Unlike most days at RainBow Bridge, this day dawned cold and gray, damp as a swamp and as dismal as could be imagined. All the recent arrivals were confused and concerned. They had no idea what to think for they had never experienced a day like this before. But the animals who had spent some time waiting for their beloved people knew exactly what was happening and began to gather at the pathway leading to the Bridge to watch. They knew this was something special.
It wasn’t too long before an elderly animal came into view, head hung heavy and low with tail dragging along the ground. The other animals on the pathway…the ones who had been at RainBow Bridge for a while…knew the story of this sad creature immediately. They had seen it happen far too many times.
Although it was obvious the animal’s heart was leaden and he was totally overcome with emotional pain and hurt, there was no sign of injury or any illness. Unlike the pets waiting at the Bridge, this dog had not been restored to his prime. He was full of neither health nor vigor. He approached slowly and painfully, watching all the pets who were by now watching him. He knew he was out of place here. This was no resting place for him. He felt instinctively that the sooner he could cross over, the happier he would be. But alas, as he came closer to the Bridge, his way was barred by the appearance of an Angel who spoke softly to the old dog and apologized sorrowfully, telling him that he would not be able to pass. Only those animals who were with their special people could pass over the RainBow Bridge. And he had no special beloved people…not here at the Bridge nor on Earth below.
With no place else to turn, the poor elderly dog looked toward the fields before the Bridge. There, in a separate area nearby, he spotted a group of other sad-eyed animals like himself…elderly and infirm. Unlike the pets waiting for their special people, these animals weren’t playing, but simply lying on the green grass, forlornly and miserably staring out at the pathway leading to the Bridge. The recent arrival knew he had no choice but to join them. And so, he took his place among them, just watching the pathway and waiting.
One of the newest arrivals at the Bridge, who was waiting for his special people, could not understand what he had just witnessed and asked one of the pets who had been there for some time to explain it to him.
“That poor dog was a rescue, sent to the pound when his owner grew tired of him. They way you see him now, with graying fur and sad, cloudy eyes, was exactly the way he was when he was put into the kennels. He never, ever made it out and passed on only with the love and comfort that the kennel workers could give him as he left his miserable and unloved existence on Earth for good. Because he had no family or special person to give his love, he has nobody 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 all-invasive gloom lifted. Coming toward the Bridge could be seen a single figure…a person who, on Earth, had seemed quite ordinary…a person who, just like the elderly dog, had just left Earth forever. This figure turned toward a group of the sad animals and extended outstretched palms. The sweetest sounds they had ever heard echoed gently above them and all were bathed in a pure and golden light. Instantly, each was young and healthy again, just as they had been in the prime of life.
From within the gathering of pets waiting for their special people, a group of animals emerged and moved toward the pathway. As they came close to the passing figure, each bowed low and each received a tender pat on the head or a scratch behind the ears. Their eyes grew even brighter as the figure softly murmured each name. Then, the newly-restored pets fell into line behind the figure and quietly followed this person to the Bridge, where they all crossed together.
The recent arrival who had been watching, was amazed. “What happened?”
“That was a rescuer,” came the answer. “That person spent a lifetime trying to help pets of all kinds. The ones you saw bowing in respect were those who found new homes because of such unselfish work. They will cross when their families arrive. Those you saw restored were ones who never found homes. When a rescuer arrives, they are permitted to perform one, final act of rescue. They are allowed to escort those poor pets that couldn’t place on Earth across the Rainbow Bridge. You see, all animals are special to them…just as they are special to all animals.”
“I think I like rescuers,” said the recent arrival.
“So does God,” was the reply.
~~ Author Unknown
Although I generally write about rat related items it occurred to me as I was enjoying my Friday morning coffee that there could be some good-intentioned individuals thinking how sweet a cute little live bunny would be as an Easter present.
We, Mrs.R and I, were fortunate enough to have adopted what may have been the sweetest bunny ever, Jake the Rabbit. Jake passed a while ago and even our vet was mystified as to the cause.
Rabbits can live for quite some time, although I am not positive, 10+ years comes to mind. Given that piece of information alone, if you are considering gifting a rabbit to a friend or family member this Easter please remember you are committing that person or family to what could easily be more than ten years of their lives.
Rabbits are wonderful pets but as with all pets they deserve a forever home with people who have decided for themselves to make the time and financial commitments to care for them for the pets entire life.
What have been your experiences with gifting a pet? Did you give or receive?
The home of Star’s Rat Rescue. Seems rather appropriate to me, and as the name infers, this operation takes in pet rats that need to be re-homed, or sometimes just need their first home. The rescue is run by a fine young woman named Brittney and I have had the pleasure of getting to know her over the last year via RatChatter forums.
She is kind and considerate and has no issues putting the rats ahead of herself. A patient individual that works very hard to help educate those unaware of the great companion animals that pet rats can be, and for many people are.
