I've been thinking a lot about services dogs. So instead of blogging about Levi today I want to share some of my thoughts from here at the Rainbow Bridge. What got me started thinking about service dogs is I a met a K9 military service dog today, a beautiful German shepherd. A bunch of us were exploring the four-leaf clover field at the time and he was talking about how rewarding it was to have a job down on earth. Then a Siberian husky spoke up about how he came from a long line of working sled dogs. One after another we all told about our breed histories regarding jobs we've done for humans---herding stock, circus performers, hunting, guard and patrol dogs, search and rescue, drafting like horses do. Our blood lines went way back to the Middle Ages when dogs were used to power crude machinery. We even have drug enforcement and cadaver dogs up here and one of newest types of working dogs---the therapy canines.
All this talk made my angel sister, Sarah, cry and we couldn't figure out why. Finally she told us that because she had been so dim-witted down on earth from being the product of a puppy mill that she hadn't been of much value to anyone. I didn't know what to say---I was speechless at her assumption---but my angel brother, the ever-so-wise Jason, told her about how she filled a giant hole in our Mom's heart at a time when she was just figuring out that she couldn't have any two legged babies. "You were a therapy dog," he told her, "before they even invented that category of working dogs." That Jason, he always has the right words on the tip of his tongue. That's why he's one of the official newbie greeters up here at the bridge. When dogs come here, disorientated from a sudden death, he helps them find acceptance and sticks with them until they understand that they are still with their families in spirit, can check on them at the magic water under the bridge, and will be able to jump in their arms again when it's their time to come to heaven.
Levi is a therapy puppy, too, I think. You see the last six months that I was on earth I was getting sicker and sicker and that made my Mom more depressed than she even realized. She knew that she'd get another dog when I was gone and she spent some time looking at rescue sites and the local human society site in my last two months. That depressed her even more because none of those dogs seemed right for Mom and Dad's situation. They had personalities or special needs already formed and with Dad in a wheelchair she didn't want an older dog. Puppies seemed rare on the rescue sites and even if there had been puppies there was no guarantee that they wouldn't be unhealthy puppy mill victims, she thought, or would be like me who had been sold way too young---5 1/2 weeks---from a ruthless breeder creating a lot of behavioral problems. Mom needed an easy dog this time around.
When Mom first saw Levi, two weeks before I died, she hadn't planned on looking at a litter of puppies. She had gone to pick me up from the groomers but I wasn't ready on time so she was driving around to kill time when she saw a 'puppies for sale' sign. She pulled in and met two male schnauzers. She told my Dad afterwards that she would have taken one of them home on the spot if not for the fact that it probably would hurry up my death. I was too ill from my heart problems to deal with a frisky puppy. Two weeks later, I crossed over to the bridge and the next day Mom called to find out if the schnauzer she liked was still there. He was.
I call Levi Mom's therapy dog because he's bringing such joy to her life. Sarah, Jason and I were all loved for different reason but with Levi it's different in a way---more intense---because Dad can't talk anymore or express things he used to be able to do. Levi gives lavish affection and kisses that Dad can't. Levi also helps her remember that life is a cycle and not all about dying, disabilities and illness. So I guess what I'm saying here is that all dogs that are in loving homes serve mankind in some pretty amazing ways, whether it's through formal training to do a job or just by being themselves. ©
NOTE: Our blog got nominated for the 'Awesome Blog of the Month' award. Voting ended Saturday June 28th and we didn't win but it was exciting getting nominated.
Welcome to The Levi and Cooper Chronicles. I'm the 'Cooper' and my baby brother is the 'Levi.' We're not siblings in the literal sense of the word. He's a miniature schnauzer and I'm a miniature poodle but our differences go far beyond our breed. You see, I'm the famous angel dog who blogs from the