Who We Are

Friday, April 18, 2014


Hi readers.  The girls have given me, their "mom", permission to post to the Army of Four Digest today.  I'm afraid I have some very sad news to convey. Yesterday, my husband and I had to let Zim go. It came out of the blue.

He has been losing power in his back legs, which is not unusual for a dog his age (over 14). After breakfast, he went to back up in the living room and fell on his back leg. He screamed in pain and could not bear weight on it. I got him to lay down for a bit, wanting to see if a rest and a little time would make a difference. When it didn’t, I gave a call to our vets (The Veterinary Health Center at Kansas State University) and took him in.

Our vet, Dr. N. and our student gave him a thorough exam, then Dr. N. asked one of the Orthopedic Surgeons, Dr. R. to take a look. He agreed that it was most likely a fracture - so we had x-rays taken. The x-rays revealed not only a fracture, but even worse news - something has been eating away at the bone, most likely osteosarcoma - bone cancer. It could have been some sort of aggressive fungus, but either way, it would not be repairable. Our only option other than euthanizing would have been amputation and chemotherapy - at his advanced age, it would have been very tough on him — and would not have given him the quality of life any of us want for him.

Knowing that it would not get better and that he was in a great deal of pain, we made the decision to let him go.

1 JAN 2000 - 17 APR 2014

He was our lover of adventure, a friend to all (cats, bunnies, geese, ducks, deer, etc.), and was one of the best friends his dad and I could ask for. He survived being chained to a tree and half starved for a year and a half before he entered our lives, three cystotomies, and two cancer surgeries. He was so very brave, never complained, and had such a zest for life.

Please do not share this to your blogs. Especially during this most holy of weekends for those of us who are Christians, please don't spread the sadness. Please do NOT take photos off our blog or our Flickr account and post them to your blog. Let Zim's story be told here.

If you'd like to do something to honor him, grab your pups or a friend and go on an adventure. Dream big dreams. Make friends with another species.

Seriously.  You know you want to go!

Go explore!

God willing, he has been reunited with Stormy, Ammy, and Dave, and the Army of Four are together again.

Left to right:  Zim, Ammy, Dave, and Stormy.
The Army of Four.

Thank you for celebrating Zim's life with us.  We will be taking a short blog break, while we regroup and celebrate Easter.

Celebrate life!  Have a blessed Easter.

with Cammie and Mags

PS:  I would be remiss if I didn't say a few words about the wonderful people at the Veterinary Health Center at KSU.  Everyone - our vets, vet techs, students, and the staff/administrators - were and are so supportive, so kind to us and to Zim, and exemplify kind, caring professionals.  Many, many thanks to all of them for helping us give ALL of our pups the best quality of life possible.  You ALL are the best.


  1. The A04 has always felt like an extension of our own pack, and we are so deeply sorry over your sad news. We're certrain that Ammy, Stormy, and Dave were jumping for joy when Zimmie crossed over, so happy to be back together again. : ) Thanks for taking the time to share so many wonderful pictures and stories with us, taking us "along" on Zimmie's adventures for these many years.
    Gosspeed, dear Zim, onto new adventures over the Bridge.... till we meet again.

    Love and snooter kissies,
    Jack a-roo, Miss Moo, & Mama Pat & Dad-a-roo JoJoe

  2. Mom Kim here - Oh what a shock this is - I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I was really hoping to meet you all one day, including Zim. I know we will meet one day in the distant future - however walking to the "Kansas Ocean' with you all would have been fun - that is what I "see" Zim doing now as he crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Please know that I will be honored to respect your wishes about the blogging - I do understand. I did not know or maybe I did and forgot that dear Zim had battled cancer before and won the fight. He deserves a good rest now and our respect. He WAS a brave boy indeed.

    Run free dear Zim - now you have boundless energy for more adventures beyond the Rainbow Bridge.
    Mom Kim

  3. Goodbye, Zim. Gosh, I'm going to miss you. You were always Mr. Cool no matter what and up for great adventures. You were the first to show me the Kansas ocean and introduced me to serene Sunday.

    I wanted to look at that photo of the A04 together, but I think I must have something in my eye.

    Sending hugs to all.

    Mango Momma (and Dexter)

    P.S. Dex and I will take an adventure walkie this weekend in honor of Zim (maybe find an ocean of our own).

