As most of you know, I mentioned Bodhi last week at the end of the Blog, “The Saga Continues”. Let me take you to that point of history.
Two weeks ago, I got a call on Saturday from the horse farm where he was living. “I’m sorry, he is not working out. He chaises the horses and there is no stopping him, he is so focused, and we can’t stop him”. Their options were to put him down or I could come and get him. Now before you get too angry, on a real farm and in certain circumstances, putting an animal down is the only option that is left, but it must be the last resort. I talked it over with Elaine and she said, “What are we going to do?”
That next day I left the house at 5:30 am traveling to a little town called Laurelville which is in Ohio. It was raining and the wind was blowing so hard that it was hard to keep the car in the center of the road. After 5 hours, I arrived at the farm. They were not going to be home and they told me where he would be. I went to the kennel he was in and walked to the gate. Inside was a big dog curled up in a little dog house with a torn and ratty piece of carpet sticking out of the front. I wondered how he even got in it because of his size, but he did. I was so glad to see him and when I did, I nearly broke down, I’m just glad no one was there to see me act like a fool. I hugged him and in the driving rain we just stood there, together, getting soaking wet, my arms around his neck and his mussel on my shoulder.
Off we went, another five hours on the road, back to our own little farm. The rain never let up and it was a hard drive all the way home, but once here, he jumped out. He was back on safe ground, but the story continues…
Just the next day, I got “two” calls from people wanting an older dog. After the interview, the first person turned out to be 83 years old and in my opinion, too old for a young border collie. Although it might be fine now, God forbid if the man gets down or dies before Bodhi, what will happen to Bodhi, something I did not want to chance. I then turned to the second caller; they had lost their Border Collie and did not want to go through the puppy stage, which I can understand. They were a wonderful couple who took right up to him and he to them. So it was set, Bodhi was going to a new home. Sunday, the day of his transfer, was a very bittersweet day. I was very uneasy because “This just needs to stop”, Bodhi needs a forever home where he can feel comfortable and just be a dog. He had been spending the night inside with us so we had re-established our bond again. As the time approached, I was getting uneasy and sentimental, even playing the piano, something I do when I’m stressed. The book on the piano was sentimental favorites and it seemed like everything was bringing me to the point of tears so the piano playing needed to stop, which it did. We were prepared for him to leave. Rawhide, check…favorite ball, check… shot records, check…my heart, check…again.
I couldn’t stand it. It was like giving up your heart again and again and again. How many times will I have to endure this? It’s like pulling a scab off and exposing the pain all over again. It was a beautiful day and the sun was out, it was warm and the birds were singing and everything in the world was right, or so I thought…
Outside as we played with his favorite ball, my ear was in tune to every sound that came from the road, knowing any minute a car would pull up and take him away again. They called when they got off the interstate, so I knew it was 15 minutes or less. At times it was just too much and my heart was breaking again, but I wanted what was best for Bodhi and that would be a home of his own where he was the center of attention.
The people were wonderful, in fact all of the people he has gone with were very nice and wanted to share their life with a good dog, but it was not meant to be and yes not even now. You see, Bodhi came back home to us yesterday.
The epilog of this story is I just don’t know what to do. Something, somewhere has happened to Bodie in his young life. He is a good dog but he is fearful that someone is going to hurt him and he tries to protect himself. My dogs will lick and kiss me whenever I let them, sometimes too much, but Bodhi will shy away if you attempt to hold or hug him. It’s like your old Aunt Nellie trying to give you a kiss on the lips. Bodhi wants to love you, but he is afraid someone will snatch the carpet from under his feet, so he is always on guard. He will only give part of his heart. He loves to be inside and will play and sit in our lap and let you rub him, but it’s always on his terms. Bodhi has been to more cities than most people I know. Just since January, I have traveled over 1000 miles to take and pick him up at various homes, trying to fine the right spot. I don’t think I am a dog fanatic, I just want to do the right thing for him and quite honestly, it’s my job to do it, remember it might be your dog, but it will always be my pup.
The perplexing part, is he is a good dog with a the hard shell around his heart that is pretty thick. He loves us and will follow us anywhere we go. I know he just needs and wants to feel loved. Bodhi, you have lived a lifetime in just a year. I only hope and pray, (and yes, I have prayed for you) that things will work out. I don’t know what went wrong, if anything, but we’re all pulling for you in ways you’ll never know.
Rescuer's Rainbow Bridge
Unlike most days at Rainbow Bridge, this day dawned cold and gray, damp as a swamp and as dismal as could be imagined. All of the recent arrivals had no idea what to think, as they had never experienced a day like this before. But the animals who had been waiting for their beloved people knew exactly what was going on and started to gather at the pathway leading to The Bridge to watch.
It wasn't long before an elderly animal came into view, head hung low and tail dragging. The other animals, the ones who had been there for a while, knew what his story was right away, for they had seen this happen far too often.
He approached slowly, obviously in great emotional pain, but with no sign of injury or illness. Unlike all of the other animals waiting at The Bridge, this animal had not been restored to youth and made healthy and vigorous again. As he walked toward The Bridge, he watched all of the other animals watching him. He knew he was out of place here and the sooner he could cross over, the happier he would be. But, alas, as he approached The Bridge his way was barred by the appearance of an Angel who apologized, but told him that he would not be able to pass. Only those animals who were with their people could pass over Rainbow Bridge.
With no place else to turn to, the elderly animal turned towards the fields before The Bridge and saw a group of other animals like himself, also elderly and infirm. They weren't playing, but rather simply lying on the soft green grass, forlornly staring out at the pathway leading to The Bridge. And so, he took his place among them, watching the pathway and waiting. One of the newest arrivals at The Bridge didn't understand what he had just witnessed and asked one of the animals that had been there for awhile to explain it to him.
"You see, that poor animal was a rescue. He was turned in to rescue just as you see him now, an older animal with his fur graying and his eyes clouding. He never made it out of rescue and passed on with only the love of his rescuer to comfort him as he left his earthly existence. Because he had no family to give his love to, he has no one to escort him across The Bridge."
The first animal thought about this for a minute and then asked, "So what will happen now?" As he was about to receive his answer, the clouds suddenly parted and the gloom lifted.
Approaching The Bridge could be seen a single person and among the older animals, a whole group was suddenly bathed in a golden light and they were all young and healthy again, just as they were in the prime of life.
"Watch, and see.” said the second animal. A second group of animals from those waiting came to the pathway and bowed low as the person neared. At each bowed head, the person offered a pat on the head or a scratch behind the ears. The newly restored animals fell into line and followed him towards The Bridge. They all crossed The Bridge together.
"That was a rescuer. The animals you saw bowing in respect were those who found new homes because of their work. They will cross when their new families arrive. Those you saw restored were those who never found homes. When a rescuer arrives, they are allowed to perform one, final act of rescue. They are allowed to escort those poor animals that they couldn't place on earth across The Rainbow Bridge."
"I think I like rescuers", said the first animal.
"So does GOD", was the reply… Author Unknown
Bodhi, If we don’t find your family, I will be honored, if you walk with me across the bridge… Dad…