When Angel Willie was diagnosed with cancer he took it in his usual running stride. He didn't let a little thing like cancer stop him. Angel Willie kept on living even after the Angels told him his time was up. Angel Willie told them no. When his heartbeats were expiring Willie borrowed extra from the birds in the trees and the creatures at the bottom of his beloved ocean. Willie left the mortal side on his terms.
When Willie made his decision to shake his tired body and leave for the Bridge he knew his heartbroken mom had to find her way through grief's dark path. Jessie would be there for every step, but another dog was needed, so Willie found Rosco.
To Willie, Roscoe will always be a puppy. He never gave a thought to Roscoe aging. Roscoe was just a little boy. No one was more shocked than Willie when Mama Sandy found a suspicious growth on Roscoe. His mom couldn't possibly go through this nightmare again.
Willie cursed himself for not having taught Roscoe how to borrow heartbeats, how to hold off the Bridge's call, and how to say the most powerful word in any language when the Angels beckon: "No."
Desperate, Willie ran up the mountain to plead with the Big Guy. "I am so sorry Willie, but Roscoe has a malignant stage two tumor,” the Big Guy said. “That fact has been written. What was written cannot be changed."
"What about that what is not known, like if cancer has spread, or if the doctor got clean margins, or if Rosco will need chemotherapy or radiation? Has that been written?" Willie asked, hopefully.
The Big Guy offered Willie a deal. If over the next 48 hours Willie could answer 1,000 prayers the Big Guy would guarantee when the report came back, it would say that the surgeon got good margins and Roscoe could be treated with prednisone.
One thousand prayers in two days was an incredible task. That was one prayer every three minutes. No angel had ever broken the five-minute prayer. If it were me, I would have made a counteroffer. But, Willie is a dog who doesn't negotiate. He just gets it done.
All prayers are processed in a large clearinghouse and then assigned to angels. Occasionally, if an angel knows prayers for a loved one are coming to the Angel can intercept them at the source. Willie ran into the clearinghouse, grabbed dozens of prayers, and ran out.
Willie quickly worked through the requests. Timmy lost his baseball glove? Borrow a house fly body, buzz the sleeping boy, get his attention, fly under the bureau to show him where the glove is. Done. Mr. Johnson needs to nail his job interview? Pop into the boss' brain and whisper "hire Mr. Johnson." Tommy needs to pass his spelling test? Stay in his dreams until he memorized the words. Johnny wants his sister's friend to do what? "No" counts as an answer if the prayers are properly considered.
Willie finished the 1,000 prayer requests in less than two days. The Big Guy was true to his word. When Rosco's mom got the report, it said the doctor was confident he got good margins, and with the help of some Prednisone, Rosco should be out of danger.
When he got the news, Willie lay on his bed for a long-deserved rest. He slept lightly, prepared to leap into action if his brother needed him.
Rosco may have never learned how to say no, but his expert brother is well prepared to say it for him.