by Terry Minda [Florida]
"Oh my, oh my, oh dear, oh dear, the holidays
are almost here! Ebby, we have to start preparing right away,
first for Thanksgiving and then for Christmas. It's such a busy time for
us here at the bridge!"
"Oh Holly, I don't know how to prepare for the holidays here at the
bridge. I was with my family last Christmas, so I don't even know what
dear Ebby, I've been here for three years, Baldor has been here for four
and Balin has been here for twelve years. We will show you all the
important tasks we must perform to make our people happy during this
holiday season! We will have a meeting this very night with Angel
Bo, who is the "chief" gatekeeper at the bridge!
It's an exciting time , we talk
about how we celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas & Chanukah & other
holidays with our families on earth (and had lots of good things to eat
and presents too) and how wonderful it will be when they join us again
here at the bridge.
We tell stories to the
unfortunate Bouviers who never had anyone to love them on earth. How
splendid it will be when all the rescue people come to the bridge and
hold and kiss every Bouvier who NEVER had a human to love! You
will see, it will be a wonderful holiday and we will teach you how to
let your family on earth know you are still thinking about them and you
are still with them!"
" But how Holly-- how will they know that I'm still with them??"
"Never fear Ebby dear, we will teach you., we will teach you....."
by Denise Scarrott [So
When night arrived, all the Bouvs were gathered
at the meeting place. For Mazel, Abbey, Que and Hagar who had all left
the same family at various times over the previous year, Hobo, Xarrick,
Agnes, Brody, Dos, Gern, Wout, Rory and Lolly it was also their first
Christmas away and they sat close to Ebby, eager to learn. Suddenly
there was a hush and a large black Bouvier approached. He walked with a
quiet confidence and although he was black, his coat seemed to have a
A whisper went around the
gathered crowd. "It's Angel Bo!" As he approached he seemed to glance
over his shoulder. He still sometimes looked for Ruff who had been his
mentor when he was a puppy and who had taught him so much. Ruff had
arrived 10 years before Bo but he had crossed over Rainbow bridge some
years earlier when Elroy, who had been the one who had rescued him when
he was lost and starving and had given him unqualified love and restored
his dignity, had arrived at Rainbow Bridge after a plane crash.
"This is a very special time of
year," said Bo. "It is a time of joy but also a time when we are missed
just that little bit more and we need to let the people back on earth
know that we are thinking of them and waiting to take them across the
bridge. We all come from different places and backgrounds and each one
has special memories. Maybe we can tell what special things will make
our people back home remember us.
I come from a land where
Christmas is hot and sunny. We used to spend it outdoors. On our
verandah we had wind chimes and I always loved the soothing tune they
used to play. I know that my people will know that I am there if, on a
perfectly calm night when the stars feel close enough to touch and the
air feels like velvet against your skin and every one is quietly
thinking their own thoughts, the sound of the chimes gently drifts
across the still air, the notes falling like blessings on the people
whom I loved so dearly. That will tell them that I am thinking of them
and waiting for the day we can be together again. The day when I will
lead the way across the Rainbow Bridge and hand the reins of gatekeeper
over to my successor. Maybe someone else would like to tell of their
by Margret Meier [Florida]
Lehua had been guardian to Expresso and Lattee
on earth. and had lived MANY lives! When Expresso, still a puppy,
crossed- over the bridge unexpectedly, Lehua chased after him, knowing
he needed her guidance! Then they were so lonely for little Lattee they
called her to join them, not realizing how much pain it would cause
their Mom till it was too late!
"We will have to do something REALLY special to dry her tears this
holiday season!" Ebby said to her sister, Kiki. Do you have any ideas?"
"I think I know how ," said Expresso."
"HOW?" Lattee asked.
"Well-- I remember Mom watching a movie called "The Blue Bird of
Happiness". There was a part that said, Ďwhen you think of someone you
LOVE, they are alive again in your heartí so maybe if we ALL think about
our families REAL hard and the good times we had together, they will
pick up our thoughts in their hearts. I think I heard uprights are
"Oh children, what a good idea," said the wise Lehua.
Lattee and Expresso were playing and the elders had to make them settle
down, because it was time for the telling of the holiday stories! Angel
Bo cleared his throat, everyone became silent and ALL eyes were focussed
ONLY on him! It was sooooooo quiet, you could actually hear a pine
needle drop in the forest!!!
"You may start, Retro," said Angel Bo, in his magnificent deep baritone
"Who me, BUT, BUT, your eminence????"
"Yes, Y-O-U Retro."
"But, but, Angel Bo, Sir, I'm NOT a Bouvier................"
"B-E-G-I-N Retro," said the Angel. "We are all equals here".
Denise Scarrott [So Africa]
"Well, this was a special time in our house. As
Christmas day got closer we saw all sorts of secret looks being
exchanged, strange coloured parcels were to be found in all odd places
and everyone seemed to be somehow extra happy. It was a very special
time. I can make my people know I am thinking of them by hiding the
Christmas ribbon," said the mischievous Retro.
