Encouragement for pet lovers from someone named Benny ...

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

Unlike the majority of the Rainbow Bridge stories, the author of this
piece is known.

It's me, your beloved listowner. I'm not a religious person, but I
would very much like to believe the story of Rainbow Bridge. I take
tremendous comfort in it and I hope this story of The Bridge will be
passed on to others, in the forlorn hope that it will help rescuers
of all breeds.

Benny
------------------

Unlike most days at Rainbow Bridge, this day dawned cold and gray,
damp as a swamp and as dismal as could be imagined. All of the recent
arrivals had no idea what to think, as they had never experienced a
day like this before. But the animals who had been waiting for their
beloved people knew exactly what was going on and started to gather
at the pathway leading to The Bridge to watch.

It wasn't long before an elderly animal came into view, head hung low
and tail dragging. The other animals, the ones who had been there for
a while, knew what his story was right away, for they had seen this
happen far too often.

He approached slowly, obviously in great emotional pain, but with no
sign of injury or illness. Unlike all of the other animals waiting at
The Bridge, this animal had not been restored to youth and made
healthy and vigorous again. As he walked toward The Bridge, he
watched all of the other animals watching him. He knew he was out of
place here and the sooner he could cross over, the happier he would
be. But, alas, as he approached The Bridge, his way was barred by the
appearance of an Angel who apologized, but told him that he would not
be able to pass. Only those animals who were with their people could
pass over Rainbow Bridge. With no place else to turn to, the elderly
animal turned towards the fields before The Bridge and saw a group of
other animals like himself, also elderly and infirm. They weren't
playing, but rather simply lying on the green grass, forlornly
staring out at the pathway leading to The Bridge. And so, he took his
place among them, watching the pathway and waiting.

One of the newest arrivals at The Bridge didn't understand what he
had just witnessed and asked one of the animals that had been there
for awhile to explain it to him.

"You see, that poor animal was a rescue. He was turned in to rescue
just as you see him now, an older animal with his fur graying and his
eyes clouding. He never made it out of rescue and passed on with only
the love of his rescuer to comfort him as he left his earthly
existance. Because he had no family to give his love to, he has no
one 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 gloom lifted. Approaching The Bridge
could be seen a single person and among the older animals, a whole
group was suddenly bathed in a golden light and they were all young
and healthy again, just as they were in the prime of life.

"Watch, and see.", said the second animal. A second group of animals
from those waiting came to the pathway and bowed low as the person
neared. At each bowed head, the person offered a pat on the head or a
scratch behind the ears. The newly restored animals fell into line
and followed him towards The Bridge. They all crossed The Bridge
together.

"What happened?"

"That was a rescuer. The animals you saw bowing in respect were those
who found new homes because of his work. They will cross when their
new families arrive. Those you saw restored were those who never
found homes. When a rescuer arrives, they are allowed to perform one,
final act of rescue. They are allowed to escort those poor animals
that they couldn't place on earth across The Rainbow Bridge."

"I think I like rescuer's", said the first animal.

"So does GOD", was the reply.

Thumbnail by Cville_Gardener
Fairfield County, CT(Zone 6b)

OK, now I am bawling at my desk at work!

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

I know what you mean. I bawl every time I read it.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

I truly believe our animal friends are waiting for us.

Many years ago, we had a young Dobe and a elderly German Shepherd. Our Dobe boy kept our Shepherd girl going. Many time when I would bring her home from the vet he would greet her at the gate with Dobe talk. One day I found our boy dead( there is a heart problem that kills many Dobe's there is no warning signs ) he was only 3 years old. Our 11year old girl gave up she would not eat.
With a heavy heart we took her to the vet and he told us she was dieing. We did the right thing and let her go.
With tears in our eyes we drove home. As I pulled up to the gate I HEARD as clear as he was standing be side me our Dobe talking as he always did when she came home. And I know that she had joined him on the other side. And the pain of lost left my heart for I knew that they would be waiting for us when we went to join them.

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

That's beautiful, wren. Billy Graham was asked if he thought pets would be in heaven. He talked about the verses in the Bible that spoke about animals and said that although he couldn't find a verse to quote exactly, he felt that if heaven is such a wonderful place and having our pets would make it even more wonderful for us, surely they would be there. "But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (1 Cor. 2:9)

I'm not preaching here ... so whatever people believe, I'm hoping we can all find some comfort after the loss of our beloved pets. One of my cats panicked and ran off a number of weeks ago and still has not returned. We continue to hope and pray for the best outcome.

Thank you for sharing your story.

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