Pepper and Juju were the perfect pack mates. Both girls, of similar size, age and temperament were like peas and carrots, inseparable, until late 2017 when the Bridge snatched Pepper away.
Juju did her best to adapt to the sad new normal. She gave her two moms lots of attention and tried to mend their broken hearts. She welcomed her new sister Penny into the family and made sure the rookie knew what their moms needed to ease their loss.
It was a struggle for JuJu. She had a terminal illness and suffered from seizures. Mama Cathy called her the miracle dog Even the vet did not know how she kept going Juju used her heartbeats sparingly so she could stay with her mother and sister until their terrible transition to a Pepper-less life was completed.
Juju's final day arrived on Wednesday. A vicious seizure signaled to her moms that it was time.
In her eleven years on social media, Juju had made hundreds of friends who were now angels. They began lining up in two rows from the rail on the immortal side of the Bridge, all the way up the stairs, past Hobo's landing where I would swear her in, and to Doggyspace town proper.
Pepper stood next to me. She had visited her sister several times in their dreams, but this would be the first experience they had in the same dimension since Pepper had passed over. She’ was nervous. Her back paw tapped the ground.
We heard the cheers from those standing closest to the Bridge and knew Juju was here. At the first sign of her, Pepper wanted to run and greet her sister, but I told her to resist the urge. This was Juju's moment.
Juju shook paws and gave kisses to her friends as she climbed the steps. The crowd fell in behind her when she approached us. There were dozens of pups following her.
After I swore Juju in, I stepped aside, and Pepper gave her sister a long hug. While Pepper’s going to the Bridge had been hard on JuJu, she still had her moms. Pepper had been alone. We had done all we could to keep her occupied for 17 lonely months.
When the clouds filled with our parents' tears rolled in, we knew that Juju's passing had been posted. Before social media, a dog's passing would bring a few showers. Now dogs are widely known, and news of their passing spreads like wildfire and causes a deluge falls.
Juju discovered that all the illness, the aches, and pains, that she had later in life were gone. Juju and Pepper could play like puppies. They scampered into the meadow playing bite the tail.
Despite having Penny with her, momma Cathy is going to need nightly dream visits and several ghostly bird and butterfly encounter before she can start rebuilding her heart. Luckily, Juju had the advantage of an experienced sister to help her learn how to perform her duties.
While Pepper isn't happy that Juju has joined her because it means her mom is sad, she does enjoy her sister's company and loves playing like puppies again.
Together they can do anything.