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.
It was beautiful here and everyone was nice to him. None of them had been born in a puppy mill, like he had, or used for dog-bait fighting, or left to die in a shelter because they were mix-breed battle-scarred curs and weren'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 then 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. 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 kept getting pushed off to the side. When they were full, the big brothers and sisters got their bottoms cleaned and he finally latched onto 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. 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 puting a rubber thing in his mouth. It didn't taste like mother, but it was warm and made the ache in his tummy go away.
He was having trouble breathing. 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 boney 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...it 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 and 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, 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. I will wait near the Bridge and let the human know, when she arrives, that I loved her, too."
--Joy LaCaille: Rainbow Bridge Return--
After playing in the fields of flowers with all the other dogs, Micro kept looking back down at earth and saw many humans holding fragile little new-borns, that were only to stay on earth for a few hours or days, to learn about love.
He asked God, "Must I wait for her? Now that I know what love is, I want to share it with other humans...for there are many who are down there, crying."
"Yes," God answered warmly. "You are learning about love, and I will send you back where YOU are needed and wanted."
So the little dog...who had once been born in a puppy-mill, only knowing cruelty, abuse, being used as bait for dog-fighting, and left to die at a rescue shelter...now knew the meaning of love and was given another chance to give as well as receive.
This time, he was born strong and quickly became everyone's "pick"...because of his gentleness and outgoing temperament. He gave EVERYONE puppy-breath kisses and bounded to greet all the prospective puppy-buyers with his whole body-wagging his tail. He was looking for the special human, who had taught him the meaning of love, but she was not this breeder or any of the buyers who came to look at the litter.
"Where is my human?" the big, strong puppy asked God.
"Be patient," God replied. "She has many other dogs right now, and doesn't need you as much as someone else."
This breeder could have gotten a lot of money for him; but instead, she called the national service-dog group and told them of her special puppy. Micro, who was now a big dog, spent his first year in a special home, learning how to be a "service-dog" for the handicapped. This family trained him to sit, down, stay, fetch, and learn patience...oh, that was the hardest "trick" to learn!
There was a special little boy who could not walk or coordinate his hand-movements. Micro, who had only weighed 5 ounces in his previous life as a "fading puppy," was now over 50 pounds and capable of pulling a wheelchair and picking up keys, pencils, etc, and giving them to the trainer. Micro loved his trainer but the day he met the little boy, he knew God was answering his prayers by giving him a "micro" human who couldn't play like the other children.
Micro spent many years with the *handicapped* child, helping him grow and learn that love comes in different forms...as a breeder who spends the extra time and love with a fading puppy...as a trainer who must give up his dog after many months of close bonding to the person who could not have trained the dog themselves from puppy-hood...and as a "handicapped" child or adult who once was alone and helpless and often rejected by those who made fun of them, because they could not run and play and fit-in with their games, but could live independently, with the help of their canine-companion.
Micro got old and a little stiff. He was having trouble pulling the wheelchair and fetching things for his beloved companion. The service-dog organization had trained another dog for Micro's human, and it was time to "retire" Micro to a senior-foster-home, where he learned another lesson of love...from a family that knew he wouldn't live long, but deserved the special care of finishing out his "golden years" with someone who could care for him as he had cared for the human for so many years.
Micro closed his eyes and dreamed of his friends at the Rainbow Bridge...the ones who had rushed up to greet him the first time, and wagged their tails and kissed him instead of attacking. Suddenly, he was surrounded by his old friends, and he looked back at earth...at the foster humans who were crying and holding the limp body that he had borrowed for his trip.
"Don't cry," Micro barked. "I'll be back. You may not recognize the body I borrow, for it may be bigger or smaller...it may have wrinkled skin or long silky hair or curly wirey hair, or no hair at all. It may be beautiful and win championship titles, or it may be "ugly" in the eyes of many. Look behind the eyes of trust and you will find my unconditional love. Train me, and help me learn how to be the loyal companion that you think you want, when you pick up that cute little puppy that may grow up to be huge and loud and destructive unless guided to be a GOOD dog."
--Joy LaCaille: Rainbow Bridge Return Again--