Sunday, August 30, 2015

Jax is our August 30, 2015 Pup of the Week


Here at the Bridge the weather is always 70 degrees and clear.  But on the mortal side of the River weather can become violent instantly.  The south coast of our country has been under a hurricane threat the last couple of weeks.  But one family has endured their own devastating hurricane:  Hurricane Jax.

When our friend Cooper arrived at the Bridge he began looking for a dog to join his pack.  The problem was that Cooper’s the perfect dog.  How do you replace the perfect dog?  Cooper answer was with imperfection:  A dog named Jax.

He let his Mom know that Jax needed a good home.  He went into Jax’s dreams and told him everything he needed to do to get his Mom to open her house to him.  Then he went to Tommy Tunes’ house, got some popcorn, put the TV on his Mom’s channel, rubbed his paws together and said “Oh boy this is going to be fun.”

When his Mom brought Jax home Chipper and Romeo took one look at him and asked his Mom to bring him back.  But she told them to be patient.  Jax was a good boy.

Jax was going to have to wait to achieve that title.  He went from cute and sweet his first day to Hurricane Jax in the following days.  Amongst the casualties was the electrical cord that powered his Mom’s warm winter blanket, her favorite pen, a cherished gazing ball and several small household items there were chewed.

Jax considered anything in his vision suitable for chewing.  Since he has yet to develop proper walking etiquette he needed to be taken on separate walks which proved quite taxing on the hottest days.  At her wit’s end his Mom reached out to her friends for something that could tame Hurricane Jax.  Someone suggested Bach’s Flower Essence, which helped, but his parents knew he needed training too

So Jax has begun training, and he is taking his medicine, and, despite one nasty bout with diarrhea, which wasn’t his fault, he is turning out to be a sweet, even tempered, respectful little dog, which is how Cooper planned it.  He knew if his Mom had an easy time with Jax he may not have found a spot in her heart.  He had to earn it, by testing her, and earning his spot.   Little by little Jax is doing just that.  He is becoming a regular part of the pack and has his own space in his Mom’s heart.

But be forewarned:  Cooper has a lot of tests planned for Jax and his Mom.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Tail From Rainbow Bridge: The Dog With an Evil Parent

A dog’s sworn duty is to take care of their parents:  To be their loyal companion no matter what they do.  But what is a dog to do when that parent is evil?
This week when Maya arrived at the Bridge many German Shepherd angels arrived to welcome their sister.  As they were departing I saw a German Shepherd who was well known on both sides of the Bridge.  
I slowly approached her.  “Excuse me Blondi?” I said in a tiny voice.
The large German Shepherd stopped and look down at me.  She smiled and asked what she could do for me.
“I know we dogs are supposed to be devoted to our parents but did you find that hard to do when your Dad was the most evil man in the world?”
Blondi sighed.  “It is hard,’ she said.  “He was good to me, up until the time he fed me a cyanide tablet to make sure it worked before he took it himself.  But I took it.  He was my Dad.  We all do what our Dad wants us to do.”
“But your Dad was an evil man.  He started a World War.  He murdered millions of people.  Didn’t you ever consider the world would be a better place if you just ripped out his jugular?”
“Oh I did,” Blondi said.  “I knew what he was doing.  When he was planning something inexplicably evil I would bark at him like I was trying to warn him of an impending seizure but it did no good.  Nothing could change him.  He was evil to the core.  I did spend a lot of time growling at the bad people around him.  I even snapped at a few of them.  They weren’t my Dad.  I could do what I wanted to them.  But instead of understanding that they were evil my Dad just thought I was protecting him.”
She sat down on the green grass.  “You know the hardest thing was knowing that I was living with the most evil man in Europe and I had it better than any dog in Europe, maybe in the world, accept for maybe Fala, who I have always found a little uppity.  So many dogs lost their homes, lost their parents, were left to wander the streets, and there I was, with the man who caused it all.
“When I was given that pill and crossed the Bridge the line to get here, both with dogs and humans, was endless.  It took me days to get here and me sworn in.  Then I went and hid.  I didn’t belong here.  So many dogs and humans were here because of my Dad.  Who would accept me?  But then some angels came to me.  I told them my story and why I didn’t belong.  They took me by the paw and told me that this is where I belonged.  And no one ever mentioned my Dad again.  Until today.”
I looked down sheepishly and Blondi patted my head.  “It’s OK,” she said  “It is good to talk about it.  I went down to the River to look for my Dad.  All I saw was darkness.  First I thought I was being punished but then I realized he was in a place where there was no light and he could never hurt anyone again.  And all those men who advised him were in the darkness too.  I would never see him again.  He was no longer my Dad.  And I was glad.”
I reached up and patted her nose.  What hell it must have been to be the dog of an evil man.  I think every dog and angel should thank The Big Guy for the wonderful parents we have so we don’t iive our lives in torment.  
I don’t know what I would have done if my Dad had been evil like Blondi’s was.  I am just glad I have never been put in that position.  
Bless all the good parents tonight, and the dogs who lack them.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

