P.J., she was named to honor her predecessor – Pebbles, who was perhaps my original soul mate. So Pebbles Junior was shortened to P.J. – we knew it was perfect when we stumbled upon it in searching for a name for the third Sheltie I have been fortunate enough to have been part of my life.
We went to her birth home, which was slightly scary! A house crawling with two litters of puppies in the kitchen. I got down on the floor and waited to see who would engage of this pack of so many. Only one came over and hung out to say “Hey! It’s me!” and she came home with us.
Her string of physical challenges started on the ride home! Car sickness. Dang. Didn’t prepare for that. Oh well. Do what you can to comfort her, puke on me is just one of those things. Over her 13 years as a member of the “Hansen Herd”, P.J. developed a long list of physical challenges. Seemingly with more lives than a cat – she would rise up time after time of visiting deaths door.
The list kept by our vets is lengthy of all the things she has recovered from and baffled us with. We would find a remedy, a work around and she’d move forward again and again. Till this past month. Till today.
It’s interesting, when the end appears to be approaching, you might ask yourself “Did I do enough? Did I give her a good life? Did I give more than I took?” But those thoughts are making it about me. So I shifted my focus to “Is she in pain?” “What is best for her?” “How can I help her?” "How can we make her most comfortable?"
Some probably don’t understand a life as a woman who didn’t give birth. And I probably don’t fully comprehend what it is like to have children – I’ll give you that. It’s hard to imagine though, that I could love more unconditionally than I do with my kids who happen to have fur and paws. They all teach me a lot about how to love unconditionally. How to “Be the dog”. From P.J. I learned a lot about how to keep rising, not matter what.
P.J… a highly anxious, super smart, loyal, obedient, resilient as f#$k girl was also incredibly shy. This last characteristic made her the most unlikely of leaders. Yet, she was the alpha of the pack of the four that have been together for over six years now.
She was loving, wanted to please, so beautiful and so skidish. Friends would come to the house and be so proud if by chance they convinced her to allow them to pet her. She overcame a lot of really hard stuff in her life. Some say that dogs are like their owners – I can only hope like hell that is the case even to some small fraction.
The idea that energy never dies, it just changes form - that the being who was with you for part of your journeys is still there, with you even when they have left their physical form, it's comforting to think today. She was as ready as she could be to go, she was tired and worn out and she slipped away peacefully and quickly with some beautiful assistance.
Thank you Peej, for being in all our lives. The honor was all ours. I’m glad you found us and came to be the unlikely leader of the pack. Helping you go was ridiculously hard, but we certainly owed you that dignity. You made a big difference in my life and I learned so much from you.
Sandy Edie Hansen
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