Short Story # 3
Now, when I was a kid I had an Aunt Charlotte who read the Bible and told me that dogs and animals are different from people; that people have a choice and the Free Will to decide if they are going to go to Heaven or be bad and go to Hell. But that animals just go straight to Heaven.
But I have also heard that the Catholics believe that Animals don’t go to Heaven at all! That they simply go back into the earth and become dirt! “How Horrible!”, I say. “ I don’t know if I even want to have any part of a God that treats animals like that!” But, there are obviously many schools of thought on the subject and I will in my stories give you my Life Lessons about That!
Yet, for all of my gushy fawning over animals; when I was a kid it was still as difficult to get me to walk the dog as it was to get me to take out the garbage.
“Later!” ” After I watch Star Trek!” ” After I do my homework!” “In a minute.”
For some reason I just never seemed to do my part when it came to walking the dog.
(I actually went around to people houses and asked for money to donate to the local animal shelter and I gave every penny of it to my Mom to give to them, but I still wouldn’t walk the dog.)
Ok, I walked the dog sometimes. And Aunt Charlotte’s dog, Noni, once in a while too.
Our family dogs name was Lassie. Yes, named after the famous television dog; corny but true. Listen, I was born in the 50’s; I didn’t know any better.
We had Lassie for many, many years. From the time I was, say, 4 years old to maybe about 15 or 16 years old. Which to me was most of my life at that time. Toward the end of Lassie’s life, she had lumps on her belly and chest. Tumors of some sort. It was time to “Put Her to Sleep” when she started drinking and peeing; in one end and out the other and it was very sticky, and all over the kitchen floor. My mom thought it was full of sugar and that something had gone wrong with her that way. Mom and I spent the better part of 3 days cleaning up this clear sticky mess all over the kitchen floor, soaking it up with newspapers while our sneakers stuck to it crazily. After 3 days of this Mom asked me if I thought it was time; and I agreed that she must be right. That the dog was too sick and not getting better and she was old and had to go to sleep. I still tear up at that one.
Then Lassie was gone.
There wasn’t much that could be said about it. She was gone. I went about my life, went to school and did my homework but inside I was grieving quietly. The fact that she was having bladder problems made me think that I might have helped caused her to get sick and die. That maybe my not walking her made her sick. I felt horrible inside. That I could have done that to her. And I couldn’t take it back. I killed her.
About 3 days of this went by. I remember, somehow, it being 3 days and I think that might be significant. But there on the 3rd day, I was sitting in my room reading my homework and my attention was drawn to just outside my bedroom door. Outside in the hall there was Lassie standing in a “mustard colored glow”. It wasn’t really a golden glow, it was more of a mustard color. Darker and a bit hazy looking. I looked at this strange apparation and she, Lassie, spoke to me in my head. Or so it seemed. She explained to me that it wasn’t my fault that she died. That it wasn’t because of me that she got sick. It was simply her time to go. That my mom had been walking her all along and that she didn’t go for days without walking; because my Mom had taken care of it. That I needn’t continue to grieve the way I was, because it was ok.
I heard her in my heart and soul. But my head was amazed at how a grieving person could create apparitions with their mind to explain things to themselves this way.
What is the matter with me?
Why does it take so much for me to “Get It”?
I am so Programmed to be LOGICAL! that I couldn’t hear the Voice of God or an Angel or “Dog” if it hit me over the head. IF the sky opened up and trumpets and Heavenly angels came down through the roof in front of me. I would probably wonder if it was some kind of Hologram and how did it get here?