The fluff ball curled up next to the man on the seat of the truck and went to sleep. He hadn’t wanted another dog, but finally agreed. They named her “Beep” because her bark sounded like a car horn. When she was six months old, she snuck up next to the man on the recliner as he pretended to be asleep. They napped together like that often when the man was tired from being gone so long. She loved the man more than anything.
She ran like the wind with her long nimble legs as she chased squirrels, and balls, and anything that moved. She loved to help the man work in the yard by catching the wiggly worms he stirred up with his raking and digging. When they brought home a new puppy, she adopted him as her own. Beep and Oreo were best buddies, even though he grew up stocky and couldn’t quite keep up with her and couldn’t turn around as fast as she could. Beep and Oreo didn’t like the bossy hound dog that came to live with them. The hound wanted all the food. The hound thought she was the queen, but Beep knew she was the favorite, because the man always listened to her. She let him know when she wanted a drink of water, or a snuggle on the couch, and he always gave it to her. She could feel his love, and he could feel hers.
When the household split in two, he wouldn’t let her go. “The dogs stay with me. You can have the cats,” he said. Beep became his most loyal companion. As she got older and couldn’t climb the stairs, he carried her up to bed at night.
When the new woman came, Beep wasn’t happy with being displaced. She grudgingly accepted the mom as the new alpha female and adopted the daughter as her own.
They moved south to live with the new woman and her daughter and shared their new home with two new dogs. But Beep always felt loved.The warmer weather helped her move better and the winters were more bearable. She settled into a comfortable routine with her pack.
After a couple years, one of the new dogs, the old silky-haired one who slept a lot, went away. Then, her friend Oreo became very tired. He didn’t want to move. He went away and didn’t come back. She missed her buddy. The daughter wasn’t there much anymore and only came for short visits.
But Beep still knew she was loved by the man and the woman. They both took care of her. They took her for walks and snuggled with her on the couch.
When Beep had lived 15 winters, her back legs got stiffer and didn’t work right. She fell down a lot. The man and the woman helped her up the back steps, and the man gave her shots. They kept loving her, snuggled with her almost every night, and took her to the vet a lot. Then her front shoulder stopped working. It hurt so bad she could hardly get up. She wanted to get up and walk, but she could only hobble. Her body hurt more than she could ever remember. She could feel that the man and woman were worried. She could also feel that they loved her. One day the man took her into the car and held her on his lap while the woman drove the car. She snuggled on his chest with her head on his shoulder just like when she used to sleep with him in the recliner.
Gently, the man put her on the table. The vet came in and gave her a shot. She was getting used to the vet by now. The man and woman were very sad, but she couldn’t worry about that much because she started to feel sleepy – so sleepy she couldn’t keep her eyes open.
She felt strange, like when she woke up from long sleep. She shook her head. Her body felt good! She stood up, and she could walk! It didn’t hurt anymore! Where was she? The soft grass held smells of small animals. In front of her was a bridge of many colors – colors she had never seen before. Another dog appeared on the other side of the bridge. He yipped. It was Oreo! Her good friend! They ran to each other and met on the middle of the bridge. He licked her face and yipped again, telling her to follow him across the bridge. She could smell wonderful things on the other side.
Suddenly, Beep felt like running!
You can’t catch me, Oreo! She shot a look back as she passed him.
She ran like the wind across the rainbow bridge.
In 2010, I asked God to send me a soulmate who loved dogs. We started our life together with five dogs. Now we have two left (Doodle and Marigold.) I believe we will be meeting up with quite a pack of dogs in heaven.
All photos in this post are by Ayla Likens