River Song Velcro Dog

I like to read about my friends’ adventures.  You all do many exciting things.  Trips, competitions, long hikes through the woods, they all sound wonderful.  You know what I find wonderful?  Human touch
I am addicted to it.  When Mommy is working in the kitchen I don’t need to be underfoot I need to be on foot.    I sit on her foot and she has to shake it to get me off.  When we are in bed I snuggle against her and if she gets up to go to the bathroom I switch to Daddy.  Sometimes I lay across the bed so I can get touched on both ends.
I am what is called a velcro dog.  I need to be attached to a human always.  The only exception are walks, where I can still brush against my humans when I need to; eating, which I get done as quickly as possible; and when I get my treat Kong which is my second addiction.  When Mommy showers I curl up on her clothes.  It isn’t Mom but it’s close.
When separation is imminent I do everything I can to prevent it.   If both my parents are leaving I try to hide.  So far my efforts have proven unsuccessful.   If Mommy is leaving then I stand on my back legs and wrap my front paws around her leg and I hold on with all my strength.  I am very hard to shake off:  Like JJ Watt keeping someone out of the endzone.  Where is she going that I can’t go with her?   Attached to her leg I look like a very fancy boot.
I am much more addicted to Mommy than Daddy.  When Mommy is gone I stand at the window waiting for her.  Sometimes I go back to sit with Daddy but immediately I hear a noise and am running back to the window.  I will do this a thousand time before she comes home.
I must admit:
I like to think that I am immune to the stuff, oh yeah
It’s closer to the truth to say I can’t get enough
You know I am gonna have to face it I’m addicted to Mom


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Maya is our August 23, 2015 Pup of the Week

We have been very fortunate the last few weeks.  None of our good friends have passed to the Bridge.  It seems like we either have waves of dogs climbing the steps or none.  We prefer none and we were on a none stretch recently.  But that ended with the arrival of sweet Maya.

Maya is a beloved German Shepherd Dog.  All us dogs accept that parents bond with their German Shepherds for life.  Once humans own a GSD they rarely get another breed.  I am not sure why.  They are lovely dogs but all dogs are lovely.  But I do admire them for inspiring such loyalty in their humans.

And they inspire loyalty in one another too.  When a GSD crosses the Bridge and rises to our home German Shepherds from all around come to salute them.  Before Maya rose up to my area to be sworn in thousands of her breed poured over the hills to wait.

Maya arrived as sweet and polite as any dog could be.  She lifted a paw to be sworn in.  When that task was completed she patted me on the head, then pulled me into a life affirming hug.  It made me feel so warm and safe.  I had not felt that safe since I was under the covers with Mommy snuggled together on a cold winter morning.

Maya patiently waited to get her wings fitted.  Ladybug took her on her first flight and Maya picked up flying in no time flat.  Those German Shepherds are very trainable dogs.  She fluttered to the Earth next to me and told me it was time to do what she was born to do: Watch over her Mom.  

