Today I am sharing a poem I wrote this week as I prepared to say goodbye to our boy, Banjo. Banjo came into our lives in 2008. This past Saturday we said goodbye to him. The past few years have held too many goodbyes for us, but this year- both our cat Aurora -my beloved sidekick (since 2004) and our rescued Ozark Mountain Dog from Arkansas, Banjo have gone the way that cannot be known.
I’ve only had two dogs in my life, a stray named Friend I let follow me home as a kid and hid in my garage. Once Friend was discovered by our landlord at the time, my mom promptly took him to the pound. Enter Banjo, a complicated blend of Pyrenees, Retriever and Anatolian Shepherd we adopted primarily for our daughter but also as a family pet. Is there ever a right time to adopt a pet?
From Arkansas, to West Greenwich, Rhode Island, and our move to Narragansett…through heartache, losses, daily dramas…he worked his way into our hearts.
Funny thing about dogs…they weave their way into your cat-loving heart when you’re not even realizing it. I’ve always been a cat person. But when a dog takes your heart, it’s a bit different.
Banjo was a rock star. He had his own Facebook Page and a hashtag (#banjothemostinterestingdogintheworld) I used for him- and yes that is the longest hashtag in history!
I’ve written about him a few times…and he was a model for a calendar one year. He was best known for his howling at firetrucks (I convinced him the sirens were his dog-pack leaving town), and his extremely long peeing sessions. We are fairly convinced he had three bladders. But that is unconfirmed.
He had a brother and sister we met in East Providence as they made their way to their own homes in Vermont and Massachusetts.
Cracked open good, this needed break. At first, we run but can’t escape. Beautiful truth pours down like light filters through clouds, brings clear sight.
Heaven breaks through sky to the earth, a slow, steady illumination… I was wrong! I could not see… until God in His goodness washed over me.
Beyond the rage, and hate- outside the cage, I contemplate the ways unseen of a different fate- questions with answers that won’t abate, Lord, help me listen…
Can we yet rise, can we yet hope? Can we not see beyond our limited scope? Beyond the branches of trees, and storming skies, Can we not even hope to fly though our wings are tattered, broken, bent- through prayers, tears, and our laments?
Let us with our raised eyes, stop seeking out more alibis, but open our hands, hearts, and minds to receive those with wounds that we must bind- and we as those with wounds to bind.