This is the last time I stay in a tree owned by Holiday Inn Express
Being a dog means you have a lot of downtimes. We are content with sitting near a human in a state of perfect zen. But, sometimes, zen is dull. Time would have passed quicker if we learned to read.
When we arrive at the Bridge, we become fully formed, able to speak with all other creatures and walk on our hind legs, if we choose. Also, we are blessed with the ability to read, which I have taken full advantage of.
That is why I frequent the Blogville library founded by Barkley the Lab, who was drawn to the profession because his mother, L.B. Johnson, had written a popular book and blog about him. When Barkley came to the Bridge, he opened the library in tribute to his mom. I owe her a debt of thanks. Without her inspiring Barkley, I never would have borrowed books from the library and discovered worlds I never knew existed.
Two weeks ago, I went into the library and found books piled up on the floor and some of the shelves barren. I asked Barkley what was wrong, and he said he had been awake for days trying to keep up with the new arrivals and returns. I suggested he hire help. After thinking it over, Barkley agreed it was a great idea.
Barkley was succeeded in his family by Abbie, who also became famous thanks to her mom's writings. She was 15, a ripe old age for a lab, but she thought she had plenty of heartbeats leftover and was surprised when Barkey appeared to her and said it was time to go to the Bridge. She hated to leave her mom, but she was getting weaker and concluded it was her time.
Barkley had arranged for me to meet Abbie at the library and swear her in on the steps. Then they hurried inside, where Abbie got a look at the books. "We need to get to work; you know the Dewey decimal system don't you?"
Abbie grew suspicious. Did her brother bring her here just because he needed library help? She pointedly asked him that question, and he insisted he was innocent and then showed her the mice he had hired to help him. "I am sorry, my sister, but it was your time. I even asked for more heartbeats for you but was told no. I wouldn't hurt you or our mom, just for help at work."
I had overheard their conversation and backed Barkley's version of events. Abbie said she was sorry. Then they started working on the books. They both knew that the pair of them and books were three things their mom loved. They made sure they put their paw prints in each one, so, when their mom read it, she would feel their love, just as she had poured so much love for them into her words.Books don't hold just information and stories, but souls
There have been so many new angels this month that I can
miss their arrival if the Powers That Be do not assign swearing-in
duties to me. That happened to two cats from the same family this
week. And, I am not proud of the way I discovered my error.
Cats are welcome to live with us at Doggyspace Villiage if they have pup siblings, and we do not stop dogs who want to room with their cat siblings in Kittyspace Villiage. But, unlike the occupants of Blogville, where all animals are welcome, we are suspicious when we see an unaccompanied cat lurking along the border.
I was up early in the morning taking a walk when I saw two cats creeping across the wet grass. I immediately thought they were sneaking in to steal some of our kibbles, so I charged at them, barking and flashing my fangs. The cats stopped and began laughing, which was quite emasculating.
"You shouldn't be here unless you are with a dog!" I said suspiciously.
"We are visiting our brother," the black one answered.
"I know all the dogs here, as well as their siblings, and you aren't one of them."
"We are new arrivals. I am Sambo and came to the Bridge after 19 years because my mom could no longer see me suffer from dementia. When I arrived, I was reunited with my memories. A few days later, the seizure monster attacked my brother Garfield, and he came here after suffering a hundred of them in one night. Tilly invited us to live with him here."
"Ha!" I said. "I know for a fact that you and Tilly are not siblings!" I said confidently.
"Yes, they are," Tilly, who had appeared behind me, said. "I know you are busy and missed their arrival. Also, I have been away.
It has been the worst possible time for my family. Not only have Sambo and Garfield passed, but COVID has destroyed my father's family, claiming his mother, brother, and aunt. I welcomed them and have been trying to help my family settle here at the Bridge and ease my parents' burden. Now I am going to help my cat siblings."
I knew two things. Tilly was the most extraordinary angel ever, and I was a true crap puppy. I apologized to the cats and welcomed them. I promised I would do anything needed to help their transition. They forgave me because being merciful is something their parents instilled in them.
Then coming over the rise, I saw their grandmother, aunt, and uncle. All three angels ran to the humans and were picked up and snuggled.
