I’ve been really busy helping people heal lately.

It’s been a few weeks since Aunt Cheryl went to heaven and things haven’t been quite the same since she left.  Everyone has been a bit sad, but I do my best to help make them happy.

She stopped to visit me on her way to heaven.  Mommy and daddy and Rebecca and Matthew and Julian were still at the hospital, but she stopped by to say good-bye to me and to let me know that everyone was going to be sad when they got home and I’d need to take care of them.  I knew that I would have my work cut out for me to make everyone feel a little bit better.  She told me that she’d see me again once I cross the rainbow bridge, but I told her that it would be a while.  I have a lot more things to do and places to see in the house on wheels with mommy and daddy here before I go anywhere else.

She also told me that she’d give Matthew gentle reminders to make sure that mommy and daddy were giving me plenty of bacon.  Not to sound selfish, but that was one of my big concerns.  Who was going to remind mommy and daddy to give me bacon?  But like Aunt Cheryl always did, she had me covered.  She kept her word because Matthew has been doing a great job at making sure I get bacon, and some extra treats here and there.  I’m sure that he’s making Aunt Cheryl proud.

She was right, when everyone got home that first night, they were all really sad.  I had to make my way around to everyone and make sure that they would pet me.  Julian even petted me that night.  I was sad too, but I also knew how much everyone needed me.  To be honest, I felt better too when they would pet me.

I decided to start my night sleeping in Aunt Cheryl’s room.  Her scent was still in there, so that made me feel closer to her.  I also knew that Rebecca needed me in there too.  Rebecca was on an air mattress, so she was at my level.  During the night, I’d check on everyone to make sure that they were ok.  Daddy stayed up to write and I know that is how he deals with his emotions, but I would still go out and check on him throughout the night too.  I don’t think that anyone got a lot of sleep that night though.

Matthew and Rebecca have been back to their house a lot since Aunt Cheryl left.  We’re still staying in Pennsylvania to help however we can until the end of August.

We had a lot of people over to the house that loved Aunt Cheryl that first weekend.  It helps humans to have other humans around during the grieving process.  It helps more to have a dog around, but humans also need other humans during that process too.

We did have a lot of food.  Matthew made sure that I got a hot dog and some other stuff.  I was able to weasel some other snacks out of other people too.  All I had to do was sit down, let them pet me, have them make eye contact, and presto, snack for me!

I find the best way to help the humans heal is to be here for them to pet me and to make sure that I’m walking them on a regular basis.  There’s nothing better for healing your soul than getting out into the fresh air and moving your body.

I walk daddy the most, but I also walk mommy and daddy at the same time a lot too.  Sometimes I walk mommy, and daddy, and Rebecca, and even mommy, and daddy, and Rebecca, and Matthew!  Some people probably think, “How can he control walking four humans at once?”  Well, I’ll tell you, it isn’t easy sometimes.  These guys have a tendency to drift at times, but I round them up and keep them in line.  I also protect them from squirrels, and rabbits, and other dogs.  I make sure that all of those mean creatures know that they’re my humans and I’m taking care of them.

We’ve gone on some nice walks throughout the neighborhood, which I enjoy.  Long walks and short walks are both nice, I prefer long, but any walk is good.

My favorite walks are called hikes.  Those are when we walk through the woods on a trail.

Last week, my daddy’s friend, Keith came over and we hiked on the Exeter Scenic River Trail.  We went over six miles on that hike.  I loved it.  Daddy and me hiked that same trail for over seven miles a few days earlier.  I really love that trail.  There’s even a spot where I can dip my toes in the Schuylkill River on that trail.  I swam a little when it was just me and daddy, but not the time when Keith came with us.

Then, this past week, I went on a walk/hike combo with daddy, mommy, and Rebecca.  We started on the street and ended up in the woods.  There was even a creek that I splashed around in a little bit.  The grass on the trail was a little high, but I still had a lot of fun.

The next day, I got to go for a ride and a hike!  Daddy and Rebecca and me drove to a trail in Birdsboro called the Schuylkill River Trail/Monocacy Loop.  The Monocacy Loop part of that trail I hiked on last year with mommy, and daddy, and Aunt Cheryl.  I like that trail and we explored even more of it this time!  I also liked it because it brought back nice memories of Aunt Cheryl for me!

A nice couple petted me on the trail and we stopped and took a break for a drink and a snack.  I had some treats and Rebecca shared her carrots with me.  I got to splash in the Schuylkill River again on this trail!  It was so fun!  When I get someone to pet me, be on a trail in the woods, get a snack, and swim all on the same hike, that is the best kind of hike for me!

My humans are slowly healing from Aunt Cheryl leaving us.  They’ll never completely heal, that’s just how grief works, but slowly they’ll evolve.  Things will be always be different from now on.  Even years from now, they may just start to cry when they think about her, but they also know that she is actually still with us in spirit.  That’s hard for humans to grasp sometimes because they don’t have the same level of spiritual understanding that I do, but over time, I think they start to realize it as they notice the little reminders that the spirits of those who passed leave us.

Aunt Cheryl has been reminding all of us that she is still here in spirit by showing us so many cardinals on our walks and hikes lately.

It’s her way of telling us that her pain is gone and she is now flying free.