From up here in Beyond we see a lot of sadness down below. Human Beans just don’t seem to be able to get along together for very long. I think that is why God allows us dogs to be your companions. We are not with you for very long, but during the time we are, we make you feel very special. You are everything in the world to us and we like to show it with our waggly tails and little barks. We don’t mind if you are a bit thick, or smelly, or have horrible taste. We just like to be with you, in the same way that God does, because we love you. And, of course, we PBGVs have a huge advantage when it comes to being loved back: we are all floppy ears and whiskers and big black noses which make you smile, even when you don’t feel very smiley on the insides. (Don’t let God know: he doesn’t seem to understand that being pictured with a big white beard on a golden throne isn’t ideal PR). Anyway, Human Beans seem to like the way we are always up to mischief, and even those dogs who are not PBGVs — like that young sprog Bro Dyfrig BFdeB — usually become the besties of those they live with. That is why we leave such a horrible gap when we go.
We bound off into Beyond (no Purgatory for us!) and wait for you to join us. Meanwhile, you are sobbing your hearts out and trying to keep a stiff upper lip and saying things like, ‘He was such a beggar for cheese,’ or, ‘Remember that time he ran off and didn’t come back for five hours?’ and hoping everyone will think you’ve got hay fever or something. Then you torment yourselves thinking that perhaps you didn’t do everything you should for us and forgetting that we have one very special God-like quality: we forgive utterly. Yes, there may have been times when you did not understand that we NEEDED to investigate that pile of horse poo or go after that rabbit, but we forgave you. Or the times when you left us alone. You said it was for five minutes max but we know it was hours and hours and hours, but still, we forgave you. Then, when we got a bit creaky in the joints and the vets’ bills began to mount up, we wanted to say sorry to YOU for all the trouble and expense, but all you could see was the old boy failing a bit and we loved you all the more for not minding that we were now the smelly ones. When, finally, you let us go, we wanted to tell you how much you meant to us and that we’d be waiting by the pearly gates for you, but you had to do your bit and make sure you got there by living a Good Life and maybe a successor dog was what you needed to keep you on the Right Path and not to worry about us, because everything for us is perfect — except that we have to wait for you.
Sometimes I look down from Beyond at BigSis and LittleSis and think what a good job I did in making Them realise the importance of dogs to Human Beans. It’s all right to be tearful and miss us, but we won’t be parted for very long. If you are good, we’ll be together for all eternity. My friend St Dominic (Domini canis . . . hound of the Lord, how cool is that?) says that may not be quite theological but everyone will understand. I like St Dominic. He’s not at all fierce when you get to know him, and we’re having a brilliant party for his feast-day today. I just wish They were here, too.
Love and licks,