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Beyond The Rainbow

As much as I loved the life we had and all the times we played,

I was so very tired and knew my time on earth would fade.

I saw a wondrous image then of a place that's trouble-free

Where all of us can meet again to spend eternity.

I saw the most beautiful Rainbow, and on the other side

Were meadows rich and beautiful -- lush and green and wide!

And running through the meadows as far as the eye could see

Were animals of every sort as healthy as could be!

My own tired, failing body was fresh and healed and new

And I wanted to go run with them, but I had something left to do.

I needed to reach out to you, to tell you I'm alright

That this place is truly wonderful, then a bright Glow pierced the night.

'Twas the Glow of many Candles shining bright and strong and bold

And I knew then that it held your love in its brilliant shades of gold.

For although we may not be together in the way we used to be,

We are still connected by a cord no eye can see.

So whenever you need to find me, we're never far apart

If you look beyond the Rainbow and listen with your heart.

 

By Cate Guyan

---

A DOG'S PRAYER

So do not grieve for me, my friend,

as I am with my kind...

My collar is a rainbow's hue

My leash a shooting star

My boundaries are the milky way

Where I sparkle from afar.

There are no pens or kennels here

For I am not confined

But free to roam God's heavens

Among my special kind.

I nap the day on a snowy cloud

With gentle breezes rocking me

I dream the dreams of earthlings

And how it used to be.

The trees are full of liver treats

And tennis balls abound

And milk bones line the walking ways

Just waiting to be found.

There even is a ring set up

The grass all lush and green

And everyone who gaits around

Becomes the "Best Of Breed".

For we're all winners in this place

We have no faults you see

And God passes out the ribbons

To each one--even me.

At night I sleep in angels' arms

Their wings protecting me

And moonbeams dance about us

As stardust falls on thee.

So when your life on earth is spent

And you reach heaven's gate

Have no fear of loneliness

For here, you know I wait.

 

Author Unknown

---

A LETTER FROM HEAVEN

To my FOSTER FAMILY, some things I'd like to say

But first of all to let you know, that I arrived okay.

I'm writing this letter from the Bridge - where I now dwell with God above,

Up here there are no tears or sadness; only eternal love.

Please don't be unhappy, just because I'm out of sight.

Remember that I am with you every morning, noon and night.

The other day I had to leave you when my life on earth was through.

God picked me up and hugged me, and He said, "I welcome you . . .

It's good to have you back again; you were missed while you were gone.

As for your foster family, they will be here later on".

When you think of my life on earth and the neglect in my last years,

Because you are only human, they are bound to bring you tears.

But do not be afraid to cry; it does relieve the pain.

Remember there would be no flowers, unless there was some rain.

God gave me a list of important things that He would like for me to do,

And foremost on His special list was to watch over and care for you.

When you lie down and try to sleep with the day's chores put to flight;

Remember that God is closest to you in the middle of the night.

I wish that I could tell you everything that God has planned,

but even if I could tell you, you wouldn't understand.

But one thing is for certain, though my earthly life is over,

I'm more happy, healthy and content then I ever was before.

If you can help another who is in sorrow or in pain,

then you can say to God at night: "My day was not in vain".

 

And when you're walking down the street, with me on your mind,

I'm walking in your footsteps only a short trot behind.

There are rocky roads ahead of you and many hills to climb,

but a rescuer's heart is big and strong; just take it one day at a time.

For it is simply God's nature, and I'd like it for you too,

that as you give to the world, the world will give to you.

And when your time on earth is up, to leave your body and be free,

remember, you are not "going"; you are coming up here to me.

 

Author Unknown

---

A Loan From God

God promised at the birth of time,

A special friend to give,

His time on earth is short, he said,

So love him while he lives.

It may be six or seven years,

Or twelve or then sixteen,

But will you, till I call him back,

Take care of him for me?

A wagging tail and cold wet nose,

And silken velvet ears,

A heart as big as all outdoors,

To love you through the years.

His puppy ways will gladden you,

And antics bring a smile,

As guardian or friend he will,

Be loyal all the while.

He'll bring his charms to grace your life,

And though his stay be brief,

When he's gone the memories,

Are solace for your grief.

I cannot promise he will stay,

Since all from earth return,

But lessons only a dog can teach,

I want you each to learn.

Whatever love you give to him,

Returns in triple measure,

Follow his lead and gain a life,

Brim full of simple pleasure.

