By Kathy Pippig Harris
He was black with tan markings. He had short legs, and a head that looked too big and disproportionate to his wiry-haired long body.
After his mother weaned him he ate what she brought to the old barn, but he wasnâ€™t growing like he should. After a while he wasnâ€™t feeling so good. His mom tried to play with him but he felt too poorly to join her. Soon he was vomiting and his stools had turned yellow and bloody.
One day, his mother had gone out into the surrounding field and never returned. The barn wasn’t her home, she’d been abandoned there when her owners discovered her pregnant. Alone, sick, and afraid, the tiny puppy cried out to her until he could cry no more.
The next morning a human appeared at the barn. An older man taking pictures of the countryside and the barn. He found the pup. The pup appeared to be very sick and the man couldn’t tell if he was alive. He reached down and gently nudged the little body and heard a whine. The man quickly went to his truck, put the camera away and pulled a towel out from the back seat. He jogged back, picked the ailing puppy up and wrapped him in the towel. The elderly gentleman drove to the nearest animal shelter and took the skinny pup to the vet hospital there.
A young man at the new place took the pup into a room of steel and tile. A woman in a white outfit quickly looked the puppy over, then shook her head.
â€œHis Parvo has progressed beyond any treatment options.â€ She caressed his head, while looking into his large eyes. The pain from his sickness was etched in the fur boyâ€™s expression.
The lady looked at her assistant. â€œDoes he have a name?â€
The young man shook his head, and then turned his gaze away from the poor pup. This was a part of his job he found soul bruising. He took in a deep breath and steeled his heart.
She continued to stroke his head and the gravely ill pupâ€™s eyes lost some of that edge the pain had instilled – so wonderful did it feel to be caressed so. Her voice was soft and soothing – the pupâ€™s breathing became less erratic and the look of illness stored in his eyes faded a bit with the pleasure of her ministrations.
The vet asked her assistant to fetch what she needed. The young man winced. He didnâ€™t think heâ€™d ever get used to this — another innocent soul to be put to death.
He turned, quickly clenched his eyelids shut to stop the burning of pent up tears. He gathered the shaver, syringe, and the vial of liquid.
As the vet shaved a spot on the pupâ€™s forearm and prepared the solution, the attendant held the boy pup close, talking softly, petting him gently. In moments it was done. The attendant felt the last breath the pup in his arms gave up – just as the frail body went limp.
He awoke and found himself in tall green grass. He sat up and looked around. He saw dogs and puppies, cats and kittens, playing and relaxing. All of them appeared healthy and happy. Next to a large bridge of many colors he noticed others sat watchfully, eagerly, and he wondered what they were waiting for. Was there something coming across the bridge?
He stood, then padded over to the bridge to see what the others were looking for . . . Humans!!! Long lines of them behind a misty rainbow veil. As soon as the humans came into view, the pups and older dogs ran forward to meet them and there was much happiness.
The dogs whimpered of their joy and the humans thanked God for taking such good care of their beloved fur kin. When all the furkin had joined up with their humans the shimmering mist enveloped them and bore them away.
In a short time cats and kittens had gathered at the bridge. As the rainbow mist swirled to life the felines became watchful.
The black and tan pup walked slowly away. He knew no human would come over the bridge for him.
â€œYou are right, small one. You have no one to wait for . . . yet.â€
The pup was startled by the voice and he turned a full circle to see who was talking to him. He saw no one, but the air all around him pulsed a silver-gold.
â€œYou will be put to life. To be loved and spoiled. That is what happens to dogs who didnâ€™t have that their first time on Earth. Those of you, who had no human spirit-mate; no heart partner. But you will now! A woman and her son. May you be a blessing, each to the other.â€
The pup wagged his tail.
â€œYou will also have a name – Benjamin. Whisper it to them when you are first together and that is what theyâ€™ll call you.â€
The pup barked and his eyes lit up with hopeful anticipation. Before he could bark again, he was gone.
â€œIâ€™ll see you later, Benjamin. And you will come back happy, for I know you deserve it!â€
On Earth a litter of puppies was born, and one of the boys was named Benjamin.
Copyright 2006 Kathy Pippig Harris
Kathy lives in California’s San Joaquin Valley with her husband and furry family. She is a weekly columnist for the publication “Frank Talk” and a published author of five novels. She states, “Were it not for her need, desire, and love of writing — she would surely go mad!”
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