13 years ago I brought home a puff ball of fuzz in the form of an Australian Shepherd. I named him Banjo and he stole my heart.
Very quickly, I realized he was going to be on the larger size for an Aussie. With that size came lots of fur. For the last 13 years, our carpets, furniture, yard and clothes have seen balls of hair scooting by, sticking, clinging. I definitely wear my badge of dog mom proudly.
The cowboy and I each have an Aussie. His is definitely his dog and mine is definitely mine. I walk to the bathroom. He sits outside and waits, unless of course I didn’t latch the door, then he noses on in to join me.
He is smart. Smart like I’ve never seen in a dog. He taps at the glass patio door. Not scratches or paws at it, he actually taps to come in.
Once he jumped in the back seat of our old truck when I had the door open and I didn’t see him. I closed the door with him inside. As I’m outside working in the yard, I hear the truck horn. Here is Banjo, in the front seat, honking the horn to get out.
When he was only a year old, Banjo proved his loyalty to me. The cowboy, fully decked out in painting gear, from goggles and mask to hooded coveralls, came up behind me like he was a monster. My sweet, even tempered, loving dog just about took the monster apart, as the cowboy is frantically ripping hood, mask and goggles off ,”it’s me Banjo, it’s me!” I knew then I had a protector for life.
Banjo is a “talker”. He barks, he “woo woos”. He lets us know someone is driving in, when he’s excited to go bye-bye, when he sees you put your coat on indicating a walk. It’s probably irritating to everyone else but not to us. Well, sometimes us too.
My Banjo, “woo-wooing” at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico.
My Banjo, he loves the water. He loves a stick. Put the 2 together and you have his heaven. As he got the older, he couldn’t bound out after a stick but he would walk out to his belly depth and just sit down.
Banjo has seen a lot of places that some humans haven’t. He’s been to the Grand Canyon, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada and even to Mexico. Below he is in the Sea of Cortez, at Puerto Peñasco, Mexico.
Between the 2 dogs, not a rabbit, deer or coyote dared to set foot within their perimeter. An unsuspecting animal was met with yips of glee and a full out run down. They were great chasers, not such good catchers.
The McDogs on a special outing for cheeseburgers
But the last couple years have seen a slowdown of activity. The ears and eyes don’t work so well anymore and it takes all he has to get to his feet, sometimes only with people help. And in the last 2 weeks, as I write this, coughing and struggling to breathe have started. I know his time is coming to an end and I’m dying a little everyday with him.
He’s not much for selfies.
Post script to this blog post:
Banjo has crossed the rainbow bridge and runs pain free, chasing bunnies, sticks, and swimming all day. My heart is heavy with loss but light in knowing he’s breathing easy and not hurting any longer. Rest easy my friend.
You know, all dogs go to heaven 🐾💔