Enjoy each day as it comes,

Allow your heart to guide,

Be loyal and steadfast in love,

As the dog there by your side.

Now will you give him all your love,

Nor think the labor vain,

Nor hate me when I come to call,

To take him back again?

I fancy each of us would say,

"Dear Lord, thy will be done,

For all the joy this dog shall bring,

The risk of grief we'll run.

"We'll shelter him with tenderness,

We'll love him while we may,

And for the happiness we've known,

Forever grateful stay.

"But shall the angels call for him,

Much sooner than we've planned,

We'll brave the bitter grief that comes,

And try to understand.

 

- Unknown

---

A Note From Starr

Not every dog was as lucky as me,

To have someone as wonderful as you,

You fed me, you washed me, you gave me my medicine,

And most of all, you loved me.

Thank you for your very tender care,

For the short time we had together,

I already miss you,

But I'm happy and healthy here,

And eagerly waiting to see you again.

Love,

 

Pixie Starr

---

Angel in the Postal Service

This is one of the kindest things I've ever experienced. I have no way to know who sent it, but there is a kind soul working in the dead letter office of the US postal service.

Our 14 year old dog, Abbey, died last month. The day after she died, my 4 year old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so she dictated these words:

Dear God,

Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday

and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy

that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick.

I hope you will play with her. She likes to play with balls and

to swim. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her

you will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.

Love,

Meredith.

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven.

We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, “To Meredith" in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr Rogers called, "When a Pet Dies." Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:

Dear Meredith,

Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help. I recognized Abbey right away. Abbey isn't sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets to keep your picture in, so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.

Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me.What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you. I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much.

By the way, I am wherever there is love.

Love,

 

God

---

Before Humans Die

Before humans die, they write their last Will and Testament, give their home and all they have to those they leave behind.

If, with my paws, I could do the same, this is what I would ask for…

To the poor and lonely stray I’d give my happy home, my bowl, cozy bed, soft pillows and all my toys. The lap, which I loved so much. The hand that stroked my fur and the sweet voice which spoke my name.

I would will to the sad, scared shelter dog, the place I had in my human’s loving heart, of which there seemed no bounds.

So, when I die, please do not say, “I will never have a pet again, for the loss and pain is more than I can stand.”

Instead, go find an unloved dog, one whose life has held no joy or hope and give MY place to him.

 

This is the only thing I can give… the love I left behind.

---

Cheyenne - Story by Catherine Moore

"Watch out! You nearly broad-sided that car!" My father yelled at me. "Can't you do anything right?"

 Those words hurt worse than blows. I turned my head toward the elderly man in the seat beside me, daring me to challenge him. A lump rose in my throat as I averted my eyes. I wasn't prepared for another battle.

"I saw the car, Dad. Please don't yell at me when I'm driving."

My voice was measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really felt.

Dad glared at me, then turned away and settled back. At home I left Dad in front of the television and went outside to collect my thoughts.... Dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise of rain. The rumble of distant thunder seemed to echo my inner turmoil. What could I do about him?

Dad had been a lumberjack in Washington and Oregon . He had enjoyed being outdoors and had reveled in pitting his strength against the forces of nature. He had entered grueling lumberjack competitions, and had placed often. The shelves in his house were filled with trophies that attested to his prowess.

The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn't lift a heavy log, he joked about it; but later that same day I saw him outside alone, straining to lift it. He became irritable whenever anyone teased him about his advancing age, or when he couldn't do something he had done as a younger man.

Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack. An ambulance sped him to the hospital while a paramedic administered CPR to keep blood and oxygen flowing.

At the hospital, Dad was rushed into an operating room. He was lucky; he survived But something inside Dad died.. His zest for life was gone. He obstinately refused to follow doctor's orders. Suggestions and offers of help were turned aside with sarcasm and insults. The number of visitors thinned, then finally stopped altogether. Dad was left alone.

My husband, Dick, and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small farm. We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him adjust.

Within a week after he moved in, I regretted the invitation. It seemed nothing was satisfactory. He criticized everything I did. I became frustrated and moody. Soon I was taking my pent-up anger out on Dick We began to bicker and argue.

Alarmed, Dick sought out our pastor and explained the situation. The clergyman set up weekly counseling appointments for us. At the close of each session he prayed, asking God to soothe Dad's troubled mind.

But the months wore on and God was silent. Something had to be done and it was up to me to do it.

