Rescue at Rainbow Bridge
Unlike most of the sun filled days at the Rainbow Bridge, this particular day dawned cold and gray, damp as a swamp and as dismal as any day could be imagined. All of the recent arrivals had no idea what to think, as they had never ever experienced a day like this before. But, the animals who had been waiting for a while 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, his head hung low, so very low, and his 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, far, too often. He approached slowly, very slowly, and was 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 saw all of the other animals watching him. He knew he was out of place here and the sooner he could pass over, the happier he would be. But, alas, it was not to be. As he approached The Bridge, his path was was barred by the appearance of an Angel who sadly apologized to him, and then told him that he would not be able to pass. Only those animals who were with their people could pass over to the 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 waited.
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 a while to explain it to him.
“You see, that poor animal over there with the others, they are rescues. He was turned in to rescue just as you see him now, an older animal with his fur graying and his eyes clouding. Sadly, 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 existence. 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, suddenly, the clouds parted swiftly, and the gloom lifted with a mighty wind. 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 once again, young and healthy, just as they were in the prime of their life.
“Watch, and see,” said the second animal. A second group of animals, from those also waiting, came to the pathway and bowed their heads ever so low as the person neared closer. At each bowed head, the person offered a pat on the head or a scratch behind the ears.
One by one, the newly restored animals fell into line and followed the person towards The Bridge. And then, one by one, they all crossed The Bridge together.
“What just happened?” asked the first animal.
“That was a rescuer. The animals you saw bowing to the rescuer in respect were those who found new homes because of all the rescuer’s work. They will all cross over The Bridge in time when their old 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 restore all those poor animals that they couldn’t place on earth and escort them across The Rainbow Bridge.”
“I think I like rescuers,” said the first animal. “So does GOD,” was the reply from the second animal, “so does GOD.”
– Author Unknown –
To the countless individuals involved with rescue efforts for all breeds, it is frustrating not being able to help more animals, but all we can do is help those that we know about and can help. We are all driven by the same motive – to do what we can to relieve suffering and pain for helpless creatures and, ultimately, provide an environment where they are truly appreciated and cared for while they are still with us.
The real thanks that we get for the time we spend rescuing comes from the knowledge that, for the ones we have saved, life is better. For the ones we can’t, or couldn’t, help we can only feel their pain and silently grieve for them.
Because of the time spent with helping other less fortunate members of our focus breed, our own pets and families often see less of us than they should, and we can only hope that, in their own way, they understand that this is what we have to do, regardless of the consequences.
To the many who do not understand why we care, they are missing so much and will, unfortunately, probably never know.
Rescue at Rainbow Bridge is dedicated to everyone involved with Rescuing.