Unlike most days at Rainbow Bridge, this day dawned cold and gray, damp as a swamp and as dismal as could be imagined. All of the recent arrivals had no idea what to think, as they had never experienced a day like this before. But the animals who had been waiting for their beloved people knew exactly what was going on and started to gather at the pathway leading to The Bridge to watch.
It wasn't long before an elderly animal came into view, head hung low and tail dragging.
The other animals, the ones who had been there for a while, knew what his story was right away,
for they had seen this happen far too often.
He approached slowly, obviously in great emotional pain, but with no sign of injury or illness.
Unlike all of the other animals waiting at The Bridge, this animal had not been
restored to youth and made healthy and vigorous again.
As he walked toward The Bridge, he watched all of the other animals watching him.
He knew he was out of place here and the sooner he could cross over, the happier he would be.
But, alas, as he approached The Bridge, his way was barred by the appearance of an Angel who apologized, but told him that he would not be able to pass.
Only those animals who were with their people could pass over Rainbow Bridge. With no place else to turn to, the elderly animal turned towards the fields before The Bridge and saw a group of other animals like himself, also elderly and infirm. They weren't playing, but rather simply lying on the green grass,
forlornly staring out at the pathway leading to The Bridge.
And so, he took his place among them, watching the pathway and waiting.
One of the newest arrivals at The Bridge didn't understand what he had just witnessed and
asked one of the animals that had been there for a while to explain it to him.
"You see, that poor animal over there, with the others, they are rescues.
He was turned in to rescue just as you see him now, an older animal with his fur graying and his eyes clouding. Sadly, he never made it out of rescue and passed on with only the love of his rescuer to comfort him as he left his earthly existence. Because he had no family to give his love to,
he has no one 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, suddenly, the clouds parted swiftly,
and the gloom lifted with a mighty wind. Approaching The Bridge could be seen a
single person and among the older animals, a whole group was suddenly bathed in a golden
light and they were all once again, young and healthy, just as they were in the prime of their life.
"Watch, and see.", said the second animal.
A second group of animals from those also waiting came to the pathway and bowed their heads ever
so low as the person neared closer. As each bowed head, the person offered a pat on their head or a scratch behind the ears. One by one, the newly restored animals fell into line and followed him towards The Bridge.
And then, one by one, they all crossed The Bridge together.
"What just happened?" asked the first animal.
"That was a rescuer.
The animals you saw bowing to the rescuer in respect were those who found
new homes because of all their work.
They will all cross over to The Bridge, when their new families arrive.
Those you saw restored were those who never found homes.
When a rescuer arrives, they are allowed to perform one, final act of rescue.
They are allowed to escort all those poor animals that they couldn't place on earth across
The Rainbow Bridge."
"I think I like rescuers", said the first animal. "So does GOD",
was the reply from the second animal, "so does GOD".
NOT AN ANGEL
The young pup and the older dog lay on shaded sweet grass watching the reunions. Sometimes a man, sometimes a woman, sometimes a whole family would approach the Rainbow Bridge, be greeted by their loving pets and cross the bridge together.
The young pup playfully nipped at the older one. "Look! Something wonderful is happening!"
The older dog stood up and barked, "Quickly. Get over to the path."
"But that's not my owner," whined the pup, but he did as he was told.
Thousands of pets surged forward as a figure in white walked on the path toward the bridge. As the glowing figure passed each animal, that animal bowed its head in love and respect. The figure finally approached the bridge, and was met by a menagerie of joyous animals. Together, they all walked over the bridge and disappeared.
The young pup was still in awe. "Was that an angel?" he whispered.
"No, son," the older dog replied. "That was more than an angel. That was a rescuer."
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