One of the advantages of being an agnostic is that, since all scenarios for the afterlife seem equally (im)probable, you can choose the one that you would like to imagine to be true. (At first I wrote "that you would like to believe in" but of course if I could really believe in it, I wouldn't be agnostic any more). I have heard lots of suggestions for where Sancha might be and what she might be doing right now. At some point a few years ago I started hearing people talk about pets crossing "the rainbow bridge" and now it has become the go-to scenario for pet passing. Even when my cliché valve was open as far as it could go, this struck me as too goopy. Unicorns may cross the rainbow bridge, but if Sancha was going to cross a bridge, it would be a nice, sturdy one. Probably the George Washington. We used to like to walk up there.
Most of the scenarios take it for granted that she, or her spirit, is somewhere up above, and the question becomes what she is doing with her time. Eating a lot, undoubtedly: hot dogs and chicken bones and Trident gum with xylitol. Does she shed now? I am imagining clouds covered in Sancha fur. She would be burrowing into a massive cumulus formation. Can she hear? It would seem cruel not to restore her to top form, but in truth she seemed to be more mellow without the distraction of noises. I do imagine that her back legs have recovered their youthful spring, and she can jump and run with ease. Although she was always more of a "el camino se hace al andar" kind of girl. Is she with other dogs? My aunt, whose dog Samson passed away last year, suggested that they would be hanging out now, but I kind of doubt it; Sancha was, with a few exceptions, not that into her fellow canines. But I don't want her to be lonely. And, let's face it, if the scenario I'm choosing is based on what gives me comfort, then I want to believe that she was happiest with me. And that even surrounded by frankfurters and pillows and nubile Corgi studs.... she would miss me.
So I would rather keep her a little closer. I would rather she was keeping an eye on me. I think about her a lot, but more and more I am directing my thoughts--my never-ending internal monologue of emails and conversations and letters to the editor--to her. What I most wish is to see her in my dreams, but so far I'm still working through the usual repertoire of teacher nightmares, breaking teeth, and naked-in-public scenarios (sometimes all 3 at once). Apparently when you consciously choose the afterlife you prefer, your unconscious isn't automatically informed. I can wait. In the meantime, I am going to imagine her reading this blog.
So, Sancha, first this blog was you writing, occasionally about me. Then it was me writing about you. Maybe now it will be me writing, about anything, but to you. Feel free to leave a comment.