I knew the family was going through one of the worst times any family could experience. But, they are strong and have mighty angels on their side.
Still, I walked to our little church and said a prayer for the family. I know they will escape their grief, but it will take a lot of faith, angels, and love.
There will come a
time when all souls are here at the Bridge. The Earth and the Sun are
both living creatures with set life spans When the day comes that one
of them passes, all souls will file over the Bridge, which will become
the land of Happily Ever After, as everyone will be with their loved
ones for eternity with no worries.
Lately, it has seemed that pets could be facing the end times before the sun, planet, and humans. My friends have been coming over the Bridge in record numbers. Just when I think the flow has stopped, another one passes. Not only has this been terrible for our friends, but their parents, who only have loneliness where their heart has been.
The latest friend to take his last breath on the mortal side is my friend Cruit. As was true with Lucy, who I wrote about previously, Cruit was adopted, and he only had nine months with his family. But, for Momma Rebecca and Dad Virgil, that nine months might have been nine years because they loved him with their hearts, and he returned it with every cell in his body.
When Cruit arrived in his new home, he met a sweet dog named Barney, his brother, and soon they developed an inseparable bond. When Barney went to the Bridge, his parents were hit with a massive wave of grief, and they only survived because they had a life ring called Cruit.
When the Darkness came to bring Cruit to the Bridge, they sent the seizure monster after him. It affected him on his favorite spot on the rug. He stood, but his back end didn't comply, and his body began jerking back and forth, then he fell asleep, leaving his concerned parents fussing over him.
His parents took him to the vet, where he was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma and was internally bleeding. It was the same reason that Barney had gone to the Bridge. Sometimes ironies are particularly cruel.
His parents gave him the greatest gift of all and took all his pain from him and on to themselves, then let him go free, where he can return to the body of a young greyhound and run so hard he shakes the leaves from the trees.
Barney joined him, and even though they had not been siblings for long, they joyfully greeted one another.
Even though he was part of the family for less than a year, he has a forever home with Barney, and someday his parents.
His parents gave Cruit two great gifts: One was a home to live out his last mortal days, and another was a home for eternity. Even though he just passed, he still considers himself to be the luckiest dog in the world.
No dog wants to come to the Bridge unless they have
survived their humans' passing. Sometimes they are so reluctant we have
to send another dog to summons them. When it was Lucy's time, and she
did not appear, we sent Nigel, who selected Lucy and her sister Carli to
replace him, to summon her.
When Carli found out that her heartbeats were expiring, the beautiful bulldog said she could make them last for another five years if she didn't breathe too often. Sadly, she was not the first near angel to try this, and we knew it was futile and would lead to a long, slow passing. Nigel did not want that for one of the amazing girls who rebuilt their parent's hearts when he passed. And, he knew from personal experience you could not overstay your welcome on the mortal side.
Nigel waited for when his parents were away from home, and then he appeared to his sisters as a ghost. He could have done it with their parents there. Humans are too far removed from the magical side of life to have recognized him, but they would have seen his sisters were up so something, causing Nigel to scurry away and Carli to suffer longer.
When Lucy saw Nigel, she knew why he was there and immediately told him that she would not be leaving with him. She wanted more time with her parents, and she had a good reason for feeling slighted. Although she was along in years for a boxer, she had only had five years with her parents; they adopted her as an adult.
"I should have had more time," she says. "It took me years to find the perfect parents, thanks to you. I didn't expect a long tenure, but five years, it went by like a blink of an eye."
Nigel told her that was true, but everything happens for a reason, and her life led her to be ready for adoption when Nigel left because only she and Carli could have healed her parent's hearts, and that is all that matters. Also, she shouldn't look at it as just five years because she would be part of the family for eternity, but she has to pass on when her times come or be sentenced to a lonely life as a spirit.
When her parents came home, there were remnants of life while her soul celebrated at the Bride. She was rushed to the doctor, but they could not save little Lucy's body. Luckily, her soul had been five years earlier, and she is forever part of their family.
Hopefully, those words will comfort her parents at the saddest of times.
Arty traveled with his parents and sister Rosy on the mortal side. This week he made his final trip but had to make it alone.