The next day I sat down with the phone book and methodically called each of the mental health clinics listed in the Yellow Pages. I explained my problem to each of the sympathetic voices that answered in vain.

 

Just when I was giving up hope, one of the voices suddenly exclaimed, "I just read something that might help you! Let me go get the article....."

I listened as she read. The article described a remarkable study done at a nursing home. All of the patients were under treatment for chronic depression. Yet their attitudes had improved dramatically when they were given responsibility for a dog.

I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon. After I filled out a questionnaire, a uniformed officer led me to the kennels. The odor of disinfectant stung my nostrils as I moved down the row of pens. Each contained five to seven dogs Long-haired dogs, curly-haired dogs, black dogs, spotted dogs all jumped up, trying to reach me.

I studied each one but rejected one after the other for various reasons: too big, too small, too much hair. As I neared the last pen a dog in the shadows of the far corner struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down. It was a pointer, one of the dog world's aristocrats. But this was a caricature of the breed.

Years had etched his face and muzzle with shades of gray. His hip bones jutted out in lopsided triangles. But it was his eyes that caught and held my attention. Calm and clear, they beheld me unwaveringly.

I pointed to the dog. "Can you tell me about him?" The officer looked, then shook his head in puzzlement. "He's a funny one. Appeared out of nowhere and sat in front of the gate We brought him in, figuring someone would be right down to claim him. That was two weeks ago and we've heard nothing. His time is up tomorrow." He gestured helplessly.

As the words sank in I turned to the man in horror. "You mean you're going to kill him?"

"Ma'am," he said gently, "that's our policy. We don't have room for every unclaimed dog."

I looked at the pointer again. The calm brown eyes awaited my decision. "I'll take him," I said. I drove home with the dog on the front seat beside me. When I reached the house I honked the horn twice. I was helping my prize out of the car when Dad shuffled onto the front porch. "Ta-da! Look what I got for you, Dad!" I said excitedly.

Dad looked, then wrinkled his face in disgust. "If I had wanted a dog I would have gotten one. And I would have picked out a better specimen than that bag of bones. Keep it! I don't want it" Dad waved his arm scornfully and turned back toward the house.

Anger rose inside me. It squeezed together my throat muscles and pounded into my temples. "You'd better get used to him, Dad. He's staying!"

Dad ignored me. "Did you hear me, Dad?" I screamed. At those words Dad whirled angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his eyes narrowed and blazing with hate. We stood glaring at each other like duelists, when suddenly the pointer pulled free from my grasp. He wobbled toward my dad and sat down in front of him. Then slowly, carefully, he raised his paw...

 

Dad's lower jaw trembled as he stared at the uplifted paw. Confusion replaced the anger in his eyes. The pointer waited patiently. Then Dad was on his knees hugging the animal.

It was the beginning of a warm and intimate friendship. Dad named the pointer Cheyenne . Together he and Cheyenne explored the community. They spent long hours walking down dusty lanes. They spent reflective moments on the banks of streams, angling for tasty trout. They even started to attend Sunday services together, Dad sitting in a pew and Cheyenne lying quietly at is feet.

Dad and Cheyenne were inseparable throughout the next three years. Dad's bitterness faded, and he and Cheyenne made many friends.. Then late one night I was startled to feel Cheyenne's cold nose burrowing through our bed covers. He had never before come into our bedroom at night. I woke Dick, put on my robe and ran into my father's room. Dad lay in his bed, his face serene. But his spirit had left quietly sometime during the night.

Two days later my shock and grief deepened when I discovered Cheyenne lying dead beside Dad's bed. I wrapped his still form in the rag rug he had slept on. As Dick and I buried him near a favorite fishing hole, I silently thanked the dog for the help he had given me in restoring Dad's peace of mind.

The morning of Dad's funeral dawned overcast and dreary. This day looks like the way I feel, I thought, as I walked down the aisle to the pews reserved for family. I was surprised to see the many friends Dad and Cheyenne had made filling the church. The pastor began his eulogy. It was a tribute to both Dad and the dog who had changed his life.

And then the pastor turned to Hebrews 13:2. "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it."

"I've often thanked God for sending that angel," he said.

For me, the past dropped into place, completing a puzzle that I had not seen before: the sympathetic voice that had just read the right article... Cheyenne's unexpected appearance at the animal shelter... his calm acceptance and complete devotion to my father.... and the proximity of their deaths. And suddenly I understood. I knew that God had answered my prayers after all.