Star’s Rat Rescue is supported through donations, mostly unsolicited, and by the sales in the SRR Store of Brittney’s sewing handiwork. Hammocks, cubes, cage liners, shelf liners … the list goes on. A lot of the handcrafted items are geared towards Ferret Nations and/or Critter Nations produced by MidWest home for Pets. These types of habitats are common for rat keepers.
I would like to ask my readers to stop over at Star’s Rat Rescue. Take a few moments to read about the rescue operations and see which beautiful and handsome pet rats are waiting to find their permanent homes. Perhaps make arrangements with Brittney to adopt a pair (or more) of these fine pets; maybe purchase an item or two for your own pet rats; ferret and chinchilla keepers using Ferret Nations can benefit, too; or, you could offer something else … I’m sure it would be appreciated.
How do you support animal rescues? Are you an animal rescue? Tell us about it.
Just something I was thinking of this morning about keeping pets, things do not always work out for the best. Sometimes you have to make hard decisions, ones you wouldn’t normally deal with. On the other hand, when all is well you enjoy living the life of Riley with your companion animal and never worry about the bad times. More often than not, most pet keepers will have experiences someplace in between these extremes and life is good … and with that I would like to leave you this:
You hope for the best; you deal with the worst; and, you live in between.
~~ Edward A. Caissie aka Mr.Rattitude
This was not my usual rat laundry day but this has not been a usual week either. Mrs.R and myself have been on vacation this week and aside from some unexpected medical issues it has been rather uninteresting until today.
I had just finished taking the rat laundry from the dryers and was going back to the folding counter when an immigrant family decided they needed to do their laundry in the exact same area, ignoring the other four rows of washers to choose from. I just went about my business of folding and putting the laundry back into the clean hampers. I was listening to a random shuffle on my iPod and had not really noticed the two elderly ladies that had started doing their laundry on the other side of the washer line I was at. As I removed the earphones one of them asked, “How many dogs do you have?”
She said she recognized the blankets being the same as she used for her Chihuahua. I said they were not for dogs, but were for my pets. We chatted a moment or two longer when I remembered a recent post I made and decided to push the envelope a bit more. I led in with they are for pocket pets. Her friend was quite attentively listening and asked what are pocket pets? The first lady suggested ferrets; I took the opening and said, “No, mine are rats, pet rats.”
The first lady grimaced, the second let out a little “oh” and I smiled seeing an opportunity to explain the greatness of pet rats. Given the use of the blankets for their pet dog, I used the similarity between rats and dogs. The intelligence, the train-ability, the bonding, and especially the commonality of small breeds of dogs and rats. The first lady was still being skeptical, but starting to accept the possibility of a rat as a pet, the second lady appeared to think it was very interesting but curbed her enthusiasm as it might not sit well with the first. I spent another five minutes or so with the ladies explaining other benefits to rat keeping, and trying to explain how there are ladies of their age (“no offense”) that breed and keep rats. The first lady asked several times if I breed rats, which I replied each time with, “no, we are not breeders” but some of our boys have come from professional breeders.
I think it was a good laundry day and quite fortuitous to be able to try and explain the benefits of fancy rats as pets and companion animals … just like having dogs.
The front page of one of today’s newspapers managed to grab my attention. Generally I read most of my “news” online, but from time to time I will wander over to a co-workers area and glance through their paper.
Today’s splashy front page shows a woman, a dog and the over-sized type, “DIE AT HOME”. Here is a link to the article, which really should be read through entirely before giving further thought to the sensationalistic headlines pointing to further into the newspaper.
The article describes to some extent the actions of The College of Veterinarians of Ontario to stop this couple from providing services they believe are a benefit to the pet keeping communities.
These services, offered by Pet Heaven, are essentially in-home services being rendered via referral by qualified veterinarians. The controversy seems centered around the euthanizing of pets at home by these referred mobile veterinarians; and, possibly more so, in my opinion, the additional services of Pet Heaven removing and/or transporting the deceased pet afterwards.
I believe Pet Heaven’s offering of this type of referral service is a grand gesture and I am most interested in the outcome of this trial.
How do you feel about mobile vets; and, this type of referral?
I often wonder what a rats age would be in human terms.
This is by no means a scientifically derived formula, it’s just some easy numbers based on a few simple correlations. So I picked some easy benchmarks to start with:
- Average human lifespan: 80 years or 960 months
- Average rat lifespan: 30 months
- Human years to rat years ratio would be 32:1.
These numbers in themselves could be argued up or down, but that is the whole idea of discussion topics like this one. Of course these numbers are not truly directly related to our lives. These numbers would indicate that two hours to a rat would be the same as almost three days to a human. Have you played with your pet rats for two hours or more at a time? How do you think you would feel after constant attention for almost three days?!
This is by no means a reason not to interact with your pets, actually the reverse. Its more a reminder that the the time differences are immense in comparative terms, and if the time is directly proportional as the above ratio suggests then the time we spend apart from our little ones is also immense. Think of it as visiting your best friends once a month for a couple of days, then waiting another month to do it again.
There are many ways to calculate rat years in human years, what numbers do you use?