A Gift from the Bridge

A few weeks ago we had the story of the welcoming party that each of our beloved pets experience when they cross over the Rainbow Bridge. How those cherished fur babies are welcomed into their waiting area by all of their friends who’ve crossed over before them, waiting not only for their other furry friends but for their beloved owners to come for them one day.

You see, the Rainbow Bridge is the entrance to a very special place where our pets go to wait for us to join them. An almost magical place of beauty and joy, where these beloved animals are not only free to play and enjoy a freedom they’ve never known before, but a place where they’re not only our furry companions, but where they’re also gifted with special abilities that they didn’t have on earth.

Abilities they had no idea were possible until they crossed the Bridge. 

Not only are they now able to speak to each other in ways never before possible, but they’re also able to help their beloved owners cope with losing them in ways no one would imagine. 

No, it’s not something magical, because magic really doesn’t exist. It’s something similar; something that can only be caused by a Creator who is so much more than any of us can begin to imagine. Our Creator loves every part of His creation, from those of us who are human, to those He created to love us in ways that only beloved pets can do.

We know our pets love us unconditionally. And we love them as well. But they leave us far too early. And even though they do, they don’t want us to be forever grieving for them. Because once they cross the Bridge they know for certain we’ll all be reunited again.

It’s those of us who loved them that are still here on earth that really can’t understand.

But Rusty and his best brother-friend Rudder know. And they also knew their owners needed a new friend, not only for them, but for Drake, their other doggy-brother who was now alone, except for his human family. They’d been a special threesome, and Rudder and Rusty knew there was only one thing to do.

And they didn’t want to wait.

They were told about a young pup, about 4 months old, who was in danger of having to leave his current home. He’d only been there about two months, and had just adjusted to being away from his brothers and sisters, but his new owners couldn’t keep him because he was going to be bigger than their apartment complex allowed.

This poor pup was facing being put in a shelter for who knew how long unless his owners found him a new home. And quickly.

This pup also happened to be a yellow lab-golden retriever mix. Rudder was a yellow lab and Rusty was a golden retriever. After the two dogs heard about this pup, there was no doubt in their minds. He had to be connected with their human family. 

And after a short talk with the Creator, the wheels were set in motion for this young pup to end up with Rusty and Rudder’s human family.

Just like it had been planned, Ashley and Chris saw an ad online about the pup. And they knew it was meant to be. The perfect combination of both of their beloved dogs.

They looked at pictures and videos of the pup. So much like the best of their lost fur babies. 

So a few days later, Tucker joined his new family. It was like he already knew them. When he met his new fur brother Drake, they immediately got along. Not one mean growl. They both knew it had been planned.

Rudder and Rusty watched from the Bridge, as the Creator normally allowed in times like this. They smiled, as only dogs can do. They were happy that they’d sent the right one, not to take their places, but to be a perfect new companion for not only their human family, but for their brother Drake.

They watched as the two dogs got acquainted, and their human family as well, and acknowledged the bond that immediately formed because of the gift from their heavenly brothers at the Rainbow Bridge. 

“We did good,” said Rudder and Rusty to each other. And they went off to play with their other friends, knowing they’d made everyone happy.

Welcome to the family, Tucker.

Party at the End of the Bridge

Somehow they all knew. They knew who was coming and they knew when. The guest of honor didn’t know of course, but then again, they never did.

But the other residents of that land just beyond the Rainbow Bridge knew, and as is the custom, the pets already there were waiting for their special friends to join them and welcome them to their new home; to make them feel loved and special until their earthly owners came to get them to take them with them to THEIR forever heavenly home.

And today was no different from any other welcome home party at the end of the Rainbow Bridge. The only thing different was who the guest of honor the party was for, and of course who was planning it, and who would be attending.

