Hi my name is Taylor.
People call me SMASH.
They sometimes call me Fang, cos I didn’t have much teeth.
After a while, some people called me Toothless, cos I didn’t have any teeth.
But I was always SMASH, even when I couldn’t smash anything anymore.
Over four years ago, I wrote a letter to my fans (i.e. everyone). It was about my brother Lawrence aka MAGNUM and our parents — George aka PapaG and Kathleen aka MamaK. The four of us were a happy family until my brother and I started fighting. We were big — really big. We were strong — really strong. We were young. We loved each other but we were hard to handle. Our dad had to separate us early and often and in the end, too often. He was a big, tough, strong man with a big heart and he made the difficult decision to say goodbye. And that’s how I came to live with my Uncle Cecil, and eventually he became my PapaC. When I wrote that letter, MAGNUM’s time on this earth was done. He had bravely fought cancer, jumped around on three legs for a year, lived a solid eight and was off to Heaven. Writing that letter seemed like yesterday cos for me, time was not a concept we dogs understood. For us, everything happened at once, and everything happened for a reason. And the foundation for everything that happened was love.
I ended my letter by writing “to be continued…” Until a week ago, I didn’t have anything else to say other than what I had already said. With that said, so much had happened since my uncle was promoted to father. We moved from Chicago to the Bay Area and then we moved back. We had great adventures driving from one end of the country to the other. We went up and down, across, around and sideways. We camped under a super moon in Moab. We circled Lake Tahoe. I dipped my paws into the Colorado River and the Pacific Ocean not to mention the streams inside Muir Woods and other parts of Marin County. We ran the beaches up the California and Oregon coasts. We spent time with family and friends in Chicago with Uncle Paul and with Uncle Brian when he would visit and of course whenever PapaG & MamaK & Jorryn would come over from Naperville, parts of Indiana with ammachi and appachen, DC, Kansas City, Reno, Santa Barbara with Uncle Tad & Aunt Annie, San Luis Obispbo, Boulder with Uncle JoeyO’, The Lost Coast Trail with Uncle Chris, Yosemite with Tucker & Papa Derek and loads & loads of time in and around Los Angeles. Chicago was our first and last home; and Sausalito filled our hearts in the middle. Our hikes all throughout the Marin Headlands were epic and every day. We even walked the Golden Gate Bridge which we would find out that I was not allowed, but we walked anyways. We had such a good time that I even forgave PapaC for leaving me on his trips to India, Thailand, England and the Netherlands. If there was an adventure to be had, we were having it.
Then there was the biggest adventure of all — my dad had found True Love. He had met our Grace, my MamaG. I watched it all from the very, very beginning. It was literally the best thing that I had ever been a part of. Much like when my brother and I were a part of our PapaG & MamaK’s love story, I was a part of PapaC & MamaG’s love story. Because of that and in spite of the last year being physically hard on me, it had been one of the best years of my life. If it wasn’t for my MamaG, I’d have said goodbye a very long time ago, but decided to stick around cos I could not get enough of her. She had so much energy. She laughed often and she laughed loudly. She was quick and she was strong and she loved to play. Unfortunately, she didn’t let me get away with too much, but I didn’t mind cos I didn’t want to do too much apart from just being with her. And I just loved being there with both of them and watch them as they looked into each other’s eyes. My papa told me right when he got home after their first date that he had finally met the person he had been searching for his entire life. I knew even before he left that she was the one. And when I met her for the first time a week later, I was never going to let her go. I would get much, much better and then I would get much, much worse cos I knew she’d take care of me. More importantly, I knew she’d take care of my papa and he would take care of her. They were meant to be together. And I was meant to be with them.
However, it was time now. I was going to be with my folks forever more but it would just look a little different now. My bones were making weird noises now. I had a really hard time getting up and even when I did get up, it was tough to stay up. Walking was hard. I couldn’t control my bathroom habits anymore. I didn’t want to leave, but it was definitely time to go. I was done knocking on Heaven’s door.
I had been talking to my friends no one could see but me that had been helping me take care of my mama and papa. Lawrence and Jackyboy and Kalib and Fozzy and Mason and Tina all sent their love. They told me of this Rainbow Bridge, and now that my time on earth was done, I wanted to go see it. They told me there are fields and fields of green grass so tall you could get lost but would always be found. They told me there is an endless supply of tennis balls for us to chase. They told me there are mounds and mounds of bones enough for all of us to chew on. And they told me the sticks are bigger than tree branches. And dirt? Oh boy oh boy oh boy, there was so much dirt that I could cover myself in it and not have a care in the world! I wanted to go… but…
I was literally caught between two worlds. I knew it was time to say goodbye, but a big part of me did not want to leave my folks. My mom and dad filled every nook and cranny of my heart. They were and would always be my everything. With that said, I decided to leave my earthly body behind, play in the fields of the Rainbow Bridge, and be with all my parents and grandparents and uncles and aunties and nieces and nephews and friends in ways I could never be before. I’d be everywhere every time, but most especially with my PapaC and MamaG. I’ll never leave them again.
Taylor aka SMASH
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GO ADVENTURE. GO TRAVEL. GO LIVE.ALWAYS BE EPIC.