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  • Writer's pictureDora

Panni crossed the rainbow bridge

Dear Spira Students,

With great sadness, I need to let you know that our amazing black standard poodle, Panni, passed away June 1st, peacefully surrounded by friends and family. He has been a huge part of Spira; for many of you, he has been a friend for over a decade; some of you just got to know his big heart and amazing spirit. Spira and I will not be the same. I knew this moment would come, but nothing prepared me for his loss; I feel like a part of me is gone.

Thank you, Panni, for teaching us; patience, loyalty, honesty, and stoic bravery. This cancer was fast, which is both good and bad. The last week was hard, but Panni was elegant, brave, and kind. Then it was my turn to be brave; I would have wanted more days, time is never enough, and he would have stuck it out for me, but I looked at him and knew he was ready.

You cannot imagine the connection if you have never experienced a deep bond with a dog. Humans are messy; language creates conflict. Finding an honest human relationship is rare; it happens, but most of our connections are there for a "reason, a season, very, very few for a lifetime." Humans manipulate, lie, betray, use, and blame when making mistakes; our ego is a constant barrier to truth, loyalty, and love. We have much to learn from our four-legged companions.

With dogs, it is all nonverbal, primal, just feeling, being, holding space: no need to explain, no expectations to meet, nothing to manipulate. It is just being and loving.

With Panni and I, there was much being. We never spend more than a few hours apart. I can honestly say he was always by my side outside of grocery shopping. He came to work with me; we went on trips together, and I brought him to parties. The few days a year we spent apart because of out-of-town trips started each day with a question, "What is Panni doing now?" We both waited eagerly for the moment of return.

And now, there is no more return till we meet again in heaven. Grief is heavy; I never realized that grief is physically painful till now. My friends say it will ease, and I know it will, but for now, I look forward to the weight on my chest and the choking in my throat; these are the last physical ways I can be with Panni. I can no longer hug his big furry body or stick my face in his gorgeous long ears, but I can feel the pain, which is better than nothing. Eventually, I will have to let the grief go and allow life to fill space with the ongoing nature of living, but not yet; for now, I am happy to hold Panni in my heart.

Below enjoy a gallery of images from the day he was born, when I received an email with a picture of a tiny little bundle of joy, through the days when he welcomed every student at Spira in West Seattle, then in Issaquah, and his last moments with me on a beautiful June day, when we said goodbye. What can I say, he loved snow, yoga, hiking, but most of all, he loved me. A feeling very much mutual.

He will always be in our hearts,

Dora (owner and teacher - Spira Power Yoga)


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