In life, we make friends, then lose touch with them. We might have one time a year that we reach out to them, to make sure they are doing well. Often that is Christmas, the perfect day to reconnect with old friends.
The last time I spoke to my very dear friends, Cali and Hurly ,was at Christmas. We had been friends for as long as I can remember, which means they are on the senior side. At our last meeting, it was clear that Cali’s heartbeats were dwindling. I used the Angel store to give him some more, but I didn’t know how long they would last.
There are a lot of districts at Rainbow Bridge. They are needed to handle the number of dogs who cross over every day. Judges are supposed to be able to swear in their friends. But, Rainbow Bridge is not a perfect place, and, if there is a friend you have not seen recently, you may not be the one to swear them in.
There are thousands of villages at the Bridge where we dogs live while we wait for the arrival of our parents. Ours is called Doggyspace. Next door to us is Blogsville. I have visited other neighbors but not those far away. I wish I could see every angel, but there are too many, and unfortunately more keep rushing in.
This week I was walking down the road that connects our villages when I saw a familiar face heading towards Doggyspace. I recognized him, gave a yip of joy, and ran into Cali’s waiting paws. We did a dance of joy, and then I realized the sadness which caused him to cross the Bridge. We did another hug, this one born of sorrow. It is the yin and yang of the Bridge.
He looked tired and dirty. I asked him what he was doing on the road. “I must have crossed over at the wrong place. I was assigned to District 1,113. I didn’t know a soul. Then I heard Doggyspace was just a little way down the road. That was four months ago. Please tell me I am close because I am exhausted.”
I gave my good friend a hug and apologized for the unreliability of the Rainbow Bridge sorting collar. I told him Doggyspace was just down the road apiece. I saw Cali lift his head, smile, and say the word “home.”
As we walked towards our forever home, Cali told me how he arrived at the Bridge. He tried as long as he could to stay with his Mother Nancy and brother Hurly, but Mother Nancy knew Cali was suffering and stayed on the mortal side just for her. She sent Cali to the Bridge and took on all his pain herself.
His first few days, when he did not know anyone, were difficult, but he made the best of it, learning on his own how to go to the mortal side, to visit his mom in her dreams and other forms such as butterflies. He even found the next dog, especially picked for Mother Nancy by Cali to ease her pain and sorrow.
We came over the rise, and for the first time, Cali saw Doggyspace where his friends, Sandy, Hobo, Tommy, and many more were playing. He barked in joy and ran to them. Her friends howled, then, knocked her down, and they rolled on the grass happily together, while more friends joined in. True happiness only occurs at the Bridge when there is a loved one’s reunion, but this was very close to that magical moment.
I showed Cali the California mansion we had been saving for him. He spent the next few days reuniting with hundreds of friends. The last time I saw him, he was lying in a sun puddle in his yard, content that he was finally at his home away from home where he would watch over his family and patiently wait for them.
I am making sure I see him again soon. I am waiting for Christmas to see more friends.