One for my stories for Angel Bumps, Paw Prints From Heaven
My four kids were all under the age of ten when our dog, Bengi, got hit by a car. It happened right in front of our house. He slipped out the door as I carried in groceries and that fast, he was gone. Buckets of tears followed as we wrapped him snugly him in a blanket and dug a spot in our back yard for him. You could hear the wailing a block away.
Now I don’t recommend this idea and honestly I don’t know what I was thinking, but I called the local SPCA to see what time they closed. I bundled all four kids into the big car and we drove like maniacs to make the crying stop. Surely a new pup would make them all feel better. We arrived fifteen minutes before closing and each child liked a different dog. There were all sizes and breeds to choose from. The dog who won the rock paper scissors contest was an eight week-old black lab with a white chest. By the time we reached home, he had been given the royal name of Spike.
Like most lab pups, Spike loved to chew shoes, furniture, toys, and anything within his reach. He was so full of energy that he wore the kids out playing. He also wore me out. He was an intelligent creature who quickly learned how to earn treats. He’d give a paw, high five, and lay down. He would not drop a toy from his mouth, but he would try to stuff the treat in his mouth, in addition to the toy. He loved to sleep in the kids beds and would rotate as he needed. He was an excellent comforter, in many ways.
As Spike grew, he found that we had a big neighborhood to explore. Even with daily walks, he wanted more. He needed to run free to feel his ears flapping in the breeze. And he could run! I could never catch him. My husband used to drive the neighborhood looking for him. Once found, he’d lure him into the car and proceed to take him for a drive. One night he was gone so long I got concerned. He told me, “Spike wont get in the car with me next time if he knows I drive right home. There has to be something in it for him. We took a nice drive.” Spike ran back into the house with glee. “I’m home! Dad and I had a great road trip! I need a treat.”
When our fifth child arrived, Spike was in awe. This baby moved unexpectedly and often hit his nose with his hand. He’d jump back and cock his head wondering what had just happened. Within a few days, he became his guardian and always stayed near. Once on the floor they laid side by side. My son fell asleep with spike’s head on his belly. He was such a sweet dog.
As the years went by, kids grew into teens and Spike aged. He still loved to sneak out and gallop the neighborhood. Finally he couldn’t gallop or even run. He suantered around the block on his leash happily. One evening he couldn’t stand up and we knew it was time to let him go in peace.
Each of the kids said their farewell and cried. Scott and I took the ride to the vet. Spike left peacefully and quietly. I was a mess. As much as he drove me crazy chasing the streets, I loved this guy. My husband had tears in his eyes as we got back in our car. “He was a great dog,” he said and I agreed. “I’ll miss him so much.” My tears fell heavy.
Within a few seconds, there was a shooting star in the sky. We stared at it in wonder. “Oh my gosh, he broke loose again!” I said incredulously.
We laughed through our tears. Fly high, sweet spirit, fly high. There are bigger fields in Heaven.