Thursday, December 1, 2011

Choices (Pet loss)


CHOICES

The little white dog stopped. Behind him, doggies were playing,

chasing each other and wrestling in the warm sunshine. It looked

like so much fun, but in front of him, through the clear stillness of the

pond's water, he could see his mommy. And she was crying.

He pawed at the water, trying to get at her, and when that didn't

work, he jumped into the shallow water. All that got him was wet and Mommy's

image danced away in the ripples. "Mommy!" he cried. "Is something

wrong?"

The little white dog turned around. A lady was standing at the edge

of the pond, her eyes sad but filled with love. The little white dog

sighed and walked out of the water. "There's been a mistake," he said. "I'm

not supposed to be here." He looked back at the water. It was starting

to still again and his mommy's image was coming back. "I'm just a baby.

Mommy said it had to be a mistake. She said I wasn't supposed to come here

yet."

The kind lady sighed and sat down on the grass. The little white dog climbed into her lap. It wasn't Mommy's lap, but it was almost as

good. When she started to pet him and scratch under his chin like he liked, he

wagged his tail. He hadn't wanted to, but he couldn't help it. "I'm afraid

there is no mistake. You are supposed to be here and your mommy knows it deep

down in her heart," the lady said.

The little white dog sighed and laid his head on the lady's leg.

"But she's so sad. It hurts me to see her cry. And Daddy too."

"But they knew right from the beginning this would happen."

"That I was sick?" That surprised the little white dog. No one

had ever said anything and he had listened when they thought he was sleeping.

All he had heard them talk about was how cute he was or how fast he was or

how big he was getting.

"No, not that you were sick," the lady said. "But you see, they

chose tears."

"No, they didn't," the little white dog argued. Who would choose to

cry?

The lady gently brushed the top of his head with a kiss. It made him

feel safe and loved and warm--but he still worried about his mommy. "Let

me tell you a story," the lady said.

The little white dog looked up and saw other animals gathering

around.

Dogs --Sally and Baby and Morgan and Rocky and Belle. Even a

lizard named Clyde and some rats named Saffron and Becky and a hamster named

Odo.

Cats too--Big Boy and Snowball and Shamus and Abby and little Cleo and

Robin. Merlin and Toby and Iggy and Zachary. Sweetie and Kamatte and

Obie.

They all lay down near the kind lady and looked up at her, waiting.

She smiled at them and began:

A long long time ago, the Loving Ones went to the Angel in Charge.

They were lonesome and asked the angel to help them.

The angel took them to a wall of windows and let them look out the

first window at all sorts of things--dolls and stuffed animals and cars and

toys and sporting events. "Here are things you can love," the angel said.

"They will keep you from being lonesome."

"Oh, thank you," the Loving Ones said. "These are just what we

need."

"You have chosen Pleasure," the angel told them.

But after a time the Loving Ones came back to the Angel in Charge.

"Things are okay to love," they said. "But they don't care that we love

them."

The Angel in Charge led them over to the second window. It looked

out at all sorts of wild animals. "Here are animals to love," he said. "They

will know you love them."

So the Loving Ones hurried out to care for the wild animals. "You

have chosen Satisfaction," the angel said.

Some of the Loving Ones worked at zoos and wild animal preserves,

some just had bird feeders in their yards, but after a time they all came

back to the Angel in Charge.

"They know we love them," they told the angel. "But they don't love

us back.

We want to be loved in return."

So the angel took them to the third window and showed them lots of

people walking around, hurrying places. "Here are people for you to love,"

the angel told them. So the Loving Ones hurried off to find other people

to love. "You have chosen Commitment," the angel said.

But after a time a lot of Loving Ones came back to the Angel in

Charge.

"People were okay to love," they said. "But sometimes they stopped

loving us and left. They broke our hearts."

The angel just shook his head. "I cannot help you," he said. "You

will have to be satisfied with the choices I gave you."

As the Loving Ones were leaving, someone saw a window off to one

side and hurried to look out. Through it, they could see puppies and

kittens and dogs and cats and lizards and hamsters and ferrets. The other Loving

Ones hurried over. "What about these?" they asked.

But the angel just tried to shoo them away. "Those are Personal

Empathy Trainers," he said. "But there's a problem with their system

operations."

"Would they know that we love them?" someone asked.

"Yes," the angel said.

"Would they love us back?" another asked.

"Yes," the angel said.

"Will they stop loving us?" someone else asked.

"No," the angel admitted. "They will love you forever."

"Then these are what we want," the Loving Ones said.

But the angel was very upset. "You don't understand," he told them.

"You will have to feed these animals."

"That's all right," the Loving Ones said.

"You will have to clean up after them and take care of them

forever."

"We don't care."

The Loving Ones did not listen. They went down to where the Pets

were and picked them up, seeing the love in their own hearts reflected in the

animals' eyes.

"They were not programmed right," the angel said. "We can't offer a

warranty. We don't know how durable they are. Some of their systems

malfunction very quickly, others last a long time."

But the Loving Ones did not care. They were holding the warm little

bodies and finding their hearts so filled with love that they thought they

would burst. "We will take our chances," they said.

"You do not understand." The angel tried one more time. "They are so

dependent on you that even the most well-made of them is not designed

to outlive you. You are destined to suffer their loss."

The Loving Ones looked at the sweetness in their arms and nodded.

"That is how it should be. It is a fair trade for the love they offer."

The angel just watched them all go, shaking his head. "You have

chosen Tears," he whispered.

********************************************

"So it is," the kind lady told the animals. "And so each mommy and

daddy knows. When they take a baby into their heart, they know that one

day it will leave them and they will cry."

The little white dog sat up. "So why do they take us in?" he asked.

"Because even a moment of your love is worth years of pain later."

"Oh." The little white dog got off the lady's lap and went back to

the edge of the pond. His mommy was still there, and still crying. "Will she

ever stop crying?" he asked the kind lady.

She nodded. "You see, the Angel felt sorry for the Loving Ones,

knowing how much they would suffer. He couldn't take the tears away but he made

them special."

She dipped her hand into the pond and let the water trickle off her

fingers.

"He made them healing tears, formed from the special water here.

Each tear holds bits of all the happy times of purring and petting and shared

love.

And the promise of love once again. As your mommy cries, she is

healing.

"In time, she will be less sad and she will smile when she thinks of

you.

And then she will open her heart again to another little baby." "But

then she will cry again one day," the little white dog said.

The lady just smiled at him as she got to her feet. "No, she will

love again. That is all she will think about." She picked up Big Boy and

Snowball and gave them hugs, then scratched Morgan's ear just how she

liked.

"Look," she said. "The butterflies have come. Shall we go over to

play?"

The other animals all ran ahead, but the little white dog wasn't

ready to leave his mommy. "Will I ever get to be with her again?"

The kind lady nodded. "You'll be in the eyes of every kitty she

looks at.

You'll be in the tail wag of every dog she pets. And late at night, when

she's fast asleep, your spirit will snuggle up close to her and you both

will feel at peace. One day soon, you can even send her a rainbow to tell her

you're safe and waiting here for when it's her turn to come."

"I would like that," the little white dog said and took one long

look at his mommy. He saw her smile slightly through her tears and he knew she

had remembered the time he almost fell into the bathtub.

"I love you, Mommy," he whispered. "It's okay if you cry." He

glanced over at the others, running and playing and laughing with the butterflies.

"Uh, Mommy? I gotta go play now, okay? But I'll be around, I promise."

Then he turned and raced after the others.

(Author unknown)

1 comment:

Siku Marie, White Dog said...

Thank you for this. It is beautiful and so very true.