"Can anyone tell us the real story of Christmas?" asked Angel Bo.
"I can," said Agnes.
"Go on then. Tell us," chorused the group
"A long time ago, about 2000 years (or 14000 years in dog years) Godís
son was born. His Mom, Mary, and her husband, Joseph, arrived in
Bethlehem on a night when there was no place to stay. They were told
they could sleep in the stable with the animals and there Baby Jesus was
born. The sheep and donkeys, cattle and goats were also there because it
was their place too and under the manger was a big black dog. So
actually the animals were the first to see Him, even before the
shepherds or the wise men who followed a special star to find Him."
"Yes," said Hobo. "That is why there is a star on the top of the
Christmas tree, the only tree which we are not supposed to "water". I
can let my people know I am thinking of them by making the star shimmer
when the lights are dim".
"I loved this special time," said Brody. "There were presents and we
were allowed to rip open the paper for ourselves. My brother, Zorro and
I would enjoy the special attention. I hope he will have a nice
Christmas and know that I am thinking of him and my family and that they
will not be too sad because there is one less present under the tree. I
can let them know I am thinking of them by letting them feel me standing
on their feet."
"Yes!" chorused all the other Bouvs. "We can all do that.!"
"I want to tell you about Thanksgiving," said Lehua. "It is a time to
gather with family and friends to give thanks for the many blessings
enjoyed by America and its people. The table was always filled with
special foods and I can still smell the huge turkey which was the best .
Everyone shared in the special day, humans and dogs and it was a very
happy time when, often, the humans ate too much!! Maybe I can let my
people know I am thinking about them by making the TV flicker while they
are watching the big game they always watch on that day!"
"How about you, Hagar? Was this time special for you?"
"Well, I lived in a Jewish home and so we did not have Christmas. We
celebrated Chanukah. This is a special time for Jews when the Holy
Temple was re-dedicated a long time ago after it was destroyed by war
and we light candles for eight days in a special candlestick called a
Chanukah Menorah to celebrate a miracle when a little bit of oil that
should have lasted only one day lasted for eight days until more oil
could be brought. We didnít have fancy decorations or presents but it
was a very special time. I can let my Mom know I am thinking of her by
making the flame on the candle flicker when there is no draft."
"Speaking of decorations," said Baldor, "Where I lived it was very cold
at Christmas time and it got dark early. It was so beautiful to see the
lights which people put in their houses, all lit up like fairyland. The
humans would wrap up warmly while we enjoyed the cold weather and we
would drive around to look at just how everyone had made their homes
special. The shops also looked lovely and kids would be making snowmen
and one year even made a snow Bouv. Maybe we can let the people know we
are thinking of them by making the lights blink unexpectedly".
And so, long into the night all the Bouviers and honorary Bouviers
swapped stories of their special times, their special people back on
earth and their ideas for making their presence felt on these most
special of days and all vowed to think extra hard of their families,
sending them a special message. The youngsters all fell asleep one by
one, dreaming of the life they had had and feeling just a little sad.
When they were all asleep, the seasoned Bouviers all crept quietly away
to prepare the special treats which they had long been planning to make
those experiencing their first Christmas at Rainbow Bridge kind of
Then someone noticed a small lonely figure hiding in the shadows.
"Come here, little one," said Angel Bo.
A tiny brown puppy crept closer. "I have come from your Mom, Angel Bo.
She found me in the street outside your old house. I was cold and
hungry. She and Cody took me in and even gave me a name, Bobby. They did
not know that I hadn't had any of my injections and even though they
gave me my jabs the day they found me, I already had distemper. For a
week I was fine. Cody and I played and I was so happy. Then I became
really ill. They all tried very hard to make me better but it was no
good and when they realized that I was just too sick, they decided to
end my suffering. It was wonderful to feel loved and safe, even for such
a short while. They told me to come and find you., that you would look
after me and to tell you that they still love and miss you and now that
I have met you and the others here, I know that I am safe again."
by Terry Minda [Florida]
With this tiny gift from home, reminiscing
about the kindness of his earthly family, Angel Bo began to weep! The
tears fell to earth, burst into snow flakes --- even in the strangest
places like a place called "California". All the families who were
grieving for a lost companion, were awed by the sight, and felt a
feeling of warmth and love, and they KNEW their beloved Bouvier was with
them again at this special time of year!
They seemed to feel the
"inexplicable" urge (even those who vowed never to go through the pain
of loosing a dear beloved Bouvier again) to open their hearts to another
homeless Bouvier. It was a TRUE miracle!
Bo grinned, this is the best
gift of all -- honoring us all at the bridge -- loving us "so much",
that our families are willing to share their special love for us with
another Bouvier! Ah yes, Bo sighed, and they thought it was all their
idea.... Don't they KNOW Bouviers are "forever!"......
And many homeless Bouviers, and
their other little canine friends found wonderful forever homes, but
that is a story for next year! < g >
Happy Holidays, and may all our
holiday dreams come true, and all Bouviers live happily ever after....!
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