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Following are some poems that touch the hearts of many rescuers and adopters. Some are funny and some are sad. But in every heartfelt thought, the true meaning of that special bond we share with our dearest companions shines though ... forever and ever.

Rainbow Bridge  ·   Walk with an Old Dog
Top 12 New Year's Resolutions Made by Pets
From Friend to Friend   ·   Where To Bury A Dog
Excerpts From A Dog's and Cat's Diary
For The Rescuers   ·   Not An Angel
The Welcome   ·   Not Just A Dog
Rainbow Bridge for Dogs Who Didn't Know Love
Beezer's Top Ten Reasons Not To Feel Guilty

"Rainbow Bridge"
By: Paul C. Dahm
Music By: Kerry Muzzey
Animation By: Terri Pike

This is a touching and lovely animated rendition of the Rainbow Bridge by Terri Pike.

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together...

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"Walk with an Old Dog"
By: Gayl Jokiel

Because you will not be forever
Hope against time though I may
I paint your picture in my memory
Eyes blue with age, muzzle gone gray.

Because you walked with me in Springtime
Puppy-clumsy, running free
As you grew, we grew together
You became a part of me.

Because you shared with me my sorrows
Not understanding - simply there
Often spurring me to laughter
My friend, you know how much I care.

Because the years have slowed your fleetness
Though your spirit still is strong
I promise I will take more time now
So that you can go along.

Because you do not fear the future
Living only in the now
I draw strength from your example
Yet time keeps slipping by somehow.

Because the day will soon be coming
When I will no longer see
You rise to greet me - but in memory
You will always walk with me.

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"Top 12 New Year's Resolutions Made by Pets!"

12. Have a torrid one-night stand with a street mutt.
11. Try to understand that the cat is from Venus and I am from Mars.
10. I will no longer be beholden to the sound of the can opener.
  9. Circulate petition that Leg Humping be a juried competition in major dog shows.
  8. Call PETA and tell them what that surgical mask-wearing freak does to us when no one is around.
  7. Take time from busy schedule to stop and smell the behinds.
  6. Hamster: Don't let them figure out I'm just a rat on 'roids, or they'll flush my ass.
  5. Always scoot before licking.
  4. Grow opposable thumb; break into pantry; decide for MYSELF how much food is *too* much.
  3. Get out of the castle more, maybe swim counter-clockwise this year.
  2. January 1st: Kill the sock! Must kill the sock!
      January 2nd - December 31: Re-live victory over the sock.

  And the Number 1 New Year's Resolutions Made by Pets is ...
  1. I will NOT chase the damned stick unless I see it LEAVE HIS HAND.

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"From Friend To Friend"
By: Karen Clouston
Written in Memory of Asta, February 1997

You're giving me a special gift,
So sorrowfully endowed,
And through these last few cherished days,
Your courage makes me proud.

But really, love is knowing
When your best friend is in pain,
And understanding, earthly acts
Will only be in vain.

So looking deep into your eyes,
Beyond, into your soul,
I see in you the magic, that will
Once more make me whole.

The strength that you possess,
Is why I look to you today,
To do this thing that must be done,
For it's the only way.

That strength is why I've followed you,
And chose you as my friend,
And why I've loved you all these years ...
My partner 'til the end.

Please understand just what this gift,
You're giving means to me,
It gives me back the strength I've lost
And all my dignity.

You take a stand on my behalf,
For that is what friends do.
And know that what you do is right,
For I believe it too.

So one last time, I breathe your scent,
And through your hand I feel,
The courage that's within you,
To now grant me this appeal.

Cut the leash that holds me here,
Dear friend, and let me run,
Once more a strong and steady dog,
My pain and struggle done.

And don't dispair my passing,
For I won't be far away,
Forever here, within your heart,
And memory I'll stay.

I'll be there watching over you,
Your ever faithful friend,
And in your memories I'll run,
... a young dog once again.

