Today, my sweet old girl, Panda, turns 14. She would be born a couple weeks after and about 3000 miles away from when and where Leo and I started dating. We'd adopt her about nine months later, after quitting our jobs and moving to the west coast without jobs or a plan. Looking back, the whole things sounds ridiculous but here we all are, and I wouldn't change a thing.
This was our first meeting with Panda, back in September of 2001. She'd just been spayed, she was scared and shy, she submissive peed a little and then she curled up next to Leo. We took her home that afternoon.
Thirteen years later, her coat has gone from smooth and glossy, to downy and full, she's losing her sight and her hearing and the arthritis in her legs is limiting her mobility, but she seems happy. She still loves her food and her favorite spot in front of the sliding door where she can watch the neighborhood goings-on, and of course, she still loves the beach.
She was our only dog for six years and, honestly, it was a hard sell for me to add anyone else. Panda is a sweet, gentle, easy to train girl who came potty trained and never destroyed any people things. But Thea has kept her playing and Darwin has kept Thea entertained when Panda needs a break. All in all, I think they've been good for her.
She certainly brings me joy, and I hope she feels the same.
Friday, we took everyone to the beach, ran around until they were exhausted and then Leo shared some of his Prime Rib dinner with them. That's basically like taking them to doggy Disneyland and then treating them to their favorite meal. A pretty good birthday party, if I do say so, myself.
So happy birthday to my sweet girl. I love you to pieces.
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