Beloved Penticton dog Zippy died after ingesting drugs – Penticton Western News

Zippy, the beloved dog of Penticton hero Gord Portman, has now crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

Portman made the announcement Friday on Facebook.

“It is with great sadness that I let you know that today Zippy crossed the Rainbow Bridge. It was a very difficult decision, but his health deteriorated dramatically overnight. I Will be forever grateful for the love and support the community has shown me and Zippy,” Portman wrote.

Community condolences poured in, with many remembering when Zippy attended the Pathway protests and saw Portman and Zippy in town working.

Wherever Portman went, Zippy was there, zipped into his jacket.

He called Zippy his “retrieval dog” and his best friend. When Portman was living on the streets and living in addiction, Zippy was there to keep him company and keep him warm.

While recovering, it was Zippy he could rely on through it all. Then Portman began working in the field, helping those who still suffered from addiction, testing their drugs for them, and helping to support them. Zippy helped them too, hundreds of people, he said.

A few weeks ago, Portman and Zippy were working on the neighborhood bus in Penticton when Portman asked Zippy to take over driving. Most of the time, Zippy, a six-pound Fox Terrier, spends his days in Portman’s jacket.

But at that instant, Zippy licked what was later determined to be cocaine and methamphetamine.

Portman rushed Zipyy to the emergency animal hospital in Kelowna where he was treated with charcoal to vomit.

But being such a small dog, Zippy lost weight and suffered from pancreatitis.

The community came together to help when Portman reached out to say he couldn’t afford to pay Zippy’s vet bills.

“She’s my baby,” Portman said. “I work hard for my dog, to make sure he has a roof over his head. I would do anything for my dog.

But a recent exam revealed that Zippy was absorbing water in her abdomen and not absorbing any nutrients. His health deteriorated significantly overnight Thursday and Portman made the difficult decision to relieve him of his suffering.

Zippy was nine years old.

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