Let your hearts take flight, watch the eagles fly
    From the mountaintops, where the Earth meets sky
    Let your voices soar, with a primal cry.
    In the endless purple midnight.
    Through the misty haze
    Forever free, forever brave.

I couldn't have ordered a nicer afternoon.

The roast was in the oven smelling like welcome home from work hon. It’s potatoes, carrots and onions were getting married in there for an excellent gravy.

Hearing the diesel engine of the UPS truck as it turned the corner. Sam took up her station by the front entry while Kiki barreled out the doggie door into the back yard and around the corner surprising the ground squirrel who darted to safety under they yard maintenance facility Kiki did not stop barking until she had convinced that truck to leave the neighborhood.

For some reason she did not like the sound of the UPS trucks. Fed Ex, water delivery trucks, even garbage trunks could enter the neighborhood with barely a wuff, but Buster Browns set off a cacophony of barking which puzzled even Sam. When it left they would parade around the back yard with tails held high proud of a job well done.
No sir, no UPS truck was welcome in their territory.

I would dash over to the sliding glass door and call,
“Kiki come here!!”
If she carried on long enough the nine other dogs that live adjacent to us would catch wind of the riot and join in.
Tired mommas sleep while toddlers’ nap and so on.
If I could get her in the house and distract her for a while until the UPS guy was gone that would derail the whole ruckus.

The cockatiel watched this entertainment of human and canine commotion with unrepentant joy often joining in on the action by making fun of us.
With a overture from the Charge of the Light Brigade Tuts would fly to the top of the curtains as each, “Kiki come hear!” grew louder; and scream at the top of his little birdy lungs

Both dogs had their Battle Stations. Kiki was the front gate, Sam the front door. No brown truck drivin’ thieves would get by their first line of defense. Sammy was non-plussed by all of this behavior. She sat ready by that door silent for the most part letting me know she was “in position” with one quiet and calm
Distract and attack was the plan. It worked every time.
Eventually the big brown paneled truck would roar out of their doggied domain with it’s tail tucked between its legs.
The fact that I was oblivious to this with my running to call the dog from the back door never deterred my Special Forces.

Sometime there would be false alarms. I would head for the back door with an armload of laundry to hang out and Tutter would yell,
His reward was a couple of raised heads and cocked ears. A snort of disgust towards his sillynes then it was back to some serious doggie napping.

Yesterday Tutter was at the sliding glass door chirruping at the window and pacing back and forth. Thinking he was caught up in the material some how I went over to check it out. Suddenly he stopped and I heard a very quiet,
“Kiwi comeear…”

In an emptier house it is a struggle between bittersweet memories. At times overwhelming. For the better part of three years they were by my side during a life threatening illness. Day in day out, from moment to moment, they refused to be too busy with their lives to forget me. They were the reason I started walking again. It took us a while but we eventually made it up to three miles five days a week. When a pit bull attacked us Sammy was up on her hind legs taking it in the face throat and chest while I stood horrified yet safe until someone pulled the dog off of her.

I firmly believe that there is a bond between all animal kinds. It’s part of why I went into the field of biology. Kiki and Sam passed away within six weeks of each other. They were home and family, funny and faithful friends, boyhood dogs and oh so much more.

Could you be angels?
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits.
-Psalm 103:2 (NRSV)

I am grateful to my friends' encouragements to move on, to reach toward the better things. Soon this burden of memories will become a focus on the blessings God has given me in the past and I will be able to press toward promises for the future.