One of the biggest fears seniors fret over is what happens to their beloved pets when they pass. The worry that the dog will end up unloved in a shelter is more consuming than concern for their own health. A girl named Bernie was fortunate that her Dad had raised one of the great pet moms in the world.
Two years ago, Bernie was struck by a catastrophic double shot. First, her mom became ill and had to go into assisted living. Then while living with our friend Momma Kim, her Dad suddenly took sick and passed away. But the Dad had prepared for the day, leaving Bernie To his daughter. Bernie was crushed that she had lost her Dad, but familiar surroundings made the transition easier.
Her father's passing left Momma Kim heartbroken, but she had a mourning Bernie to care for and provide company for her misery. On the immortal side, her Dad missed Bernie, but he had Momma Kim's angel, the legendary Clint, to keep him company, go for long walks, play catch, and look over their people and pets.
Dogs remember their dreams, being more open to magic than humans, so Bernie recalled his Dad's visits, and while he yearned to be reunited with him, the little dog had a duty to take care of Momma Kim, and Bernie was happy to stay with her and her furry sibling Glory.
When the dark angels who summon dogs to the Bridge came for Bernie, they did it with the same ferocity they pursued me. We were both struck with lung cancer, which was too far along to be battled, and, like me, within days of the diagnosis, she shrugged off the mortal coil to become immortal.
Bernie's Dad appeared in her dreams and told her it was time for them to be reunited. The father knew his daughter would be doubly heartbroken because she was losing a dog she loved dearly and the last connection to her Dad, but he knew he had given Kim the strength to overcome diversity. If she needed help, Bernie was joining her angels, making them the most potent at the Bridge.
While Momma Kim packed for Bernie and sent him for his final trip, we gathered at Hobo's Landing excitedly, waiting to see our favorite sight. As much as we were sorrowful that our dear friend Momma Kim had to say goodbye to her merry-faced little pup, we anxiously awaited a parent, child reunion, the most glorious pet greeting there is at the Bridge.
It did not disappoint. When Bernie appeared, her Dad ran to his heart
dog with open arms while Bernie romped to him, having discarded all the
pain that had brought her to the Bridge. When they were within four
feet of one another, Bernie leaped into her Dad's arms. He caught her as
he fell to his knees, feeling the sweet licks from Bernie, something ha
had been longing to experience again, and tears, this time of joy, fell
on the green grass.
They began to run together, like a puppy and her boy, through trees and meadows; the sound of their laughter was like church bells after a hard rain. There were plenty of tears of sadness that rained down on us from the mortal sides, but tears of joy outweighed them.
I am sorry that Bennie's passing brought sorrow, but here at the Bridge, it was a glorious day. I wish you could have seen it, and I am sure someday you will when you have your reunions, and I will be privileged to bear witness to the unmitigated joy.