I arrived at the family farm with mother and dog Packer standing on the back door step. The minute Packer saw me he came to greet me. Three weeks later when I left to return to Florida, mother was standing on the back step and Packer was lying at her feet.

The day before I left I found Packer collapsed in the garage. The veterinarian made a house call and drew a blood sample. But results did not tell us what the problem was. Heartworm and tick diseases were all negative. The kidneys and liver were functioning fine, and the tests did not indicate diabetes.

The next morning Packer was back in the garage.  He still would not eat and was so tired. I sat on the floor and talked softly to him and rubbed the top of his head.  I told him what a good dog he was and how much I loved him, that he had taken such good care of mother by watching over her, and how I knew he missed Lucky (another family dog that passed on a couple years ago).  A little later he moved from the garage to nearer the barn. I saw him in the grass when I was loading the car. His back was to me. I went back in the house and when I returned outside, he was in the same spot, but turned around facing me. He got up and started the long walk to the car. He stopped once to rest, but finally made his way to me and then back into the garage.  That is where he stayed until I said good-bye.

A few hours after I departed, Packer left the garage area and my mother saw him walk across the yard, lie down and rest and clean his front legs. Then he disappeared somewhere, possibly the barn area. We suspect that he sensed his own passing and crawled off to be alone.  So I am grieving the loss of a dear family dog that worked his way into my heart and am being reminded once again of the fragility of life.

Next Week—Packer’s Personality

Bountiful Blessings!

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