Life is too short for drama or petty things, so laugh hard, love truly and forgive quickly. Live while you are alive. Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second chance.

 

God answers our prayers in His time... not ours...

---

FOR ALL OF YOU WAITING IN HEAVEN

I thought of you today, but that is nothing new.

I thought about you yesterday, and days before that too.

I think of you in silence, I often speak your name.

All I have are memories and a picture in a frame.

Your memory is a keepsake, from which I'll never part.

God has you in his arms.

I have you in my heart.

 

Marlana Anderson

---

Death is nothing at all.

I have only slipped away into the next room.

I am I and you are you.

Whatever we were to each other,

That we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.

Speak to me in the easy way

Which you always used.

Put no difference in your tone.

Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed

At the little jokes we enjoyed together.

Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.

Let my name be ever the household word

That it always was.

Let it be spoken without affect,

Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.

It is the same that it ever was.

There is absolutely unbroken continuity.

Why should I be out of mind

Because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you,

For an interval,

Somewhere very near,

Just around the corner.

All is well.

 

~ Henry Scott Holland

---

Do Animals Have Souls?

by Stacy Mantle

I was talking with a coworker the other day, and he informed me that animals do not have emotions.

This is just after he told me (the day that I put my dog of 17 yrs down) that animals do not have souls and therefore will never enjoy the concept of heaven.

Animals do have emotions and they also have souls, and I'll tell you how I know that.

In over twenty years of working with animals, I have never seen a kitten duct-tape a live human baby to a freeway.

I also have never seen a cat find enjoyment from setting a human on fire.

I've never gone hiking in the desert to find a child that dogs have left tied to a stake, without food and water, subjecting it to a painful death in the desert heat.

I have never seen a chicken force two unwilling humans to fight in a ring with razor blades attached to their feet while the chickens place bets on who will be the first to die.

I haven't seen a puppy place eight children in a gunnysack and drown them in a river.

Neither have I seen an eagle aim a shotgun at an unarmed human.

I have yet to see a bear kill a human simply to place a head on the wall of their cave.

And to this day, I have not seen a pigeon drive a car down the road and aim for humans who were walking around the park.

Let me tell you what I have seen.

I have seen my own cats sleep next to me so they may keep me a little warmer while I was ill.

I've seen my dogs play games with me just to force a smile to my face.

I have seen a cat rush into a burning home not once, not twice, but six times to save her kittens, nearly losing her own life in the process.

I have seen a ferret pull a frightened kitten out of a deep hole in the ground.

I have seen a coyote fetch another dog so that it may get the proper medical care that it needs.

I've seen a dog, who loves to jump on people, avoid jumping on me when I injured my back.

I've seen elephants cry.

I've seen monkeys scream in empathy when one of their own were injured.

I've seen puppies whine all night long when they were separated from their mothers.

I've seen a dog pull a child away from a fire.

These are only a few of the things that I've seen.

To list them all would take a lifetime, and I think you get my point.

As for the soul thing?

Well, it is my humble opinion that if you have emotions, any kind of emotions, then you have a soul.

Ironically, the pope of the Roman Catholic Church recently stated that he feels the same way.

Now, I can't prove that animals have souls. But then, I can't prove that you or I have one either.

 

And for all those people who firmly believe that animals don't have souls - well, I suppose if there really is a heaven, you'll probably have the job of cleaning out all the litter boxes.

---

I Remember

I stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peep.

I could see that you were crying. You found it hard to sleep.

I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear,

"It's me, I haven't left you, I'm well, I'm fine, I'm here."

I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea,

You were thinking of the many times your hands reached down to me.

I was with you at the shops today. Your arms were getting sore.

I longed to take your parcels, I wish I could do more.

I was with you at my grave today, You tend it with such care.

I want to re-assure you, that I'm not lying there.

I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key.

I gently put my paw on you, I smiled and said "It's me."

You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair.

I tried so hard to let you know, that I was standing there.

It's possible for me to be so near you everyday.

To say to you with certainty, "I never went away."

You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew...

in the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.

The day is over... I smile and watch you yawning

and say "Good-night, God bless, I'll see you in the morning."

And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,

I'll rush across to greet you and we'll stand, side by side.

I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see.

Be patient, live your journey out...

