After a week of meetings, the Angel committee decided to rebuild the wall with a beautiful door in the middle. The door is for dogs who are suffering on the mortal side of the river because their tired bodies can no longer support their mighty souls. I was on watch, standing by the door when I heard a soft knocking.
“Who is it?” I asked.
“It is I, Whitley the Westie,” the voice on the other side of the door said.
I sighed, leaned my head against the wall, and reluctantly let my little, white, furry friend into Rainbow Bridge.
I am lucky enough to have friends across social media: On the Tanner Brigade, on Facebook, and among the wonderful independent bloggers in Blogville. Whitley is one such blogger.
I wish more of you knew Whitley on the mortal side. She is a cute, spirited, sassy little dog who was known for her homemade dresses and being a fashionista. Many of you know my good friend Hattie Mae. She and Whitley never crossed paths on the Internet, but they could have been sisters. With their magnificent outfits and striking poses, they would have ruled the world together.
In her later years, after living in the Northeast, Whitley moved, with her mom, to Florida. There she found the life she deserved. Whitley rarely left her mom’s side. Her favorite spot was the pool where she would either sit with her mom on a float or sit on her floatie. Whitely and her Mom lived in paradise together.
Whitley’s soul shined very brightly. Her body began to break down long before her soul was diminished. Her legs failed her first. The back ones stopped working but her Mom knew that Whitley’s inner strength and beauty were resilient. Whitley’s Mom used a sling to help her best friend walk, she bought her wheels so she could still play on the grass, she purchased a stroller so Whitley could go on walks with her Mom and her best friend Finley, and Whitley spent hours floating in her pool.
If Whitley’s indomitable spirit could have kept her on the mortal side then she would have lived forever. But her soul was too big for a small body to carry. Earlier this year Whitley’s front legs stopped working. Her essence was still willing, her eyes still sparkled, her love of accompanying her Mom on a walk in her buggy and resting on her floatie unabated, but it was becoming clear: The day was approaching when her body could no longer contain her spirit.
This week her mom, unable to watch this great soul suffering from an uncooperative body, took her baby to the veterinarian. The news was not good. He diagnosed Whitley with degenerative myelopathy. The diagnosis confirmed what she and Whitley’s friends knew. The body could no longer enclose the spirit.
Her Mom knew that Whitley’s fabulous song, which included verses about her coast to coast travels, her scratches and rubs from the rich and famous (Supreme Court Justices, football players, and Senators) and hundreds of dresses and parties, was concluding. The next day Whitley’s Mom freed Whitley’s spirit from her failing body and soon she was knocking on the Bridge door.
Whitley went through the formalities of becoming an Angel. She was polite and full of spunk, wholly enjoying her four working legs, but her spunkiness was undercut by anxiety about her Mom. Tommy Tunes invited Whitley to his mansion to watch her Mom on one of Tommy’s several big screen televisions, but I had a better idea.
I led Whitley by the paw down to the River. Tied to the dock was her new floatie and at the head of the floatie was a window through which Whitley could watch over her mom every day. Whitley got on her floatie. I handed her a cool drink. She pushed off the bank and began floating down the River.