It was a beautiful day at Rainbow Bridge. I decided to get some sun. I put on my shades and went outside. I tripped over a sleeping dog on my stoop.
Paco stirred. “Sorry, Foley did I trip you?”
I assured him I was fine. “Did you have any luck?” I asked. Paco didn’t have to tell me where he had been. He had flown into the sunset which sent him back to his poor mother’s side. Her life has not been the same since Paco passed and he has been desperately trying to let her know he was still there
“No, my mom still can’t sense me. I do everything I can think of. I make the lights flicker. I make it colder for no reason. I knock things over. But Mom doesn’t know it is me. It is very frustrating.”
I sat next to my friend. “I know what your mom is going through,” I said. “She misses you, and she hopes that with time she will miss you less but that hasn’t happened.”
“I just don’t know what to do!” Paco sad sadly
I gave him a kiss on the head. “Paco, I have never met a dog who has tried harder than you to make his mom feel his undying love. That is why I have put you in charge of teaching other dogs how to reach their mom.”
“But I feel like such a fraud. I am teaching other dogs all these tricks to let their mom know they are there but I can’t do it with my mom.”
“That is why you are perfect to teach the class. Because a big part of reaching your mom is an effort. And you have given more effort than any other dog I know.”
“Do you think I will ever reach her?” he asked. “You should see her Foley. She is so sad all the time. I came here, my grandmom came here, and she is all alone. We were her family; now her family is here.”
I patted him. “Very often, Paco, being a human is hard. They get sad, and lonely, very easily. Plus they feel guilt. Your mom still feels guilty about your final days.”
“But she did more to keep me alive than any mom ever. And she knew when it was time for me to go. I was suffering so much, and she stopped it. She gave me the greatest gift ever!”
“I know, but she suffers from that human quality of thinking too much and asking what if? What if I had spent more time with Paco?. What if I had given him more time?”
“But she did everything perfectly.”
“I know. The what ifs are the worst. They torment humans.” I knew what Paco needed. Some pack time. I invited him into my house. We got in bed and snuggled together. This always calmed a dog down.
I pawed his head and gave him a lick. “Just keep believing Paco,” I told him. “That is all you can do. Just keep believing, keep praying, keep trying, and someday your mom, and so many other, moms, dads, and their families will come out of the darkness and walk in the sun again. Never, ever give up.”
Sometime during my speech, Paco had fallen asleep. I gave him a kiss and snuggled down next to him.
I was hoping he was dreaming of a future when his mom was happy. I fell asleep next to him hoping for a time when every mom would be happy.