Lovey was at my office before I arrived. Even for a Shih Tzu, she looked pale. I let her into my office, made her a cup of tea, and asked her what the matter was.
"My mom is coming soon," she said, which was enough to shake angels whose job it is to watch over her.
"It is sad for the survivors," I said sagely. "But for your dogs, being reunited with your mom will awaken emotions in you that has been long dormant. And Tashi will be overjoyed; she has been miserable since leaving your mother's side."
Lovey moved uncomfortably in her chair. "That's the problem." she confided, "it's not Tashi."
I thought she must be confused. We have never had an angel imposter. I knew it had been a tough stretch for Lovey, who in the last year has seen her father, other friends, and family comes to the Bridge. I figured my friend was just tired. I asked her what evidence did she have that Tashi was an imposter.
"She says she can't remember details of her life which I
attributed to her transition," Lovey said, "but she still doesn't remember anything; even our dad says it's not her." I advised patience, believing that, once her mom arrived, Tashi would remember everything."
"I don't think so," Lovey said. "When we went swimming, and Tashi dried off, her white fur got rubbed away. Oh, and she has a penis."
Well, she should have led with that. I told Lovey to act like nothing was wrong, and I would put on my detective cap and search for the truth.
I had Pocket look up rescues in Miss Linda's area, then had her inquire if Mama Linda had dropped her dogs off with them via email. We got a lot of responses of "sorry, no" and one critical email from A Forever Home Rescue:
Yes, we did get Teddy, Tashi, and Trixie, and they all have been adopted. Tashi and Trixie went together as they were bonded. Her children did contact us, and they found our card.
We're sorry to hear that she has passed on already. We were going to give her the update when her kids contacted us. She really loved those dogs, and they all got great homes.
Thanks for contacting us.
A Forever Home Animal Rescue
Like Mark Twain, the rumor of Tashi's passing was greatly exaggerated. None of us will honestly know why Momma Linda posted that Tashi had passed. Still, I think she knew she was failing and could not give them the life they needed, so she arranged for other housing for Trixie and Teddy (which subsequently fell through_ and because she did not know Tashi's fate, she posted that Tashi had passed. We all swear we would never give up our dogs: It is hubris. A day will come when we can't care for them. If love was enough, Momma Linda's dogs would be with her until the day she passed. But life, especially when the dogs become short, is cruel.
If she posted that she surrendered the dogs, and one person responded she had done the wrong thing, it would make a tragic situation even worse for her. I don't think she could have borne it.
If you think she was wrong, I wish you better luck at that end of your life, after you lose your husband, when you are in pain from a stomach condition that would end your life. She was dealt a cruel and unforgiving hand, and I don't think she could have played it better.
I went back to Lovey's home. They had figured out the imposter was not their sister but knowing their mom always welcomed strays, he was allowed to live with them for eternity.
Then they sadly looked at one another, and, led by their father, they walked to the Bridge to see their mother arrive and receive the beautiful reward she had deserved for living an exemplary life.
I put on my best robe and ensured I looked like best because someone important was crossing over, and I wanted to greet her properly.