How do you grieve the being that helped you navigate the grief of the love of your life? Paco was that being. He came into my life at 8 weeks old, 1 year and 1 month after I lost my husband, James. That was 17 ½ years ago. He literally brought laughter back into my life. To be honest though, it was a process… I had not had a puppy for many, many, many years. That first weekend was tough. I remember bringing him to work with me after that first weekend and asking if anyone wanted him…I offered to include all items I had purchased (bowls, leash, crates, food, etc) with him. Thank God I thought twice. He was such a good boy. He learned quickly because he was with me 24/7. He was completely house trained by 6 months old. He went everywhere with me and loved car rides. If I ran errands he would ‘guard’ the car while I was in the store (of course, weather permitting). And boy did he love his toys. His Aunt Robin bought him his first. He loved squeaky toys, but like most dogs, didn’t try to tear out the squeaker. It usually fell out or broke due to overuse. I was lucky that the first 6 months of his life he was able to go to work with me. He became the official greeter at our office. The UPS guy brought him treats, as did the mailman. All the visitors saw him first when they came in the door and looked forward to seeing him afterwards
He was such a clown. I, of course, continued to grieve James over our first years together. But there was Paco, doing something silly! Throwing his toys around; or burying a toy in a towel…then looking around like “where did it go?” and then barking (“found it”) and digging it up again. He always made sure I was watching and laughing. When I was no longer allowed to bring him to work (boo!!!) he would spend his days at my sister’s house. At the time, she had 120lb Rottweiler, Jake. Jake eventually made peace with having this annoying 6 month-old puppy around. Unfortunately, it led to Paco thinking he was actually the same size!! That thinking pretty much stayed with him until he died. He had quite the attitude…and swagger! He went on to help “raise” 2 other of her and Terry’s dogs…Hank, a yellow lab, and Gunner, another rottie. He was the leader of the pack…at least in his mind… He was also there to help me grieve the loss of both my sister (2017) and my brother (2020).. still checking in, still making sure to provide an action for the occasional laugh. Most importantly, Paco became my best buddy. We understood each other. He was my constant. He was a cuddler, a comedian, comforter, a pain in the butt (middle of the night potty), and the best boy ever. He has left a huge whole in my heart. I miss him.