Summer loved the water, and she was very fortunate to have her a lake on her property. Last week she came out of the water bleeding from the throat. Her parents thought that she had burst a blood vessel from too much water intake. That injury should have healed quickly. But over the next few days, Summer kept bleeding.
Our water loving girl was taken to the vet and underwent x-rays and an ultrasound. Something was spotted on her lung. Everyone prayed it was pneumonia. When Summer did not respond to treatment, her parents knew it was not pneumonia but much worse.
Summer tried to hide her illness, so her parents didn’t know how sick she was. No matter how hard she strived to act, healthy her parents saw through her efforts. Summer passed on her food, her energy level was down, and her mom could see in her eyes how tired she was. They knew the time was approaching.
Summer tried to rally. She went outside to hunt toads and kept her tail wagging. She ate and took a walk with her dad around the lake. Soon the illness overtook Summer’s best efforts. On Saturday morning Summer’s parents knew their baby girl’s mortal coil had worn away. It was time to give her an immortal body that was free of illness. Although recognizing the decision would break their hearts Summer’s devoted mom and dad shared one more day with her than set them free.
There were scores of Summer’s friends waiting for her arrival. We all strained our necks and looked towards the Bridge for Summer. Then the vast clouds came, filled with human tears shed when Summer passed. The downpour lasted more than five minutes. I can’t remember seeing so many tears. But still no Summer. Never had the tears arrived before the dog.
When the tears stopped, I heard a splashing sound. I lead a procession to the river. We found Summer gleefully swimming. I had seen this behavior before. Newly arrived dogs try to swim back home to their parents. But Summer wasn’t trying to swim across. She was happily swimming in circles.
“Summer,” I yelled at her. “What are you doing? We are here for your ceremony. Come on up to the top of the Bridge.”
“Why would I want to do that?” Summer called from the river. “This is the best water I have ever swum in. Why don’t you come join me?”
I was prepared to tell Summer all the reasons this could not be done when our friends poured past me and jumped into the water. I sighed. I was wearing my best robe and hated to get my paws wet, but we try to indulge the new angels. I found a row of rocks to walk on and waded to Summer only getting my back paws wet. For the first time in my career, I inducted a dog in the river.
Summer and her friends swam in the river the rest of the day. When it came time for wings Summer said she did not need them. She could swim to the bottom of the river, touch it, and when she surfaced she would be back at Lutgen lake where she could watch over her parents or borrow a flying body if she wanted to get closer to them.
Summer wants her parents to know that if they are missing her, they should look at the lake and know she is still there swimming happily. And if they wake up with the sheets slightly wet, they got a dream visit from Summer fresh from the pond.
Summer Grace will always be in her favorite spot, happily swimming, and watching her house, to keep her parents safe.