Harry Hertzer donned his construction helmet and strolled nonchalantly toward the building. He stopped and routinely waved a signal to the crane operater. The heavy extensile arm slowly swung toward the building Harry stood beside, while dangling a large air-conditioning unit fastened by ropes.
Harry was lazy and failed to follow the safety rule that required him to stand outside the arc path of the crane’s payload. As the a/c unit passed directly above, the ropes snapped and a ton of metal crashed down upon Harry’s head, smashing him like a corn chip.
He was looking up when he saw it speeding down toward his face. Then the scene quickly changed to a dark vortex, like a tunnel, and he felt himself being pulled up through this tunnel. Suddenly a bright light appeared in the distance. It was whiter than white, and it grew bigger and bigger as he drew closer and closer to this refulgent orb.
Finally he found himself next to it, bathed in celestial light. It seemed he was able to communicate with this being of light, mind-to-mind, without words. I will attempt to translate this superlunary dialogue, so that you, the sublunary reader, can comprehend as best as possible.
“Who or what are you?” Harry asked the being of light.
“I am Lassie!” proclaimed the being. “I’m the dog you owned when you were a kid.”
“Lassie? Really? Is that you, Lassie?!”
The being gave Harry a familiar bark that helped him recognize this incorporeal canine.
“Lassie, it really is you! Huh, I never thought animals could go to heaven.”
“Oh yes,” Lassie yipped. “All living creatures go to heaven after they die. There is no difference between you and me, Harry. No one soul is superior to another. This is where we all live most of the time, as equals, while only occasionally going to places like Earth where some beings are able to dominate other beings.”
That concept of dominating stimulated something distant in Harry’s memory. “What happened to you, Lassie?” he asked. “The last time I saw you was right before you disappeared.”
Lassie gave a deep, almost imperceptible growl. “Don’t you remember? You kicked me. It was the last time I allowed you to kick me. After about a thousand kicks, even a dog grows tired. So I ran away from home. The next day I was crossing a highway when a big truck ran me over.”
“Oh.” gulped Harry, and he hung his head.
Suddenly a panoramic vision of his life unfolded before his eyes, and Harry viewed every instance where he kicked his dog.
“G-Gee, L-Lassie, I am s-so s-so sorry I did that to you.” Harry stammered.
“Not good enough!” Lassie barked and howled.
Suddenly he felt a violent kick to his midsection, and experienced the sensation of flying way up through the air a great distance, then smacking the ground with a flesh-bruising thud. Then he felt as if he was being run over by a large truck tire, and heard the crepitation of his own bones as they crumbled beneath the weight of the wheel.
The pain was so intense it overwhelmed him, and it took a good long time for Harry to pick himself off the hard surface he lay upon, and stand upright again. But then, as soon as he stood up, it was WHAM! He was kicked yet again, and experienced the same sensation of flying through the air and then being run over by a truck tire, just like before.
Over and over a thousand times this pattern of kicking, crushing, and terrible pain repeated itself, until it finally sank in to Harry, and he understood what he had put poor Lassie through during his puppy’s brief sojourn on earth. Harry felt horrified about his past actions.
As soon as this epiphany infiltrated his mind, Harry found himself hurtling through a dark tunnel again. Up ahead a being of light awaited. Then he stood next to it, bathed in its radiant-white rays.
“Wh-Who or what are you,” a wary Harry asked.
“Don’t you remember me, Harry?” the being of light responded. “I’m Dolly, one of your cats. You know, the one you set on fire when you were 20 years old?”
The moral to this story is that nothing separates us humans from other living creatures, other than the fact that we have different physical forms, and supposedly more advanced brains.
So treat your pets well. Give them a good life. Because you never know. After you leave your human form, you may just end up in pet heaven.