For those of you who never met Banjo:
He was a little brown dog with a big Border Terrier heart. We were his third family – he was the rescue dog who rescued us.
He played with my three boys. He constantly sat in our laps. He worried about us during thunderstorms (he was never the same after Hurricane Katrina). Banjo was an alpha alpha dog. And we were his pack.
In 2010, I had a career hiccup. The same day my job status changed, we lost Molly, our other Border Terrier. Banjo and I became a man-dog support group. As I reinvented myself, he sat there loyally, believing in my dreams.
When he was 10, he developed diabetes. Twice a day, we’d give him his insulin shots to make sure he was healthy and happy. But it didn’t slow him down. He kept on loving life and us.
When he was 14, he developed pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is a terribly painful disease that sent him to emergency vet. He should’ve died that weekend, but he showed the strongest will to live I’ve ever seen. I laid next to him, vowing to honor his fight to live. And fight he did. He beat the odds and came home to be with the family he loved.
Three months later, he died in my wife’s arms. As he closed his eyes for the last time, I said goodbye to a loyal friend and a teacher. Banjo taught me how important a strong will to live truly is. And he taught me the importance of dreams.
The book Banjo’s Dream will be in his honor. And it will be for dreamers everywhere.
The good news is that this story has a happy ending. At the same moment Banjo died, Pip the dog was born. Today she is following in her uncle’s big paw prints. She’s sitting next to me wanting me to play. And so the adventure continues.