Zuko was 11, a senior dog. He moved to NYC with Paige, then came Chris, then the baby. Zuko was there for all of it. He tolerated the baby at first; they eventually worked up their own kind of fraternal relationship.
Paige suggested Chris give Zuko one of his presents, to cheer him up. It was wrapped and under the tree. A plush, piggy dog toy. Zuko was quietly apoplectic, not feeling well, but unable to restrain his doggie enthusiasm. “Normally he’d be running around the apartment with it” Chris explained. But Zuko took the piggy and enjoyed it quietly beneath the twinkle lights as Paige stroked his head, wondering what else she could do to make him feel better. He whimpered just a little, holding the piggy with his paws and nuzzling it.
It was their last Christmas together, all 4 of them. A new family with an old friend. Rest in peace magical Zuko.