Next week we will resume the exciting adventures of the Piper Tales. This week Piper and I want to share something with you we hope will serve as a reminder for you to remember and be thankful for the gift of pets and all God’s creatures during this season of Thanksgiving.

Not many people know Piper and I share my office with a Lhasa apso dog named Chosette, pronounced “show-set” which means little thing in French. Chosette comes to work with me every day and listens approvingly to every piece I proofread aloud. She rests in her cozy burgundy snuggle-nest for the final copy to print and then accompanies me to the house where we bravely hand over our work to my waiting editor and husband, Bill.

Throughout the day, as I write and Chosette listens, Piper will stop by from completing his outdoor rounds to see that all is well with his favorite author and her little thing. It is then that Piper will nudge my elbow with a prompt to take a break and join Chosette and him for a walk.

Over the past year those walks have slowed and have not been as long or as vigorous as in days gone by. Piper runs ahead of Chosette and me, clearing our path of real and imagined dangers, and then doubles back to see how the slow-pokes are doing. On good days, with an encouraging Border Collie style prod of his nose, Piper would nudge Chosette to run with him, up the hill and out of sight ending at the Kissing Bridge.

The Kissing Bridge is a bridge that crosses a bass pond and is the place where a once heated argument between my husband, Bill, and I ended in a memorable “kiss and make-up moment”. Ever since that day, whenever anyone crosses the Kissing Bridge they too must stop and kiss the person they are with. If you find yourself alone there you simply pause for a moment, remember a loved one and then throw them a kiss.

Piper never fails to wait at the Kissing Bridge for me to arrive. The moment I set foot on the crossing he rolls over in joyful expectation of a tummy rub. Chosette will usually be somewhere nearby and, if there is no goose-poop to roll in or something else of equal wonder to explore, will come when called to the bridge for her own puppy love moment. At other times she simply ignores me whereupon Piper will do a second roll-over to take her place! His motto is “never miss a tummy-rub-op!”

Yesterday Piper and I walked alone on a very different kind of walk. Piper stayed close to my side in procession with me as Bill drove Piper’s friend and my constant companion in the carpet lined trailer of our John Deer to the top of the hill where we laid her to rest.

It was no little thing when again this morning Piper stayed close by my side as we walked together to the Kissing Bridge. Upon our arrival I rubbed his tummy, threw Chosette a kiss and stayed a moment longer to thank God for all the days He had blessed us with her. Standing there on our Kissing Bridge, I found a bit of consolation remembering the story of another bridge – the famous Rainbow Bridge which I would like to share with you as I remember it.

Just this side of heaven is a place called the Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to the 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 the two of you cross the Rainbow Bridge together…Author unknown


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