Reggie and I are exhausted as Bob took us on a long walk before we boarded our private jet. Bob always makes sure we are walked and fed and have plenty of cold water. Both of us crawl into our beds and are kept warm by the Tehran soccer team blanket. We fall into a deep sleep. I can see why Reggie is seen as a giant in the world. Hob knobbing with the Grand Ayatollah and doing what no man or woman could do!
We are awoken by a jolt and have landed at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport at 05:30. We are picked up by a chauffeur and whisked to Vatican City. The Pope will see us at 7:30 for a quick breakfast and has asked we stay behind him as he addresses the faithful in St. Peter’s Square. Bob takes us for a walk in Vatican City and we get a few stares as there are rarely dogs seen here.
We meet the Pope and have a simple breakfast of olives, cheese and bread as the Pope says sometimes we have to eat what Jesus ate. Reggie hops up on his lap after breakfast like they are long lost friends. But he points at me and motions for me, and only me to follow him to a private chamber. He sits on a huge chair and says with great compassion he knew the terrible circumstances of my human family in Kiev being killed in explosions. He holds my head and looks into my eyes and says how sorry he is that such an innocent animal had to witness such horrible deaths. He also says he has seen the video of me killing The Brute. He praises my bravery but being the Pope has to be careful about commenting on whether deaths can be deserved. He asks if as a Ukrainian Orthodox can I receive a special blessing from him. I bark of course and just like that and like Reggie I am blessed.
We return to the room and Reggie is bristling with excitement asking what happened. I told him and he wags his tail saying that he knew it.
The Pope gives his Sunday homily from his balcony and all of it is pleading for the end of madness in the Ukraine and a cessation of the barbarity of the Russian government. There are many Ukrainians with flags in the square. The Pope then asks that all say a special prayer for the pets of the Ukraine some 75,000 of them abandoned or orphaned. The Pope then tells my story and raises me for the crowd to see. There is a long round of polite clapping. I am on televisions throughout the world. Bob later heard from the CIA that Putin saw me being held up and turned red with rage and screamed at his advisers. Strangely his defence minister has never been seen again. This made me feel my vengeance is hitting where it should be. I hear more than a few people in the crowd shout in Ukrainian “God Bless the Ukraine. God Bless Andrij! “
We head back to the airport off to Washington to deal with President Biden and the message from Iran.