And that is where she in now, doing what she did on the mortal side of the River.  She is watching over her family.  We all watch over our families but none with the intensity of German Shepherds.  I guess that is what makes them do special.

I am going to start to watch over my humans with that intensity too.  While no one would mistake me for a German Shepherd I would greatly like to hear that I had the heart of a German Shepherd.

And to Maya’s Mom, if you ever feel like you are being watched you are, by Maya.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: The Cooper 500

When I was living on the mortal side of the River I loved going on car rides.  I had my own chair.  It sat high in the back seat.  I could look out the windows and see everything.  What I really wanted to do was drive.  But dogs don’t drive.

At least on the mortal side.  Here on the immortal side everything is possible.  So I signed up to drive in the annual Cooper 500 at the big oval track bordering the River.

My car is a red ’69 Chevy with a 396 Fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor.  I have no idea what that means but it sounds cool.  And fast.  It had to be modified some.  My legs are only two inches long so my mechanics attached the pedals to levers so I could reach them with my four paws.  This meant I had to steer with my nose but that’s OK.  I have a very flexible nose.

Plus I get to wear one of those cool suits with my sponsor’s name on it.  I am sponsored by STP because I am tiny and that is the only name that will fit on my suit.  I drive the Small Tails blog car sponsored by the Tanner Brigade.

I got in my car and started the engine.  A huge roar exploded behind me and the car shook.  I reached down and pulled the lever that started the car and then I pulled the lever that made the car go fast and I took off in first place putting the entire field behind me.

I put my nose on the steering wheel as we came up to the first turn and I looked up.  I saw the top of the dashboard and blue sky.  I couldn’t see the track.  I should have thought this out.  I guessed when to turn.  I guessed wrong.  

My car hit the wall and flipped high into the air over and over again and I thought that this was a wonderful time to be immortal.  I could see almost the entire Bridge as I kept spinning. It as like being on a wonderful ferris wheel.  But there is one thing that is true on either side of the River of Life:  Gravity sucks.

I started to come back down very fast.  I pulled all the levers, turned the wheel with my nose but nothing worked.  Then I splashed into the river.  I scurried out the window and swam to shore.  My robe got soaked.

I looked up the mountain.  A very annoyed Big Guy looked down at me, then at the car sinking in the River.  Later that day a group of angel beavers removed it from the River and my mechanics started working on it so I could get back on the track.  Meanwhile I set a meeting with Teddy Bond for some extendable goggles.

I know I shouldn’t but I feel the need for speed.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Pocket and the Calming Pills

Mommy says I am an excitable dog.  I don’t know what she means.  I think I am very calm, cool and what was that?  Did you hear that?  Bark, bark, bark, bark, bark.   Whatever it was is gone.  Might have been a sasquatch.

Today we got a walk in the morning but it was hot.  I was panting like an unspade dog in a puppy strip joint.  I figured we would spend the rest of the day hanging out with the ac blowing on us and watching TV.

But Mommy has been working on refurbishing the porch and she wanted it done today.  My parents began to put down a new carpet.  There was a lot of cutting with sharp objects, measuring, then doing it all over again.  Meanwhile, because of the sharp objects, River and I weren’t allowed on the porch, so we helped by standing on our back legs looking through the storm door window and barking.  And barking.  And barking.  We barked them on so much their they begged us to stop barking because we were giving them too much confidence.  

Then they pulled out our travel bags to move them from the porch and hang them in the hall closet.  But you don’t pull our a dog’s travel bags without the intent to travel.  We were convinced we were going for a ride and our anxiety kicked into overdrive.

We tripled our barking speed.  Even when the bags were hung in the closet and the door shut we still barked.  Mommy thought taking us out to pee might help so Daddy leashed us.  We ran down the steps almost pulling him down, and then we ran back up causing him to slam into the side of the open screen door.

Now they were both angry, probably from working so hard on the rug.  So they went into the jar of special treats.  The treats that were supposed to make us “calm.”  We got on our back legs and we begged for those treats, not because we wanted to be calm but because we knew what they would give us:  The zooms.