 

Then come home to be with me.   - Author unknown

---

I just wanted you to know

Today I flew away on wings so pure.

I did not want to leave you just yet we still had so much to do together.

But know this I have not left you for good.

I will be back shortly and when I return you know it is me.

You will feel a little nudge or bump.

You will feel my presence and your heart will ache just a little less each time.

For you will know I am well and healthy once again.

I will stay with you a bit till I know it is okay to leave.

But I will not leave your side completely; we had a special bond and will stay together forever.

As I cross the Rainbow Bridge I will do so with a heavy heart because you are not here.

But I will be okay, I will be watched over till it is your time.

I will be there to meet you.

I will be there when you need me I am just a heartbeat away.

I can never begin to thank you enough for what you have done for me; you never turned your back on me.

You took care of me when I was sick, hugged me when I was afraid.

And you done all this because you loved me, you were my foster parent.

My heart and my savior; and for that I am your angel forever more.

 

Marlana Anderson

---

In Memory of Lily

She withstood her life of misery

Her cage was her domain

The hopelessness, the loneliness

She was a number with no name.

Her eyes had never glistened

No love, her heart had known

Her cries were never answered

Her doom was hers, alone.

Her body, torn and tattered

So weak, so thin and frail

Her small sweet face disfigured,

As she languished in her jail.

Like the others all around her

From neglect she lived in pain

Oh, humans void of heart and souls

Were surely those to blame.

Shrouded behind secrecy

They perpetuate their lies

The puppy mills breed misery

Kept hidden from our eyes.

Then breaking thru the darkness

An angel brought the light

Reaching down with kindness

To alleviate this plight.

 

And so a few were taken

To be given a new start

And a mission was now realized

From deep within a heart.

Discarded were the numbers,

Now Lily was her name

She was nurtured now and cared for

And the others, just the same.

She responded to the kindness

She was kissed upon her head

Each night as she lay sleeping

In her warm and cozy bed.

From beginnings that were tragic

Lily now embraced the love

But she would only stay a minute

She had lessons up above.

Her life brought inspiration

She taught her humans well

About courage and conviction

To save others from the hell.

Lily's life had purpose

As she endured such strife and pain

She emerged with great forgiveness

Oh, her life was not in vain.

Now the cozy bed is empty

But Lily's memory lingers still

And hundreds more will follow

…..Rescued from the mill.

Bari Mears

Copyright 2008

 

Lily was born, raised and perhaps had 13 litters of puppies at the Reedgate Kennels before she was purchased at auction by her new family.

---

The Last Battle

for Amy

If it should be that I grow frail and weak

And pain should keep me from my sleep,

Then will you do what must be done,

For this -- the last battle -- can't be won.

You will be sad I understand,

But don't let grief then stay your hand,

For on this day, more than the rest,

Your love and friendship must stand the test.

We have had so many happy years,

You wouldn't want me to suffer so.

When the time comes, please, let me go.

Take me to where to my needs they'll tend,

Only, stay with me till the end

And hold me firm and speak to me

Until my eyes no longer see.

I know in time you will agree

It is a kindness you do to me.

Although my tail its last has waved,

From pain and suffering I have been saved.

Don't grieve that it must be you

Who has to decide this thing to do;

We've been so close -- we two -- these years,

Don't let your heart hold any tears.

 

-- Unknown

---

THE MESSAGE

I got a message from Mom and Dad today. They had arrived at the Rainbow Bridge to pick up their furbabies and grand furbabies, before reaching their final destination. They said as they approached they were in awe of what they saw.

Before them were Mountains, oceans, lakes, forests, meadows, marshlands, something for every animal there. And there were rainbows everywhere. They said they heard joyous barking, meowing, neighing, birds singing and all the other wonderful animal sounds.

As they stood there in amazement, they saw a group of angels in front of a group of animals. One line was lead by Beau, the group for Mom and the group for dad was lead by Peggy. They said it was a site to behold with all the horses and cattle coming up the rear. Dad was a dairy farmer. When the group arrived Mom and Dad could not believe their eyes. Every animal they had ever had was there to greet them.

The animals were so happy to finally have their own people. They said their care was the greatest in the world, but they just waited until their own people came, staying together and sharing stories of their lives on Earth. As I knew it would be, Cinemax was the one that held them all together as one big family. I remember some things he had told me from long ago when he left for the Rainbow Bridge that he organized the babies return to Earth on Christmas Eve and the new arrivals ride in Santas Sleigh on Christmas Eve.