You see, every beloved pet who crosses over the Rainbow Bridge has a welcoming party with his or her friends who have already crossed over. It’s a tradition that’s been going on as long as the Bridge has been around, which is a very, very long time. Pets come and go all the time because as we said earlier, they leave and join their former earthly family eventually in their eternal home, but until that day happens, these beloved pets enjoy a life of pure happiness, playing in meadows, chasing birds and squirrels, playing with favorite toys, swimming…all the things they enjoyed previously with their earthly family. Only now they’re healthy and pain free, able to do and eat anything they want.

Today’s big party was for a special golden retriever. His best friend Rudder knew he was coming, and he was planning the party. Rusty’s favorite thing to do was swimming in his owners’ parents’ pool with Rudder, so this party was going to be held at one of the many luxurious swimming pools available in the land beyond the Bridge. He couldn’t wait to welcome his old friend and find out how their earthly family was doing. Rusty’s friend Samantha was also helping plan the party, and there were lots of other furry friends attending, including Rusty’s litter mates who he hadn’t seen since he was adopted 11 years ago.

What a celebration it would be!

Rudder and his friends made sure the pool was sparkling clean. They hung balloons all around. They even had a huge sign that said “Welcome Rusty”! There were presents, too. Tennis balls, golf balls since he liked to chew those, stuffed chew toys that he could chew and destroy like he did before. There was a little garden with freshly planted bushes that he could dig up, just like he used to do that so irritated his family. 

And then there was the food. His favorite dog treats, bowls of ice cream, along with a huge cake, just waiting for him to smash into and share with his friends!

The dogs looked at their handiwork and knew it was ready for him. They all lined up, with Rudder and Samantha in the front. Waiting expectantly.

And then…the Rainbow Bridget began to light up, like it does when a new pet comes across. The dogs held their breath and watched.

And then Rusty came across it. A smile on his face. Walking easily. His fur was clean and shiny. His eyes were bright. His teeth shiny white, as they held a tennis ball he’d already picked up along the way.

He saw Rudder and his other friends and ran to them, and what a reunion it was!

“This is all for you,” Rudder explained. “Here we’re all happy, healed, and pain free. We play with each other while we wait. I’ve missed you,” he added.

“I’ve missed you, too,” Rusty said. “And they haven’t forgotten you. They miss you as well.”

“We’ll be with them again,” Rudder explained. “But for now, we play, we have a great time together, and we go swimming!”

Rusty looked around and saw the huge pool. He took off running and jumped in, just like he used to do with his family. He was so happy. The other dogs joined him and soon the pool was full of wet splashing dogs, having the time of their new lives.

The Rainbow Bridge seemed to smile at them as it waited for the next visitor to come across. It’s a happy place, you know. Where all of our beloved pets go while they wait for us.

To Rusty, and Rudder, and all our wonderful pets who are living there now…we miss you, but we will be with you again. Until that time, enjoy your new temporary home. While we remember you in these pictures.

A Promise Kept

Almost two years ago I had to make a tough decision, like many of you have had to do as well. And it wasn’t easy. It was a decision we’ve had to make several times before, and each time it’s awful.

For those of you who are pet lovers, you’ll understand what I’m talking about very quickly. Because our fur babies are part of our family, from the first moment we bring them home. They jump into our hearts and make their nest, and we quickly wonder what we ever did without them.

And all too soon, we end up saying a tearful good bye. Because their lifespans are much shorter than people’s, and even though we know that from the beginning, we still pour our hearts and our love into each one of our special pets.

And they do the same for us.

Over the years I’ve had both dogs and cats. I’ve loved each and every one of them, and cried buckets of tears when it was time to say goodbye.

It was really bad when just two weeks after our daughter’s wedding, we had to say goodbye to Angel dog, my mother’s Pekingese that we had cared for since my mom’s death ten years before. I felt like I was losing the last part of my mother I still had left.

