Saturday, September 17, 2022

Visiting the Rainbow Bridge


Thursday night, we visited the Rainbow Bridge again.

This time, we escorted our best buddy - Jesse - there.  To the bridge to be free of pain and health defects; to the bridge to be with his past fur buddies; and to the bridge to be with my Mom whom I am sure waits patiently and with love and smiles for all our family's fur babies to run across to her.

Is the Bible clear on our pets going to Heaven?  No, it is not.  But we do know for certain there are animals in Heaven.  Jesus comes back on a white horse; the lion lays down with the lamb.  Animals are there.  We just don't have concrete Scripture to tell us our own animals are there waiting for us.

There are plenty of Scripture verses that point to Creation crying out to God.  There are plenty of websites that give us Scripture that seems to verify our fur babies are waiting for us.  But we just don't have concrete proof.

So, in the meantime, I am clinging to the hope that they are there, waiting for me to arrive.  I can't wait to be with them again, stroking their fur and squeezing them tight.

Jesse was one of the two kindest pet souls I've ever owned.  He lived the first 14 years of his life at the end of a rope.  Those owners loved him; they just didn't want him in the house.  So he lived at the end of a chain with food and water and a dog house.  They tried their best, but no dog should live like that - ever.  (My motto - If you want something to feed and water, get a plant.)

God created the dog as a PACK animal.  Man domesticated the dog and removed it from its natural pack.  Therefore, we became its NEW pack.  It's not natural to tie a dog up to a chain and separate it from its pack.  It's cruel and inhumane.

So even though I knew about Jesse (and didn't rescue him) for years, when the opportunity came to me to pet sit for him one weekend at my home (where he stayed inside and enjoyed the comforts of heat and air conditioning; couches and beds), I knew - when the weekend was over - I could not give him back to a life chained.   

The owners agreed, as they truly did love him and wanted a new life for him, to let me adopt Jesse.  We had Jesse as a part of our family for four years which made him 18 when he passed Thursday night.  Here is a short clip of my son Josh helping me bathe Jesse and welcome him to our family.

When we adopted Jesse, he was severely underweight with his ribcage "proudly" standing out.  He was also an expert escape artist, and after one escaping, I was alerted to a knocking at our front door.  Two of my neighbors had "found" Jesse in their cul-de-sac and brought him home.  One of those two women was an animal abuse private investigator.  They were livid at Jesse's condition and intended to hold me to task.

After a brief conversation, their anger turned to compassion and my dog PI neighbor became one of my biggest advocates and supporters.  Her company funded Jesse's first vet visit and his initial heartworm treatment program.  Not only was Jesse undernourished and underweight, but we discovered it was due to heartworms and a urinary tract infection that had gone untreated by his previous owners.  We started him on the road to recovery and within a year, he was healthy.  What a blessing for a dog of 14!  Jesse never did regain a full, healthy figure, but at least his UTI and heartworms were gone.

Jesse was a lover of all kinds of balls, with tennis balls his absolute favorite.  (We had many!) He must have had some type of retriever in his mix of Great Dane and American Staffie because he was always faithfully carrying around one of his many toys.  Mouthing was definitely in his DNA.

Jesse was kind and docile.  He was passive and never aggressive.  He loved immensely and refused to let his loved ones out of eyesight.

This trait probably contributed to his extreme separation anxiety.  He would spent a lot of his time roaming back and forth in the house looking for his people if they were out of sight, panting and pacing to a fault.

He was close to his siblings - sleeping next to, shadowing, or mimicking his brother Tank always.  And letting his feline siblings sleep close to him or rub up next to his tummy or head.  

God truly put some of His own qualities and reflections into Jesse when he was created.

We love you sweet big boy and miss you already.  Your adoption and rescue was one of our best decisions.  I'm so happy we could give you a home to rest in and spend your last years in peace, comfort, and love.

God speed sweet Jesse.  I know you are running free - those back legs once again sturdy and strong!  Rest easy in Marge's lap until I get there.  She will take good care of you.

Your place in our hearts will always remain empty, but our memories of you will remain full and joyous.  Thank you for making our little family whole these past four years Jesse; I'm so happy you had Joy for the Journey!  

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