12 and Chappy had accompanied Ruby to wait for the duos' beloved sister Whiskey, to arrive at the Bridge after more than 15 years of being a devoted companion to her parents.
I met the three pups on my first night on social media. They were a delightful trio who befriended me, like everyone, as an equal and family member. I was thrilled when a fourth member, Fuzzy Bacon, joined and heartbroken when his stay with them was too short. Now, Fuzzy stood with me, waiting to be reunited with his sister, and have his pack whole.
In every family, some children move on, and one stays to care for his parents: In the Gustavan pack, 12 and Chappy transitioned to the Bridge, and Whiskey stayed with her parents as her sight, hearing, and legs failed while suffering from attacks by the Seizure Monster. Through it all, Whiskey survived to bring comfort to her family.
But even a dog who slowly metered out her heartbeats as Whiskey did will someday run out of them; That occurred last week, as the unassuming little dog expired after a typical day of loving her parents, going naturally in her mom’s arms, without a costly trip to the vet. Her parents have to share their grief publicly. It was the best choice for her parents and, therefore, the only one Whiskey knew how to make.
Whiskey lived an exemplary life and deserved a reward when she arrived at the Bridge, which she received as soon as she pulled himself out of the water. The healing waters washed away all the physical baggage she had accrued during her life: The lost eyesight and hearing were restored; the pain that had crippled her was gone; the seizures vanquished, but the greatest gift stood before her: 12 and Chappy his beloved siblings.
Social media, and angel dogs cleverly discovering how to communicate with the mortal world, have revealed the secrets of what is on the other side, at least for dogs, who can readily accept the spiritual, the magical, and the supernatural.
Whiskey knew who was before her and where she was. She joined her brothers in a hug, lick, and dance before they tore up the stairs and were joined by Fuzzy Bacon as they played and howled in joy. As she ran past, I had to shout the oath at Whiskey, but it was ceremonial because she already knew every word and had pre-registered as an angel.
If the responsibilities of being an adult had not blocked mortals from seeing the immortal world, her parents could have seen their reunion. If they shut their eyes, open their hearts, and use their imagination, they will see 12, Fuzzy Bacon, Whiskey, and Chappy playing together again. People think imagination creates figments, but a sixth sense allows them to see into the next world.
I know it isn’t as simple as that, because grief, the pain that equals the love lost, is like a dark curtain, blotting out happiness, laughter, joy, and the sixth sense of imagination.
But grief will relent, slowly the curtain will rise, and all will be open to them again, and if they allow themselves to push their imagination and let their souls float like a bee in a breeze, they will see their four dogs reunited and experience joy again.
I hope it happens for them. It is a rare gift, but they deserve it.