Arty was one of our first and best, Blogville friends. He is a darling black and white Shih Tzu who looked enough like my sister Blake to give me the warm fuzzies whenever I saw his smiling face.
Arty, Rosy, and his parents piled into their RV and visited the most beautiful areas of the western United States, and they shared their adventures with us daily on their blog. It was like having the extraordinary privilege of traveling with them.
Before his traveling days, Arty served as Mayor of Blogville, making wise decisions and creating a place for dogs and their imaginations to thrive. Arty's election proved what a loved dog he is by those lucky enough to know him.
But most of all, Arty was a beloved family member who could spread joy with just a look. His parents were wise enough to know you never take a smile for granted because they are all unique, and when they are gone, they won't shine on the mortal said again.
Arty's arrival was stunning, not just because it was unexpected but because of the manner used. Arty crossed the Bridge on the back of a white Mustang, firing his pistols in the air to announce his appearance.
Running to greet her brother was Dory, who preceded him at the Bridge. Arty slipped off his horse with more grace than any dog I have seen, and they hugged the stuffing out of one another.
Then came his Blogville friends, who welcomed Arty with hugs, tears, laughter, and kindness traits he had showered on them for ten years.
Having been a mayor, he was experienced in the swearing-in process, which occurred smoothly. When I was given a chance to speak with him at the colossal welcoming feast, he told me he had a message for his mom.
When a dog squirts a pee mail, they leave a bit of themselves behind, so wherever his parents go where he has peed, he will be there with them. The same goes for their yard and that spot in the RV that; his parents never noticed, which he left so he could always go with them.
I had one more duty before the evening ended. I swore in Arty as Mayor of "Blogville at the Bridge" for as long as he wants to serve. All the residents are excited about the beautiful events he will bring to their village, just as he had to the mortal side of Blogville.
Arty's arrival is a significant addition to the Angel side. Unfortunately, it came at a terrible cost for the mortal side.
Champions rise and fall, but all my good friend Graycee did was rise until, at three months shy of her fifteenth birthday, she rose to Rainbow Bridge.
It is I, Pocket Dog, once again ably filling in for my sister Foley. I don't know what is happening on the mortal side, but we have had a rapid influx of friends at the Bridge. Maybe more angels are needed to help humans, or Santa needs us to help deliver gifts. Whatever the reason, we have been swamped, which is why Foley asked me to visit Tuna, one of the Trout Towne kitties, writers of one of my favorite blogs.
She had arrived a few hours before I visited her. I knew Tuna was very popular and had many predecessors, who wanted to greet her, and I did not want to elbow in on their greetings. I appeared after the large welcoming dinner and found her sitting on the ground, removing meat from a salmon bone.
I introduced myself to my online friend, who looked up at me and smiled. "Eye happy zee you Pocket," she said. "Zo manzee of me friendz have come to zee me, it meanz zoo much zat zay took zee time."
I smiled politely and wished I had brought my dog to cat dictionary. Tuna had a strong cat accent, and I had a bit of trouble understanding her. I looked down and saw the puddles. "Were there from tears?" I asked.
"Oh, yes, my Food Servizz gurl cried a zillion tearz when I pazzed, and ven zee told zeople about my pazzing they cried too, and there wuz a moonzoon of tearz."
I sniffed and found my Mom's tears, then put them in my pouch for safekeeping. There must have been 1,000 cats there, joyous at Tuna's arrival and grieving because they knew the pain that the ones left behind felt.
I asked him how he was adjusting. "I mizz my family and I makez my heart hurt, but eye have met zo many angelz, friendz, and family memberz. And get theze, eyemet Saint Francis, he wuz very zweet to me and told me I would never zee alone, afraid, or in pain again. Zweet deal"
There was one other sweet deal I could offer, Tuna. I said I could send one more message from her to her Mom. Tuna thought hard and said, "Thank you for a wonderful life; eye loves you with my heat and zoul."
Tuna's family members Sam, Little Joe, Jigz, Perky, Bonnie, and Dobie, told her they were taking her into her Mom's dreams to help heal her pain. "Herez eye come!" Tuna said. She thanked me and invited me to dinner later that week, which was very gracious.
