Little Pieces of Heaven. Elizabeth Agnes O’Sullivan would never forget she saw an angel, her guardian angel, that saved her from the clutches of Death. Was she being overly dramatic? She even knew her angel’s name – Frogé – for it was seared in her brain because it had been screamed before her angel vanished and she was put right. The walking sign blinked and the crowd pushed her to the other side of the street. And then the world spun again.
Her angel was tallish, he had smooth skin and clear greenish-blueish-gray eyes. He had a wide smile and large strong hands that caught her as she fell off the curb. As she was pushed off the curb. As she was falling into the path of a city bus. No, it was a taxi.
It felt like heaven, being held by a cloud, being saved by Batman, Clark Kent, Mr. James Rice, her high school English teacher from years ago, all rolled into one being; her angel. She was saved, and when she blinked her angel was gone and she almost lost her balance again.
Liz found herself reaching out for her angel, grasping at air, whispering his name, saying his name while she was on her way to work downtown, then at night before she fell asleep. She thought she saw him once on the subway but she had been mistaken. She wouldn’t let his memory fade, she quizzed herself over and over: he was her size, he glowed, his hazel eyes burned into her, he was strong, his name was Frogé, something French, she thought. He had a companion (louder, shorter by a little, older, in-charge?) that made him disappear. Poof! He was gone and she lived on, unscathed, unremarkable. Safe.
“Oh,” Liz exclaimed to herself. “How can I shower with him in the bathroom with me, guarding me, so-to-speak?”
What is worse than having a secret is having no one to share it with. Who could Lizzie tell about her angel without being thought to be in emotional distress or worse, simple?
“You won’t believe this but my guardian angel saved me from sure death the other day.”
“Oh, Mum, I saw an angel, my angel, on the way to work yesterday morning.”
“I was saved! Hallelujah!”
People would think that she was nuts, off her rocker, completely bonkers! Her best friend Cheryl wouldn’t believe another word she said – and Cheryl had done some pretty questionable things in her life … So Liz ended up talking to her angel when she thought no one was looking. In her mind Liz heard her angel answer back and they had long, sometime silly, conversations. Liz was never the same again.
Even though Lizzie O’Sullivan wasn’t Froggy’s personal assignment, he did get caught up in her mind conversations. He was drawn to her aliveness, to her freckles, to her laugh. He did follow her to work and made sure to follow her home for safety’s sake. To respect Lizzie’s modesty, Froggy waited, ever vigilant, until she came out of her bedroom smelling like honeysuckle, dressed in blue.
Dog Pound Dog Found. Froggy was thinking of dogs as he sloshed through the March slushy snow. Fitzy was running an independent errand for Captain Able – a mea maxima cuppa he called it. Fitzy warned, “Stay out of trouble and for God’s sake, stay away from Elizabeth.”
Where was Froggy off to on this day-after-the-blizzard? If you guessed anywhere near Lizzie you’d be wrong. He was going to the pound to check new arrivals to find the dog of his dreams. There was only one problem – Froggy set off highly tuned ears and sensitive ears, and his ability to appear out of thin air freaked out iTuned-in dog-walkers. Dogs growled, others howled their discomfort, but every now and then a dog would come up to him for an ear scratch or chin chuck. This is the type of dog Froggy was looking for: nonjudgmental with a sense of humor..
Rounding a little grove of pines brought Froggy to the open air exercise yard where several dogs played tag. One dog not participating in the game followed Froggy with cautious eyes as he approached the pen. Froggy made a mental note to request the timid dog when he met with Janine.
“Don’t know about that little fella,” Janine hollered over the raucous din. “I don’t think Snooty likes people.” Froggy insisted on meeting Snooty before he looked at any other dog.
“He doesn’t want to come out, the only way to get to know him is out in the yard,” Janine said. “I’d take something to sit on – its going to take a while for Snooty to get a bead on you.”
Froggy arranged a stool in the middle of the exercise yard giving Snooty walking room so he wouldn’t feel threatened. Snooty turned his back and got interested in his right paw. When another dog approached, Snooty growled shooing the curious dog away.
Pretty soon Froggy was surrounded by nine dogs that thought he would make a good friend to follow home. Snooty took his time examining his hind leg and tail because he didn’t want to look eager. Something didn’t feel right. He sensed a weird energy like a strummed bass string, like the heat from a subway grate. Maybe the man was too intense, too demanding, too angry, like his last human. Maybe the man would reject him, think that he was too whiny, too aloof, too much trouble.
Snooty finally got the nerve to look but the man appeared to be asleep. All the dogs were unnaturally quiet, which Snooty found unnerving. He shook himself. He felt the man’s eyes probing his brain, sniffing around his … so he sat down nonchalantly, and it took three rounds of stare-down before Snooty conceded defeat; by then he agreed to be the man’s best friend.
It had taken a better part of the day but Janine had a feeling that the pound had experienced something special although she couldn’t quite put her finger on it.
Home Sweet Doghouse. When Snooty was satisfied with the food bowl placement he barked out his name – and when Froggy tilted his head and translated his name into English as Bonét, it reaffirmed his choice in his special man. Oh, he was so happy, just so happy that he couldn’t believe his good fortune, when his first accident happened he thought … he thought that he would be banished, tossed out, kicked to the curb. Bonét hadn’t meant to get so excited and when the vase crashed and broke into a million shards each one reflecting his shame, well, it almost broke his heart. He expected Froggy to yell, to contort his face, to thunder, “Bad DOG!” and when this didn’t happen, when the vase re-formed and righted itself on the shelf, Bonét felt a shiver as if he were in a Sci-Fi film because vases didn’t not break and humans didn’t not yell and Lizzie wasn’t supposed to clap her hands and laugh, and say, “Do it again!”
Wait, what was Lizzie doing in Froggy and Fitzy’s apartment? Hadn’t Froggy been warned to stay away from Elizabeth? Wouldn’t Frizty throw a complete fit when he found out that Lizzie had sat in his chair and made a smoothie using his blender? Never mind the plaid dog pillow parked in the corner by Froggy’s recliner, or the food and water bowls glistening stainless steel cold by the magazine rack. Fitzy was scheduled to blow his top in about twenty-five minutes and open the door to find no one home.
Bonét looked from Froggy to Lizzie to Froggy and saw the difference that didn’t have a name but definitely had a feeling – Froggy glowed, his aura glimmered and it was reflected in Lizzie’s smile. Lizzie was pretty on an ordinary day but when she was with Froggy she picked up some of his shine and she turned alabaster beautiful. Bonét’s fur even looked petted and neat, as if shampooed and conditioned by a dog-whispering-groomer-to-the-stars. Oh my, somebody was going to be in a lot of trouble and that somebody didn’t care a fig.
Froggy could hear Fitzy’s key turn in the lock some two blocks from their apartment. He could hear Fitzy’s intake of breath, and feel the anger rise up to paint Fitzy’s cheeks a blushed pink. Froggy’s feelings transferred to Bonét, who growled and slunk close to the ground, tail between his hind legs. Something was going to go down and Bonét wanted to be ready. The feeling grew worse has they walked up the last flight of stairs, and even worse when they entered the apartment to find Fitzy in a lather of incomprehensible fury.
“Froggy, you are in the proverbial doghouse tonight,” Fitzy managed to choke out before he turned on his heel and stomped into the workroom to calm down.
Red cinders popped as they cooled in the apartment’s frigid air. You could have fried an egg just moments before and now Bonét’s water bowl was frozen solid.