They explained to Mom and Dad that they spent their time on camp outs, have special banquets, helping the Angel Welcome with her new arrivals so they had someone to show them around. Still the wait was a lonesome one.

They spent the day getting reacquainted and talking to angels about the animals they had in their care. A problem arose late in the afternoon, as Cinemax said he didn’t want to leave the Rainbow Bridge until his Mommy got there and he wanted to remain the official greeter for those arriving at the bridge. 

I know Cinemax and his hard head would never change his mind and I know my parents, they would want everyone to go at the same time. The angels then explained that there was a solution. If someone, human, wanted to stay at the bridge and help care for those that had no one it was permitted as there was a great need for it. Mom and Dad talked way into the morning hours and it was decided that the Rainbow Bridge would be their final destination until my arrival.

Life goes on here on Earth and those at the Bridge continue their wait, but now they have human family and it makes all the difference.

Written by Helen Gregory for Cinemaxs 9th anniversary of his passing June 22nd and for my parents whom I miss so much 6/2/08 .

---

Pieces of Heart

It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them.

And every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart.

If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are.

Author unknown

---

Rescues at the Rainbow Bridge

Unlike most days at Rainbow Bridge, this day dawned cold and gray, damp as a swamp and as dismal as could be imagined. All the recent arrivals were confused and concerned. They had no idea what to think for they had never experienced a day like this before. But the animals that had spent some time waiting for their beloved people knew exactly what was happening and began to gather at the pathway leading to the Bridge to watch. They knew this was something special. It wasn't too long before an elderly animal came into view; head hung heavy and low with tail dragging along the ground. The other animals on the pathway, the ones who had been at Rainbow Bridge for a while knew the story of this sad creature immediately. They had seen it happen far too many times.

Although it was obvious the animal's heart was leaden and he was totally overcome with emotional pain and hurt, there was no sign of injury or any illness. Unlike the pets waiting at the Bridge, this dog had not been restored to his prime. He was full of neither health nor vigor. He approached slowly and painfully, watching all the pets that were by now watching him. He knew he was out of place here. This was no resting place for him. He felt instinctively that the sooner he could cross over, the happier he would be. But alas, as he came closer to the Bridge, his way was barred by the appearance of an Angel who spoke softly to the old dog and apologized sorrowfully, telling him that he would not be able to pass. Only those animals that were with their special people could pass over the Rainbow Bridge. And he had no special beloved people...not here at the Bridge or on Earth below.

With no place else to turn, the poor elderly dog looked toward the fields before the Bridge. There, in a separate area nearby, he spotted a group of other sad-eyed animals like himself...elderly and infirm. Unlike the pets waiting for their special people, these animals weren't playing, but simply lying on the green grass, forlornly and miserably staring out at the pathway leading to the Bridge. The recent arrival knew he had no choice but to join them. And so, he took his place among them, just watching the pathway and waiting.

One of the newest arrivals at the Bridge, who was waiting for his special people, could not understand what he had just witnessed and asked one of the pets who had been there for some time to explain it to him.

"That poor dog was a rescue, sent to the pound when his owner grew tired of him. They way you see him now, with graying fur and sad, cloudy eyes, was exactly the way he was when he was put into the kennels. He never, ever made it out and passed on only with the love and comfort that the kennel workers could give him as he left his miserable and unloved existence on Earth for good. Because he had no family or special person to give his love, he has nobody to escort him across the Bridge."

The first animal thought about this for a minute and then asked, "So what will happen now?"

As he was about to receive his answer, the clouds suddenly parted and the all-invasive gloom lifted. Coming toward the Bridge could be seen a single figure...a person who, on Earth, had seemed quite ordinary...a person who, just like the elderly dog, had just left Earth forever. This figure turned toward a group of the sad animals and extended outstretched palms. The sweetest sounds they had ever heard echoed gently above them and all were bathed in a pure and golden light. Instantly, each was young and healthy again, just as they had been in the prime of life.

From within the gathering of pets waiting for their special people, a group of animals emerged and moved toward the pathway. As they came close to the passing figure, each bowed low and each received a tender pat on the head or a scratch behind the ears. Their eyes grew even brighter as the figure softly murmured each name. Then, the newly-restored pets fell into line behind the figure and quietly followed this person to the Bridge, where they all crossed together.

