Love Beyond Death

Current mood:  blessed
Category: Life

I took my precious dog Venus for a late, final walk for the evening last night. I’d had a long, productive day and I always enjoy our last walk. The pavement outside has usually just been watered and Venus loves to put her nose to everything, picking up every fresh scent. A few buildings down, an old man sat on a wall, his back to us, hunched over.

                My dog started barking furiously and I wondered if it was the old man we used to see every day for 13 years walking his dog who, spookily, could have been Venus’s twin. She died six months ago and he has been a broken man ever since. I rarely see him anymore. He loved his dog, Kiria, (Greek for woman) the way I love Venus. They were constant companions.

Venus went crazy and I swear, I am not imagining it, but I saw Kiria’s spirit. The dog was sitting beside her master. In death, she is still by his side. She turned and looked at me, and I knew…I don’t know how…but I knew she was upset that his grief was still so profound. I saw her spirit shimmer to the left and Venus lunged in that direction. I didn’t see the dog anymore, but her papa jumped to his feet, swatting at tears streaking his face.

He was overjoyed to see Venus. “Is this a dog or a bear?” he asked me, laughing. He is an elderly Russian man whose wife is Greek and never liked animals until he brought Kiria home. I watched how Venus gamboled with him and he told me how healthy and young she looks. Our dogs were the same age and when Kiria died, I became frantic for Venus’s continued good health.

The old man confessed he misses his best friend.

I felt I was meant to run into him, to tell him he must get another dog.

“Why is she barking?” he asked in wonderment.

“She thinks Kiria is still with you,” I said simply.

“I miss her. My wife…she cries too.” He shook his head. “Sometimes…” he leaned forward, his voiced dropping to a whisper, “I come out and cry, because it’s no good we upset each other.”  

“Are you going to get another dog?” I asked him bluntly.

His shoulders rose a little and I saw the color coming to his cheeks, a little light back in his eyes.

“My son…he has a litter.” He held his hands apart, indicating a small dog or puppies. “I want, but…”

He looked down at Venus who gazed up at him, waiting for more ear rubs and he didn’t disappoint her.

“I think you should get one,” I said.

The old man smiled. “I still love Kiria…”

“You can love her still. She would want you to be happy. You can love her and have another dog.”

He nodded and walked down the street with me and Venus, who kept jumping up at him for attention. My dog knows a sucker when she sees one.

“That black lab down the street…” he shook his head. I nodded. I knew he would have seen her, the poor crippled darling left alone in the front yard of a dilapidated apartment building all day. People like the old man who loved and beautifully cared for his best friend, loving them beyond death, are my kind of people. He walked a little way with me and Venus, and suddenly grabbed my arm.

“I go home and tell my wife. No argument. We get a new baby!”

Though she didn’t shimmer back into view, I knew, beyond the veil, a wonderful girl called Kiria was pleased. I bent down and hugged my dog, who put her nose to mine. She gave me a long, loving lick and put her nose back to the grass. 

Love Mission: accomplished.

Aloha oe,


Currently listening:
By Taj Mahal
Release date: 2008-09-30

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