We immediately began to run around the house faster and bark louder.  We stood at the door as our parents finished working on the porch and we moved our feet like we were Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia playing Heart and Soul on the big piano.  Finally, once the porch was done and our parents were clean we were ready to snuggle, and to dream about the next situation where we could get overly excited and get one of those calming treats.

Those things are like crack.





Sunday, August 16, 2015

Those in need are our August 16, 2015 Pups of the Week

I look across the River of Life and I see many dark clouds hovering over my friends’ lives.  Clouds of despair.  Clouds of sorrow.

Over Enzo’s home in Colorado the clouds roll in then roll out only to be followed by darker clouds.  This year his wondrous gift of a Mom has lost her daughter, then she broke her leg, and recently lost her mother.  How much pain can one family endure?

Humans watch those big glass screens in their houses, or travel to theaters while we are left alone, to watch stories of despair, perhaps to try to connect them to their own lives, or to see those who have suffered worse. We don’t watch fiction much here, even though Wells and Hitchcock continue to make movies, and Twain and Shakespeare continue to write, and Tupac really does have a new CD dropping Tuesday.  With the threat of mortality no longer in question art loses it’s edge.  We watch reality.  Real reality not scripted reality.  There is nothing scarier than real reality.

There are so many stories, some have been told in secret Facebook groups, others general knowledge, that I get them confused, and I don’t want to break confidences so I will have to keep of those in need private.

Like those parents who have through no fault of their own, and the great fault of others, lost their jobs.  Humans become untethered when they lose their jobs.  They may hate their jobs but jobs gives them self worth and  purpose, not to mention money and health care.  At least three of my friends parents are desperately looking for work in this unfair careless world.  Please send them prayers.

And there are those walking with the spirits of the recently lost  Some of those spirits surround me now, constantly looking over their parents as they struggle with going on without their beloved little friend.  My friends reach out through dreams and spirit visits, never quite being able to touch those they loved.

There are others who have lost humans.  Some humans lived years, long rewarding lives leaving a tapestry of memories and fingerprints on everyone they touched and some, well one, only lived hours, precious hours before crossing over.  And we watch the pain, the sorrow and we wonder how do these parents go onward?

Then there are those sick.  Three of whom have cancer.  They are in different stages  Some contemplating treats, come getting chemotherapy, one waiting a bone marrow transplant.  All optimistic, all looking forward to tomorrow.  All walking with great certainty into a constantly changing uncertain future.

This is why we love humans.  Because in sickness and in health, good times and bad they, through unimaginable worry and sorrow, they keep moving forward.  And they deserve something wonderful, something precious, something that will love them unconditionally to guide them through the ceaseless hard times.

And that is us.

I just wish I understood why we don’t get more time.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: My First Walk

A few weeks ago I wrote about my Gotcha Day.  Now I want to tell you about my first walk.

I was two pounds and my neck was less than three inches round.  Mommy had this tiny little harness for me, I think she stole it off a ferret.

We lived across the street from the State Mental Hospital which was a beautiful place to walk with both paved and mulched walkways, many beautiful tall trees, several benches and the occasional homicidal maniac mistakenly given a day pass due to bureaucratic overload.

My sister Blake loved walking there.  She chased squirrels, she got her head scratched by incarcerated patients, she ate geese poop.  I learned to do two of those things.  The geese poop wasn’t for me.

When Blake went for her first walk with my parents she wasn’t much bigger than I was on my first day.  Mommy put her collar on and they walked outside together.  Blake walked to the end of the driveway, her tail held high, nose in the air, as proud as anything you have ever seen  When she got to the end of the driveway she collapsed from exhaustion and had to be carried.  Over time she built up her stamina.

Given her experience with Blake she didn’t expect me to walk very far either.  We drove over to the institue, me in Mommy’s hands.  When we arrived she put me down and I began to walk, with my head up and my tail up, very proud.  And I kept walking, and walking, and walking.  I never tired for a second.  

