The Bandit And His Soul Mate: Saying The Final GoodBye

The King In His Last Few Months

The Bandit King Fights, But Loses His Last Battle

He was the biggest and strongest of dogs. He walked his kingdom daily, head held high, shining coat glistening in the sun. He would intimidate lesser dogs, never failing to let them know that he was the king; and like all kings, he had chosen his queen when she was just a princess. Many years ago, Pancho spotted a petite, graceful young beauty. He approached her, smelled her and then without hesitation, lifted his leg on her. He was simply marking her as his. Her owners were not happy, but finally realized that Pancho meant her no harm. That was just the way things were done in Pancho’s kingdom. The beautiful princess was named Haley and although he outweighed her by close to 50 pounds, Pancho and Haley would meet daily to romp and play. They would wrestle, and sometimes he would even allow her to think that she had won. He would nuzzle her and she him. Through the years, these two lovers would always find ways to see each other. When she was on her walks, she would find her way to his house. Pancho’s queen would sit outside his window, crying in the hopes that Pancho would be able to come out and spend time with her. If Pancho was unavailable, he would find his way to her house later in the day. He would sit outside, refusing to leave until she came to play. So, it was no different on Pancho’s last night as king.

The End To A Love Story

Even though they had both aged over the years, these two soul mates never faltered in their love. Pancho became ill and almost overnight, his youthful look was gone. For no apparent reason, his kidneys had failed and he spent two torturous days in the hospital. When his doctors said there was no hope of recovery, his owners asked to take him home for one final night, so that he could maybe have a last feast and sleep beside the boy, now man, who had become his best friend. The doctors didn’t think he would be able to eat, but they were wrong. Pancho relished that last double cheeseburger, but prior to his feast, he was carried from the car and placed on the ground for his last walk into his palace. He refused to make that short walk; instead, he turned and demanded to be led to Haley’s house.

He was on a mission. He would see his queen one last time. He knew that his now weak legs would carry him that far; they had to. He would not go without saying goodbye to his love. It was midnight when he arrived at her house and fortunately, her owners were not yet asleep. They knew it was Pancho’s last night and they knew how important this final visit would be. Haley came running down her steps. She must have sensed that her king was here to say goodbye. She nuzzled him gently. She sniffed his bandages. Pancho just stood there, nuzzling her, sniffing her one last time. Although he was unable to wrestle, his uncontrolled wagging tail signaled to her his happiness. They knew it would be their last kiss.

The King's Last Night And Final Walk

Pancho’s final night was maybe his best. He said goodbye to his queen. When he got home to his palace, he savored his last double cheeseburger and then he laid next to his best friend. He was stroked and loved and hugged and loved some more. His tail seemed to wag the entire night. He had a nosebleed during the night, but his owner gently wiped the blood away.

The next morning, the Bandit King bravely walked back into the hospital. His head was held high as he made his way to the treatment room. He sat down in his friend’s lap, made himself comfortable, stared into the tear-filled eyes of his best friend and then, Pancho peacefully went to sleep.

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Comments 16 comments

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HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

Very beautiful and sad, Jillian. He obviously lived a good life. Rest in Peace, Pancho.

amillar profile image

amillar 5 years ago from Scotland, UK

It's a bittersweet tale Jillian and one with which all animal lovers can empathise.

Otherwise, I hope that all's well for you.

PETER LUMETTA profile image


Oh Jillian, what a brave little man he was, your son must be heart broken. I know I am just hearing his story. When a family member passes it is always hard. My best to you and your son,Your friend,


Clucy profile image

Clucy 5 years ago from Frederick, MD

Beautiful story....My two dogs are in love also. I cant imagine how hard it is going to be in the end. But for now. they have each other. For those who think they are just 'animals' should read this, they have feelings just like us and can love more deeply than we ever could.

amillar profile image

amillar 5 years ago from Scotland, UK

It's a bittersweet tale Jillian and one with which all animal lovers can empathise.

Otherwise, I hope that all's well for you.

Richard Sirota 5 years ago

A very tender, tear stained and well told story. Thank you!

