On Monday a messenger pigeon flew in my window and told me I was needed for another swearing in. With a sigh I put down my book, grabbed my robes, dressed myself with the help of my chipmunk assistants and went to my spot at the top of the stairs leading from the Bridge.
The swearing in ceremony is dignified and proper. I have been told not to go down the stairs when I saw a friend. “Don’t run down the stairs! Don’t run down the stairs!” they yelled. When I saw the beautiful black dog with the white muzzle I forgot all protocol. I ran down the stairs.
It was Meika. My sister from another litter. My confidant. My special advisor. Every day when we were on the mortal side of the Bridge, after Meika, her brother Reese, and her Dad Jeff, left the Dog Channel site under circumstances that mirrored Pocket and my leaving the original DS, and came to the new DS, we barked at one another every day. We bonded over our hatred of cold and wet weather, our devotion to our parents, and mostly the daily struggle of living with a totally unprofessional younger sibling.
When I passed to this side of the Bridge Meika and her family were so supportive to my Mom, Dad and Pocket. I don’t know if they would have made it without y Meika’s family constantly checking on them and lifting them up. But this was normal for Meika and Reese. They took it on as their duty to help parents in their most painful days and did so with the utmost respect. Meika once told me they tried to be supportive, posting blogs and pictures of the departed, but didn’t want to pry, or be a bother, to those in mourning.
When I thought of Meika saying that I stopped running. Not because I remembered my decorum or cared about the dignity of my office. I got hit by a rogue wave of grief as I felt the incredible hurt and sorrow emanating across the Bridge from Reese, Daddy Jeff and Uncle Ron.
And then I remembered what I saw when I was checked in the River of Life that morning. Pocket answering a blog from Meika, which she started doing when I went to the Bridge, and they discussed the same things that Meika and I did, including how annoying a younger sibling is (now River.)
By the time Meika had reached me we tried to hug, but she is much taller than me and I just ended up rubbing her belly, but the sentiment was there. Then we walked up the stairs together, and Meika was welcomed to her new forever home, on the immortal side of life.
But I kept thinking of Pocket. She always signed off her blogs with Meika, “looking forward to your next bark.” Except that next bark won’t be coming. I know, Reese, Jeff, and Uncle Ron are waiting for that next bark too. A bark is so precious.
I appointed Meika to my council, where she will act as my paw, and we will talk about all those things we used to complain about, and wonder what we were ever complaining about.
And we will wait for our friends, and parents to arrive, so they can hear our next bark.