I did not know that it was Christmas Eve until Stormy told me she saw Randy in the big house, decorating a Christmas tree. Wow, I thought, we will run to the orphanage tomorrow. Mike will play Santa and give present to all of our little buddies there.
By the way, I just remembered that I have not heard Mike in the kennel lately. Randy has been feeding us and doing the yard chores. When Stryker came out of the house and into our yard, I asked him if Mike was in the house. Maybe Mike had to leave on a business trip and did not get a chance to gives us his “so long, back soon” ear rubs.
Stryker told me that Mike was in the house. He was very sick. Stryker overheard Mary tell Randy and Caitlyn that if Mike does not get well soon, she will take him to the hospital. I heard the other dogs come over to where we were talking. Brownie said, “Mike sick? No way he would get sick on Christmas.”
Stryker replied, “I really do not think humans have a choice as to when they get sick, Brownie. Mike is very sick. Mary said he has something called the flu and he has a very bad case of it.” We never knew Mike to get sick. Hurt, yes, but never sick. We were stunned barkless.
Well, not all of the dogs heard this bad news. Ugly told me that Nitro was telling Christmas and her girls, Sky, Stormy, and Tundra, the story of the talking dogs.
You never heard the story of the talking dogs? Well, let me tell the story to you. On Christmas Eve, at exactly midnight, dogs can talk to theirs beloved humans if two things occur. First, the human must truly believe, with no doubt at all, that his dogs can talk to him on Christmas Eve. Second, it has to be exactly as the clock strikes midnight.
Very few humans have heard their dogs talk to them on Christmas Eve since, well I guess they truly do not believe that this can happen. I bet those humans that have heard are afraid to tell others because the people they tell would think they are crazy.
But what about Mike? If he is sick, who will run our sled to the orphanage and give the presents to the children? Who will be Santa?
I heard Nitro, Christmas and her girls join our group. Story telling time was overs. Brownie told them about Mike.
“Mike has always been there for us when we were sick or hurt,” Nitro said. “ We need to go to him.”
“But he is in the house, Nitro,” I replied. “We have never been in the house.”
“We can sneak into the house tonight,” Christmas said. “Maybe we can cheer him up and like in Uncle Nitro's story, talk to him.”
“Do you think he would hear us talk to him, Uncle Nitro?” Tunny asked.
“I bet he would,” Nitro replied.
“Then it is settled,” Christmas said. “We will visit Mike tonight.”
Ugly asked this question. “How will we get into the house after we figure out how to get out of the kennel?”
Nitro answered, “Getting out of the kennel is not a problem. The loose boards in the back wall of the warming shed have never been repaired.” Nitro continued, “we can go through them to get out of the kennel and into the yard by the back door of the house.”
“But what about getting into the house?” Sky asked. “How do we open the door?”
“No problem.” Stryker replied. “The back door has a 'dogie door' for Geezer and me to use when we have to go to the bathroom while everyone is asleep.” Stryker continued, “Once you get into the yard, I can lead you through the door and into Mike's bedroom.”
It always feels great when a plan comes together, I thought.
Later that night, Stormy told me that all of the lights in the house went out, one by one. I told her that meant everyone inside the house went to bed.
Soon, Stryker came out of the house and told us that every one in the house was asleep. It was time for us to make our way to Mike's bedroom.
Sky and Stormy were on each side of me as we made our way through the warming shed, passed the pile of straw we play in, and to the back wall where the loose boards were. Christmas told me Nitro pushed the loose boards aside and made his way through the opening. When it was my turn to pass through the opening, Stormy got in front of me to lead me, while Sky was behind me to guide me. We all met outside of the warming shed. We were behind the kennel. Nitro lead us around the warming shed to the back yard where we met Stryker.
“OK,” Stryker said. “Follow-me” I heard the dogs head out.
“Uncle Rivers,” Stormy said. “We are approaching the stairs leading up the porch to the rear door. Be careful.” Climbing stairs can be interesting for a blind dog. However, with Stormy on one side of me and Sky on the other, I had little difficulty climbing the porch stairs. Once I got to the top of the stairs and on the porch, Sky took the lead while Stormy stayed by my side.
