The Great Spirit looked down upon the earth at the people dying of hunger, killing each other, destroying the environment, and the tears fell on the land and the clouds hung darkly over the earth, and it was not good.
And the Great Spirit said “I need something to make me laugh again”. And so the angels brought the Great Spirit a dog, not just any dog but a very special, very gentle, very sweet dog with lots of orange fur. And they set him down, and he had a poop, and then he did his HAPPY DANCE.
And as the Great Spirit watched this deaf, old, visually impaired little dog hopping and twirling and bouncing around the heavens, a smile spread on the Great Spirit's face, and laughter welled up from deep inside, and all the tensions of the day disappeared. The Great Spirit told the angels they had done well, though on earth below hearts were broken.
It wasn’t until afterwards that the Great Spirit noticed just how much fur one happy little dog can shed – enough to turn the skies bright orange.
I do believe Oliver is dancing in the heavens tonight.
(Thanks to Evensong for the story idea, and to everyone for their kind comments, emails, phone calls and hugs.)