I used to believe that. I loved the story of the Rainbow Bridge where all the good doggies (and all doggies are good) waited for their owners to join them. Now I believe the Rainbow Bridge leads to a Heavenly doggie daycare or maybe a celestial dog park. Dogs hang out there for a while, but then they come back. How can spirits so bright, so loving, so incandescent be extinguished?
I think of my lovely little Jetstream Suit and Tie AKA Justin Timberlake. I had to let him go Tuesday after ingestion of a Death Cap mushroom destroyed his liver beyond repair. I only had him for a few short weeks. But how can such a special personality be snuffed out or removed?
Don’t get me wrong, All dogs, and certainly all Smooth Fox Terriers, have indelible personalities. My Charlie and Oscar were all purpose clowns. My Lucy was the Dame Maggie Smith of terriers. She didn’t suffer fools gladly, she preferred upper class men to anyone else, and she never let you forget you were not quite up to her exacting standards. My Sally is a high fashion model. With her long legs, attitude and star power, I could just as easily have called her Linda Evangelista.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are a few humans who reach that higher plane of existence occupied only by terriers. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates — with her elegant lean lines, her passion for justice and her laser focus — is clearly a human embodiment of a terrier. That’s why we named our current terrier girl after her. Another human-terrier hybrid is Justin Timberlake. Look at those long flexible limbs, that dancing (and all Smooth Fox Terriers dance), that handsome face and those moves. No doubt, Justin Timberlake is a human terrier. When my lovely puppy Justin Timberlake was dying from exposure to the deadly Death Cap mushroom, a good terrier friend posted the human Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling” (along with an offer to drive down from Washington and donate half a liver to puppy Justin Timberlake). For some reason, listening to this made me feel better. I think it was because it so reminded me of my puppy Justin. He was a dancer, but he was strictly a duet artist. He was the Fred Astaire to my Ginger Rogers. From the moment we met, we bonded so completely that we developed a ballroom dance way of walking. I would take a step forward, he would slide sideways like Justin Timberlake the human. He would press his cheek against my calf. I would take a half step back. He would poke the back of my knee with his nose. Repeat, refrain, repeat. I’d look down at him and the emitting light from his eyes was beautiful in its total love.
How could that ever be extinguished? Now, I believe that, like the Dalai Lama, good terriers are always reincarnated. (And remember, all terriers are good.) It can’t be possible to have the complete human-dog bonding I had with Justin Timberlake (the dog) and have that end.
Some day, I will find another Smooth Fox Terrier with a twinkle in his eye and a spring in his step. He will look up at me and I will see my little Justin Timberlake in his eyes. He will have returned from Heaven and the Rainbow Bridge. Because Einstein taught us that matter can neither be lost nor gained but remains. And the Beatles told us that “in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make”. So Justin and his love and our duet rhythm is out there. We just have to find each other.