Thank you to everyone who is a part of our Rescue Circle - with love from our dogs: Once I was a Lonely Dog ************************* Once I was a lonely dog, Just looking for a home. I had no place to go, No one to call my own. I wandered up and down the streets, in rain in heat and snow. I ate what ever I could find, I was always on the go. My skin would itch, my feet were sore, My body ached with pain. And no one stopped to give a pat Or to gently say my name. I never saw a loving glance, I was always on the run. For people thought that hurting me was really lots of fun. And then one day I heard a voice So gentle, kind and sweet, And arms so soft reached down to me And took me off my feet. "No one again will hurt you" Was whispered in my ear. "You'll have a home to call your own where you will know no fear." "You will be dry, you will be warm, you'll have enough to eat And rest assured that when you sleep, your dreams will all be sweet." I was afraid I must admit, I've lived so long in fear. I can't remember when I let A human come so near. And as she tended to my wounds And bathed and brushed my fur She told me 'bout the rescue group And what it meant to her. She said, "We are a circle, A line that never ends. And in the center there is you protected by new friends." "And all around you are the ones that check the pounds, And those that share their home after you've been found." "And all the other folk are searching near and far. To find the perfect home for you, where you can be a star." She said, "There is a family, that's waiting patiently, and pretty soon we'll find them, just you wait and see." "And then they'll join our circle they'll help to make it grow, so there'll be room for more like you, who have no place to go." I waited very patiently, The days they came and went. Today's the day I thought, my family will be sent. Then just when I began to think It wasn't meant to be, there were people standing there just gazing down at me. I knew them in a heart beat, I could tell they felt it too. They said, "We have been waiting for a special dog like you." Now every night I say a prayer to all the gods that be. "Thank you for the life I live and all you've given me. But most of all protect the dogs in the pound and on the street. And send a Rescue Person to lift them off their feet."
Unlike most days at Rainbow Bridge, this day dawned cold and grey, damp as a swamp and as dismal as could be imagined. All the recent arrivals were confused and concerned. They had no idea what to think for they had never experienced a day like this before. But the animals who had spent some time waiting for their beloved people knew exactly what was happening and began to gather at the pathway leading to the Bridge to watch. They knew this was something special.
It wasn't too long before an elderly animal came into view, head hung heavy and low with tail dragging along the ground. The other animals on the pathway...the ones who had been at Rainbow Bridge for a while...knew the story of this sad creature immediately. They had seen it happen far too many times.
Although it was obvious the animal's heart was leaden and he was totally overcome with emotional pain and hurt, there was no sign of injury or any illness. Unlike the pets waiting at the Bridge, this dog had not been restored to his prime. He was full of neither health nor vigor. He approached slowly and painfully, watching all the pets who were by now watching him. He knew he was out of place here. This was no resting place for him. He felt instinctively that the sooner he could cross over, the happier he would be. But alas, as he came closer to the Bridge, his way was barred by the appearance of an Angel who spoke softly to the old dog and apologized sorrowfully, telling him that he would not be able to pass. Only those animals who were with their special people could pass over the Rainbow Bridge. And he had no special beloved people...not here at the Bridge nor on Earth below.
With no place else to turn, the poor elderly dog looked toward the fields before the Bridge. There, in a separate area nearby, he spotted a group of other sad-eyed animals like himself...elderly and infirm. Unlike the pets waiting for their special people, these animals weren't playing, but simply lying on the green grass, forlornly and miserably staring out at the pathway leading to the Bridge. The recent arrival knew he had no choice but to join them. And so, he took his place among them, just watching the pathway and waiting.
One of the newest arrivals at the Bridge, who was waiting for his special people, could not understand what he had just witnessed and asked one of the pets who had been there for some time to explain it to him.
"That poor dog was a rescue, sent to the pound when his owner grew tired of him. The way you see him now, with greying fur and sad, cloudy eyes, was exactly the way he was when he was put into the kennels. He never, ever made it out and passed on only with the love and comfort that the kennel workers could give him as he left his miserable and unloved existence on Earth for good. Because he had no family or special person to give his love, he has nobody 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, the clouds suddenly parted and the all-invasive gloom lifted. Coming toward the Bridge could be seen a single figure...a person who, on Earth, had seemed quite ordinary...a person who, just like the elderly dog, had just left Earth forever. This figure turned toward a group of the sad animals and extended outstretched palms. The sweetest sounds they had ever heard echoed gently above them and all were bathed in a pure and golden light. Instantly, each was young and healthy again, just as they had been in the prime of life.
From within the gathering of pets waiting for their special people, a group of animals emerged and moved toward the pathway. As they came close to the passing figure, each bowed low and each received a tender pat on the head or a scratch behind the ears. Their eyes grew even brighter as the figure softly murmured each name. Then, the newly-restored pets fell into line behind the figure and quietly followed this person to the Bridge, where they all crossed together.
The recent arrival who had been watching, was amazed. "What happened?"
"That was a rescuer," came the answer.
"That person spent a lifetime trying to help pets of all kinds. The ones you saw bowing in respect were those who found new homes because of such unselfish work. They will cross when their families arrive. Those you saw restored were ones who never found homes. When a rescuer arrives, they are permitted to perform one, final act of rescue. They are allowed to escort those poor pets that couldn't place on Earth across the Rainbow Bridge. You see, all animals are special to them...just as they are special to all animals."
"I think I like rescuers," said the recent arrival.