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Sancho’s Story

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Kim and kids with Sancho.

Sancho “The Rocket” Panza. —I know, it sounds like the stage-name of a lucha libre but it is, in fact, the name of our dog. Sancho came to our family as “Buddy” but we think he wanted a new name because he didn’t seem to respond to “Buddy.” As the newest member of our family, he also needed a nickname. In our family, everyone gets a nickname. Our 7-year-old son, Nate is “Nato-Potato” or “Chip,” which itself is short for Potato Chip; Joe, our 6-year-old is “Jelly-Joe-Nut” but usually we just call him “Jelly.” Our 3-year-old, Josh, is “Tyrannosaurus-Josh” or TJ for short. He earned this name partly because of his tyrannical 2-year-old temper (which is legendary) but mostly because he likes to pretend he is a dinosaur.

In Miguel de Cervantes’ early 17th century literary masterpiece, Don Quixote, Sancho Panza was the faithful companion of the protagonist, Don Quixote de la Mancha. In our family, I am Don Quixote better known as “Daddy de la Mancha.” Anyone who has seen my wife, Kim, understands why in our house, she is lady “Dulcinea del Toboso,”‘the most beautiful of all women.’” In our home, Sancho is our faithful companion, or at least he is earning this position as such. His nickname “Rocket” is thanks to Jelly’s insistence that his name should be Rocket and his refusal to call him Sancho. Since he responds to either name we decided he was all right with a nickname.

Since coming to live with us, Sancho has become a full-fledged member of our family. He sleeps on a pillow on the floor by our bed or in his crate downstairs. He plays hide and seek with the boys and we all play endless rounds of indoor fetch with his Kong. I enjoy taking Sancho for runs and as a family; we enjoy taking him for walks to the park. The entrance to the park is at the end of the street we live on and in the park he enjoys fetching tennis balls and sticks from the creek, which runs through the park. At first, he wasn’t too sure about the creek and was reluctant to go into the water. After a bit of coaxing and under peer pressure from water-loving Labrador Retrievers at the creek, he has taken very well to the water. He loves being off collar, an experience I don’t think he was able to enjoy while growing up in New York City with his first family. Just for the record, since I have been asked, while I am definitely not a cat person, if we were to rescue a cat, yes, I think we will name it “Freston,” the evil magician from the novel.

David P. Paulson, M.D.

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