originally published 4/15/24

There was a list member who had a Newf named Piper, one she was especially close to.  She said that if this Newf had wings, she could fly, so she named her Piper.  Banner was one of those too.  I built a confinement like a large pen inside the van behind the driver and passenger seats, and I had a small gate installed so she would have to come out slowly.  Because:  without it, she would launch like a rocket.  Landings were, of course, hard, and there was no safety net (not that she thought she needed one).

Long ago, Greg said that when one of the Newfs passed, they passed the baton to the next.  When we lost Holly, there was no other Newf at the time.  Banker arrived several months later.  He was the first one that I described as walking in and turning all the lights on.  Holly’s loss was a very dark one, and it was an uplift to have a personality arrive who carried that much Light.

We lost Banker almost 7 years later.  At the time, there were four Newfs, including his son, Parker.  I sat on the sofa with Parker next to me going through photos and videos.  When I opened a video that included Banker barking, my big, soft 3-year old bud began trembling.  Sometimes when you are in grief, it is hard to realize that others are also experiencing grief, including non-human residents.  This morning, the mixed breed terrier is subdued.  This is the one who fiercely defends us from every leaf or snowflake that strikes the window and every delivery driver who brings good things to our doorstep.  But today, she is quiet.

So, my lovely Banner, who always met life head-on, is now on the other side or in transition.  She has certainly earned her wings.  And I hope that there is someone there to catch her if she doesn’t actually have wings, someone who passed the baton and is now receiving the pass.  But perhaps these are angels, whether they have wings or not, who have done their tour among humans, gifted and contributed toward their lives and left them as better humans, who are now being assigned to another post.  They have taken the training wheels off, and hopefully they will be present in spirit helping us to be aware and keep moving in the right direction.  Maybe it is better not to speculate at all, and just to appreciate the time we had together, but she was my charge as much as I was hers, and letting go is a hard hill to climb.

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