There came a day the Angel was ready to turn to her Life’s work – to be evaluated for her fitness as a Therapy Dog. She easily passed the tests (although leaving the tennis ball behind on the floor was the toughest part for her). Her joyous reward was wearing her red vest – that’s how people knew that she was a Therapy Dog on Duty – and how she loved her job.
The Angel visited people on the Palliative Care Unit. All people. Patients who were alert, or making ready to leave This Life. Nurses. Family members. Cleaning staff. Physicians. Anyone needing a hug and kiss. She nuzzled into so many souls in need of Pure Love, with little whimpers and a Happy Girl face. Many people cried holding onto her. She didn’t mind. The Angel knew it was her job and she was proud to serve.
One terrible day, in March 2014, the Angel had to have her right rear leg removed. It held a deadly tumour. The same tumour that another Angel, Terry Fox, had carried in his leg. Then followed four courses of IV chemotherapy and daily oral chemotherapy – but the Angel was restored in health and returned to her job – helping people on the Palliative Care Unit. And later, university students at exam time. She learned how to snatch her tennis ball out of the air and land on three legs instead of four. The yard was filled with her joyous bark, wagging tail and Happy Girl face.
In the Spring of 2015, things began to change for the Angel. She developed a hop in her gait – something was wrong in her remaining rear leg. And she was becoming tired. Her last tour of duty was to the university students where she had to lie down a lot (but she was still able to lay love and kisses on the students who visited.) Over the next few weeks, she was less able to walk until there was no more walking, but even lying down became painful as mighty spasms moved up and down her spine.
Many humans tried to help the Angel but the light was leaving her intelligent eyes. She made it difficult for the humans to realize what was happening because she continued to kiss everyone who came near, and wag her tail, and tell people she was still trying to take care of them. But the tumour had returned and invaded her lung. No earthly power would stop The Invader’s return now.
And so it was on the 29th of May, 2015. The Angel was still whimpering and kissing everyone who came near her, and spreading her love and trying to take care of people, until the heavy sedation made it impossible. The Angel was a Therapy Dog to her very end in This Life.