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Return from Rainbow Bridge

The little dog arrived at the Rainbow Bridge, and a pack of dogs rushed
up to greet him. He braced himself, expecting a fight, but this was the

first pack that wagged their tails and kissed him instead of attacking
him.
It was beautiful here, and everyone was nice to him. None of them had
been
born in a puppy mill, like he had, and used for dog-bait fighting and
left
to die in a shelter because he was a mix-breed battle-scarred cur and
wasn't
cute. They explained why they were waiting for their humans who loved
them.
"What is love?" he asked, and God let him go back to earth and find out.

Warm, and dark, he squeezed in with the others and waited for the day to
be
born. Scared, he held back as long as he could, but finally got dragged
out,
by his hind feet. Hands without fur held him gently and rubbed him dry
and
opened his mouth and guided him to a warm nipple with milk. He didn't
get a
good hold on it, because one of his big fat brothers pushed him aside.
The
human hand moved the other puppy to another nipple and held his body, so
he
could drink.
"Ahhh, that's better, " he thought, and drank until his jaws got tired
and
he curled up to sleep next to his warm hairy mother. "I remember this,"
he
mused... "Too bad I'll have to grow up to be hit, left out in the cold
and
rain, and used for dog-bait fighting, and die as an unclaimed rescue
dog.
I remember what it's like, being a dog." he thought sadly.
That night, he crawled up to his mother and tried to nurse, but he kept
getting pushed off to the side. When they were full, the big brothers
and
sisters got their bottoms cleaned and he finally latched on to a nipple,
but
the human hands weren't there to hold him up, and there wasn't any milk
in
any of the nipples, anyway. He was weak and so tiny. It was even hard
to
stay upright, and he fell over on his back and couldn't right himself.
So he began to cry, and suddenly the human hands were there, holding him
up
and putting a rubber thing in his mouth. It didn't taste or feel like
mother, but it was warm and made the ache in his tummy go away.
He was having trouble breathing as his lungs weren't fully developed,
because he had waited too long to join the others in the womb, as he
took
one last romp at the Rainbow Bridge. He could feel the heartbeat of the

human, who had laid him on her chest and covered him with a soft cloth,
keeping him warm, and soothing his bony body with gentle circling
touches.
He kept thinking of his new friends who had been so nice to him at the
bridge and asked God if he could go back. God said, "Yes, but not just
yet.
You wanted to experience Love."
So for several hours (seemed like days but it was dark and he couldn't
tell
what time it was), the human supplemented his feeding and let him
experience
the warmth of his mother's body and tongue, and the pile of warm soft
littermates. He got weaker, and the human held him more often, leaving
the
littermates to sleep in a pile while he got caressed, kissed, and got to

listen to the heartbeat which was strong and loving.
Finally God came back and asked, "are you ready to come back to the
Rainbow
Bridge?"
"Yes, he responded," with a little sorrow, because the human didn't want
to
let him go, and was crying.
He pushed the air out of his lungs and floated back to the Rainbow
Bridge
and looked back at the human, who was still crying and holding the limp
body
that he had borrowed for his trip.
"Thank you, God," he said. "Love is beautiful, and I will wait near the

Bridge and let the human know, when she arrives, that I loved her, too."

by Joy LaCaille

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