Mommy was amazed.  I was such a good walker.  I didn’t need to be picked up for the whole walk.  Soon after Blake taught me how to meet the patients, how to tree a squirrel (she would sneak up behind them but me, being a puppy, could not control my excitement and barked, and she would turn and nip at me in frustration) and how not to eat geese poop because she ate it all.

That day was the first many walks with Mom.  I am patiently waiting for my next one.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Great Escape Artist by River Song

I am River Song the Magnificent.  No crate or cage can hold me.  

On Saturday my parents went shopping.  They placed Pocket and me in our separate crates.  Pocket accepted her loss of freedom but I never will.  

For weeks I had been slowly working on my escape like a Mexican Drug Lord.  But instead of digging down I went up.  My crate has doors at the top and on the side.  Most dogs would try to get out through the side door but not me.  I go straight to the top.

On my last visit to the vet not only did I get a case of limes but I was told I needed to lose a pound.  My beloved cheese filled Kong became a less beloved carrot filled Kong.  But with a slight amount of weight loss I found that I was more nimble and I had regained strength in my back legs

Plus I was blessed with the head like a battering ram.  On Saturday I put it to good use.  I stood on my now powerful back legs and I put my head against the door at the top and I lifted, pushed and rammed.  Slowly the hooks began to give way until they slipped free and I was out.

Did I counter surf for food?  Did I rip apart a pillow?  Did I break something important?  No:  I am sad admit that I panicked.  I ran back and forth from window to window looking for Mom.  Pocket begged me to free her but I kept running around barking:  “I gotta find Momma!”  I did pee on the floor but that wasn’t my fault.  If you don’t want your dog peeing on the floor crate them.

My parents returned home to find me standing up, looking out the kitchen window, my beard covered in excited drool.  I was so happy to see them I barked and did the Griffy Dance.  

Not wanting to believe in my great talents they deduced that they forgot to latch the top of the crate.  They believed that until this morning.  I was crated again.  As soon as they left I began to use my thick head and well developed leg muscles to get the top door open.  Unfortunately my parents were not gone long.  When they got home I had one latch open and another ready to give way.  I slunked down in my crate.  My escape route “Tom” had been discovered.

My parents fortified the doors with bungee cords but I do not fear them.  I shall figure out my means of escape in no time or my name is not River Song the El Chapo

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Zippy: The Yorkie Who Exposed Our Biggest Secret is our August 9, 2015 Pup of the Week

I know I should be recognizing Zippy for the wonderful bravery he showed but I am afraid I am going to have to criticize him as well.  Zippy is a little Yorkie just like I am.  He too is an adorable little lap dog.  But this week Zippy broke a very important rule.  He showed how powerful we really are when we have to be

Zippy as with his Dad, Eric Waters, on vacation in Asheville North Carolina this week.  Together they went for a nice walk through the woods.   Mr. Waters saw something in the distance.  At first Mr Waters thought he was looking at a bear but then he looked down at Zippy who was very excited.

Suddenly Zippy got a burst of super Yorkie power.   He pulled on the leash with his five pounds of weight and snapped his collar.  He began to run at the bear who turned towards the little dog.  That is when Mr. Waters realized it was no bear.  As he reported to WTVD what he saw was a Sasquatch.  And his little Yorkie was chasing it.  Chasing high into the hills before Zippy returned to his grateful Dad.

I know what you are thinking:  Mr Water is a little yahoo in the whowho.  But I have finally been allowed to tell you the truth since Zippy has let the cat out of the bag.  Us Yorkies are Sasquatch hunters.

When I was on the mortal side of the River of Life, living at the condo with the big back doors that looked out on the woods, I would growl and bark.  Mommy thought I was barking at the butterflies but I was scaring off a Sasquatch.  If it wasn’t for me he would have ripped off the back door, eaten all the Pringles, done shots of Hi-C, slapped himself in the head when he realized he could have had a V-8, and maybe ripped out my parents livers.  My parents couldn’t see it because Sasquatches are very good at hiding themselves.  Only Yorkies can see them because we are close to the ground and we see their Big Foot.  One of the cable networks have a show about finding Big Foot.  But they are never going to find one  You know why?  They are scared of Yorkies.