“Uncle Rivers,” Sky said. “We are about ready to go through the 'dogie door'. Since it swings both ways, let me go through it first and then I will hold it open for you.”
“OK”, I replied. I heard Sky go through the door. As she did, I felt the warm house air on my face.
“Uncle Rivers,” Stormy said, “Sky has the door open for you. Just walk straight ahead and you go through the door. Tunny is on the other side waiting to lead you to the other dogs.”
The room started to glow with a greenish gold light. I knew in an instant that Sandy was in the room. I saw Lakota with her. He was wearing his golden harness with the diamonds and green threads woven into it. Sandy was wearing her golden collar, also with diamonds in it also had green threads woven into it. Lakota's harness and their collars lite up the room. As you know, when Sandy, who is our Guardian Angle dog, visits us, she gives me the gift of sight during her visit. The entire team was here, in Mike's bedroom on Christmas Eve.
I heard a distant church bell ring out that it was midnight. “It is time to wake Mike up,” Lakota said. “Rivers, since you are nearest to him, touch him with your paw and call out his name.”
I touched Mike's arm with my paw and said, “Mike, wake up.” I saw his eyes open as he looked directly into my face. He sat up so fast that I almost did not have time to get my paw off his arm.
He looked all around the room. Seeing us, Mike called out our names.
The church bell rang again.
“Sandy, Lakota are here also! This must be a dream.” Mike said.
“Why yes, I do, but I thought it was only a story.”
The church bell rang for the third time.
“It is a true story, Mike,” Nitro said. “We decided to come and visit you since you are sick. We wanted to talk to you. We know you have an open mind to these things.”
The church bells rang the fourth time.
“Mike,” I said, “we only have a few more seconds that we can talk to you. We all want you to know that we love you and wish you to get well.”
The church bells rang the fifth time.
“I wish you to get well so that we can play Fetch again.” Tunny cried.
The church bells rang a sixth time.
“We wish you to get well so you can run the tails with us.” Nitro, Brownie, Doc and Ugly joined together to say.
The church bells rang the seventh time.
“I wish you to get well so that we can go to the orphanage and play with the children there.” Sky said.
The church bells rang the eighth time.
The church bells rang the ninth time.
“I wish you to get well so that I can sit by your side and listen to you tell stories.” Christmas said.
The church bells rang the tenth time.
“We wish you the knowledge that while we wait for you to join us, our love for you remains unconditional.” Both Sandy and Lakota told Mike.
The church bells rang the eleventh time.
It was my turn to speak. What would say. “I wish you to get well, Mike, so that every day I can thank you for being my human buddy and taking such great care of me and my teammates.”
I heard Lakota and Sandy say so long to the team. I felt Lakota near me and he told me that Sandy was nuzzling Christmas and her babes. Then I knew they were gone.
“So what do we do now?” Ugly asked.
“Why not stay here for the night,” I replied.
“That is a great idea, Rivers,” Doc said. “What a surprise that will be when Mike and Mary wake up.”
So that is what we did. We camped out in the bedroom. Soon peaceful dreams flooded my head and I was running the trails on nice snow. When all of a sudden I heard, “Mike, what are the dogs doing in our bedroom?” Mary was asking Mike.
Sleepy Mike replied. “They came in here last night to talk to me as the church bells rang at midnight.”
“You must be sicker than I thought,” Mary said. “These dogs cannot talk.”
“Lakota and Sandy were here as well. Lakota wore a beautiful golden harness with diamonds, and green threads woven into it . Sandy had a golden collar with diamonds and green threads woven into it as well .” Mike said softly.
Mary replied, “The medicine gave you those dreams Mike.”
“If so, then how did the dogs get out of the kennel and into the house?” Mike asked. “How come they decided to do that on Christmas eve?”
“I don't know.” Mary replied.
“Me neither, but I do know I feel great and we are making a run to the orphanage as we always do on Christmas.”
And so, we did.