The recent arrival, who had been watching, was amazed. "What happened?"

"That was a rescuer," came the answer. "That person spent a lifetime trying to help pets of all kinds. The ones you saw bowing in respect were those who found new homes because of such unselfish work. They will cross when their families arrive. Those you saw restored were ones who never found homes. When a rescuer arrives, they are permitted to perform one, final act of rescue. They are allowed to escort those pets that couldn't place on Earth across the Rainbow Bridge. You see, all animals are special to them... just as they are special to all animals."  "I think I like rescuers," said the recent arrival.

"So does God," was the reply.

--Author Unknown

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She Cannot Say Good-bye

It is a comfortable little place -- their home

and it is paid for, cozy, and theirs alone

Just the two of them, therein, reside

... an older lady and the aging canine

Listening to the radio, as the storm grew

tears well in her eyes, upon hearing the news

She gazes at her friend, and he regards her, too

Reporters are saying everyone must now go...

she was to pack only what she needed from home.

She shakes her head and wonders, Didn't they know?

that folks like her had no means to get away

and no car of their own.

But officials called to say public transport would stop by;

they'd take her and her things, but her beloved friend could not ride

Tears fall as thunder and lightning rent the damp air

Her friend pads over, then leans against her, there in her chair

Sensing her sadness, the old dog wags his tail

As the wind past their porch swells to a wail

he reaches up and reassuringly licks her hand

And as he has always, by her side, he will stand!

She sobs at his sweet, loyal gesture, for he does not know

that on this journey, her dearest friend will not go

They had weathered life's storms and both had grown gray

She worries as they were never long, from the other, away

She rises slowly when she hears the knock on the door

a man takes her bags, saying, "I'm sorry, ma'am, it's

now or never -- we can wait no more."

When the old dog follows her, she says "No, go inside where it's safe."

his expression is one of bewilderment and hurt, as rain pelts his face

When she steps into the bus, she hears him whimper and cry

She cannot turn around to him. She cannot say good-bye

She studies the man who holds her bags, then she steps off the bus

When she reaches her friend, she says, "No future is as important

as the gift that is us."

She bends down and, happily crying, embraces her furry soul mate

"The worst storm ever is near, but alone, you will not have to wait."

Later, as the night explodes 'round them,

and she draws him snug to her side,

he lifts his fuzzy head, stares lovingly at her

and she contentedly sighs.

For on this, their last journey,

the two would be together

always . . . now . . . and forever

~~*~*~~

Dedicated to a future where, in a disaster,

we will not be torn apart from our furry kin!

Copyright 2005 by Kathy Pippig Harris

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WAS THAT YOU ?

 As I got up this morning I felt a brush against my leg

Was that you?

 I just felt a soft nudge against my hand

Was that you?

 I felt a soft breath on my skin

Was that you?

The little ones were watching something

Was that you?

When I heard the wind whisper “I love you”

Was that you?

The blanket moved and no one was there

I know it was you.

When the wind chimes chimed with no breeze

I know it was you

When there is a sudden breeze in the calm

I know it was you

When I feel that special paw on my face

I know it was you

When so many strange things happen

I know it was you.

 Those strange little paw prints in the snow

I know it was you

I wondered if it was you, but I knew it was and is you

Forever in my heart and every beat of it

For Cinemax’s Birthday Memorial – Helen Gregory, 2008

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 A Man and His Dog Were Walking

A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead. 

He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them. After a while, they came to a high, white stonewall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble.

At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight. When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side. When he was close enough, he called out, "Excuse me, where are we?"

 "This is Heaven, sir," the man answered. "Wow! Would you happen to have some water?" the man asked. "Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up." The man gestured, and the gate began to open. "Can my friend," gesturing toward his dog, "come in, too?" the traveler asked. "I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets."

The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog. After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence as he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.

"Excuse me!" he called to the man. "Do you have any water?" "Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there, come on in." "How about! My friend here?" the traveler gestured to the dog. "There should be a bowl by the pump." They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it.

The traveler filled the water bowl and took a long drink himself, and then he gave some to the dog. When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree. "What do you call this place?" the traveler asked. "This is Heaven," he answered. "Well, that's confusing," the traveler said. "The man down the road said that was Heaven, too."

"Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's hell." "Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?" "No, we're just happy that they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind."

You are all welcome at my water bowl anytime. 

Author Unknown

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