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Rainbow Bridge Return


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This brought tears to my eyes:

The little dog arrived at the Rainbow Bridge, and a pack of dogs rushed up to greet him. He braced himself, expecting a fight, but this was the first pack that wagged their tails and kissed him instead of attacking him.
It was beautiful here, and everyone was nice to him. None of them had been born in a puppy mill, like he had, and used for dog-bait fighting and left to die in a shelter because he was a mixed-breed battle-scarred cur and wasn't cute. They explained why they were waiting for their humans who loved them.

"What is love?" he asked, and God let him go back to earth and find out.
Warm, and dark, he squeezed in with the others and waited for the day to be born. Scared, he held back as long as he could, but finally got dragged out by his hind feet.

Hands without fur held him gently and rubbed him dry and opened his mouth and guided him to a warm nipple with milk. He didn't get a good hold on it, because one of his big, fat brothers pushed him aside. The human hand moved the other puppy to another nipple and held his body, so he could drink.

"Ahhh, that's better," he thought, and drank until his jaws got tired and he curled up to sleep next to his warm hairy mother.

"I remember this," he mused. "Too bad I'll have to grow up to be hit, left out in the cold and rain, and used for dog-bait fighting, and die as an unclaimed rescue dog. I remember what it's like, being a dog," he thought sadly.

That night, he crawled up to his mother and tried to nurse, but he kept getting pushed off to the side. When they were full, the big brothers and sisters got their bottoms cleaned and he finally latched on to a nipple, but the human hands weren't there to hold him up, and there wasn't any milk in any of the nipples, anyway. He was weak and so tiny. It was even hard to stay upright, and he fell over on his back and couldn't right himself.

So he began to cry, and suddenly the human hands were there, holding him up and putting a rubber thing in his mouth. It didn't taste or feel like his mother, but it was warm and made the ache in his tummy go away.
He was having trouble breathing. His lungs weren't fully developed because he had waited too long to join the others in the womb. He had taken that one last romp at the Rainbow Bridge.

He could feel the heartbeat of the human, who had laid him on her chest and covered him with a soft cloth, keeping him warm, and soothing his bony body with gentle, circling touches.

He kept thinking of his new friends who had been so nice to him at the Bridge and asked God if he could go back. God said, "Yes, but not just yet. You wanted to experience Love."

So for several hours (it seemed like days, but it was dark and he couldn't tell what time it was), the human supplemented his feeding and let him experience the warmth of his mother's body and tongue, and the pile of warm, soft littermates. He got weaker, and the human held him more often, leaving the littermates to sleep in a pile while he got caressed, kissed, and got to listen to the heartbeat, which was strong and loving.
Finally God came back and asked, "Are you ready to come back to the Rainbow Bridge?"

"Yes, he responded," with a little sorrow, because the human didn't want to let him go, and was crying.

He pushed the air out of his lungs and floated back to the Rainbow Bridge and looked back at the human, who was still crying and holding the limp body that he had borrowed for his trip.

"Thank you, God," he said. "Love is beautiful, and I will wait near the Bridge and let the human know, when she arrives, that I loved her, too."
After playing in the fields of flowers with all the other dogs, He kept looking back down at earth. He saw many humans holding fragile little newborns that were only to stay on earth for a few hours or days, to learn about love. He asked God, "Must I wait for her? Now that I know what love is, I want to share it with other humans ... for there are many who are down there, crying."

"Yes," God answered warmly. "You are learning about love, and I will send you back where you are needed and wanted." So the little dog -- who had once been born in a puppy-mill, only known cruelty, abuse, being used as bait for dog-fighting, and left to die at a rescue shelter -- now knew the meaning of love and was given another chance to give as well as receive.

This time, he was born strong and quickly became everyone's "pick" because of his gentleness and outgoing temperament. He gave everyone puppy-breath kisses and bounded out to greet all the prospective puppy-buyers with his whole body wagging his tail. He was looking for the special human, who had taught him the meaning of love, but she was not this breeder nor any of the buyers who came to look at the litter.

"Where is my human?" the big, strong puppy asked God.
"Be patient, God replied. "She has many other dogs right now, and doesn't need you as much as someone else."

This breeder could have gotten a lot of money for him; but instead, she called the national service-dog group and told them of her special puppy. He was now a big dog, and spent his first year in a special home, learning how to be a service-dog. This family trained him to sit, down, stay, fetch, and learn patience -- oh, that was the hardest trick to learn!

There was a special little boy who couldn't walk or coordinate his hand-movements. He had only weighed 5 ounces in his previous life as a "fading puppy." He was now over 50 pounds and capable of pulling a wheelchair and picking up keys, pencils, etc., and giving them to the trainer. He loved his trainer, but the day he met the little boy, he knew God was answering his prayers by giving him a little human who couldn't play like the other children.

He spent many years with the child, helping him grow. He learned that love comes in different forms ... as a breeder who spends the extra time and love with a fading puppy ... as a trainer who must give up her dog (after many months of close bonding) to the person who couldn't train the dog himself from puppy-hood ... as a child or adult who once was alone and helpless and often rejected by those who made fun of him, because he couldn't run and play and fit in, but could live independently, with the help of his canine companion.

He got old, and a little stiff, and was having trouble pulling the wheelchair and fetching things for his beloved companion. The service-dog organization had trained another dog for his human. It was time to retire to a senior foster home, where he learned another lesson of love -- from a family that knew he wouldn't live long. The family knew he deserved the special care of finishing out his golden years with people who could care for him as he had cared for the human for so many years.

He closed his eyes and dreamed of his friends at the Rainbow Bridge ... the ones who had rushed up to greet him, the first time, and wagged their tails and kissed him instead of attacking. Suddenly, he was surrounded by his old friends, and he looked back at earth at the foster humans who were crying and holding the limp body that he had borrowed for this trip.

"Don't cry," he barked. "I'll be back. You may not recognize the body I borrow, for it may be bigger or smaller -- it may have wrinkled skin or long silky hair or curly wiry hair, or no hair at all. It may be beautiful and win championship titles, or it may be "ugly" in the eyes of many. Look behind the eyes of trust, and you will find my unconditional love.
Train me, and help me learn how to be the loyal companion that you think you want, when you pick up that cute little puppy that may grow up to be huge and loud and destructive -- unless guided to be a good dog.

? 1999 Joy LaCaille. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced/transmitted by any means, including electronic, without prior written permission. For more information, write Joy LaCaille, 914 Lake Ella Road Fruitland Park, FL 34731, or call (352) 365-9955; E-mail: [email][email protected][/email]. First appeared in Good Dog! Magazine, [url]www.gooddogmagazine.com[/url]

Joy LaCaille is the German Pinscher Club of America national breed rescue chairman, and ListOwner/Administrator/Moderator of the German Pinscher Rescue Maillist: [url]http://www.geocities.com/Petsburgh/Farm/5212[/url]

Bereavement page of MEMORIES to be rekindled at THE RAINBOW BRIDGE: [url]http://www.iag.net/~lakai/bereave.htm[/url]

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[quote name='desertlady']That was so beautiful. SOME of you people need to chip in and buy me a new box of kleenex.[/quote]

me too. I got this as an email today and posted it elsewhere, but it appears to belong here.

"I looked around at all the animals suffering in the world.

I saw the abuse, the neglect, the pain.

I looked up to heaven and said, Why?

Why don't you do something to help the animals?

The reply came back. I did do something.

I created YOU!"

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