I immediately flew down to see why his Dad was not responding. Sadly, I found that her dad had passed to the Bridge. I told Sam that her dad was gone, but the sad dog did not accept it. I left him alone with his parents. He needed more time to understand that he, an only dog, who had only one parent, was alone.
Sam stayed on the bed, fervently trying to wake up her dad. I stopped by a neighbor’s house like a ghost and whispered to her that she had not seen Sam or his dad all day, and she should call the authorities to find out why. When the first responders arrived, they had to physically remove Sam from the bed before they could tend to the body. The responders called a dog rescue: The One Day ranch, to take Sam.
The loyal dog howled and cried all the way to the rescue. They put Sam through a battery of tests and determined that she was 20 years old! Sam had been called to the Bridge on repeated occasions, but she kept begging and trading for more heartbeats because she did not want his Dad to experience the pain of losing him. She acquired so many heartbeats she had a surplus. When Sam’s dad passed, she planned to follow him into the dark. But now, she was too healthy for the Bridge. Knowing that she was unadoptable, the organizers at the One Day Ranch decided to let Sam live out her remaining days with them.
Everyone expected that Sam would only last day without her dad, but she defied the odds by outliving her dad by 279 days. She was treated like a Queen. She was fed hamburgers and french fries; she got to be a mom to a giant breed of puppies, she met pigs, goat, horses, llamas, and chickens. She quickly asserted herself as the alpha and never relented.
Last week the heartbeats expired. She was helped to the Bridge by the workers at One Day Ranch. I was there when she joyfully ran across the Bridge without a moment’s regret. Her dad was waiting at the top of the steps, and when they were reunited, they hugged to ten minutes straight. Both were young again and were able to play like they never had before. It is not often that we see joyful reunions at the Bridge with no tears, but when we do, it fills our all hearts with love.
Sam doesn’t know, but his for 279 days, her dad sat at the top of the Bridge waiting for Sam. It was a long wait, but when he saw his little girl crossing the Bridge to be reunited with him, it was all worthwhile.
A dog passing seldom brings joy. I was glad to witness when it occurred.