I hope her Mom let the cats into her dreams or heard Tuna's message for her, which eased her pain. Eye know she lovez her tabbies.
Oh no, Tuna is rubbing off on me.
have been an angel for a long time. I came to the Bridge more than
eight years ago. I am approaching the tipping point: I will have been
at the Bridge longer than I was mortal in five years. In that time, I
have learned never to be shocked when a friend passes over. But, there
will always be unpleasant surprises.
He still wears it sporadically, always when visiting his mom's dreams or around other dogs, but it slips away when he is alone. Smiles are like a broken limb. It heals, but it takes time. I can't wait for the day that Dooli's broken smile, and those of the people who loved him, shine brighter than the moon at dusk.
I was worried when I
got a request from Enzo on the Mountain for a meeting. He is beloved
by so many, and when the day comes that he passes over, there will be
grief that can't be spoken. I was grateful when I discovered, typical
of Enzo that he wanted to see me about someone else, namely Dexter, the
dog who walks on two legs.
He had read about Dexter and thought more people should learn his story. I told him I would be honored to spread the word.
Dexter is a six-year-old Brittany Spaniel who walks Ouray in the shadow of the San Juan mountains on his hind legs like a human. This unique talent has made him a cause celebre in his little western town.
Dexter was not always a biped walker. Five years ago, shortly after joining his forever family, rambunctious Dexter followed the pee-mail left by a deer when he wandered onto the street where a tractor-trailer crashed his front legs.
His parents feared that they would have to send Dexter to the Bridge. He was the dog selected by his two predecessors, who had transitioned to the Bridge the previous year. Losing another dog in 24 months was more than his family could bear. Dexter's mom had dad vowed to spare no expense in avoiding Dexter becoming their third angel.
The vet thought he could save one of the legs. He inserted pins in it. The other limb went to the Bridge to wait for the rest of its body to arrive.
Dexter went through multiple surgeries and rehabilitation. Dexter did not trust his remaining leg to support him, so he chose to learn how to walk on his hind legs like he had seen his beloved humans do. He has never stopped.
One day, while walking with his mom, upright and proud, a Tik Tok celebrity filmed him, and soon the video went viral, gathering five million likes, which is how we measure fame in the Internet age.
Dexter wanted to control his brand, so he convinced his mom to set up an Instagram and Tik Tok account for him through eye-to-eye communication. It has become so popular managing it is now his mom's full-time job.
One demand Dexter made was that his parents would not monetize his status. He wanted to be a pure inspiration to dogs who lost limbs and not have it sullied by the greed spurned when something produces a single dollar. Dexter is wise beyond his years.
I went back to the Mountain to thank Enzo for introducing me to his extraordinary pup. I should have known he would know the best dogs because he is undoubtedly one himself.
It is I Pocket Dog,
stepping in for my sister Foley because, as the Doggyspace liaison to
Kittyland, The cat "Powers that Be" contacted me to say my friend and
fellow Massachusettite Purrrranda arrived at the Bridge.
We also arrived for the same reason, kidney failure, an excruciating way to depart the mortal side. Luckily Purranda and I had loving parents who took our pain on themselves and sent us to the Bridge to exist without pain and wait for them.
Once Kitty Judge Cotton swore her in, I pushed through the herd of cats to greet Purrrranda. I waited for the reunion between the many pups her mom had helped transition to the Bridge. When they went to the big bowls for a salmon dinner celebration, I took the opportunity to welcome her on behalf of the members of Doggyspace.
We discussed the horrible disease that sent us here; how it robbed us of our beloved appetites, how we became dehydrated no matter how much we drank, and how it drained our energy to a nub.
Our parents also knew us very well and understood that a lengthy hospital stay for either of us would cause us to spiral into depression and be counterproductive. As her mom said, there was only one way to make her better, and when she did, Purrrranda was with me, and sadness, grief, and emptiness were with her mom.
I saw her brother, Pawcasso, stamping his little paw impatiently, waiting for his newly arrived sister to take her first nibble of food so the rest of us could eat. She kindly offered me a bowl, which I gladly ate, both of us having recovered our appetites after our long renal battle.