As I was crying and sobbing, my dear husband told me he could just picture little Angel running on her now arthritis-free legs, right up to the door of my mom’s heavenly mansion and barking to be let in, and happily joining my mom’s other dogs she’d had over the years that had been waiting for her at the Rainbow Bridge. I can only imagine what a wonderful furry reunion that must have been!

But I was still heartbroken….

Then a year later I had to say a very teary goodbye to my very favorite cat, Princess, a beautiful black tortoiseshell Persian with curly whiskers and the most wonderful purr I’d ever heard. I put off the decision as long as I could, but sadly I finally had no choice but to let her go to the Rainbow Bridge.

Again, I was heartbroken, but before she left, Princess gave me a promise that she’d send me a new kitty that looked just like her. And she told me all about the Rainbow Bridge where pets go when they pass on to their next life, waiting for us to join them, or going to meet their owners who have already left them for their heavenly home.

And I held on to her promise.

I didn’t realize how it would turn out, though. And certainly it wasn’t like I’d thought.

You see, Princess had promised to send me a kitty just like her. I tried and tried, with no success, to find the one she’d promised me. She was nowhere to be found.

But what I didn’t know, was that all along Princess Kitty had had something better in mind, and she just didn’t want to spoil the surprise she had for me. And she knew I wouldn’t mind if she changed things around a bit.

About a year ago I was involved in an auto accident. It was a bad one, and it threw me into a depression I hadn’t expected. It affected me in ways I never expected. And I needed something to bring me out of my funk. But nothing seemed to be able to help.

And then, out of the blue, a friend of mine posted on her Facebook page that she needed a new home for her Yorkie, because she just couldn’t keep him any more. He needed a home where he could run outside and play, where he would have people who’d love him as much as she did, but could give him the attention he deserved.

Now I’ve always had a thing for Yorkies; I’ve always wanted one. For about 40 years, but who’s counting? What an opportunity! Of course I immediately contacted her!

Obviously Princess Kitty had planned a surprise for me I’d never expected. As much as I love our kitties, I also love Yorkies, and this was my chance!

And two days later, Benji joined our family. I don’t know who was happier, my husband or me. Because Benji’s an awesome dog, perfect for us, sweet and loving and loyal. Plus he’s willing to put up with my dressing him in doggie t shirts and bandanas, and taking his picture with Santa and the Easter Bunny!

I knew Princess had sent him to us. She knew how much I’d always wanted a Yorkie, and she took care of it. And maybe she just didn’t want us to have another kitty who looked like her. Because she really was one of a kind.

As much as we adore our Benji we felt guilty leaving him all by himself while we went to work. He needed a friend. So a few months ago the search began for a sister for Benji.

And it wasn’t easy. It had to be the right doggie, younger, but not too young. A little girl dog who needed a new home, and a big brother to show her around, to protect her. Someone to play with, and to go squirrel hunting with. A doggie who needed to be rescued.

That wasn’t easy either.

But suddenly after three months of searching, we had the opportunity to get Benji a sister. Someone had turned in a 4 month old little girl Yorkie-Shih tzu mix to a local animal shelter. She’d been spayed, and would be up for adoption the next day. As soon as we saw her picture I knew she was perfect! And that Benji would be really happy with her.

We just had to make it happen. Come on Princess Kitty, help us out here! You promised!

The shelter opened the next day at noon. My husband Ben was there by 11:45 and there were already 14 people ahead of him in line. Most of them wanting this particular dog. But one by one people started dropping out of line. Some didn’t want to wait until noon to go in, and some didn’t want to pay the $100 adoption fee!

And then there were only two people ahead of him. Both wanting the dog WE wanted…

When the shelter opened everyone went in and had an opportunity to look at the dog they wanted from a distance, and then fill out an application for adoption.

Afterwards everyone went in one on one to play with the dog for a few minutes. The first people came out a few minutes later and said they’d decided on a bigger dog.

So then there were two.

While Ben and the other lady were waiting for their turns they had been talking, and he’d told her he wanted to get the dog for his wife’s birthday gift, and how our other dog needed a playmate!

