There are some people who deserve nothing but good, and others who, if a bird pooped on their head every day for a month, it wouldn’t be enough bad tidings to equal the evil they produced. Our Aunt Jane Marinello warrants more good than any human I have barked about.
Unbeknownst to her, she belongs to two Hall of Fames at the Bridge. She is in the dog mom and the rescuer halls and is very deserving of both accolades. Not only did she mold two pups, Jackson and Morgan, into being angels that we all look up to and love dearly, but she has also helped dogs find their forever homes. None more deserving than Mattie.
Several years ago, Jane befriended a woman who had rescued a sweet little boy named Mattie. While she cared for the pup, his mom didn’t provide for him, and Mattie was in a bad way. His mom was in her last days, and Jane took care of her and promised to provide for Mattie when that day arrived.
Mattie was crushed when his mom proceeded to the Bridge, but he had Aunt Jane care for him, and more than that, to provide for him. His matted hair required professionally grooming, and he was in dire need of dental work. Aunt Jane organized a fundraising page, and her friends readily chipped in because, if she loved a dog, then there must be a lot of good in that pup.
Mattie came through the dental work like a champ, and he even had nine teeth left after the encounter. He repeated his performance at the groomer’s, where he had hundreds of knots and tangles addressed, and left with a beautiful coat.
Aunt Jane would have loved to adopt Mattie, but the circumstances weren’t right. She found a couple who were eager to have a dog in their life again. At first, Mattie showed signs of aggression towards men. But, a loving dad cured him of that. Soon, Mattie, at the age of ten, had his first proper forever home, and he thrived.
For five years, Mattie lived a blessed life with his new mom and dad, and every Sunday, his Aunt Jane visited him. Seeing him doing so well made her feel like her hard work had been worth it. Mattie never forgot the woman who gave him such kind parents. In his heart, Aunt Jane was a second mom.
Even dogs given a second life only have so many heartbeats. Mattie fought through his heart issues and measured out his beats, but one night Jackson and Morgan came for him, they crossed the Bridge together, all his pain was gone forever, and he was young again.
Mattie was thrilled to see his first mom waiting for him, but he was timid around his dad. That is when Morgan told me that Mattie’s original father was sometimes mean to him. He didn’t want to hurt his mom, but eternity with his original dad would be more like being at the other place.
I discussed the situation with Jackson and Morgan, and we decided to teach Mattie the seldom-used skills of shadowing. That is when you let your shadow be with people to make them happy, while you stay with who makes you happy. No one can tell when they are spending time with a shadow, and if you are ever in the same spot, your shadow reunites with you.
So Mattie’s original mom is very pleased to have her boy with her every day, and Mattie slips into his shadow to see her several times a week. Mattie finds it funny his dad is less pleased, but the man is also a couple of outbursts away from being Mattie’s minion. At night, when Mattie’s shadow rejoins him, Mattie gets a report. His dad is on shaky ice.
And, when their time comes, Mattie can be with his beloved second parents, who gave him such a wonderful life. Until then, he will shadow his first parents and live with Morgan and Jackson as kings, a reward for a well-lived life. Being at their house means he can accompany them to visit Aunt Jane every week now, as she did him.
The wonderful thing about the Bridge is there are no problems, only solutions.