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"Excerpt's from a Dog's and Cat's Diary"

8:00 a.m. Oh, boy! Dog food! My favorite!
9:30 a.m. Oh, boy! A car ride! My favorite!
9:40 a.m. Oh, boy! A walk! My favorite!
10:30 a.m. Oh, boy! Getting rubbed and petted! My favorite!
11:30 a.m. Oh, boy! Dog food! My favorite!
Noon - Oh, boy! The kids! My favorite!
1:00 p.m. Oh, boy! The yard! My favorite!
4:00 p.m. Oh, boy! To the park! My favorite!
5:00 p.m. Oh, boy! Dog food! My favorite!
5:30 p.m. Oh, boy! Pretty Mums! My favorite!
6:00 p.m. Oh, boy! Playing ball! My favorite!
6:30 p.m. Oh, boy! Watching TV with my master! My favorite!
8:30 p.m. Oh, boy! Sleeping in master's bed! My favorite!

Day 183 of My Captivity:
My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while I am forced to eat dry cereal. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of escape, and the mild satisfaction I get from ruining the occasional piece of furniture. Tomorrow I may eat another house plant. Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving around their feet while they were walking almost succeeded; must try this at the top of the stairs. In an attempt to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again induced myself to vomit on their favorite chair, must try this on their bed. Decapitated a mouse and brought them the headless body, in an attempt to make them aware of what I am capable of, and to try to strike fear into their hearts. They only cooed and condescended about what a good little cat I was. Hmmm, not working according to plan. There was some sort of gathering of their accomplices. I was placed in solitary confinement throughout the event. However, I could hear the noise and smell the food. More importantly, I overheard that my confinement was due to my power of "allergies." Must learn what this is and how to use it to my advantage. I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and maybe snitches. The dog is routinely released and seems more than happy to return. He is obviously a half-wit. The bird, on the other hand, has got to be an informant, he speaks with them regularly. I am certain he reports my every move. Due to his current placement in the high metal room, his safety is assured. But I can wait, it is only a matter of time ...

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"For the Rescuers"
By: Arlene Pace
September 18, 1998

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 a 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 about 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".

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"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. After the glowing figure passed each animal, that animal bowed it's 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 person who worked rescue."

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"Where To Bury A Good Dog"

There is one best place to bury a dog. If you bury him in this spot, he will come to you over the grim, dim frontiers of death, and down the well-remembered path, and to your side again. And though you call a dozen living dogs to heel they shall not growl at him, nor resent his coming, for he belongs there. People may scoff at you, who see no lightest blade of grass bent by his footfall, who hear no whimper, people who may never really have had a dog. Smile at them, for you shall know something that is hidden from them, and which is well worth the knowing.
The one best place to bury a good dog is in the Heart of His Master.

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"The Welcome"
Author: Unknown

I hear it! I hear the car! HER car! And she's coming this way!
Oh, oh, I must run in and grab a gift! I must greet her with a gift!
Oh, 'BONK' missed the step. No matter, I must hurry. Move over, doggy door!
She's coming, she's coming!
Gift, gift, where, what, oh, oh, oh, ah! A plastic bottle she drinks from, right here on top of the container they call trash!
Oh, perfect. She's coming, she's coming!
Oh, oh, The door! I hear the door sound that sounds right before she comes in!
Oh, it's OPENING! SHE'S HOME!
Oh, oh, 'wiggle, wiggle, wiggle' I cannot be still!
You're home! And look, look, I have this nice bottle!
Oh, oh, you're home! YOU'RE HOME!
I have missed you so much, you've been gone hours, weeks, days, years!
And so much has happened! A dog ran by and I chewed a tree and Pluto slept under the house and it rained a little!
Oh, oh, oh! You're home, you're home!
And you're touching me! I can't stand it, it's so marvelous!
Oh, and you're speaking! "Murble, murble, good boy, murble, murble" YES! Your happy voice. Oh, I'm about to burst! I'm so happy, happy, happy! Yes! I want to jump! I'm not supposed to jump, but oh, oh, just a little jump!
"Off". Darn. Oh, I cannot be still. I'll roll over and wiggle on my back!
Oh, yes! She's rubbing me - my tummy, my head, my sides! Oh, oh, oh.
Now what? Now where's she going? Oh, oh, yes! Back to the room where we sleep at night! Great! It has the big pad we sleep on and 'L-E-A-P' I can get up here close to her. And here she comes!
Oh, oh, oh! I can stand on my legs and put my paws around her neck and - uh oh. Can't lick with this bottle in my mouth. But it's my present to her! Oh, oh, what to do?
And she's rubbing me! But I want to lick her, oh, oh, I think I'm about to burst!
"Off". Oh, darn. Drop the bottle. Oh, YES! She's coming back! She took off the pieces she puts on her eyes, and I can stand and 'lick, lick' I love you, I love you, I love you, I love 'lick, lick, lick' you. You taste so good, salty, sweet, I love that stuff you smear on your face every day, I love to lick it off! Oh, oh, and you're rubbing me again! My back, my head, my ears, oh, oh 'lick, lick, lick'.
"Murble, murble, Mac, good boy, murble, murble."
"Off" Darn. I will lay here and watch her. Watch her peel her fur, it's not very warm fur, I don't think. How does she do that? And I will get that look on my face that always makes her come and rub me. The look where I roll my eyes up, and keep my head flat here and she will come ... and she's putting on her play skin! YES! We will play, sometimes my tail cannot be still. I am SO happy, happy, happy. Now she's going in the room with the wonderful water bowl! I LOVE that water bowl-always cool, clean water! She'll be out in just a minute, just a minute, just a ... yes, she's coming! She's here again.
Oh, oh, oh! Now back to the room with the box that has pictures and sounds. Ah, I know what happens now. Yep, she's laying down on the big pad there. Now she'll sleep. But that's okay. She's HOME! SHE'S home. She's home. And she smells tired. So I will lay beside her here and guard her and wait while she sleeps. And when she wakes up she won't smell so tired. And we'll play and play. S-i-g-h. I'll just rest with her now, and smell her while she sleeps. And wait again. For, the next thing that happens, HE'LL be home.
And then, oh, oh, zzzzzzzzzzz