When the lady went in to play with the doggie, it seemed like she was in there forever. All this time I was waiting to hear from Ben, and…nothing. I just knew it wasn’t going to happen. I was a nervous wreck…and I’d not even seen this little one in person!

Then all of a sudden he texted me and said, “she’s ours!” Princess Kitty came through! The lady had come out after seeing the doggie and playing with her, walked up to Ben, and said, “I’ve decided to bless you and let you have her for your wife’s birthday present.”

An hour and a half later I finally met little Chloe in person. She was sitting in the front seat of Ben’s car, wagging her tail at us, and smiling like only a newly rescued puppy can smile! She knew she finally had her fur-ever home!

And now Benji has a little sister, who’s already following him everywhere, sleeping beside him, and yes, irritating him on occasion. Because that’s what little sisters do.

Princess Kitty kept her promise to me, and although she didn’t send me another kitty that looked like her, she sent us two wonderful furry friends that have already taken over our house, filling it with more love, assorted dog toys mixed among our granddaughter’s toys, and a jar of dog treats sitting on the counter beside the (human) cookie jar.

Princess Kitty kept her promise in her own way. After all, cats do their own thing, and make their own rules. They keep their promises, but sometimes in their own way. And I have to say. I’m thrilled at the way she kept her promise.

Benji and Chloe are the perfect pair of dogs for us. We couldn’t be happier at the way Princess worked things out!

And one day when we see Princess again, we’ll be able to thank her in person!

Note: If you’re looking for a fur-ever friend, whether it’s a dog or cat, please consider your local animal shelter, SPCA, or rescue organization. They have many animals looking for a loving, fur-ever home. You won’t be disappointed.

Artwork by Stella Violano…Fine Art America

Want to read the other stories in this series?
Meet Me at the Rainbow Bridge
The Bridge is Calling

The Bridge is Calling

My bags are packed and I’m ready to go. As ready as I can be. I know you want me to stay, but you always knew I couldn’t stay with you forever. So did I.

We’ve had a wonderful life together, you and me. And my kitty brothers and sisters. And those funny doggies who didn’t know whether to be afraid of me, or play with me. But it’s time. I’m tired and I’m in pain now, and that nasty tasting pain medicine doesn’t help all that much. And I’m having trouble breathing comfortably. It’s even hard to purr.

I’m going to miss purring for you. I’m going to miss cuddling with you. I’m going to miss trying to sneak outside when you’re not looking so I can explore the world. But now I’m going to have a huge back yard…and front yard…that I can explore with my friends. I’ll finally get to chase mice and bugs and roll around in the soft grass. And my back won’t hurt. And I can scratch my claws on anything I want!

You won’t have to worry about me getting lost, because I’ll always know where I am, and I’ll know when you’re coming to get me and take me with you to your new home. That’s a promise. And kitties don’t break promises.

I know you’re sad, and you’re crying, and I’m sad, too. But it’s ok. We both knew this day would come. And once I cross that Bridge, I’m going to be like a little kitten again! And I’m excited to be able to feel good again!

So please dry your tears quickly, and remember the fun we had together. We did, didn’t we?! But there will be more to come….it’ll just be awhile. And when we meet again I’ll be able to communicate with you and you’ll understand what I’m saying; we’ll have wonderful talks together. That’s just part of the wonder of the rainbow bridge. I can’t tell you any more about it now, but believe me it’s such a special place. God created it for all of us beloved pets because He wants us to be happy together again. That’s how much He loves you as well as me.

And don’t feel guilty when you get a new kitty that looks like me. It’s ok, because I’ve already put in a request for you, and you’ll love that new kitty just like you loved me. I know you had another one that looked like me before, and I’m sure Mischief will be waiting to greet me, so I can tell her all about what’s been going on with you since she left.

