Pocket, River Song, and I have been playing with Odie and Scooby on Saturday nights since before Scooby became an angel last year. We have gone beyond the stars, to the deepest depths of the ocean, and even back to puppyhood. When Scooby, I, or another angel friend have celebrated a special day our mortal siblings were always invited. Just a few days ago I plucked Odie from his dreams for my birthday party.
On Friday morning, when I recognized Odie’s familiar scent, and saw him standing by the river, I thought he has overslept at my party and had not returned to his mortal, sleeping form. I ran towards him to tell him he needed to get home or his mom would be worried about his round the clock nap when I saw the sadness in his eyes. Odie would no longer be lifted from his mortal dreams for angel adventures. He was an angel.
I asked him what circumstances brought him to Rainbow Bridge. He said his mom thought he was acting strangely.
Now let me tell you about his mom: We certainly have the greatest collection of moms in our little groups, but no mom is more in tune with her dogs’ health than Odie’s mom. She helped guide Scooby, a Great Dane, to the almost unheard of for a large dog age of 15, and aided Odie to reach the same age. Both dogs had lost the use of their back legs but their mom and dad built ramps, ordered wheels, and kept their boys active. There were special diets, pills, and, at the first sign something was amiss, several vet visits.
And it wasn’t just for Odie and Scooby. All creatures great and small were welcome in Odie’s house. He shared his home with ferrets, and bunnies, and other furry creatures. His mom could not say to any being in need of a home. She even brought injured baby birds into her home. Some, who were injured beyond being able to survive, she gave forever home to, and others she mothered until they were ready to fly free.
She knew every eye movement, every lick, every move her boys took. When she asked Odie to kiss her and he refused she knew something was wrong. She checked his gums. They were pale. She, and Odie’s dad, immediately rushed him to the doctor’s office.
An ultrasound showed that something had ruptured inside of him. He had been living with an aneurysm for some time. The doctor didn’t know if it was the aneurysm, or something else, but Odie’s time as a mortal dog was ending. His heartbroken parents said goodbye and Odie was transported to Rainbow Bridge and immortality.
Now he was in front of me, like he was in so many dreams, but now we were all too awake. I had so much to tell him about life at the Bridge. I began to speak and I was bowled over by giant paws.
It was Scooby who had done the bowling. He had run down the hill, his four legs digging into the moist dirt, and couldn’t stop. He hugged his brother, ran from him and another dog ran me over. It was Rusty, the dog who preceded Odie. He ran circles around his newly met brother, barking. Scooby charged back at him as I moved out of the way.
“Let’s go, let’s run like we did when we were young,” Scooby said. “We can do it again. We can finally play.”
Odie looked in the river. “But I am thinking about Mom and Dad.”
“So am I,” Scooby said still running circles. “When they think about us how do you want them to think? Of us forlornly looking into a river thinking about them? Or us running like the wind, like we used to do, when we were young.”
Odie thought about it a minute, then he smiled, and he took off, running after his brother. Rusty joined them and the three of them, barked, and nipped at one another, happily playing until the disappeared over the hill.
They were all much bigger than me. I was barely the size of their paws. And I could never keep up with them. But my tail started to wag, my feet dug into the dirt and I took off after them to start an endless dream date.