There are 1,000 different dog neighborhoods at the Bridge, including my own: Doggyspace. I had to pass through Doggieville, Dogster, Doggybook, and several other settlements until I reached Dog Town where Zero lived. Your home at the Bridge is equivalent to the good you did on the mortal side. Zero had a mansion.
I knocked on his door, and a minion answered. I told him who I was and why I was there. He let me in the house and brought me to the pool where the yellow Lab was contently swimming laps. When he saw me, he got out of the pool and asked his minion to bring us two bacon sandwiches.
Zero certainly knew how to treat a guest.
When we were done eating, I asked Zero how he arrived at the Bridge. He settled into a lawn chair and told me his story.
"It was about six months ago. We had a party for my little skin sister. We dogs love parties. We get lots of attention; people drop food on the floor, everyone is happy. It was an awesome day.
"Later that day, my parents discovered they had been burgled. That's a crappy thing for someone to do at a kid's birthday party. The family did a bit of sleuthing. They checked out the online profiles of everyone invited to the party. Sure enough, a 16-year-old boy posted a video of himself on Snapchat wearing the father's hat and flashing the family jewels.
“My dad went to the boy's house and left a note saying that he needed to talk to the parents. A short while later the boy who burgled them returned sporting every American’s favorite fashion accessory: A gun.
"My dad forgot an important rule. You can't talk to a man with a shotgun in his hand. They began arguing, and it grew heated. I sat up, ready to protect my family.
"Suddenly the kid fired wounding two of the children. There was no way I could face my friends at the dog park if I didn’t act. I jumped at the boy. I felt a pinch in my chest and fell down. He had fired again. Despite the growing pain in my ribs, I stood and charged at the troublemaker. I knocked him down. He fired two more times. I felt the bullet hit me, but I could not let being shot stop me. I chased him into the night.
“Then, I lay down. I was exhausted. There was a lot of commotion around me. An ambulance came for the wounded. I was rushed to the vet, but I knew I didn't have long. I fell asleep there and woke up here.
"My humans built me a shrine in the front yard. They told people I was a hero. I don't know about that. I was just doing what any dog would have done. I think ‘hero’ is just another word for dog."