We dog will do anything to stay with our parents for as long as we can. Four years ago Annie surrendered a leg to spend one extra week with her mom. Prince was slightly luckier. He got six weeks with his mom after his foreleg was removed. Neither could escape the devastating effects of cancer, but they were happy for the extra time.
What is particularly cruel in both cases is that Annie and Prince’s parents were told, post-surgery, that their babies were cancer-free, only to learn a short time later that the cancer had returned Cancer is a terrible foe. It can be avoided, and some can escape from it, but it can never be defeated
We dogs, when in pain unless it becomes unbearable, hide it from our parents. It is our job to keep mom and dad happy and worry free for as long as we can. Prince knew, after his surgery, that he wasn’t cured, but he looked in his mom’ eyes and saw the most wonderful thing.: Hope. No dog can extinguish hope from their mom’s eyes.
Nor can a dog keep the ravages of disease at bay forever. Prince’s Mom took him for a follow-up x-ray which showed the cancer had returned in the shoulder where his leg was amputated. They were not ready to say goodbye, so she took Prince home. Three days later his mom eased him towards his final journey.
As news spread amongst our parents that Prince has passed over clouds full of tears rained upon us angels. Then the sky cleared as Prince, once again with four legs, ran up the stairs to be met by his former pack members and family.
Once the formalities were done, and he was assigned his wings we brought him to Doggyspace where he could see all his friends. Everyone remembers their first day at the Bridge and how there is nothing more important than keeping the newest angel busy, so they don’t fret over those they left behind.
Of course, like illness, we can only keep sorrow at bay for so long, and soon Prince began to miss his dear Mommy. We showed him how to watch over her by looking into the river, how to transform into winged creatures to visit her, slip into her dreams and be a spirit by her side. We then had a welcoming feast for him, and we all told our favorite stories about the little Frenchie.
And most importantly he was taught how to find ways to ease the terrible burden his passing put on his mom. He arranged for his breeder to be at the vet’s when his mom went to retrieve his ashes. The breeder was there to see if her Frenchie was expecting, and told Prince’s mom about a cute four-month-old boy she had. Nothing was asked or promised, but it was an impressive manipulation of time by Prince to have both his mom and the breeder at the vets simultaneously.
And for just a few fleeting moments he saw what had been missing from her eyes since his passing: Hope.
And that is what a successful angel does. They bring their loved ones hope.