your enjoyment! And whenever I sewed you always parked yourself under my chair. Co-sewers would always remark you were like a toddler, never letting me out of your site.

And when anyone came over, whether it was a friend or handiman, you made sure you got their attention and had some playtime. At Halloween you cried when the kids walked across the street. You thought they were ignoring you!

Ziggy was always underfoot in the kitchen. All I had to do was open the fridge or pantry and even if he was napping, up the stairs he would bound. Patiently he waited for any fall-out or hand-out, he never minded the distinction. And he made sure he was right by Bob’s chair when sitting down to a meal. That was one smart dog!

If I went to the store, you were always waiting at the door when I arrived back home hoping I brought an extra special treat! So thank you Ziggy for being such a special part of our lives.
Love, Mom

Dr. Juliana Lyles (
What great pictures of Ziggy – he is so photogenic and has so many different looks to him. I was only able to know Ziggy toward the end, but immediately could tell what a wonderful family member he was, and what a strong spirit he had in that little body. He was a lucky boy to have been part of a great family, and I know that he was smart enough to appreciate this.

Sweet Ziggy! I loved his famous “puppy cut” and he was such a wonderful companion on walks in the Medfield woods.
It was clear how special he was to you all – he was definitely a part of the family. I remember when you all decided to give him “full run of the house” . And the baby gates came down.
Although we are mourning Ziggy, how wonderful you all were able to enjoy each other for 17 years. That is impressive! I would expect nothing less from that impressive pup!!
My condolences to you and Marie and Angela and Tony.

Karmen Franklin
Hi. I’m a friend of Anthony’s, a dog owner, and a lover of animals. I’d like to offer my condolences for your loss. Ziggy sounds like he was an intelligent and loving companion–not to mention adorable. I regret that I never got to meet him, but I am still touched by the memories and photos that you’ve shared here.

Cori Ellison
I’ll never forget Ziggy, who I heard so much for years about from Tony and finally had the pleasure of meeting at a wonderful dinner at the Barreses some years ago. Besides being off-the-charts cute, Ziggy was a most gentlemanly host and a real charmer and it didn’t take long to bond with him.

I’m sure that Ziggy is now romping on the Other Side with my priceless Puckie, after his long and happy years of love and fun with his devoted family. But no matter what a ripe old age a beloved dog may reach, it’s always devastating when our paths have to diverge. But Bob and Marie, I think you’ll find that Ziggy will be with you always.

Mark and Rinette Catapano
As long-time family friends, Rinette and I fell in love with Bob and Marie’s first dog Gizmo. We thought he was the cutest little thing and he was a lot of fun, but, when Ziggy came along, well…

Zigmeister had a way about him that brightened your heart, no matter the mood you were in. We’ll always remember the love he’d “allow” you to give him; never forgetting that it was all his choice. At Casa Barrese, when dinner was over and we retired to the family room for a little drink, Ziggy got his Kong. You could have had your hair on fire, but Ziggy wasn’t having anything distract him from that morsel of goodness and delight. It was fun just watching.

During the reign of Sir Ziggy, Rinette and I lost our own beloved dog, Molly. We had a chance, in Ziggy, to soften the blow we took. That little guy could sense your feelings and feed right into it. What a blessing from God.

Dogs leave paw prints on your heart…We will add Ziggy’s to ours.

angela wagner
I will miss you Zig man. I’m so glad you were able to live your life with a great family!

I saw this post via Anthony. Ziggy looks like he was quite the sweetheart (and I can only imagine the coexistence of him and Slippers). Thank you for sharing these pictures. As having a few fuzzy family members of my own, my heart goes out to your family’s loss.

Cait Rappel
My heart goes out to you and your family for your loss. I never had the chance to know Ziggy personally, but as a fellow dog lover, it makes me happy to know that such a wonderful dog was blessed with such a wonderful, loving family. I cannot imagine a happier way for a dog like Ziggy to spend their time on earth. I’m sure he is smiling down on all of you right now 🙂

Kristen Barrett
He was a little bearded lion indeed! (Although I always thought he looked more like an Ewok 😉 He had an awfully good home with you guys.

My favorite is the one of Ziggy and Slippers.

Anthony Barrese
This is really great. I love how his eyes look in every photo. I know it’s the trick of the camera, but it’s so great.

Preggo Power Yoga Sun A Modification

Below is a very short and homemade video (yeah, I know we recorded it the wrong way :), showing how I am currently modifying my Sun A’s at 29 weeks preggo. A few things I have found to be helpful…

  1. Keep your feet hip width distance apart. You and the baby bump are less likely to get smooshed.
  2. Bend your knees during half-way lift and place your hands on a block, your shins or legs if it’s too far to reach the ground. Do what is most comfortable.
  3. Do Chaturanga on your knees.
  4. Skip Up Dog and do a push up instead.

As always, talk to your doctor and listen to your body. Do what feels right for you.