I awake.... But I do not remember falling asleep.
Just a moment ago, little Jenny threw the ball
And I chased it with all my puppy concentration;
Timing each bounce in the grass to catch it at just the right moment.
Did I feel the front yard's grass turn to stone?
Did I hear a screaming sound? Perhaps I did. Perhaps I dreamed.
The fresh tang of dewy grass teases my nose.
The warm sun warms me. I open my eyes.
Many new friends gather around me.
They show me what to eat, where to drink.
We play and sleep, near the Bridge of Many Colors.
This is wonderful...but it is not perfect.
I awake.... Only a moment ago I fell asleep,
Deep asleep, lying in Jen's arms.
I remember the pain in her eyes, and the pain in my body, slowly ebbing.
So many years I played at her feet, slept by her side, sat watching at her windows.
Slowly I moved less, jumped less, ate less, saw less.
She loved me, carefully caressing me, making soft soothing sounds.
The pain is gone; The blades of grass tickle my nose.
I open my eyes and find new friends gathered around me.
My legs are like springs. Butterflies play tag.
I am fed, and we play near the Many-Colored Bridge.
It is wonderful....but it is not perfect.
I awake.... When I fell asleep moments ago, I thought all was finished.
But now I see sunshine streaming throught the leaves above.
All the pains and aches of my long life are dimmest memories.
I lift my hand before my eyes.
I see it clearly, soft and smooth, as it has not been in years.
I rise. My legs are strong again, my toes against the cool grass.
My ears hear birdsong. The freshness of dawn floods my senses.
I move easily, drawn to a Bridge nearby, arching gracefully into the distance.
This is wonderful....but it is not perfect.
I approach the Bridge, and turn to gaze into the fields nearby.
I see happy creatures, sitting, playing and sleeping.
But my eyes are drawn to two joyous beings,
Running at their fullest speed. They seem familiar.
Can they be the animals that I knew before?
They are! I kneel down.
They rush into my arms,
Wetting my face with joyous kisses and tears!
We stand. We move together
Across the Rainbow Bridge.
This is wonderful. This is perfect.
(Used With Permission)