Day 230: Prancer, the “Service Dog”

Day 230: Prancer, the “Service Dog”

Prannie gave new meaning to the word devoted. She fell five days short of her 15th birthday and in our eyes she will be forever 15.

Prannie was an exceptional dog right from the start. We adopted her from the Golden Retriever Rescue of South Florida. We were not even supposed to have her. We had gotten a call to adopt the red female we were looking for after we had already adopted a blonde male golden. Prannie would prove to help her big Brother Ellis through his issues and coach him into a short 3 year life of love and trust for men.

Prancer had her own issues. She was a Jekyll and Hyde and played Jekyll when she agreed to jump in our backseat and ride home with us March 18, 2001. The next morning I awoke to a note left from my husband saying, “This dog is crazy!!! Take her back.” Come to find out, he had quarantined her to the kitchen and because she had been crated for the first whole year of her life, she had confinement issues. But we didn’t figure all of that out til later. Nor did that help the three hours that my husband and Prannie had a backyard standoff in the pouring South Florida rain while she refused to use the bathroom. She finally got loose and the wild buck took off (as she always did even years later) and he went chasing after her. He tripped over a sprinkler head in the dark and broke his big toe. I have always been convicted that when you commit to a pet, you keep that pet till the day they die. I told him if he wanted to get rid of her, HE had to take her back! That never happened, and it was the best decision we ever made.

Prannie had neurotic tendencies and I’m convinced she had a smidgen of border collie in her because she herded the children all the time and was not content until everyone was home. She defied Golden Retriever laws in that she didn’t care more about food than people. Once the last of the family chicks were home, mother hen would go to her bowl and eat. She never broke her own rule!

Prancer was so in tune with her family that few people can believe that she alerted us to Jonathan, Julia and Ma D’s cancers! Dogs are being trained to detect cancer, but she was a natural- never trained to do that. She would sit down (in 2006) in front of Jonathan and stare intently as if she was trying to tell him something. We had her checked out and she was fine, so he had himself checked out and he in fact was not fine. His cancer was detected early thanks to researching the symptoms that my mom had two months earlier. In researching her symptoms, and Prannie acting funny, he was led to the doctor where he would be diagnosed with the same rare duodenal cancer as my mom had! She would repeat this behavior over and over again for both Julia and Ma D who would both be diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma bone cancer and Grade 4 Glioblastoma brain cancer respectively. In addition, she alerted Jonathan the night before I was to go into labor with all four of our children. Thanks to Prannie, our bags were packed and the camcorder was charged.

We felt safe, we felt protected, and anyone who met Prannie knows she was a heaven sent furry angel who guided us through the worst of times. She never left Julia’s side all throughout treatment- faithfully splitting her time between MaD and Ju’s bedrooms. She slept during the day and deputized herself, pacing back and forth all night from room to room so as to be able to alert us if anything was wrong. She sat with Jonathan day after day during his cancer recovery as he sat slumped over with nausea. She would sit up with him and keep him company all night in Memphis while he was worried about and separated from Ju who was inpatient at the hospital.

Prannie’s health was failing, but her spirit was always strong. Though her central nervous system gave out and she seemingly had a [rare] stroke Saturday, she ate better than ever and continued to encourage us to keep on. It was heartbreaking to see her in such despair and we decided the best gift to give her was a release to go be with Ju and Ma D. The hole in our heart(s) just grew a little larger.

This life is HARD!!!! It is not for the faint of heart. Even God warned that we would have troubles….. We told the kids that part of living is dying. Although they “never want another dog because no one would be as great as Prannie”, we know that every CANine is the BEST PUP EVER and the joy that Prannie brought to us has far outweighed the heavy tears we are crying right now. Although we are sad, distraught, lonely, and forlorn, we know that Prannie has completed her mission here- the best “service dog” ever- and she has already made it to the Magic Kingdom! She has crossed over the rainbow bridge, found her pot of gold, and just like in my dream last night, she is walking again!

We received many signs on our #WalkAcrossAmerica today dedicated to her. The most impressive sign of all was the red heart Jenna and I found stuck to the gas station pavement. As I was bending down to take a picture, my alarm sounded at 4:13! My angel Ju was letting me know that she has Prannie. What greater comfort is there? -Jennifer Cobb – Forever #PrancerCan #StreetsOfSynoviTreats
#JuCan #JuDid #PrancerDid #GODCAN #Disney2Disney #PrancerInTheMagicKingdom Golden Rescue South Florida