  4. Dear Friends,
    We are so sorry to hear this. Zim was a DELIGHT and he lived a BEAUTIFUL and LOVE FILLED Life... to the FULLEST.
    We know this came as a SHOCK,but Zim did NOT have to go through a lot of things that he would Not have understood and he would not have wanted that. We are proud of you for making the decision to allow him a safe journey to be rejoined with Dave and the others.
    We have many many WONDERFUL MEMORIES of our ZIM. We hope that YOUR memories will give you comfort during this time.
    We pray that everyone will RESPECT your wishes.

  5. Zimmie reminded us so much of our sisfur Sadie because of his kind gentile ways and how he loved kit kats. We will miss him so much and our hearts have been breaking since we first heard. We know he's reunited with Ammy, Davy and Stormy and running around like old times. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  6. Oh, my dear sweet Zimmie! My tears are uncontrolable and we will all miss you so very much. We will think of you everytime we see wildlife and run free on our adventures. i hope Amber, Stormy and Davey were there to greet you. I hope General and Guinness are there too and everyone in having a new grand adventure together. I ill aways treasure those special kisses you gave to me. It was an honor to meet you and know you.

    Denise, Shiloh and Genny

  7. Oh, my dear sweet Zimmie! My tears are uncontrolable and we will all miss you so very much. We will think of you everytime we see wildlife and run free on our adventures. i hope Amber, Stormy and Davey were there to greet you. I hope General and Guinness are there too and everyone in having a new grand adventure together. I ill aways treasure those special kisses you gave to me. It was an honor to meet you and know you.

    Denise, Shiloh and Genny

  8. Ya know, it's the strangest thing. Mom was thinking last night about Zim being the only pup from the original Army of 4 when we started blogging. We know that you and Dave and Amber and Stormy will be having a wonderful Easter reunion at The Bridge. Godspeed, Zim. We are going to miss you lots, buddy, and our hearts are breaking for your mom and dad and for Cammie and Maggie ♥

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly and Sue

  9. I am so sorry to hear about Zim. I will be keeping you in prayer during this time, Karen.


  10. Anonymous5:48 PM

    Karen,the photos of Zim are just as he will live in my memory and heart. I see Dave with his head on your leg and Zim riding shotgun for his adventures with you. Have a peaceful Easter. Linda and Savannah

  11. We're so sorry to hear about Zim. He was the best big brother Cammie and Maggie could ever wish for and he taught them so much. We're sure he and the rest of the Ao4 gang are having a very happy reunion.

    Love to all of you,

    Cindy, Millie & Walter

  12. Zim, you will be deeply missed. We lit a candle for you to light you on your way, but we are certain all the friends you made over the years who have crossed the bridge before you will be rushing to meet you. Abby and Mom and I will partake in a Grand Adventure this weekend, in your honor. And when we all take our Sunday afternoon naps, we will always think of Serene Sundays.

    -Fiona, Abby, Dr. Liz and Gary

  13. I'm so, so sorry Zim is gone, but I'm also thankful we can release them from their pain when there is nothing else we can do to help them. Zim will be missed.

  14. Our deepest thoughts and prayers are with you in this difficult time. We can only imagine that Zim greeted this next chapter with the same zest he had for any other different time - with anticipation and a great attitude. We have no doubt that the A04 are all rejoicing at a big reunion and will continue to look over you - human and canine.

  15. Thank you so much for sharing Zim with us over the years. He was a very special fellow who was blessed with wonderful human parents. I can't tell you how many times my heart was warmed by the obvious joy Zim got out of living - from building really cool snow forts to mind-melding with the birds at the Kansas Ocean. I hope that the memories of all the great times you had with Zim will bring you solace over the days ahead.


  16. So very saddened by this news - Zim was a very special boy. He will be missed by so many, including us. The one consolation is that yes, the original Army of Four has been reunited in love and spirit. Soft woos and gentle hugs to all of you.

    Hugs and Woos - Phantom, Ciara, and Lightning, and Mom

  17. we are so sad to read this! we send all our best purrs and prayers of comfort. Thanks for sharing Zim with us; letting us get to know him and love him. We loved his sense of adventure and ability to make friends with everybuddy. We're singing a special round of the Stinky Goodness song tonight :) Run free, dear pup!

    Have a wonderful Easter.
    Pip, Smidgen, Minnie, Hollie
    (and Wriggley and Cara :))

  18. We will miss you too Zim...all the cool adventures we went on with you, and how you were the best big brother ever! We will make sure to have Mama take us to Arty's ocean to say a goodbye prayer and then take an extra long walk on the beach (and try really hard NOT to bark at the birdies) to experience some Zim Zen time!

