I was standing with my friends Tommy Tunes and Hobo looking towards the Bridge when suddenly a little Shih Tzu appeared flickering in and out of view. “The poor pup is passing,” Tommy Tunes observed. We were witnessing the last few seconds of his mortal life.
I took pity on the poor soul and ran down the steps and on to the Bridge to comfort him. “Thank God, you found me,” the Shih Tzu said. “A little while ago I was safe and warm inside my house. My mom took me out the back sliding door on a leash to pee. When she brought me inside and unhooked my collar, she failed to slide the door shut. I was barking to her that it was open when I saw Sammy, the squirrel. My mommy told me not to pay attention to him, but he was on my lawn pestering me. Instinct took over, and I ran out the door giving chase. I pursued him deep into woods until he disappeared. That was when I realized I was lost, without my coat, in freezing weather, and it was getting colder. I heard on the breeze my family calling my name, Gus, over and over. I ran towards the sound, but with each step, I got further away. Finally, after hours of searching, I was cold and tired. I lay down under a tree and woke up here.” I hugged him. Such a sad story. I took out my IPaw that signals me when a new angel arrives. I saw the listing Gus, Shih Tzu but it was faint, and I could not open it. Gus was here but not ready to cross. I asked my friends how this was possible.
Hobo rubbed his black chin. “Hypothermia!” he yelled. “Gus is freezing. His heart stopped. His mind told him to cross over, but the Bridge isn't ready to let him pass. He is having a near death experience.”
“We need to keep it near death,” Tommy said. But how? “Maybe, if we can make him warm here his mortal body will stop freezing,” Tommy suggested.
I didn't see how this could work but, we had never faced a situation like this before, and we had to try something.
Tommy ran up the stairs and came back with dozens of blankets. We covered Gus so only his head was sticking out then sat with him. After an hour I checked my iPaw. Gus's name was still there, but it was growing fainter. The blankets were working. But this was just a momentary solution. If we couldn't figure out a way to get Gus home, he wouldn't survive another night in the woods.
“Prayers,” I yelled standing. “Gus's family must be saying prayers for him. If we can find the angel getting those prayers, we can trace them back to Gus's house.”
Without being asked Tommy ran back up the stairs barking if anyone had received prayers about Gus the Shih Tzu. Ten minutes later he came back with Hattie Mae. “I have been getting prayers for Gus all night,” Hattie said.
She saw him under the blankets. “Oh my,” she said, “I was hoping the prayers would be answered.”
“He hasn’t passed over yet,” I told Hattie. “Only mostly.” Hobo filled Hattie in on Gus's hypothermia. “If you can figure out where those prayers came from I think I know how we can get Gus home,” I said.
Pinpointing where Gus's house was would require paperwork, a task Hattie hated, but she could never let a dog or their mom down. She and Tommy ran back to Doggyspace and began to check her records. I looked at Gus. He was beginning to fade. This was good. He was warming up and would soon be awake in the woods. I sat with him until he was gone. Just before he faded away, I whispered my plan to him.
. Hobo and I met Hattie and Tommy on the path to Rainbow Bridge. I told them we had to go to the bird rental store because flying creatures are the only beings who can fly from Rainbow Bridge to the mortal world, and we often use their bodies to visit our loved ones. Hattie huffed because she knew all that was available in the cold were crow bodies which smell funny. But, she was part of our plan now and would put up with crow stench to save Gus.
Hattie had mapped out a route for us by tracking Gus’ family’s prayers. We found his house easily. After stopping on the roof to rest we flew into the woods while chirping loudly to signal Gus that we were looking for him. I heard a soft bark to our north.
I followed the sound and found Gus shivering on the ground. I gave him a peck on the cheek. He stood weakly. I chirped to my friends that I had found him. I followed their calls as they flew from tree to tree until we saw a clearing and Gus's backyard. Gus dashed on to the grass and barked. The doors opened, and his crying family hurried to greet their dear beloved boy. I don't know if they saw the birds happily tweeting in the trees above them. Before he went into the house, Gus gave us a big yelp of thanks which was more than we needed.
By the time we flew back to the Bridge we were exhausted but also elated that we had helped save a life. For all of us, it was our greatest day as an angel.