But we are not the only demon hunters in the dog world.  Bichon Friese are vampire hunters; Shih Tzus handle the zombies; haven’t seen Frankenstein's monster lately, thank a Chhuah.  What is standing between man and the apocalypse? Lap dogs.

I know Zippy sprung into action to save his Dad but he also exposed our biggest secret:  We are the last defense against the supernatural.

All dog breeds have the ability to scare off evil creatures beyond humans’ imaginations. I don’t have the time to list them all but if you have ever asked yourself why you have never seen a English Sheepdog and Donald Trump now you know why.

So next time your dog is staring into space seemingly barking at nothing do not get angry, they are saving you from some unknown evil, yes, some unknown evil even worse than a Sasquatch.  Or Donald Trump.





Friday, August 7, 2015

Tails From Rainbow Bridge: A Hunter in Hell

Often we have humans wander over from their side of the Immortal world.  They enjoyed hunting on the Mortal side and were hoping to do it again.  The animals who live in the hills usually accomodate.  The hunters hunt, the animals hide, and then the hunter shoots.  But here there are no bullets.  The animals will fall down, then get up and run to the hunter and then they hug and go out for a nice dinner of non killed food.

But there are some humans who are less interested in hunting and more interested in killing.  I met one such man this week.  He came to our side with a huge gun and said he was going up the mountain to hunt and would bring what he killed back to his cloud.  I noticed he did not have a dog and I asked if I could go with him.

He told me that I was not a hunting dog but I convinced him that here at the Bridge we are all hunting dogs so he took me along.  We climbed the mountain together and we saw a beautiful rhino.  The man told me he had always dreamed about killing a rhino and that this place was truly heaven.  He popped out of our hiding spot and fired his big gun.  The rhino collapsed on the ground.

The man stood up and let out a great howl of conquest.  The rhino then stood, nodded towards him, and walked away.  “What is the meaning of this?” the hunter yelled.  “I killed him!”

“We are all immortal here,” I told him, “you can’t kill anyone.:

The hunter did not like this.  He stalked off after another rhino, lined it up with his gun, and fired.  The rhino yawned and looked away.  The hunter turned the gun and look down the hole.  Bewildered he asked me what was happening and I explained to him that he could have the thrill of the hunt but not the thrill of the kill.

“But I loved killing!” he said.  “I would kill them, saw them, then mount their heads on my walls. Now I can’t do any of that.  Isn’t this place supposed to be heaven?”

“For some of us,” I said fluttering my wings and rising into the air.  “But one soul’s heaven is another soul’s hell.”

I then flew away as the hunter realized he would spend eternity surrounded by the animal he had dreamed about hunting and now had no way of killing.

Another man’s hell indeed.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

River and the Bad Thunder Storm

Bed is my favorite spot.  I know when I am in bed, snuggled with Mom and Dad, under the covers, that nothing can hurt me.  This morning that theory was tested.

Just after dawn the thunder began. Now it usually doesn’t bother me but this thunder kept getting louder, then the wind howled, the rain pounded, and lightning cracked above.

I snuggled in closer to Mom and Pocket did the two things she does when she is scared:  Tremble and sit on Daddy’ head.  I don’t know why she sits on his head when she is scared.  It seems to me that higher ground is not something I would seek in a lightening storm.

Mommy gently stroked me equally scared of the thunder.  I don’t know how it is with weather people in other states but in Massachusetts they act with the calmness of a cruise director on the Titanic.  As soon as a storm has the slightest potential to create a tornado the New England meteorologists begin instructing people to get into their basements to stay safe and when the danger has passed they tell people they can leave the basement but most of them don’t have TVs in their basements and they are stuck there for months.  We don’t have a basement or any rooms without windows, and we are told we cannot drive, so our only choice is to take off all our clothes and run around the house naked waving our hands in the air and yelling “the end is nigh.”  Given those options staying in bed is the best solution.  If Alibaba could fly around on a carpet we should be able to fly around on a mattress.