    Blessings and Hugs,
    Mama Beth, Dory, Jacob, Bilbo and Arty

  19. We are gonna miss Zimmie something fierce. I just know he's up there being greeted by Stormy. Ammy, Davy and Huffle.

  20. Karen, I am so very sorry for your loss of Zim. I know you are heartbroken and I cry with you. Zimmy was such a special boy and will be missed. I know the other AO4 members are giving him a wonderful homecoming and are excited to be together again. I will miss seeing his smiling face and his feetie feets. Thank you for sharing your boy with us.

    Love and hugs,

  21. Zim, that beautiful bi-eyed boy had everybody wrapped around his paw. We all loved him and his ways of looking at life. We can just see the reunion of the AO4 north of the bridge and we are glad they will be together again.

    Our condolences to the AO4 Family and our best wishes to all.

    Jo and Stella

  22. Happy Easter to you and family.
    Lots of love, Maxx and mommy

  23. I'm so sorry to hear about Zim he will be reunited with all our friends who have crossed the rainbow bridge, they wait for us all wagging their tails, watching us from heaven with so much love and today to honour him I'm going on a special adventure to see a Castle, Dragon and run happily on the trails and enjoy it, celebrating life!
    Happy Easter, love, hugs and licks from Frank XxxxxxxxX

  24. We read this with leaky eyes. We are so sorry for your loss. What a terrible day it must have been for you but you know in your heart you always did the best for Zim right up to the end. The sky is brighter now as in shines the brightest of stars. He will be greatly missed by us and all of Blogville. Simply you are in our thoughts and prayers.
    Best wishes Molly

  25. Thank you so much for sharing Zimmie's life with us. You have given us a smile almost every day and what a wonderful legacy that is. He was such a great pup and will be missed. And it gives us a another smile just to imagine that reunion of the Army of four up in husky heaven. Please take good care, hug your girls and I will go give my pups extra hugs and love today too in honor of Zim.

    Lesley, Nala and Kiki

  26. we are so very sorry. Run Free Zim! We bet the reunion of the Army was pretty amazing. And we hope there is someone available to take him for car rides. we are sending gentle purrs to all of you....

  27. Anonymous5:08 PM

    We are all very sorry and sadden to read about Zim. We always enjoy reading about your life and seeing your wonderful photos. Our thoughts are with you at this time. Liz, Jasper and Nellie.

  28. Anonymous5:09 PM

    We are all very sorry and sadden to read about Zim. We always enjoy reading about your life and seeing your wonderful photos. Our thoughts are with you at this time. Liz, Jasper and Nellie.

  29. Very sorry to hear this and you know our hearts go out to you. Only peace is knowing the A04 is back together as they were meant to be. Such special pups each and every one. Sagira still misses her Dave and his squeaky fish and toys.

  30. I am very sorry to read of your loss. I've learned alot about siberian huskies from your blog, but Zim's gentleness as well as his reverence and interest in other living things has always amazed me and made me smile as that is not how I've thought a 'sibe' typically acts. Zim has always been special, hasn't he?
    Run free, Zim - no more pain, only love.

  31. Oh, Karen. I had missed this. I'm so saddened by this loss of the final member of the original Ao4. I have followed them for years and have felt like they and you have become friends. Your blog was one of the first ones I read regularly. I have learned so much from you and your Ao4. While I ache for your loss, I relish the thought that they are all together again with no more pain. They are waiting as patiently as Siberians know how for you and Mike to meet up with them again.

    Mary - and Roxie, Sammy, Andy, Sherman, Miss Kitty, Brutus and Maximus

  32. tears... each second of life is precious. Thank you for sharing Zimmie with us. My heart goes out to you.

    What a BIG celebration there must have been at the bridge to welcome Zimmie.

    Sending BIG hugs with love,
    Addie, Lucie, Hailey and Staci

  33. Oh we are so sorry for your loss. You will be in our prayers.


    prrrrrrrrrrrrrs, head bumps and gentle tail wags,
    Tiger Lily, Sushi & Marco Polo
    Mom Rebecca

  34. I am so very very sorry. Sweet Zim. He was loved so deeply and so completely - he was a very lucky dog. I'm sorry it had to happen so suddenly, and I send hugs and love to you as your pack mourns.

  35. I am so sorry. Run without fences, Zim. Hugs and prayers for you all.

  36. Oh Zim. We will miss you so much, but are comforted in knowing the AO4 pack as we met them are all reunited again.
    We loved all your adventures and know that Maggie and Cammie will continue on with your adventurous spirit.
    Big hugs and giant Dane kisses to you all!!!

