|In Memory of Paco Perry
07/04/1995 - 02/07/2008
10 years, 7 months and 3 days
of life changing moments with us.
Nancy and I first met Paco on July 4th, 1997 in Austin, TX. We had recently bought a house with a yard big enough for us fulfill one of our dreams: get a 4-legged companion to share in our lives. We knew Siberian Huskies were great animals and had been reading all we could on the breed - not sure when we'd really be "ready" to adopt...
Paco was a 2 year old stray that had been living "in the woods" of Austin and venturing into gas stations looking for food and water. He had been picked up by a fellow dog lover who could not keep him but tried to find where Paco came from and who was missing him.
As fate would have it, Paco was truly lost and we stumbled upon the kind soul who had taken him in. We went home after meeting Paco on July 4th to discuss whether we were really ready for a dog... We watched fireworks that night and could only worry if Paco was ok and kicked ourselves for leaving him alone that night. July 5th, 1997, Paco came home with us and proceeded to change our lives in every positive way anyone could imagine - eventually moving us to the mountains to enjoy the true Siberian side of life.
10 years, 7 months and 3 days like we will never experience again. Paco taught us more about the positive side of life than we could dream existed. Be Strong, Be Determined, Be Kind, but most of all, Have Fun and Enjoy Life - that is what defined Paco.
February 7th, 2008: after an intense battle with cancer, Paco told us on the morning of the 7th that he was in too much pain and did not have the energy to continue fighting and lead our pack.
Nancy, Cisco, Max and I laid by Paco's side for the next 4 hours, gently stroking Paco and telling him how much he had done for us. I decided to start writing a list of "one-liners" capturing every positive influence Paco had on us - reading them to Paco as we wrote and letting him know how much he'd done. 4 pages later, we had to stop writing - not because we had run out of "Paco influences" but because Paco told us, "thanks, but I must go now". As with his life, it was too soon - we easily had 4 more pages to go, just as we easily had 10 more years we needed to learn from him.
A few hours after Paco passed, snow started falling... The flakes were rich, thick powder - easily becoming the best storm of the 2007/2008 snow season. Nancy and I looked out the window at the massive powder flakes and said, "Paco Powder" (the nickname he had for his graceful enjoyment when "trucking through deep powder").
We immediately knew this snow was from Paco, he was telling us, "thanks for the life, I truly enjoyed it. I feel better now and am sledding on another plane."
More than 12 hours later, the rich, thick powder continues to fall. We still do not know how to continue without him; but he is still telling us, "I am ok: Be Strong, Be Determined, Be Kind, but most of all Have Fun and Enjoy Life."
We are trying Paco, thank you for the leadership and the direction to continue. We miss you dearly.
Fun Paco Links: Paco's original webpage Sledding Archive
Hiking to snow in June! Cisco: my best bud for 8 years
Max: my little puppy goofball