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.