I always celebrate how terrific dogs are. But, some of us do bad things. The worst sin is attacking a dog and sending them to the Bridge. We are not human. We do not take the life of another member of our species regularly. When it happens, the aggressor usually follows their victim to the Bridge, put down by humans. Is the killer dog allowed at the Bridge? And, what happens when he meets the dog whose life he ended? It is a complicated issue.
This past week, in Australia, a tiny dog named Rubin was happily walking down the street, on a leash, with his parents. A large bulldog called Kaos broke free of his parents’ grasp and attacked Rubin, biting and shaking him for more than five minutes before they got Rubin loose. His parents rushed Rubin to the hospital. The vets worked hard to save the smaller dog, but there was too much damage. Rubin passed to the Bridge, much before his time.
The authorities came for Kaos. He found himself in quarantine. A short time later, he went before a group of humans who would decide his fate, so much for a jury of our peers. They determined that Kaos was a threat to the health and safety of the residents. Kaos went to the immortal side as well.
When Kaos started to cross the Bridge, he encountered a panel of inquiry, composed of angel judges, including me. We would decide if Kaos could cross onto the immortal side or wander in the immortal world as a ghost.
To begin with, Kaos received a chance to explain why he attacked little Rubin. His story was the same as other dogs who found themselves in similar circumstances. It started with his parents, who used a violent method of house training. Dogs adore their humans, and nothing confuses us more than being stuck by our parents. How could you abuse someone who does nothing but loves you?
Dogs like Kaos begin to mistrust everything, including small pups. To exacerbate the issue, Kaos’ parents thought the big boxer was well suited to life as a guard dog. They asked themselves what did a guard dog do, and they answered that they attack. They worked very hard to make Kaos overly aggressive. That attitude left them with expensive fees to pay the vets who worked so valiantly in trying to save Rubin and an empty dog bed where Kaos used to sleep.
We judges were all moved by Kaos’ tale. What happened was not his fault, but that of his parents, who found themselves with a love bug and desired to turn it into a killing machine.
But we were not the ones who would determine Kaos' fate. With every such case, it is the victim who became unfairly separated from his family that would decide.
Rubin walked down the stairs from the Doggyspace section of the Bridge where he is assigned. When Kaos saw him, he dropped in front of the smaller dog paws, cried, and begged for forgiveness.
Rubin hugged him, patted the fur made wet from crying, and told Kaos he is forgiven. He nodded to us that he approved of Kaos earning his detachable angel wings. He helped Kaos stand and told him he could spend eternity with his family, never to be subject to be his parents’ cruelty. Paw and paw, they crossed to the Bridge into the next kingdom.
Rubin knows there is no more significant superpower than forgiveness. If only the humans knew that. They would stop trying to fly.