Sometimes the afterlife really does seem like an eternity. I have so few souls here I had met during my mortal life: My Dad’s parents (thankfully Nana has grown to like dogs in the afterlife and no longer complains when I growl and show my teeth); his Uncle Bob and Aunt Bev, who I met the day after my Gotcha night; our neighbor Mrs. McAloon who was always happy to see me; and my sibling dogs Blake, Copper, Jax and Skye.
I know that may seem like a lot, but they all have their own lives and adventures. Somedays I do get lonely. I was feeling quite melancholy, looking over the river, when my friend Pintus came over and asked me why I was glum. I told him about my loneliness.
“Let’s go visit your last home as angels,” he said. “I would really like to see it.”
He was being kind. He knew that sometimes an angel needs to fly home. He took me by the paw, and we flew off.
It was nighttime. There are no streetlights in our neighborhood. There is nary a pole. Just solar lights on poles at the end of the driveways that casts a soft glow across the lawn. The gardens were asleep. I told Pintus how I loved visiting there in the summer as a butterfly, smelling every flower, delicately landing on each petal. But now it was cold, dark and raw.
I told Pintus about when we lived in the condo across from the state mental institution, and my parents were committed to walking Blake and me when they got home from work. There was six inches of snow on the ground as we hiked around the abandoned softball field at the institution. My parents sludged through while Blake and I walked on top of the frozen accumulation until I hit a soft spot and disappeared. My parents frantically dug me out. I shook off the snow and continued.
Pintus had a good chuckle about that.
We passed through a wall into the front room. We stopped by the bed where the grandbabies used to sleep. I loved when they came over. Now they are too old to sleep at Grammy’s. There are so few benefits to getting older.
I also showed Pintus my famous Leopard Skin Vagina Kitty Condo. It is the home to the stuffed animals who manage my museum. Pintus and I entered, and I showed him the artifacts of my life.
We passed into the hallway and over River’s pee pads which are so unprofessional. We went into the kitchen. I showed Pintus the cabinet where the kibble is stored. We both took a deep, heavenly breath. Then we went to the treat jar in the corner. I opened it, and we shared a bacon treat. He then studied the many drawings of Pocket and me on the walls drawn by our friends Connie Gross and Eileen Kohler.
We flew into the living room. Pintus stopped at my table top, looking at my pictures, my gifts, my books, and the box that I don’t like: The box that holds my remains. It freaks me out.
Then we flew into the bedroom where my parents, Pocket, and River were sleeping. My mom looked as beautiful as she did the day I departed. River and Pocket were sleeping between them, leaning against them, sharing body heat during the cold night. This is what I loved most of all. There is nothing more comforting than sleeping in a pack. Pintus asked if we could snuggle with them, and I said yes.
We both flew down with my parents and cuddled with my sisters. River and Pocket saw us. They gave Pintus kisses then I gave River’s allergic paw, which my parents were worried about, a kiss, and Pocket’s everything, because Pocket always gives my parents reason to worry, a kiss, and we settled down. It was heavenly. The warm smell of a pack huddled together, the sweet sound of humans deeply breathing, the hum of the ceiling fan. I was home and sharing it with Pintus, one of my very best friends.
The visit was brief. My mom stirred, her bladder full again, and when she did Pintus and I were required to leave. We were soon back the the Bridge. I kissed my good friend and thanks him for suggesting the trip.
I went to sleep. When I awoke, I couldn’t remember if it was a dream or not. Then I saw Pintus walking around with one of the stuffed animals from my Leopard Skin Vagina Kitty Condo, and I knew it was very real.
Thanks for the great night Pintus. Sometimes an angel just needs to return home.