First came Fudge, then Sebastian and Noah, followed by Tess. This week Lola joined them. A year ago, all these members of the Portuguese Water Dog pack were living in the mortal world with their parents; now, they are here at the Bridge. In this time of terrible suffering, the Water Dog Blog pack has been hit with tragedy after tragedy, yet they are still standing.
Every dog leaves their parents with a gift. I left my parents with good humor and creativity. The Portuguese Dog clan had grown up together. They were a beautiful sight to behold. But, they knew that they would all be leaving for the Bridge at the same time, so they gave their parents much-needed strength to get through another heartbreaking loss.
Lola’s parents represent the resilience all humans have developed over the centuries. Their race has been knocked down and picked themselves up repeatedly from horrible wars, plagues, epidemics and pandemics, and the worst that they could imagine doing to one another. The Portuguese War Dog pack parents have experienced each pet’s passing like it was a body blow that knocked them down. I marvel at parents who lose one pup a year and keep on pushing forward. I have no idea how anyone could lose five. But, they did.
I check on my friends as much as I can. The last time I saw Lola, she was suffering from alopecia X that caused her to lose a lot of her coat, especially from the back end. I flew a prayer up the mountain, asking that she be cured of this disease and return to normal. Three days later Lola couldn't get up. Her feet and her legs didn't work. She was put on a pillow but was still confused and frightened. Her parents decided to give her use of her legs again, and ease her confusion, by sending her to the Bridge. If I had known, I would have continually delivered prayers for Lola. I don’t know if it would have done a bit of good. As Lola’s parents have learned, sometimes the day a dog breathes its last earthly breath is written and cannot be changed.
Fudge, Sebastion, Fudge, and Tess knew that Lola was going to arrive before I did. When I got a summons to swear her in at the top of the stairs that rise from the Bridge, the foursome was already there. I guess when you live with a dog for long enough, you learn all their secrets, including their last one. As Lola approached, we could see the pain on her face that she felt leaving her parents and the other pack members, but also the excitement to be with her angel family once more. Dogs experience a lot of emotions on those stairs. That is why they are there. It gives a dog time to think and reflect after crossing the Bridge but before entering the immortal world.
The Portuguese Water Dog Pack had a joyous reunion. This was the fourth dog from the pack that Fudge had greeted in the immortal world, and he had become an expert in acclimating a pup to the next life. The five dogs gathered together in a furry huddle, and Fudge barked at all of them, reminding them that no matter where they were, they were a pack, and there was nothing stronger than that.
The Water Dog Pack has five angel members. Five angels are a sign that a change has begun. We pray that change is for good The Water Dog Pack, their parents, and the world has suffered enough in the past months. We are due for some good. Hopefully, the Five Angels can do that.
The world surely needs it.
And maybe it would help to make some sense of all the heartache the pack has endured.