aka Snapper

Banjo came into my life many years ago,,,probably around 1982. My husband Ian and I had just moved into our dream house and neither of us had a dog for many years. Once in this house, I didn't crave a baby, but a puppy! One early evening Ian came home with a big smile on his face and showed me a phone number of a local that was selling puppies. I was sooo excited and that weekend we went to look at them. We were greeted by the owner of the mommy dog and he lead us to the side of the house where it was fenced in. We saw the purebred Samoyed mom (dad was a love them and leave them type guy,,no one knows for sure who he was),,,but no puppies in site! The man whistled and from a hole in the ground one bouncing puppy after another jumped out of the hole towards him. Mom had built them a cozy little home underground. *:) We were surrounded by the cutest damn puppies I've ever seen in my life!!! But, one in particular took Ians heart and that's the one we brought home. We named him Banjo, a name from a wildlife show about a lion cub that no one thought would survive,,but did! A good strong name I thought! Lil Banjo was trusting, loving and spoiled! *;) He became our child and never went without anything a yuppie puppy shouldn't have. We ran with him, spoiled him and loved him so much it hurt. He was super super smart and picked up on many tricks very early. In a matter of hours he knew what I called signing. He could count how many fingers I had up with barks,,he would bark with me just opening my hands and kiss when asked. I made sure to get lots of those. *:) He had a very happy and healthy life! Then one Spring day, I believe the year to be 1996, he heard Ian coming home and could not stand up to meet him at the door. He was on a wood floor so I thought he had slipped,,but no,,he couldn't get up! With my help he managed to stand and then could run to Ian. Normally he'd be at the door before Ian could park his car in the garage, but this time Ian made it in the house before Banjo could get to the door. *:( We just lost my cat of 18 years less then 2 months before this, so I was scared! The Vet report didn't make it any better. He had cancer. I blocked out what kind it was, but it eventually took over him to the point he couldn't walk. Now,,,,to let you in on some of the Banjo spirit!!!! Even though he struggled with everything he did, his spirit was very much alive and he still wanted to chase and bite at Raiders butt,,,Banjo's only puppy brother. *:) When it got to hard for him to chase, Ian thought of a wonderful idea and came home with a flat plastic sled with a rope pull on it. Banjo would lay in it while Ian pulled him on the sled to chase Raider around so Banjo could still bite at his butt. Sometimes Raider would jump over Banjo and Banjo would get him in the leg. That would cause a yelp because of a broken tooth Banjo had, but it didn't stop Raider from wanting more play! *:) Banjo's body was dying, but his spirit was as strong as ever. We decided he'd let us know when he wanted to go. In the meantime we tried alternative medicines. Mostly massive doses of shark cartilage. And sometimes we really thought we saw improvement. But,,,his spirit was not wanting to be in that body anymore. Raider knew it and stopped trying to play with him,,but Ian and I had a harder time in letting go. Banjo started wetting himself because he couldn't get up and would look up at me in embaressment. I let him know it was okay,,,but finally, he told me one day,it just hurt to much. It was the day before Thanksgiving. I called Ian at work and he came home where we took that final trip with Banjo. One I won't even talk about because for me right now in writing this,,,,,,it's happening now! And Banjo knew too. He was never afraid of the vet until that day. That day is when my life changed forever and would never be the same again.

Banjo was a light that I can't explain. I've had many animals in my life, but he was like my first child. I had 14 years with him and when his body passed, something in me died that never did come back. He was spirit, light, happiness and always wearing that Sammy smile and it's because of him that I have a deep love for Samoyeds. He had an independant spirit, but needed his pack. He was simply the perfect spirit for the life we had. He inhanced everything!

Now, I can't end this on such a sad note. I need to talk more about his spirit. He was everyones friend! He had a Golden Retriever friend named Mike who would manage to sneak out of his house (much to his alpha parents concern) and run across the woods to meet up with Banjo. I'd find Mike at the glass sliding doors giving me a look,,,,,"can Banjo come out and play?" I still laugh at that memory! *:) I'd let Banjo out and they'd run around the backyard until exhausted. Banjo knew not to leave the backyard, so I had complete trust with him on that. When done, Mike would go running back into the woods to go home and Banjo would sit there exhausted watching him disappear in the pines and maples. Then he'd look at me, wag his tail and come back in. *:) Later on a new buddy moved into the neighborhood. His name was Dusty! Dusty was a Collie that also snuck out to meet up with Banjo. And sometimes Banjo, Dusty and Mike all met up together. *:) They'd hang out in the backyard or come in for treats. After watching Banjo enjoy Mike and Dusty so much, we decided to get him his own 24/7 brother. That's when Raider came into the picture. Banjo just loved Raider! and Raider loved Banjo!!!! Wherever Banjo went, Raider was beside him. But, one day I had them both out,,,Raider on a leash,,when Dusty was strutting up the driveway. He saw Banjo, me and the new little one ,,,,,Raider.

Dusty: "Hey Banj,,who's the little runt?"
He was wagging his tail and Banjo went to meet him.

Banjo: "my new kid brother, come check him out!" Banjo was proud!
Even Raider was wagging his tail. Dusty had to check out this new little fellow and got closer to Raider to check him out. Raider went from happy to.............

Raider: " Oh, hi! hi!" wag wag wag "Wait! you're so big! you scare me! Get away! NOW!" grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
Poor Dusty never saw it coming. Neither did I! Dusty just bid us a fast adios and went back home.

Dusty: " Love you Banj. but you need to get that runt to chill!"
This was one of Raiders first signs of fear anxiety and it never did go away. But,,that didn't keep Banjo from still having his time with his local buddies. He just wouldn't include his little brother. *;)

Banjo had a wonderful life and he was/is a most important part of my heart. He was our child together! He was so many things! Mostly though,,,he was a very special gift given to us to enjoy and share life with for 14 wonderful years. And those years will never be gone anymore then I could ever let him go.

Banjo, I only hope that right now you're playing with Raider again and remembering us! I miss you both so much that there just isn't words. My two guys, back together again. I wish so much you could both come back to me!!!!!

Gawd, Banjo,,,,,,you still haunt me and fill so much of my heart! I miss you Snapper!
Your mom

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With love always,,,
Your Mom

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