And now, let me go. It won’t hurt me. And then I won’t hurt any more. You will for a time, but you’ll understand.

It’s going to be ok….Meow!!!

Artwork by Stella Violano…Fine Art America

Meet Me at the Rainbow Bridge

You know, it was a little over ten years ago that we first met. I was a small little kitty. I’d left my mom, and my brothers and sisters, and I didn’t understand why. I missed my mom a lot. And I missed my siblings. We’d had so many good times, playing and sleeping and purring together. It was fun.

But then we were all separated. One by one we all said a quick good bye to each other, and had to go our separate ways. We didn’t know why. We didn’t understand, and there was no one there to explain it to us.

EXIF_JPEG_T422 And then you came along. You had been looking for a kitty just like me, and you’d been looking for a while. And as soon as you saw me, you ran over and picked me up and held me, stroking my fur and kissing me and telling me I was just purr-fect! And as nervous as I was, I couldn’t help purring back to you. It’s how we kitties communicate, you know.

And I knew. I knew you were the one I was meant to be with. You knew it, too!

And I went home with you. We had wonderful times together. I met my new kitty brothers and sister, and we became great friends! We had wonderful times together. Especially in the middle of the night when we’d chase each other up and down the steps and wake you and the rest of the house up late at night. But because we were so cute, you couldn’t be mad at us!

There were doggies there, too. I’d never really been around dogs before, so that took some getting used to…on both sides. I had to show them my claws several times before they realized who was the new boss in the house. But they learned, and we all eventually became good friends. I bet you didn’t know about all the times we got together and played tricks on you, throwing pillows around, and eating each other’s food, and watching those doggies chew the baseboards while we dug holes in the plants and tried to get in the fish tank and make friends (sort of) with those pretty fishes that were swimming around.

imageI cried with you when you lost those two doggies you had when I came to live with you. That was awful. But I have to tell you, before Lassie and Rocky left, they had the chance to tell me some things that I’ve never forgotten, and I feel like I need to share them with you now.

Because, well, you know why….

They both told me the story about the Rainbow Bridge. It’s a place that we animals go to when it’s time to leave the earth and meet up with all the other pets you humans have had over the years. It’s a special place. It’s a place where we’re not in pain any longer; where we can run and play like we used to do when we were kittens and puppies. Where we’re free to roam wherever we want; where we can eat whatever we want and it won’t make us sick; where our claws won’t need clipping, and we won’t need those baths we hate so much.

It’s a place where old and sick animals go, and we’re suddenly young and well again. There are fields of flowers and grass to play in. For us kitties, there are mice and butterflies and bugs to chase, and there’s catnip growing everywhere. For the doggies, there are balls and frisbees to chase and pools to swim in, and socks and bones to chew on. And all the dog treats they could ever want! For us kitties, there are soft warm beds to cuddle up in, and balls of yarn to bat around. There are spots of sunlight to chase, and all kinds of furniture to jump up on….we can go as high up as we want and play King of the Mountain. And we won’t get hurt when we jump down.

Christmas KittyDoesn’t it sound like the best of places? The bad part is, we have to leave you, our very special and very beloved owners, in order to go there. It means we’re both going to be sad, because we have to say good bye. And sometimes it’s a painful good bye. Neither of us wants to do it, but we know there’s not really a choice.

But the good part is, when we pets get to the Rainbow Bridge, and we cross over it, we’re not only young again, not sick and hurting any more, but we’re there waiting for you to come and get us.

Don’t worry, because we’ll have plenty of things to do while we’re waiting for you. It may be a lot of years before you come for us, but we won’t forget you. We’ll just be waiting there with our friends, playing and eating all kinds of wonderful treats. For us, the time will pass so quickly we won’t even know how long it’s been.

But we won’t forget you. Just like you won’t forget us. And on your way to Heaven, you’ll either stop by and get us, or we’ll be waiting for you in your special heavenly mansion. That’s not our decision to make, you know; only God plans that. But we WILL be with you again. Forever.

