All week long I had been bringing prayers up the mountain to the Big Guy. Prayers for Max who had an ear infection and is showing signs of getting older as he is losing control of his bodily functions; for Max’s Dad, who was in the hospital, having first had surgery, than trouble afterwards; prayers for Hagan: Who was rushed to the vet because of a huge blood spot in his eye and a high white count, and who, while he has rallied, still has a high white count; and prayers for Petey who is also showing signs of age and perhaps suffering from the onset of senility.
By Saturday afternoon all the prayers had been answered yes, at least for the day. I was on my cloud, in my bathrobe, wearing my fuzzy slippers and sipping a Foleytinin when I was summoned for a swearing in ceremony. I angrily kicked off my slippers, took off my bathrobe, put on my robe and headed to the top of the stairs.
When I got there I was stunned to see my friend Tupper awaiting me. There hadn’t been any prayers for Tupper. From him for his Dad, Max, Keegan and Petey, but none for him. This made no sense. It had to be a mistake. I asked him, perhaps foolishly given where he was standing, what he was doing there, and he told me he had become sick, the vet found he had cancer, and he had suddenly passed over the Bridge. I told Tupper I would be right back, and like the good dog he is he waited.
I took off up the mountains, half running, half flying. I am sure if I saw another Yorkie doing it I would have found it quite amusing but I was determined to reach the top as quickly as possible. When I did I entered the palace at the top right past the guards and walked into the Big Guy’s office where he was writing with a pen on a piece of parchment.
“Hello Foley,” he said without looking up. He always knew it was me.
“There has been a mistake!” I announced.
“There are no mistakes,” he answered.
I ignored him. “My friend Tupper is here. His Dad was sick, his brother is sick, he has two friends who are sick, and I have been bringing prayers for them to you all week. Now Tupper just showed up. There has to be a mistake.”
The Big Guy reach behind him, and pulled out a huge leather bound book. He opened it, flipped through the pages, stopped, and ran an ancient finger across a line. “Let’s see: Tupper, here’s his date of birth, and the date he was due to arrive. All is in order.” He shut the book.
“That can’t be right. He wasn’t even sick!” I insisted.
He opened the book again. “ Actually Tupper was due a week ago but he asked for an extension so his whole family could be together before he left for the Bridge. He had been very sick, but like most dogs he wouldn’t let his parents know how sick he was until the last minute so they weren’t upset. Your friend Tupper was a very brave dog.”
“You’re darn right he is,” I said. “He and his family have always been there everyday for everyone. They pick their friends up when they are sad, celebrate when they are happy. And their Mom is the sweetest woman. Just this morning they posted a happy blog saying they were happy now that they were all home together. It’s not fair.”
“It’s never fair,” he said, his voice growing sterner. “Is it fair for the children dying in Israel and Palestine. Is it fair for those people shot out of the sky in the Ukraine or those dying on the ground? It’s never fair Foley. Now go do your job and swear in your friend before you find yourself working in the laundry.”
I knew when to leave. I took several steps, but being a Yorkie, I could not help myself. When I reached the door I turned and yelled “Well I think it sucks!”
I flew down the mountain where Tupper waited and I swore him in and then so many dogs, from all over, ran to him, licking and hugging him, and there was a lot of laughing and crying at the reunion. He got his training wings and then I took him down to the River of Life so he could see his family mourning him and he could do some mourning himself. I gave him a kiss and told him he could stay there watching as long as he wanted.
I returned to my cloud and was surprised to find the Big Guy waiting. He asked me to sit. Had I finally gone too far?
He asked me if my parents ever made mistakes and I said Mommy never did but Daddy made lots. He asked me if I forgave him and I said yes. Then he asked me if I believed man was made in his image and I agreed. “So if man makes mistakes, then I do too, and if you forgive man shouldn’t I be forgiven too?”
I had to admit, he was good. Must be how he got the job. When I pressed him if Tupper’s passing over was a mistake he said no but people get angry with him like he made a mistake and the most important thing we can do is forgive.
There is going to be more prayers, more loss, more tears and a lot more unfair things happening that leave us howling at the moon.
All I can say is remember to love one another each day, don’t take a second for granted, don’t let the little things your loved ones do anger you, quickly forgive them if they do, and be quickly forgiven if you become angry. And the first thing and last thing you do every day is make sure your loved ones know how much you love them, because for everyone there will be a day when tomorrow never comes.
And remember, there is one more wonderful angel here working to get your prayers answered positively and protecting you.
Love you Tupper.