Before I went back to Doggyspace, Purranda asked me to check on a playful Golden Retriever who passed over at the vet's the same time that she did. I suggested she come with me, and we see together. I took her to the central incoming and learned the dog was in my village. We hurried there and saw the newest angels playing with dogs from his family that preceded him to the Bridge. He noticed Purrrrand as the cat who entered the River of Life at the same time he did. They promised to visit one another often and help with their mutual transitions to the Bridge.
I realized that Purrrranda's empathy for others, even on her Bridge Day, would mean that she would be a valuable angel to have on her mom's shoulder.
I am sending a big thanks to Purrrranda's mom. She could have kept Purrrranda with her and benefited from her empathetic personality, but she made it so everyone could, making the world a better place.
What is the thing you do that annoys your parents the most?
River: I want to be in a chair with my parents but when they go to pick me up I back up out of reach, and when they sit back, I begin to beg to go up again, and then back off when they try to pick me up.
The ground shook, the
wind bent the trees, and a tremendous howl arose amongst the angels. It
was clear that something big was crossing the river: Czar Bishop had
come to Rainbow Bridge.
The Czar, son of Miss Kimberli, brother to the legendary Apollo and Napa, had used every heartbeat and more as he fought to stay with his mom and continue teaching all the orphaned dogs that his mother took in and found new homes for them to live.
When word spread of Bishop's arrival, dogs came from every corner of the Bridge to pay homage to him and greet the incredible dog who inspired his mom to save many other dogs.
Bishop also helped his mom create one of the most entertaining Facebook profiles. Transcribed were the conversations between Bishop and his mom ranging from the new students two what he needed at the store.
Few dogs have been blessed with a bigger heart than Bishop. He had his collection of pets he doted on like a human. It was like the best of both species combined into one pup. Together he and his mom made for the best of dogs and the best of moms.
Word of Bishop's arrival spread through his friends on the Internet quickly. It caused human tears to form clouds and made it rain at the Bridge. Before Bishop's arrival, we angels scoured the puddles for our parent's tears then brought them home to help our flowers grow.
When the sound of bugles blaring sounded across the Bridge, we knew that Bishop's arrival was imminent. We gathered in rows of 20 to watch the historical passage.
As soon as Bishop appeared, the angel rescue dogs he had helped find homes and the other pups whose lives were enhanced when their parents adopted a rescue from Mama Kimberli ran to the Bridge and carried Bishop across on their backs.
Napa was the first to greet his brother, and their hug lasted more than a minute. Bishop then welcomed the pup who succeeded him like his mama's helper, and finally, I swore him in something wholly unnecessary because Bishop was an angel on earth.
Then a large party commenced with welcoming Bishop. We all raised a glass of bone beer to him and feasted on pizza and treats—the more incredible the grief over passing, the bigger the party. Bishop's was one of the largest in years.
As soon as the event ended, Bishop joined his brothers in helping their mom find dogs in need and then homes for them. With Bishop's help, his mom's rescue will become even more successful.
If life were fair, then because of all the good Mama Kimberli has done for dogs, Bishop would have been able to stay with her for a lifetime. Like shingles, the Bridge doesn't care. We all have X amount of heartbeats, and no matter how good we are or our parents are, we must, in the end, do what we dislike the most, sit and wait without our parents.
All angels find a way to pass the time until our parents join us. Bishop will spend his as he did on the mortal side most nobly. He is devoting his angel life to helping those less fortunate. It is the most effective use of eternity.
If you're a homeless dog or living without love, take comfort. Angel Bishop is on your side.
While he was away at war, Jolie' mom forced her to marry Roland the Great Dane, who became the father of her children. They met pre the great squirrel war, fell in love, and unbeknownst to Pippin, became pregnant. General Hobo recruited Pippin to join the army when the vermin began invading the gardens of Paris. Meanwhile, during a daring mission, Pippin got his leg caught in a trap.
Pippin continually pulled on his leg until it was free, causing two of his claws to come off, and he could no longer perform his duties, so Hobo sent him home. When Pippin learned Jolie had a litter with Roland, he drowned his sorrows in bone beer, causing him to oversleep and lose his job.
