Till Death and Beyond

Candy Spilman By Candy Spilman, 25th Feb 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Short Stories

How far does a dog's love and loyalty extend? One woman's family finds out.

Loyal to the end

The old dog lay next to the woman as she slept with her mind and body numbed by the powerful dose of morphine. His cloudy eyes watched her for any sign of wakefulness. When she continued to sleep, he sighed and rested his head on his paws.

Some in the room had stated that a woman's deathbed was no place for a dog. He was getting fur all over the sheets, and who knew what kind of germs he carried. Others said that she would have wanted him there, that even in her unconsciousness she appeared to rest easier with him at her side. Indeed, he had been her constant companion for many years - her true soulmate, she always said. She had even insisted that one day, he would be with her in Heaven. The latter arguments had thus far overruled, and the dog stayed.

The woman's eyes fluttered open. A family member stood by, ready with another dose of narcotics to ease the pain that was certain to be coming. "No…," she softly whispered, with a slight shake of her head. Her lined face was radiant with joy, and she seemed to be looking past all of them at something they could not see. She let her gaze rest on each person in the room in a gesture of love and promise. Finally she looked at the old dog, who met her eyes and wagged his tail one time.

She tried to speak again, but only managed to exhale a raspy breath. She sank back into the pillows with her eyes half closed, still focused on another place in a different dimension. She smiled softly and took one more breath, then stopped. "Mama?" said one of the girls. "Mommy, no!"

After a moment, one of the people holding her hand slowly said, "I think she's gone."

Her weeping family clustered around the bed, rejoicing at her deliverance, but mourning their own loss. No matter their ages, they were now motherless children. One of them stroked the old dog's unkempt fur. "This is going to be hard on him," she said. "Poor fella." The dog did not move. "Hey, buddy," she said, shaking him.

"Oh my gosh, I think he's dead," she said, stunned. Indeed, the dog lay as still and unmoving as the woman.

"He went with her!" someone said. "He really was her soulmate, and he really did go to Heaven!"

Amid their grief, the family smiled at the thought. The dog, who had gone from being a scampering puppy at her feet to walking beside her with a heavy limp, had followed the woman even beyond this life. As she entered the presence of the Lord, it was with one of His most faithful creatures at her side.


Afterlife, Death, Dogs, Heaven, Love, Loyalty

Meet the author

author avatar Candy Spilman
Former journalist turned freelancer. I'm a mom and grandma and love to write about family or Christian topics.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
26th Feb 2014 (#)

Powerful story with a moral, thanks Candy. They are one of the many fellow travelers that we tend to overlook - siva

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