Our beloved friend and protector, Panzer, has stepped down from her guard.

She was born on April 13th, 2007. Her father, Chero Bulsara, was in narcotics detection for Mecklenburg County, and her mother, Erle Terrano, was imported from Europe. Panzer’s grandfather’s name was Gent od Policie, “The Gentleman of the Police”, in the Czechoslovakian border patrol.

Her genteel manner, keen instincts and stunning appearance came from this lineage.

Those of you who knew her in her youth were witness to her incredible brilliance. Her vocabulary was limited only by my own creativity in how to teach her new words. She’d pick up a novel trick in 10 minutes, and eventually, I ran out of things to request. Beyond that, she had genuine strategic planning and even a sense of courtesy – asking permission to enter a doorway or to bring you her bowl to request a second or third meal. Her intelligence, more recently, surpassed even Presidential levels. To simply call her smart – is a misnomer.

She was fiercely loyal, obedient and prescient.

Her name means armor in German. At her core, she always wanted to work and to live up to her name as a sentinel. But wrapped around that center was the most loving and sweet icing you can imagine. When all was still she would be dopey and playful. And she was always accepting of your love and attention, up until something in the periphery would call away her eye.

To that end, I’ve seen her “turn on” in just a few occasions, where it was evident that no training could elicit the perfect response that came baked in naturally. She always knew exactly how to read a person or situation before anyone else even knew something was amiss.

It was undeniably impressive to say the least, and something in which I took great pride.

For nearly 14 years she has been the most constant foundation in my life. Always present, always my guardian angel, up until her physical being could no longer perform duty. And for the last year – many times each day, I have carried her up and down the stairs to go outside.

But this service I provided does not come close to repaying the debt I owed her for all the times she carried me, emotionally, when I needed her most.

Even in the twilight of her life, she shielded Mollie and I from the pain of having to make the impossible, deliberative decision of when her time had come. She went peacefully, without any pain, without even a whimper… just fading out like a setting sun.

The gravity of her stellar presence, is not lost, however. She made a massive imprint on all of our lives and will always be remembered as the most brilliant, loyal friend a boy could ever have.

I will always love you, Panzer.