Story from Heaven, by Ebony
Part Three — Conclusion…The Last Swim

“After a good scrubbing bath at the local pet and groom parlor, I always was adorned with a new handkerchief. (That’s one of them, ABOVE!) And that bath meant a kiss on the head from Barbara, my favorite human in the world because she adopted me from a life as a stray. I never knew exactly how I became a stray, but I woke up with pain in my right hind leg, and that leg remained a bit gamey throughout the rest of my life.

“What I do know is that I found “forever” with Barbara, and she looked out for me and played fetch with me to the end.

“Water was fun, but so was snow. Barbara like to take me for snow walks, too, during which we played snowball catch. After snow play, we’d go inside and cuddle to get warm again.

“But it was in the Summer time, when the heat made the water feel so good, that we played the most outdoors. Barbara loved the outdoors, and when she was home during the daytime, we were outside most of the day. And she always took me for a swim at the boat docks on days before leaving for what she called “work”.

“My last swim came at the old lime quarry in Marblehead, Ohio, one of our Lake Erie hangouts. East Harbor, Port Clinton, and the Marblehead Lighthouse State Park were other favorite places where I could swim in that cold, refreshing lake water.

“Our fetch game took precedence at the lime quarry, though, because the water there was still and easy to navigate, especially when my eyesight began to fade. This last day, after our fetch game, Barbara and I sat on the grass and rock ledges that overlook Lake Erie on the opposite side of the road from the quarry. I know my glances toward the lake and back to Barbara told her how much I appreciated the last laborious climb into that old rusty van, the two-hour, one-stop, trip to the lake, and the last swim I’d be able to manage.

“I miss Barbara a bunch, and I know she misses me…from Forever to Heaven.”

Last look at Lake Erie, together

Photos from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

(Find more animal stories from BA Helberg at:
http://www.horsesandanimalsaretalkin.wordpress.com )