"The Bridge"

Unlike most days at Rainbow Bridge...
This day dawned cold and grey, 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

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
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 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 a while 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 existence. Because he had no family to give
his love to, he has no one to escort him across the

The first animal thought about this and then asked,
"so what will happen now?" As he was about to receive
his answer, the clouds suddenly parted and the gloom

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

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

"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
across - The Rainbow Bridge".

~Author Unknown~