Jan Williams was a friend of ours, but we never knew her name. She had been interested in writing since she asked for a typewriter for Christmas while in high school. She got her master's degree, became a professor, wrote a textbook, and dozens of short stories. She taught college English for decades before she retired. Then she worked in advertising and did freelance writing. After that, she volunteered with the local police.
I didn't know any of this. All I knew is she wrote "The Poodle and Dog Blog." Actually, that is not true. I didn't know she wrote the blog. I knew someone did, but the posts were always about animals. There were seldom views a glimpse of the person behind the curtains. Except for a love of the 49ers, everything else was a mystery.
She rarely wrote of her own pets or life. She informed us of dog and cat news throughout the world: Quirky stories, tales of heroism, pictures, history lessons, and cute pictures. It was a daily destination for pet lovers everywhere. Each month she awarded both the good (The Golden Poodle award) and the bad (The Neanderthal Award) and those in-between. Her posts were meticulously researched, and smartly told.
` After every 49ers game, she would post the score along with a short blurb expressing her feelings, both good and bad. This year they were mostly good. On the 19th, the 49ers returned to the NFC championship game. When they won, we expected to see a joyful post on her blog, but there was only silence.
At first, we thought she had forgotten or might be sick, but two weeks went by, and the 49ers lost the Super Bowl. During it all, the Poodle and Dog Blog remained strangely quiet. Friends of the blog, left in the dark, had no way of finding out what occurred. On Sunday, we learned.
Jan was with her son, Daniel Williams, and his wife, Lorrie, watching the NFC championship game at their home. Meanwhile, a stranger named Gary Circle capped off a day of heavy drinking by putting his two kids in his car and speeding towards his destination. At 4:30, Gary lost control of the vehicle. It smashed through the front of Jan's house. She was directly hit and killed instantly. Daniel and Lorrie were severely injured. Mr. Circle and his children were unharmed. The car was traveling at such a high rate of speed; it was entirely inside the house when first responders arrived.
Daniel Williams was taken to UC Davis. He had to undergo surgery and had three titanium plates and 36 screws put in his chest to hold the bones together. Lorrie had a broken back and traumatic brain injuries. They are both expected to recover. None of the family pets were injured. They are safe and live with the couple when they are healthy.
When an unexpected death occurs, we angels have to put everything aside to make sure the new arrival's shocking transition does not cause her more pain. The scarcity of angels on duty for other requests that day is why the Packers never had a prayer against the 49ers.
We hurried to where the humans are sworn in and saw Jan crossing the Bridge. She was even more beautiful than we thought. All the pets she had ever known ran out to greet her. Jan's husband followed, as did her parents and friends. It was a joyful sight. There were many festivities planned for her welcoming, but she insisted that we watch the rest of the game. Afterward, her party was a celebration for the 49ers too. Their subsequent loss to the Chiefs was made easier for her because she watched the game with Willie McCovey and Dwight Clark.
She now lives in a huge mansion that is surrounded by hundreds of acres. She has thousands of pets living with her, some of them were part of her mortal family, and many more who passed without ever having a family or love in the mortal world. Thanks to angels like Jan, unloved, and home, challenged dogs who crossed the Bridge will have a pack waiting for them.
What happened to Jan was senseless. We angels are tasked with making sense out of the senseless. Her passing has given hundreds of unloved dogs a place to live and to be part of a family. It is the best we can do to make some good come of the tragedy.
Jan, her blog, and the goodness she brought to the world will be very missed. She was claimed by the prevailing evil on the mortal side. I know she will be a mighty angel and help the rest of us fight the evil that destroyed humans and dogs.