Distraught, and, having learned his mom and aunt had gone to the Bridge, Pippin took to living on the street. One day, he saw a horse-drawn carriage, and, when it stopped, he recognized Jolie, wearing expensive jewelry and furs, disembark, and go into the butcher's to order food for dinner. When she came out, she noticed Pippin and took pity on him, offering him a job as her driver.
Pippin slept in the stables, and one day, the sound of puppies playing woke him up. He looked out the door and saw beautiful tan and black pups frolicking. He realized a Great Dane could not have fathered the children, and they must be his. When he went to the house to confront them, Gerald intercepted him and, after hearing Pippin's accusation, accused him of stealing and called the bulldogs to have Pippin arrested.
While they were waiting for the police to arrive, Pippin said Gerald was stealing his girl. Gerard said it was Pippin's fault for not answering her letters. Pippin said he only got a few notes, and then they trailed off. "That was because of me," Jolie' mother announced, entering the room, She said Jolie trusted her with mailing the letters, and she threw them out because he was not worthy of her.
"Mother, how could you?" Jolie, who no one realized had entered, asked heartbrokenly.
"Yes, I am shocked!" Gerald yelled.
Jolie's mom did not want to take the blame and told Jolie that Gerald had helped. Jolie stepped up to him and asked if it was true, Gerald denied it, but Pippin, who had learned a lot in the army, knew he was lying because Gerald's tail was between his legs and told Jolie that.
Betrayed, Jolie slapped Gerald in the nose and told him he was a bad boy. Enraged, Gerald reminded her it was his house, and she would be homeless, along with her children. Pippin said he would provide for her, which caused Gerald to laugh; knowing his prospects were poor, Jolie and the puppies would likely be living on the streets if they left.
Jolie shocked him when she said being homeless with Pippin was preferable to be trapped in Gerald's mansion. Her mom, worried about her situation, begged her not to go, but Jolie had realized trusting Gerald was a mistake, and Pippin still had her heart.
Jolie got her children together and left the house, never to see Gerard or her mother again. They had to survive on the street for the first few days, but Pippin located General Hobo, now home from the war, and Gerald was the first hire in Hobo's bone detection agency. From that point, Pippin could afford a house and gave Jolie the life she deserved. They lived happily together for years.
As they have in many universes, none more than the one where we live.
If the Marvel universe has taught us one thing, there are many other dimensions where we live different lives but still manage to defeat the odds and find our soulmates. This is the story of Pippin and Jolie, who find one another no matter what universe they occupy.
Jolie is a beautiful little golden-haired girl who lives in France and works in a bone shop with her mom. Pippin is a handsome dark-haired boy who makes dog strollers so new moms can wheel their pups around to show off to their neighbors. He lives with his mother and aunt, who are both ill.
One day Jolie was pushing a cart bringing bones to her customers when a wheel snapped off. She dragged it to Pippin's shop, and when they saw one another, they knew they were meant to be together. They had to hide their relationship because Jolie's mom had a handsome Great Dane doctor she picked out for her daughter. A mere mechanic would not do.
Meanwhile, the squirrels, rabbits, and chipmunks had allied along the border, attacking Paris and stealing all the vegetables. General Hobo, who was in charge of the Parisian army, needed recruits for the battle. For Pippin, he had to choose between love and country. He promised Jolie her would be back, then joined the freedom fighters.
The war took longer than expected. The Parisian army was able to push the nibbling troops back across the border. Hobo promoted Pippin to colonel, and he got a regiment. He soon became Hobo's most trusted advisors. Because of his duties and always being on the offensive, Pippin had little time to read or answer his mail.
Back in Paris, Jolie discovered that she was going to have a litter. Her mother was furious when she found that Pippin was the culprit. She ordered Jolie to marry Roland, the Great Dane. Jolie, still in love with Pippin, refused, but when several of her letters went unanswered, she thought Pippin no longer cared for her and accepted Roland's proposal. They were married, and then he claimed the puppies as his own.
Unaware that his love was with puppies and getting married, Pippin undertook a dangerous mission to slip deep into the garden and lay down traps for the vermin army. If he made it back, he would be sent home to Jolie. Everything was going fine until a rogue rabbit surprised him with a shove. Pippin's leg went into the trap. He tried to remove it but couldn't move, and the enemy was approaching.
TO BE CONTINUED