Fifty years in the future I sit correcting papers for my Dog Lawyers class at Hobo Hudson University. I am one of the hundreds of teachers instructing unborn puppies the laws that must not be broken to fulfill Hobo’s dream to make the world a better place.
This has been Hobo’s dream since he arrived at Rainbow Bridge in a rush. He was talking before I could finish my induction. “The world is such a mess,” Hobo interrupted. “The key is that souls are born knowing nothing, but what if they knew right from wrong immediately and grew up as moral, fair-minded souls? Life would certainly be better.”
I didn’t have time to agree with him before he buzzed by me, his friends and family who had arrived to greet him. He went right to the library where I found him sitting on the floor surrounded by plans. “Hobo,” I said softly, “a lot of dogs have different reactions when they arrive here.”
He held up a paw. “No time Foley. I have a meeting with Aristotle. He read the proposal I sent him and agrees. He is going to start working with human babies. Imagine people being born who have been taught by the history’s best teachers? We are going to change the world.” Before I could talk Hobo had run out the door to meet with Aristotle.
The great philosopher agreed with Hobo and acquiesced to work with the unborn babies. Soon, from the human side to the dog side, the sound of construction echoed off the mountains of Rainbow Bridge. In weeks the new buildings were done, the universities opened and the unborn were being taught.
Hobo’s closest friends including, Hattie Mae, Tommy Tunes. Smoochy, Brody, Leo and I began to teach classes in our respected fields. Hobo acted as both dean and president while instructing a class on manipulating the bone market. The Angels said they had never seen a dog adapt better to being at the Bridge than Hobo but I knew better.
I began working later at night and waiting. One evening I heard a soft weeping coming down the hall. I walked to Hobo’s office and saw him looking out the window and crying. He saw my reflection and quickly composed himself.
“Damn allergies,” he said blowing his nose.
“It’s time,” I said walking towards him and taking him by the paw. He weakly insisted he could not leave but let me guide him anyway. We came to the borrowed bodies factory and each chose a lovely tree swallow. “Are you ready Hobo?” I asked. He sadly nodded agreeing to do what he had put off since he reached the Bridge.
Paw in paw we flew into the sun and came out in Hobo’s parents’ backyard. We glided to the kitchen window. “There they are,” Hobo said softly as he gazed at his parents sitting with Wiley. His dad’s eyes were slightly vacant. His mom stared ahead. “They are so sad,” Hobo said softly. Then his dad looked up and saw us at the window. He smiled slightly and nodded acknowledgment. Hobo, in his swallow body, nodded back, and then we flew back to the Bridge. When we arrived Hobo thanked me.
I gave him a hug. “That is why we do angel visits,” I told him. “They are hard on us, but it gives our parents a few moments of pleasure, and that’s what angels do.”
“I was just a dog tied to a tree,” Hobo said quietly. “My dad walked by every day. Finally, he asked the owner if he could take me home. Since then Foley, I had the greatest life. I became famous, I wrote two books,” he paused and looked deeply into my eyes. “If you are going to write about this then here would be a good place to plug the books.”
(The Richest Dog in Town can be bought here and Bioterrorism Seized the Sea can be bought here.)
“Look at all the wonderful people you have brought into your parents’ lives Hobo,” I told him. “If not for you, when you passed over, your parents would have only each other to help them grieve. But they have people from all over the world who are mourning with them. You gave them joy, and people to love, there is no greater gift.”
“And they gave me my life,” Hobo said. “I didn’t think I could bare to visit them, but now that I have maybe we can do it some more. It sure was nice to see dad’s smile again.”
I promised him we could go anytime he wanted.
Now, 50 years later, Hobo’s parents are with him, as is Wyley, and their entire family. Mine is as well. We are all happy together like we were when we first met at Doggyspace.
The world is a much kinder, gentler place as well. Hobo’s and Aristotle’s idea for a university for babies and puppies took years to bear fruit but now countries cooperate with one another and people reason instead of fight. No one on the mortal side knows what turned the world from being an angry place that seemed ready to explode once a week to a peaceful one.
But we angels know. It was the Hobo Effect.
Once again Hobo has saved the world.