And now, I know you don’t want to hear this from me, but you have to. I’ve had the most wonderful life with you. It’s been everything I could ever hope for. You’re the best kitty mommy ever. But it’s time now for me to leave. You see, I’m in pain. My legs don’t work very well any more, and I can’t walk without hurting. And I’m not able to digest my food the way I used to anymore, and that’s making me feel worse. The pain meds you’re giving me help, but they can’t make me well. I really don’t want to leave you, and I’d be happy to keep lying beside you every night purring you to sleep, but it’s just not something I can keep doing. I’m tired, and I need to go where I can be pain free again.

imageI love you. I know there are people who say we animals don’t know what love is, but they’re wrong. We animals know love. Unconditional love. I would do anything for you. And now you have to do this for me. Let me go to the Rainbow Bridge. Let me go with my friends and wait for you. I promise we’ll be together again. And I’ll be ready to play and purr and cuddle, and I’ll even let you clip my claws without trying to bite you like I always did.

Until that time comes, please know I love you. And I always will.

Until we meet again……

Artwork by Stella Violano…Fine Art America

Walking Across the Rainbow Bridge

All of us pet owners have heard of the Rainbow Bridge. There’s nothing scriptural about it, but for those of us who love our pets, and grieve over them when they leave us, we know about the Rainbow Bridge.

Legend has it that the Rainbow Bridge is very close to heaven, maybe even a part of heaven. When a beloved pet passes away, that pet crosses over the Rainbow Bridge, where it meets and plays with all of its friends in rolling fields and meadows and beaches, chasing balls and Frisbees, waves and butterflies (maybe even a few mice, in the case of cats), and enjoying the warm sunshine on their fur. These pets are also totally restored to health, just as we receive new healthy and glorious bodies when we enter into heaven.

It is said that one day, each of those pets will suddenly see their former owners. There is a joyful reunion, and these pets and their owners are finally reunited for all of eternity.

Over the years, my mother had three dogs she absolutely adored. Two of tAngel Doghem had passed away before her, and my husband and I took her Pekingese home to live with us after Mom died. Knowing the love my mother had for these special animals, and the joy and companionship they brought into her life, I totally believe her first two dogs were waiting for her in her mansion when she arrived at her heavenly home. I also believe when her Pekingese died almost 9 years later, that sweet little dog ran across the Rainbow Bridge and bounced up the steps to Mom’s heavenly mansion, barked to be let in, and they had a glorious reunion! I’m sure all three dogs quickly began playing together as my mom smiled in approval.

The Lord loves us. You can open any page in your Bible and find a verse which tells you that. And He knows how much we love our pets. In the book of Genesis God gave man dominion over the earth and all of the animals on it, as well as all of the fish in the sea and the birds in the air. If He gave us dominion over them, He entrusted us with their care. And He commanded Noah to take two of each species of animal with him on the ark so the earth could be totally replenished after the flood.

Scripture clearly gives us instruction about taking care of our animals. Although animals are not mentioned specifically as pets, it is obvious we are to care for them and watch over them. Ecclesiastes 3:21 tells us: “All (referring to animals and man) have the same breath (literally “spirit”); humans have no advantage over animals.”

Let’s also not forget animals are mentioned as being in heaven. Isaiah tells us “the lion will lie down with the lamb.” And Revelation refers to the Lord and the armies of heaven coming forth riding on horses.

I truly believe the Lord knew how much we would come to care for those certain animals He entrusted as our companions. Of course He knew. He created them as well as He created us. Because He knows the depth of our feelings for our special pets, why would He not have them waiting for us in heaven?

“…with God, all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26) I am believing and trusting that my favorite pets will be waiting for me, too, inside my heavenly mansion. With a heavenly “welcome home” party. And what a reunion we will all have!

What pets have you had that you are looking forward to being reunited with one day? Share your comments with us.