  37. Anonymous7:23 AM

    Lots of love from a faithful reader.

  38. This is our first day back since early Friday...we are so sorry to have missed this. I will always remember something you said when Dave went to the rainbow bridge about it being a time of joy and you wanted us not to remember him with sadness....that has always stuck in my heart since.....so I will remember Sweet Zim with joy and remember all his passions in life ...what a wonderful life it was.
    thank you for giving him such a loving home, I know he gave it back to you three fold.
    Stella Rose, Margaret Mae, Angus McConnell and Momma

  39. Oh, our hearts are absolutely breaking to hear this. We loved seeing the world through Zim's eyes. I swear this morning Cinderella was trying to channel the Zen of Zim zone to get a bunny to say hello, and I didn't even realize the reason why. I'm so, so sorry for your loss. Our hearts are with you.

    Andrea, Casey & Cinderella's Momma

  40. In honor of Zim, I am going to go on a very adventurous walk. I will look for birds and beautiful flowers and try to remember all the things he taught me. Zim has helped me to appreciate things I never knew about. He was a great pal and I know my sweet Remington was there to great him along with Dave at the bridge.

    God bless you all

    Loveys Sasha

  41. Dear Friend, I just saw this news on your FB page and was shocked. WE are on vacation and our computer time has been limited. Oh I wish I could come give you a big hug. I'm so very sorry but know that Zim wouldn't want you to be sad, he would be saying thank you for all the love you gave.
    I love the tribute you paid Zim here and I understand needing to take some time; know you are in my prayers. I'm missing my Hunter right now.
    Sending love and hugs to you.

  42. Our hearts and prayers go out to you. Through your blog, starting with the original members of AO4, we have been blessed to be a part of your lives.

    Zim was a very special boy and will be deeply missed. We're sure he's currently doing drills with Stormy, Amber and Dave - making sure they are always alert and watching over you.

    Run free over the Bridge, sweet Zim - thank you for sharing so much with us.

    Soft Husky woos from the Hairy Horde and their momma.

  43. We are so sorry to hear about Zim, he was so awesome; like all of the Army of Four. He will truly be missed.

    We learned a lot from him and his sense of adventure and am glad he shared them with us. He always made our days better.

    Remy and Flash

  44. Such sad news for you all; I love reading the daily posts from the AO4 and seeing the world thru their eyes. Zimmie was such a good, kind soul and you were excellent puppy parents to him. Thank you for sharing your kids with us all.
    Run free Sargent Zim.

    Susan & Blue Labrador

  45. Oh no, just seen this. So sorry about Zim, Me and Mum are so sad to hear about his passing, especially since you had no time to mentally prepare. What a great, kind hearted unique guy he was. I can't believe he is the last of the original 4. The AO4 are one of our oldest and dearest blog friends and we willr emember all 4 of them, and especially Zim so fondly. I hope they are all together again now.

  46. hello army of four its dennis the vizsla dog hay i am sorry to heer zimmie had to go to the bridj but i am shoor yoo ar rite and he is romping their with his old pak agin!!! ok bye

  47. We have been away from the bloggie world and as we posted our WW to let friends like you know we're still around, the Ao4 is one of the first ones we have visited and we are saddened by the news about Zimmie. He was indeed a brave one.

    We join you as we celebrate Zimmie by letting you know that we are truly grateful for all the many adventures -of Stormy, Ammy, Dave and Zimmie - you have shared with us. You have been and will always be close to our hearts. Their memories will always be remembered and we are happy with the thought that they all together again sharing lots of fun and learnings they got from you.

    We continue to share adventures with you and Cammie and Maggie too. They have been guided well by Mr. Cool Zimmie!

    Lots of hugs,
    Piappies Fudgie, Princess, Frappie, Mocha, Sugar, Wai-Max, Wai-Pai & Forgie

  48. Our apologies for missing this saddest of posts, all of us here loved Zim very much and always enjoyed it when he stopped by, with respect,

    RA, Isis & Nanük

  49. p.s. love the AO4 picture,

    RA, Isis & Nanük

  50. Anonymous10:58 PM

    Gosh, I'm so sorry to read about Zim, just now. I haven't been too much on computer lately due to my health. I cannot believe he's gone. I will miss him. Zim was a lot like my Loki, right? With a few anxieties. That only made him more lovable and knew how lucky he was to have landed in your hime. I am sure he mentored Cammie and Maggie just well enough to be ideal sibes for your loving home. We will miss him.