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Tears From The Bridge

You will have to forgive me for this diversion.  I know moisture is not good for computers, and my keyboard is literally sopping wet from tears uncontrollably squirting from my eyes.  It happens every time I read stuff about the "Rainbow Bridge".  Google it and you will see what I mean.  Chris seems to think it originated from early Norse mythology.  No one seems to know who wrote the modern English version. My guess is it was some elderly woman with a big heart and a very special pain inside it.  There are a number of versions of it crawling around the web.  Here is one:

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

There are variants to this theme, obviously trying to "patch up" some of the loopholes.  For example, what about the animals who had no loving master, or who were mistreated?

There is a bridge connecting Heaven and Earth. It is called the Rainbow Bridge because of its many colors. Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge, there is a land of meadows, hills and valleys with lush green grass. When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this place. There is always food and water, and warm Spring weather. Those old and frail animals are young again. Those who have been maimed are made whole again. They play all day with each other.

Some of them here are different. They were beaten, starved, tortured, and unloved. They watch wistfully as their friends leave one by one, to cross the bridge with their special person. For them there is no one, no special one. Their time on earth did not give them one.

But one day, as they run and play, they notice someone standing by the road to the bridge. This person wistfully watches the reunions of friends, for in their life, they had no pet. They were beaten, starved, tortured, and unloved.

As they stand there alone, one of the unloved pets comes up to them, curious as to why this one is alone. And as the they get nearer to each other, a miracle occurs, for these are the ones who were meant to be together. Their special person, their beloved pet, although on Earth they never met. With the meeting of two souls, the pain and the sorrow disappear, and two friends are together.

Then they cross the Rainbow Bridge together, never again to be separated.

There are even some "special-event" versions, like this one here by Alexander Theodore:

On the morning of September 11, 2001, there was an unprecedented amount of activity at the Rainbow Bridge. Decisions had to be made. They had to be made quickly. And, they were.

An issue, not often addressed here, is the fact that many residents really have no loved one for whom to wait. Think of the pups who lived and died in hideous puppy mills. No one on earth loved or protected them. What about the many who spent unhappy lives tied in backyards? And, the ones who were abused. Who are they to wait for?

We don't talk about that much up here. We share our loved ones as they arrive, happy to do so. But we all know there is nothing like having your very own person who thinks you are the most special pup in the Heavens.

Last Tuesday morning a request rang out for pups not waiting for specific persons to volunteer for special assignment... An eager, curious crowd surged excitedly forward, each pup wondering what the assignment would be.

They were told by a solemn voice that unexpectedly, all at once, thousands of loving people had left Earth long before they were ready.

All the pups, as all pups do, felt the humans' pain deep in their own hearts. Without hearing more, there was a clamoring among them - "May I have one to comfort?" "I'll take two, I have a big heart." "I have been saving kisses forever."

One after another they came forward begging for assignment. One cozy-looking fluffy pup hesitantly asked, "Are there any children coming?

I would be very comforting for a child 'cause I'm soft and squishy and I always wanted to be hugged." A group of Dalmatians came forward asking to meet the FireFighters and be their friends. The larger working breeds offered to greet the Police Officers and make them feel at home.

Little dogs volunteered to do what they do best, cuddle and kiss. Dogs who on Earth had never had a kind word or a pat on the head, stepped forward and said, "I will love any human who needs love."

Then all the dogs, wherever on Earth they originally came from, rushed to the Rainbow Bridge and stood waiting, overflowing with love to share - each tail wagging an American Flag.

"You think there will not be dogs in Heaven?  I tell you they will be there before any of us." -- Robert Louis Stevenson.  Read this lovely poem by another "anonymous" dog lover:

High up in the courts of heaven today
A little dog angel waits;
With the other angels he will not play,
But he sits alone at the gates.
For I know my master will come, says he,
And when he comes he will call for me.

The other angels pass him by
As they hurry towards the throne,
And he watches them with a wistful eye
As he sits at the gates alone.
But I know if I just wait patiently
That someday my master will call for me.

And his master, down on Earth below,
As he sits in his easy chair,
Forgets sometimes, and whispers low
To the dog, who is not there.
And the little dog angel cocks his ears,
And dreams that his master's voice he hears.

And when at last his master waits
Outside in the dark and cold,
For the hand of death to open the door,
That leads to those courts of gold,
He will hear a sound through the gathering dark,
A little dog angel's bark.

And here is "Request from the Bridge", by Constance Jenkins (Copyright 1992)

Weep not for me though I am gone
into that gentle night.
Grieve if you will, but not for long,
upon my soul's sweet flight.
I am at peace, my soul's at rest;
there is no need for tears -
for with your love I was so blessed
for all those many years.
There is no pain, I suffer not,
the fear now all is gone.
Put now these things out of your thoughts -
in your memory I live on.
Remember not my fight for breath;
remember not the strife.
Please do not dwell upon my death.
but celebrate my life.

If you are not quite drowning in tears yet, here is another, called "The Loss of a Heart-Dog" (author unknown).  For me, this one is really the coup de grace:

I stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peep. I could see that you were crying, you found it hard to sleep.

I whined to you so softly as you brushed away a tear, "It's me, I haven't left you, I'm well, I'm fine, I'm here."

I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea. You were thinking of the many times your hands reached down to me.

I was with you at the shops today, your arms were getting sore. I longed to take your parcels, I wished I could do more.

I was with you at my grave today, you tend it with such care. I want to reassure you that I'm not lying there.

I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key. I gently put my paw on you, I smiled and said, "It's me."

You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair. I tried so hard to let you know, that I was standing there.

It's possible for me to be so near you everyday. To say to you with certainty, "I never went away."

You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew...In the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.

The day is over now ... I smile and watch you yawning, And say, "Goodnight, God bless, I'll see you in the morning."

And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide, I'll rush across to greet you and we'll stand, side by side.

I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see. Be patient, live your journey out ... then come Home to be with me.


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Image at top is Copyright Linda McCarty, Rolin Ridge, Mechanicsville VA, where Mojo was born, and where his mother and father live.  I believe that is a picture of Midas, Mojo's grandsire.  Mojo looks just like him.


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