When I saw today’s prompt, I decided I wanted to try it. Together is such a strong word, meaning so many things. But for me I immediate thought about my old dog and best friend Pan. He was put down some years ago, but have never left my heart.
Pan was my very first dog that I bought when I was around 20 years old. I got him in a cardboard box where he had peed and thrown up on himself because he had traveled with boat and taxi. But he was still waving his little tail at me, smiling his little smile and stinking like a dump. First part of our meeting was through a bath! After cleaning up, this beautiful 10 weeks Border Collie puppy completely stole my heart. And he never gave it back either.
We did everything together, wherever I went he followed. When I went to the restroom, he followed me and got really sad if I ever closed the door on him. He was happy just being there with me. Outside he was a monster…a low flying, jet engine, no hearing-no caring monster! Having him loose was not a great idea, he may or may not listen to me. It all depended on his mood and what went by in his fly-filled head. I comforted myself saying it would be better when he turned 2 years old. Everyone says that at 2 years old dogs grow up and calms down. Nope, that is a lie! Border Collies have their own rules, they do not grow up until they are 5-6 years old…period!
He did listen better to me, though, I just could never truly trust him if a cat went by or people went by. He LOVED people, even the vet! He surprised many men, because when he jumped up (bad dog…no,no,no…bad dog….oh, why do I bother…sigh) he also aimed…with both front paws…just where no big paws should ever hit that hard… He sent several men bent forward to the floor, while I red faced apologized and pulled the super happy dog away. Men that knew Pan started protecting their vulnerable parts, walking sideways as they came in the door. It looked as if Pan was about to take a penalty kick in soccer (most men would have said:”Close enough!”), and was to me a tiny bit amusing…after the embarrassing part calmed down.
As time went by I got more dogs in the house. Pan accepted them all, but me and Pan always had this special relationship that the other dogs really couldn’t compete with. He was my soulmate, my best friend and the one that both protected me, comforted me and made me laugh. When Pan wanted to be petted, he didn’t wait for me to decide. He took the matter into his own paws. He jumped on the couch, and leaned towards me…heavy…if I didn’t catch the hint, he started digging on me, first carefully, trying to get my hand around him, then harder until I reacted. If for any reason I wouldn’t pet him (almost never happened) he either pouted or tracked down some other victim to pet him. I brought him to a party once…he was the highlight and star of the evening! He walked from lap to lap all evening, getting cuddling and petting from everyone…or…correction…from all the GIRLS! Yeah…he only jumped on the girls lap, maybe sniffing a guy here and there, but he definitely was a lady’s gentleman.
I can’t explain how close me and Pan was, I loved that dog so much. As he got older and age started catching up with him, I felt a part of my heart slowly turning in to a open wound. I knew he wouldn’t be there forever, but now we started to really come to the end. And I often cried of the feeling that this was so unfair…me and Pan was to be together forever! He wasn’t allowed to be old, sick and eventually die, not this long before me! But life isn’t fair, and one day the tragic happened. Pan was almost 14 years old, and still did OK. But as we sat at the barn enjoying the fall sun, he suddenly got instant lame in his back part. Both the hind legs was totally lame and the middle part of his back seemed also lame. The poor dog panicked, he hyperventilated, cried and tried to pull himself around with just his front legs. It pained me to see, and I pulled him down, gently massaging his hind legs and back, talking to him, trying to calm him down. Eventually his legs started working again, but something was off. So the next day we went to the vet to check him up. The feedback was not good,a pinched nerve in the back. He wouldn’t straighten his legs when the vet made him stand on his knuckles, and the vet told us that only an operation would, maybe, make him better. But an operation on a 14 year old dog was risky, and the dog may never wake up from the anesthesia or the nerve damage may not even get healed. Leaving the dog as he was, was not a good plan, the attack of lameness could happen whenever, and from the dogs reaction on the first one that was simply something I didn’t want to put him through again. Who knows, it might even happen when I wasn’t there to calm him down and help him through it. He deserved better than that.
Slowly it dawned on me that this was it…my bellowed Pan had to go…it was my duty as a dog owner and his friend to stop this and let him go. I believe it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It is about 4 years since my dear Pan went over the rainbow bridge, and I still cry thinking too much about him. Right now I’m crying, because we was supposed to be together and I feel lonely without him. Yes, I have other dogs and people in my life, but no Pan. He was unique and I’m sure I’ll never ever will have a dog, or any other animal like him in my life again. But I’m thankful I got to have him those almost 14 years that I did, and all the fun, drama, irritations and everything we did. Even though the pain after him will never really go away, it was well worth being together the time we got.