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Angel from Heaven
“Honey,” my mom said, gently setting her arm on my shoulder. She glanced down at Angel’s labored breathing and then back at the veterinarian, Dr. Piper. “I think we should do it soon.”
I nodded, squeezing my eyes shut as hard as I could to try to keep the tears in. I gripped the armrests of my wheelchair, so hard that I made a mark. I took a deep breath to calm myself.
“Okay, Mom. Could I have just one more minute with her?” Mom looked at the vet and Dr. Piper nodded.
“Of course, honey.” Mom said, her piercing blue eyes full of worry as she slowly backed out of the room after the vet.
As soon as Mom had finished quietly closing the door, I turned to Angel, my fifteen-year-old Golden Retriever. She was lying on her side, her stunning golden coat spread out beneath her. I could see the gray creeping in. Her big, brown eyes turned to me, and I could see the pain in them.
I slowly lifted myself out of my wheelchair and softly set myself down next to Angel. She sighed as I lay down next to her, softly stroking her beautiful head.
I closed my eyes and that’s when the memories overcame me.
I saw the smiling, laughing faces of my parents. It was perfect. Dad, Mom, and me. And then everything fell apart.
I heard the crash, I smelled the smoke. Someone screamed. I’m not sure whether it was me or someone else. I heard the sirens, and then darkness fell over me like a blanket.
My memories shifted, like a movie screen. Now I was in the hospital. Machines beeped, and I heard whispers. “Paralyzed”, “Wheelchair” and “Seizures”. I heard an unnatural scream come from my mouth. Then I saw a needle, and everything went black.
My next memory was of my mom. I was in the hospital and trying to get out of bed, but the doctors kept pushing me back in.
“My parents!” I kept saying. “Mom!” “Dad!”
“Someone go get her mom!” A doctor yelled, and then, after a few more minutes of fighting, I saw her. Mom’s hair was messed up, her clothes were dirty, and she had her arm in a cast, but she was in one piece, and that’s all that I cared about.
“Mom!” I yelled and she rushed into my arms.
“I’m okay, Eliza. I’m okay.” Mom whispered into my hair.
I relaxed into her arms, but then sat bolt upright. “What about Dad?”
Mom’s face contorted with sadness, and a tear trickled down her face. “He’s-he’s gone, sweetie.” Mom said, her voice cracking.
The last thing I remember was me sobbing into her shirt, and then a doctor pulling Mom away. Then my body started jerking uncontrollably and my vision turned dark.
The next emotion from my memories I felt was joy, like a ray of sunshine breaking through a dark cloud. I was in my wheelchair, and Mom was pushing me around a tall, red brick building. We were following a tall, blonde-haired, lady named Ms. McCloud who spoke as she walked.
What she said became a blur as I turned the corner of the building and saw a small enclosed pen full of puppies.
My eyes widened and I gasped. “Wow,” I breathed, “They’re so gorgeous.”
Ms. McCloud laughed. “You get to pick whichever one you want to be your seizure alert dog.”
“This is like a dream come true!” I told her. “I love dogs, but my mom would never let me get one!”
Mrs. McCloud smiled. “Why don’t you go visit the puppies and see if any stand out to you?”
I nodded excitedly.
As Mom and Ms. McCloud went to go look over the paperwork, I wheeled over to the adorable pile of Golden Retriever puppies as they all jumped up to greet the newcomer. There was about six puppies, ranging from cream to red, all with beautiful, fluffy coats. My eyes scanned over all of them as they jumped up on me, wanting to make the right decision. Eventually, my eyes settled on a tiny, fiery orange colored puppy. She was staring up at me with her huge, chocolate colored eyes.
“Hello, there.” I breathed.
Her tongue lolled out and her tail started swishing back and forth. I reached through all of the wiggling, jumping puppies, picked her up, and set her in my lap. All of the world fell away as I stroked her soft head and murmured to her. She licked my face, and suddenly, I knew exactly which dog I wanted.
Suddenly, I felt my mom’s hand gently squeeze my shoulder, jolting me back to reality.
“Did you find any you like, honey?”
I nodded as I said, “I found the one I want.” My mom’s smile was full of joy at seeing me so happy.
“That’s great, honey!” Mom said. “Do you know what you’re going to name her?”
I looked at my puppy again, my mind running through possible names, and then it hit me. “I’m going to call her Angel,”I said decisively, “Because she’s my little angel.”
My mom smiled softly. “It’s perfect.”
As that memory slowly faded to black, other memories flew by of me getting to know my new puppy; training and working with her, and finally taking her home to be my official seizure alert dog. Me taking Angel to the park, playing with her, and simply petting her. I poured love onto her, and in return, Angel gave me her whole heart. We trusted each other completely, and my seizures became less and less as the days went on. Many memories flashed by, and then halted at a significant one. The first time I had a seizure with Angel there for me. Angel comforted me, licking my face, as I seized and jerked. That was the moment when I realized that I wasn’t alone. From that day on, we did everything together. Every moment I was with her made it my favorite moment. I couldn’t imagine my life without her.
Suddenly, I was jerked from my past by a tentative knock on the door.
“Eliza?” My mom called softly as she opened the door slowly. “I think it’s time.”
I nodded. “I think so, too.” I said quietly.
I gave Angel a kiss on her nose and whispered, “I love you, Angel. I’ll never forget you.”
Angel lifted her head and feebly gave me one last lick as her beautiful tail swished back and forth across the floor.
A single tear dripped down my face and landed in her golden fur as I slowly pulled myself back into my wheelchair.
I gave a long sigh as Mom and Dr. Piper stepped back into the room. Dr. Piper pulled out the needle and, once I nodded to him, he injected it into my beautiful Angel.
“You’ll always be with me in my heart and in my mind, Angel.” I whispered softly as Angel slowly faded out of our world. “You’re my angel from heaven.”