I sat down, quill in paw, to write this story. Then I put the quill down and looked out the window. Then I curled up in my seat. Then I put my paws up on the window and looked at the sky.
I did not want to write this story. If I wrote it, someone would read it. And once something is read it becomes real.
Now I need to do it: (Sigh.) Junior Johnson has arrived at Rainbow Bridge.
And now it’s real.
Junior had battled cancer for months. We all knew he could be arriving any day. We flew prayers up the mountain to the Big Guy every day asking for more mortal days for Junior.
On Wednesday I stood on a cliff overlooking the River of Life. There was a long line of dark clouds on the horizon. That is when I knew Junior was coming. Those clouds were filled with our parent's tears. Junior Johnson’s deluge was due to arrive.
I saw Sandy and Jack. I asked them to put together a team to assemble tents at the greeting spot. Reyah agreed to inform the other angels. No one would want to miss Junior’s arrival.
We admired the way he lived his life, totally devoted to his mom, family, and sister. When he was diagnosed with cancer, he never bent to the disease. He stood tall and took every punch cancer unleashed, and he never relented.
He did not have to stand alone.
Next to him through the entire ordeal was his mom Kristi. She gave every second, and every dime, she had to make him well. His cancer hammered her too, and she stood straight into the storm. She was determined not to lose her boy to this terrible disease.
But we are only given so many heartbeats…...
Junior had borrowed, stole, and created more than his allotment, but finally, they expired. His mom, no longer able to watch him slowly fading, sent him to us, along with oceans of tears.
The tears pounded on our hastily erected tents as Junior crossed the River of Life to become forever immortal and then rode the escalator to the top of the white cliffs where we dogs remain until joined by their family.
The sound of the rain was silenced by the sound of applause as the angels stood clapping their paws together for Junior, recognizing him for his bravery, for his perseverance, for the pain he endured to stay with his mom, to be the true meaning of the word dog.
Junior, forever a gentleman, greeted each angel warmly, with kisses and hugs, but a touch of impatience, because he was still a dog on his mission, and that mission was caring for the woman whose heart his departure shattered, his mom.
He sought out veteran angels to know how to get into his mom’s dreams, and to her side, even if she didn’t realize it. Since that terrible day came earlier this week, Junior has spent every moment allowed with his brave mom looking for a way to ease her burden.
None of us are happy that Junior is here. We wish he were still mortal and with his mom and sissy.
But we are proud that Junior is a dog. His very life may the word dog better and gave all mortal dogs something to live up to.