Anyone who has read this book or seen the movie, or any dog movie or book, knows that as infuriating, destructive, and unmanageable as these animals can be, we love them with all our heart. In the end there is a large empty space when they are no longer with us.
Panda injected new energy into the older version of Jake. He patiently would let her box his nose with her front paws and climb all over him when he was laying down. When he had enough, it just took a swing of his head and a lifted lip to make Panda stop.
His memory lives on still through Panda. She still stops dead in her tracks during a walk to stare at a passing motorcycle, she knows that they merit some sort of reaction, but doesn't quite remember that she should be barking wildly and straining at the leash when we see them. And even though she is a female dog, she always marks her territory along the walk just like a male yellow lab taught her to do.