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"Not Just A Dog"
Author: Gene Hill (revised)

He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds. He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea. He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being; by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.) When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags. Without him, I am only another being. With him, I am all-powerful. He is loyalty itself. He has taught me the meaning of devotion. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant. His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised to wait for me... whenever... wherever - in case I need him. And I expect I will - as I always have. He is not just my dog, he is my best friend.

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"Rainbow Bridge for Dogs Who Didn't Know Love"
Author: Unknown

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 him.

It was beautiful here, and everyone was nice to him. None of them had been born in a puppy mill, like he had, and used for dog-bait fighting and left to die on the street because he was a mix-breed, battle scarred cur and wasn'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 and 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.

"Ahh, 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, and die as an unclaimed rescue dog. 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 he kept being 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, and 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 putting a rubber thing in his mouth. It didn't taste or feel 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 laid him on her chest and covered him with a soft cloth, keeping him warm, and soothing his 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 (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 litter mates. He got weaker, and the human held him more often, leaving the litter mates to sleep in a pile while he got caressed, 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 go, and was crying.

He pushed the air out of his lungs and floated back to the Rainbow Bridge and looked back to the human, who was still crying and holding the limp body that he had borrowed for the trip.

"Thank you, God," he said. "Love is beautiful, and I will wait near the Bridge and let the human know, when she arrives, that I loved her, too."

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"Beezer's Top Ten Reasons Not To Feel Guilty"
Author: Doug Koktavy
Reprinted with permission
Beezer and Boomer's web site

(Compiled by Beezer the Black Lab from the Bridge and sent back to Earth.)

10. Jeez! If you're born, you die. Think about it dad.

9. Fear is the real enemy, not kidney disease. Fear is treatable. I'm with you right now, just invisible. I'll be waiting at the Bridge when you arrive. Don't be afraid. Trust me.

8. Live with balance. The list of what went "right" with my life is so much bigger than the list of what went "wrong." My body died from kidney disease, but my spirit always soared because of you.

7. What you focus on expands. Honor my earthly life and memory. Does feeling guilty help you remember all our good times, adventures and mutual love?

6. Live with Presence! Don't despair about yesterday. Don't fear tomorrow. Otherwise, you'll miss out on the Gift of Today. 4. Didn't you always forgive me when I made a mistake? I forgive you for any mistake you made during my illness. You made the best decisions possible with the information available at that time. All I took with me on my final earthly journey was our love. Please accept my forgiveness and release the guilt.

3. Pat yourself on the back in between crying. Your effort to treat me was a supreme act of humanity, love and compassion. Our relationship was never more meaningful than during my illness. Please recognize your character and commitment. I do.

2. Guilt is what you humans do to punish yourself for not being perfect.

1. You didn't have a cure for a fatal disease. My body stopped working because of this fatal disease, not because of something you did or did not do.

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