by Alexander Theodore, Bouvier, Fourth Year Resident

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 all the dogs and cats 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 or kitty in the Heavens.

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

They were told by a solemn voice that unexpectedly, all at once, over 5,000 loving people had left Earth long before they were ready.  All the pups and kitties, as all pups and kitties 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 kitty 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 Firemen and be their friends. The larger working breeds offered to greet the Police Officers and make them feel at home. Little dogs and kitties volunteered to do what they do best, cuddle and kiss. 

Dogs and cats who on Earth had never been given 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 and cats, wherever on Earth they originally came from, rushed to the Rainbow Bridge and stood waiting, overflowing with love to share -- each tail wagging a little American Flag.   

Sept. 11, 2001

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