It honestly seems like yesterday when we started on dog social media. We were all young with a bright future before us. We created terms like bark out loud, pee-‘Mail, and pawsome. We shared stories of heartbreaks and joy. We all bought into the big lie: It would never end.
We had a lot of friends from the Pittsburgh area, and collectively they were called dogs from the Burg. Two of them belonged to Mama Jill. They were athletes who specialized in agility. It was a far world from mine, where being subjected to watching sports was the closest I got to physical activity.
Taz was adopted into the family from a non-sporting background. At first, he didn't take to agility like his brother Einstein did, but he soon learned it made his family happy and was better to perform than to be left home on competition day. The added benefit of extra parent time during training was an additional perk.
What Taz truly enjoyed was going hunting with his dad. Walking through words bursting with exciting smells, which he partook off into the gun was fired, the prey fell, and he used his instincts to retrieve it and bring it to his dad. It was something agility champ Einstein couldn't do and a terrific way to bond with his dad.
Their online friends, including me, cheered on Einstein and Taz. It was like having famous athletes in the family.
Once the golden age of dog social media ended, the larger sites closed, and people retreated to the stale, colorless world of Facebook; we still supported Einstien and Taz, but it was like they had gone to a school across town, and we didn't have daily contact.
Einstien went to the Bridge first, and Taz stayed behind to be both protector and guide to the newest family members. When Taz was adopted, his parents had no idea that he would take them on an almost decade and a half journey. He never forgot that his parents took him from a terrible situation and gave him a loving, active, championship forever home. He fought so hard to stay with his parents; he owed them everything. His parents saw him suffering, and could not bear it, so they took on all his pain and let him go to the Bridge, where he would be young and healthy again.
Einstein was the first to greet Taz as he crossed the Bridge, followed by their parents' other angels and his competition, Pittsburgh, and social media friends. His welcome party went on all night, and he and Einstein ran a match together because Taz was feeling young again. Taz won. We think Einstien let him, but that's what you do on your brother's Bridge Day.
While I am happy to spend time with Taz again, I feel bad for his parents, although I know their angels will coach their current dogs and lead them to victory. I am sure the parents will see a little of their angels in each performance and know they are watching over their Pittsburgh Pack.