Tanner Bub and I have been friends for nearly ten years. We were buds when we were young and mortal, and we still are. Seven years ago Tanner went to Rainbow Bridge. I had the great honor of walking him to the Bridge, where, with a soft kiss, we parted company.
Four years later he would meet me at the foot of that same Bridge when it was my turn to become immortal. He was accompanied by his little brother Ruger, and his wife Sophie who had joined him before my arrival. They helped me in adjusting to my new immortal life.
Ruger was selected by Tanner to take his spot in his mom’s heart. It was not part of Tanner’s plans to have Ruger join him when Ruger was very young. Ruger’s departure hurt his mom as much as Tanner’s passing had and Tanner promised that his mom would not feel that pain for a long time.
Tanner took particular interest in his sister Cocoa Puff. Not many Angels who crossed seven years ago still have beloved siblings in the mortal world. Tanner has personally flown prayers up the mountain to the Big Guy and bargained with him to keep Cocoa and his mom together. Through every cough, bump, and seizure Cocoa knew her big brother was working to keep her with her mom.
But this past week Tanner had to bargain like he never had before. Cocoa contracted an infection which attacked her left eye. Poor Cocoa’s eye soon became red and swollen. Her vision was gone. She was in a terrible amount of pain. The only option was surgery to remove the eye. Such surgery is dangerous in the best of times, but with a senior dog, it is especially risky.
Tanner was very nervous the days before Cocoa’s surgery. He spent a lot of time haggling with the Big Guy. I know the Big Guy’s answer was not specific. When we played with Tanner or just talked, Tanner’s words would fade away, or he would stop playing and stare towards the river, his sister and his mom were never far from his mind.
On the mortal side, Cocoa was more than willing to lose an eye to stay with her mom. She would give all her senses to be with her, to continue to give comfort. She is brave and strong. She knew if she were given a chance, just the slimmest of chances, she would stay with her mom. During the surgery, thanks to the doctor’s skilled hands, on Tanner persistence, Cocoa lost her eye, but regained her health, and stayed with her mom.
Cocoa is back home recovering, Tanner is a lot less nervous, their mom is very relieved, and Ruger wants me to throw him a ball.
For a human, the loss of an eye can be devastating, for Cocoa it is a small price to pay to stay with her mom.
With Tanner on her side, we believe Cocoa will be there for many more years.