by Joy LaCaille 

After playing in the fields of flowers with all the other dogs,
Micro kept looking back down at earth and saw many humans holding
fragile little new-borns, that were only to stay on earth for a few
hours or days, to learn about love.  He asked God,  "Must I wait for her?
Now that I know what love is, I want to share it with other humans...
for there are many who are down there, crying."

"Yes," God answered warmly.  "You are learning about love, and
I will send you back where YOU are needed and wanted." 
So the little dog -- who had once been born in a puppy-mill,
only known cruelty, abuse, being used as bait for dog-fighting,
and left to die at a rescue shelter -- now knew the meaning of love
and was given another chance to give as well as receive.

This time, he was born strong and quickly became everyone's "pick"
-- because of his gentleness and outgoing temperament.  He gave
EVERYone puppy-breath kisses and bounded to greet all the prospective
puppy-buyers with his whole body wagging his tail.  He was looking
for the special human, who had taught him the meaning of love, but
she was not this breeder or any of the buyers who came to look at
the litter. 
"Where is my human?" the big, strong puppy asked God.

"Be patient, God replied.  "She has many other dogs right now,
and doesn't need you as much as someone else."

This breeder could have gotten a lot of money for him; but instead,
she called the national service-dog group and told them of her special
puppy. Micro, who was now a big dog, spent his first year in a special
home, learning how to be a "service-dog" for the handicapped.  This
family trained him to sit, down, stay, fetch, and learn patience --
oh, that was the hardest "trick" to learn!

There was a special little boy who could not walk or coordinate his
hand-movements.  Micro, who had only weighed 5 ounces in his previous
life as a "fading puppy," was now over 50 pounds and capable of pulling
a wheelchair and picking up keys, pencils, etc, and giving them to the
trainer.  Micro loved his trainer, but the day he met the little boy,
he knew God was answering his prayers by giving him a "micro" human
who couldn't play like the other children.

Micro spent many years with the *handicapped* child, helping it grow
and learn that love comes in different forms:
... as a breeder who spends the extra time and love with the
fading puppy,
... as a trainer who must give up his dog after many months of close
bonding -- to the person who could not have trained the dog themselves
from puppy-hood,  and
... as a "handicapped" child or adult who once was alone and helpless
and often rejected by those who made fun of them, because they could
not run and play and fit-in with their games, but could  live
independently, with the help of their canine-companion.

Micro got old, and a little stiff, and was having trouble pulling the
wheelchair and fetching things for his beloved companion.  The service-dog
organization had trained another dog for Micro's human, and it was time to
"retire" Micro to a senior-foster-home, where he learned another lesson
of love -- from a family that knew he wouldn't live long, but deserved the
special care of finishing out his "golden years" with someone who could care
for him as he had cared for the human for so many years.

Micro closed his eyes and dreamed of his friends at the Rainbow Bridge...
the ones who had rushed up to greet him, the first time, and wagged their
tails and kissed him instead of attacking.  Suddenly, he was surrounded by
his old friends, and he looked back at earth -- at the foster humans who
were crying and holding the limp body that he had borrowed for his trip.

"Don't cry." Micro barked.  "I'll be back.  You may not recognize the body
I borrow, for it may be bigger or smaller -- it may have wrinkled skin or
long silky hair or curly wirey hair, or no hair at all.  It may be beautiful
and win championship titles, or it may be "ugly" in the eyes of many. 
Look behind the eyes of trust, and you will find my unconditional love.  
Train me, and help me learn how to be the loyal companion that you think
you want, when you pick up that cute little puppy that may grow up to be
huge and loud and destructive unless guided to be a GOOD dog.
    .....to be continued .....

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 Rainbow Bridge together.
Author Unknown
Some of my girls that have crossed over rainbow bridge.
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.

It was beautiful here, and everyone was nice to him. None of them had
been born in a puppy mill, like he had, or used for dog-bait fighting or
left to die in a shelter because they were mix-breed battle-scarred curs
and weren'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, and 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 then 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.

"Ahhh, 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. 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 kept
getting pushed off to the side.  When they were full, the big brothers
and sisters got their bottoms cleaned and he finally latched on to 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 puting a rubber thing in
his mouth.  It didn't taste 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 had laid him on her chest and covered
him with a soft cloth, keeping him warm, and soothing his boney 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

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 littermates.  He got weaker, and the human held him more often,
leaving the littermates to sleep in a pile while he got carressed,
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 him go, and was crying.

He pushed the air out of his lungs and floated back to the Rainbow Bridge
and looked back at the human, who was still crying and holding the limp
body that he had borrowed for his trip.  "Thank you, God," he said. 
"Love is beautiful.  I will wait near the Bridge and let the human know,
when she arrives, that I loved her, too."
Did you hear       something ?
Playing lookout
She's almost done.
Is what the Min-Pin seems to be saying.
Job well done.
Rosie & Susan resting in the sun.
The black Min-Pin is still with me.
by Joy LaCaille

To see more poems by Joy LaCaille. Click above.

Everyone resting in the autumn sun.
Thank-you Joy for giving me permission to put your beautiful stories on my site. 


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