Daddy held on to Pocket like he was a human thundershirt to calm her and to keep her off his head  The thunder got louder and louder until one ear shattering smack and then it drifted away and we drifted back to sleep.

When we awoke for the day we put on the news.  No tornadoes touched down, or were even spotted. There were some trees and power lines down but not in our little village  of the pruned.

Now we are forming rescue parties to save those poor humans stuck in their basement waiting for the all clear sound that will never come.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

August 2, 2015 Pup of the Week: Cecil the Lion

It was a bright, sunny afternoon when I got a special summons.  The only information I received was that a very loved animal would be crossing over the Bridge to the Immortal side.  I didn’t know what kind of pet it was, if it was a friend of mine or not, or if I knew the owner.

Word had spread quickly about our celebrated new angel and many animals gather around.  I peered over the edge of Enzo’s moving stairs and saw a shadow then heard a mighty roar.  Then I saw him.

He was a huge lion a million times larger than me!  I was going to warn my friends but they too had peered down Enzo’s stairs and saw the lion and they were already running for the hills.  I had the same instinct but I reminded myself that I was a judge who had a duty to swear in new anges and since I was already immortal the chances of being eaten were slim.  I looked down as the huge beast came closer to me.

Maybe being eaten wasn’t impossible.  It reached the top of Enzo’s stairs and put out a paw that was bigger than me  I slipped the good book under his paw and swore him in.  He then took that paw and put it to the side of my head.

I was afraid he would rip me open but he patted me.  “I left little ones behind, bigger than you, but still little ones.”  I did not want to offend the large man but I did have questions.

“Excuse me.” I said politely, “but we don’t get too many wild animals here.  We usually only get those who are loved by humans, or want to get loved by humans.”

He chuckled  “Oh I was loved,”  he said.  “I might have been loved more than any angel up here.”

Then he told me his story:  His name was Cecil.  He lived in the Hwange National Park in a place called Zimbabwe.  It was a sanctuary where he could live in peace.  There was only one animal who could have harmed him and that animal was the dreaded human.  One of them, who fancied himself a hunter, decided that Cecil’s beautiful head would like fine on the wall of his dental clinic.  He tied a carcass of another dead animal to his jeep, lead Cecil off the Park, wounded him with a bow and arrow, and then, after hours of Cecil’s suffering, killed him with a gun and sawed off his head.

It was one of the most horrible passings I had ever heard.  I wanted to start cursing at Cecil’s murderer and send my birds to poop on his head but I was afraid I would be labeled an anti-dentite.  Cecil sensed my anger and told me that there were humans who wanted to see the dentist prosecuted for murdering Cecil.  I asked him how he could trust the humans and he said that the humans had provided him with a safe home and were now taking care of his cubs.  And he had no problems with hunters.  He had sent plenty of animals to the Bridge to feed his family so he could not judge hunters.  But is was the irresponsible hunters, the ones who don’t follow the roles who cause all the damage.

I told him that his passing was the most senseless I had ever encountered.  He quickly corrected me.

“My passing has let many people know about the lions and the sanctuary.  People are discussing the need for lions to be protected and they are outraged at my murder.  Most death is senseless but mine has meant something.  Hopefully mine will make the world a safer place for lions.”

I thought he made a lot of sense.  Many of us live lives of great meaning, but to have a death have great meaning too is a wonderful legacy.  Also I didn’t want to argue with a lion.

He told me he was going high up in the mountains where the rest of the lions roam.  I told him he was welcome to visit us little animals whenever he wanted to do so.  He only had one request.  He had fallen behind watching Zoo and wanted to know if there was somewhere he could catch up with the episodes.  I pointed him to Tommy Tunes’ house where everybody is welcome.

Later that day I checked Tommy’s house and Cecil was lying on the floor covered with pups and cats snuggling with him.

I was sure Cecil would visit again..