"The Other Bridge"

 At Rainbow Bridge, beyond the lush meadows where the loved pets wait for their families, a spot beyond those who never found families and will one day be crossing The Bridge with the next Rescuer that crosses over, there is another gathering spot.

One day the animals that were restored to their youth were frolicking around with all the various creatures sharing the fields. A little Raccoon who had been called Rocky by his family spotted a Forestland in the distance. It had huge trees and running streams of water to play in. And then he caught a glimpse of a creature that looked like him that wasn't playing in the fields with the others. Rocky bounced and ran to greet the other one like him, but it was not there anymore. No matter how he tried, Rocky could not find those others. They were not like him except for how they looked, and he needed to stay close to his field waiting for his family, so he didn't venture too far into the Forestland.

Rocky went back to an older friend in the field and said "Bo, who are those creatures in the Forestland trees that look like us? Why do they not come to play with us?"

Bo was an older and wiser raccoon. He had been saved and loved by his wonderful hooman even though he was crippled and needed medications for seizures in his life on Earth. He said "Wait ... something is coming, watch and see."

Rocky heard the breeze start to sound like "Amazing Grace" and a different color filled the sky, something he had never seen before. The beauty took his breath away. The clouds became bright pastels, particles of stardust gathered in swirls of glittering gold that reflected the mauves and pinks that made Rocky remember the Northern Lights, but it was more brilliant and glowing, and swirling and moving. The golden glow of the sun bathed everything in the Forestland a gleaming golden color. Many of the creatures in the Forestland followed the light to the stream and waited with excitement. Soon you could see the small frail figure that emerged from the forest going toward The Bridge. The creatures that followed would have filled Rocky's whole field!!

The wild creatures gathered their babies, all of their offspring were allowed to go on this journey, and they scurried toward the hooman. There were forest creatures Rocky had never seen before, big and small and very tiny, with wings and feathers, and furs of all colors, some with neither, others with shells or scales or quills. This went on for what seemed to be the longest time it ever took anything to happen by The Bridge.

And then the hooman started to walk toward the field where the homeless animals had been waiting. Some were already anxiously anticipating a loving reunion, tails wagging, purring of the ferals heard like soft thunder, feathered creatures flying near in anticipation. And those animals were bathed in a golden stream of light and restored to vigor. The hooman greeted each one with hugs, kisses, or caresses to the wings, and whispered words of love, and then went on to Rocky's field.

Rocky had been so busy watching in amazement that he hadn't seen the ones in his own field gathering in excitement to see this hooman. It was their hooman they had been waiting for! Such abounding joy was not quite common at The Bridge. Most days only a few pets are reunited with their families.

Bo said to Rocky "That is a Wildlife Rehabber. In their lifetime on Earth the babies and injured or orphaned Wildlife who need them are granted a path by the Angel Thuriel to be held in the hands of that Rehabber. Some only live a short time, but have all the comfort and needs that can possibly be given by a hooman. Many heal and grow and live to go back to their forest to live wild and free to care for the forests, streams and lakes. That hooman has greatly loved and worried about them until today. All those creatures that came out of the Forestland would have never lived if it weren't for that Rehabber. And the homeless in the field over yonder? They were abandoned and never adopted or were "throw aways" because they grew old, but that Rehabber fed them and cared for them. Our field has those of us who were fortunate to have the love of a family, and many in our field were the family of that Rehabber. You see, a Wildlife Rehabber won't cross The Bridge without knowing how their rehabs did, and they won't stay on the other side without them. Sometimes you might see a Rehabber cross back over the other Bridge in the Forestland to retrieve the rehabs that outlived them."

-by Matzo

Dory & the Orphans