Wednesday, November 1st, 2017
Oh friends. This day was one of the worst.
I was on the phone with my mom this morning when she found Bandit (our family dog for you newbies), deceased, on the front porch this morning. From what we can decern, it was a stroke.
So today, we’re snuggling our smallest furbaby just a little harder today.
As most of you know, we live only a half mile from my parents ( same piece of property, just different ends) so when my mom decided to do a walk-around the house because Bandit hadn’t come out to greet anyone that morning, we rushed out the door to my mom’s panicked wails over the phone.
“Oh, sweet girl.” That’s all I could say as we rushed up to her. The tears didn’t come at first, because the shock was so raw.
Growing up on the farm, we lost countless animals. Bandit makes four dogs, four horses, and multiple cats. But she was the first to go on her own. No signs, no symptoms. Just gone in under thirty seconds. No time, no opportunity to tell her how much I loved her, or to show her my best self, my biggest, strongest love.
I’ve already been struggling with mortality this week with Katie’s one year anniversary, but this knocked me breathless. My best gal pal, as I always referred to her as. A true buddy, she was where you were, no matter what. She wasn’t allowed within the fence, so she would lay at the very edge, always toeing the line. Ranger rides were her FAVORITE, and you couldn’t go anywhere on that thing without her. The woods was her favorite place – so much to smell and explore. Her joy was contagious, and the farm lost a little of it’s personality with her gone. It’s too quiet.
Her love for her humans was so deep, so unconditional. Her loyalty so steadfast; the ultimate protector (except in thunderstorms), she was my safety net. The farm was hers, and we were hers – and she knew it. One of my favorite pictures I have of her is of her in front of the barn with her characteristic confident smirk. She was extremely camera shy (major avoided eye contact when the phones or camera came out), so to have this image is so so precious.
No matter the circumstances, when your best, most loyal gal pal has been a part of just under half of your life, it’s painful to say goodbye.
I’ve been thankful for my 365 project for multiple reasons throughout the year, but today proved to bring the most thanksgiving. Because of that project, I have so many more images of her than I would have otherwise. Today as my family struggles through the shock and grief, I am so incredibly thankful for these.
While I’m struggling down here, I know that you’re not anymore, Ban. All of my love and belly rubs, xo.