Jillian Barclay profile image

Jillian Barclay 5 years ago from California, USA Author

Thank you all for your wishes and good feelings. This is such a hard time; so unexpected and it came so fast. Pancho and Haley were truly in love. I have never seen anything like it. I always referred to Haley as Pancho's wife. She was. Dogs have feelings as deep as any human, maybe on some levels, even deeper.

My son is devastated. They were together always. Pancho was his shadow and the only other being that had sway with Panch was his queen. Most dogs love to look out the car window. On our last ride together to the hospital, Pancho did not take his eyes off my son.

It is so hard to lose these family members that we call pets. The pain is crushing when they leave us.

Haley's family just brought a plate of warm, home made cookies with a precious note attached thanking us for allowing them to say goodbye to the King.

Thank you all again. Just had to write about this beautiful love story.

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Nov. 5, 2011, 12:27 a.m./cst

Hi, Jillian, GREAT hub. Moving and Sensitive. Voted up and all the buttons but FUNNY and I didnt find the death of a king funny at all. You possess a great talent, Jillian. And Im thankful to have met such a creative writer as yourself. I am now a fan and your follower, that is, if you dont mind. Highest Regards, Kenneth Avery, from a rural town, Hamilton, in northwest Alabama that looks like Mayberry on the Andy Griffith Show. Peace and Sanity to you always.

Jillian Barclay profile image

Jillian Barclay 5 years ago from California, USA Author

Thank you, Kenneth.

Peace and sanity to you,also, although sometimes at my age I wonder if the two can actually go together(my attempt at humor).

I live in California and we are all a little nutty here, I think.

Pancho is so missed, and we have decided that the best tribute we can give him is to rescue another dog, even though we know that our hearts will eventually be broken again. A new dog will never replace Panch, but will bring us joy and love and probably alot of laughter, too. Haley walks by our house every day, still stopping and sitting, still waiting for Pancho to come outside to see her. Breaks my heart...I just hope that she can find it in her heart to allow another King into her life, too!

Thank you again, Kenneth!

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Dear Jillian, although yours is a sad, touching story, sometimes the mystical essence of life has a way of mending things that we humans cannot. I have experienced this many times. Take care and do not worry. I am in your support and you are in my prayers.

Sincerely, KENNETH

chefsref profile image

chefsref 5 years ago from Citra Florida

Hi Jillian

Beautiful and touching Hub. We never forget our pets, members of the family. My mother still mourns the loss of our St Bernard after 40 years

Your friend


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

You are very welcome, Jillian and in my prayers for the rest of my life.


Terry.Hirneisen profile image

Terry.Hirneisen 5 years ago from Shenandoah Valley

Well this is a beautiful story! Pancho would be proud. I am so happy he could have those final hours. Now I must go kiss my beautiful Dylan as he is my oldest buddy. Hope you are well.

Jillian Barclay profile image

Jillian Barclay 5 years ago from California, USA Author

Pancho is missed every day, Terry. We decided to get another rescue dog. We have had him for a few weeks and even though he will never replace Pancho, he has brought some much needed laughter into our home. Oscar is an 18 month old black lab, pit mix-not as big as Pancho (only 65 pounds), but definitely a love bug!He loves people! He also loves ripping up his toys- good thing they have them at the dollar store!

Terry.Hirneisen profile image

Terry.Hirneisen 4 years ago from Shenandoah Valley

Are you ever going to write about Puff?

Jillian Barclay profile image

Jillian Barclay 4 years ago from California, USA Author


I have started a million times! "Puff was a puppy when I bought her for my mother who was dying from cancer. She fit into one hand and she looked just like my mom's first Puff. I had looked for so long, and then the kids and I found her. The day we brought her to my mom, my mom took her and through the tears said, "Oh, my Puff! You have come back to me!"

That is as far as I get before I start to cry--I am trying to get past that and tell the story of how her love for Puff kept my mom alive for almost three years beyond that day. And then, Puff came to the kids and me and lived for almost 17 more years. She was my constant and unwavering companion and she ruled the house and our other animals, even though she was only a tiny 3 pounds. She died just a few short weeks after we got Pancho. I have always wanted, like my mom did, for Puff to come back, but to no avail.

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