Beyond the Rainbow bridge:
Jake was a stunning dirty faced agouti when he showed up on earth the first time. He was born unto the world of man in Mankato Minnesota in a barn full of strange sounds and smells. He didn’t really know how he’d come to be or what his role in life was.
He just new the warmth of his mother and siblings. They fed and tested their limbs and tried to become accustomed to their new surroundings. His mom named Jasmine would lick his face and other end to encourage him to do what all living things did in that department.
He suckled her warm milk after fighting for a teat with his siblings. It was his first lesson in the struggles of life and how to survive. He couldn’t hear and he couldn’t see those first couple of weeks but he fought for milk and his body began to grow stronger each day.
When his eyes opened he saw a bleary new world. A world that would quickly become into sharp focus as he grew. He listened to the huge humans that looked after them. He had no idea what their silly sounds they made meant. But somehow a part of him understood in time what they wanted. After all his mother seemed to love them, and something deep inside of him began to beat within his own heart.
It was some whisper in his mind from long ago that he didn’t quite understand. He didn’t understand why him and his mother seemed to care about these big creatures that didn’t speak their language. But always there was something inside him that said you should try your best to please them.
At six weeks old he was eating well and mom had kicked him away when he tried to suckle. He missed her belly warmth and the feelings he was safe. She looked at him with big blue eyes and he heard a message in his head.
“It’s time for you to move on… for you have your own life to lead. I love you my only son as no one else can know. It’s your time to move along and do what huskies do.”
“What do huskies do?” he asked.
Jasmine smiled at him, “What we’ve always done my son.”
Jake was confused but did his best with the little knowledge he had. It was hard because life was all about play and learning about all the things his body could do. He found he was fast in the run, agile, and smarter that the other animals on the farm.
The next shock was when he was given to some people he didn’t know. But he was brave from deep inside, a gift from those before his time… who’d done this all before. He’d found the core of husky lore even if it was only a whisper in his mind.
The humans loved him but they could not understand his need to be free. His need to run and work and do his very best at being a husky. He tried to tell them one day by eating up the couch. He spread it all around the room and just sat back and watched.
His people did not understand how someone so beautiful could have such an evil streak. His punishment was soon to show. Jake was tied in the back yard with nowhere else to go. His days were long and lonely, the solitude was more than he could bear.
So, one day he chewed off his collar and climbed the privacy fence. Free at last he made a blast not knowing where to go. He ran so hard his muscles ached but it felt so good to run. He realized no matter what hurt, this is what he loved!
It all ended to soon when he crossed one more street.
That bumper chrome and hard, had hit him square, as it threw him through the air. He crashed upon a cement wall and rolled into the street. The lights grew dim and with ragged breath he took his final breaths. Jake closed his eyes and felt regret. He’d never had a chance to do for what he was meant to be. He died right there and no one cared on that empty street.
Jake awoke upon clouds of mist as he rose his tired bones. Then he saw a line of ragged dogs headed for a bridge. He struggled up to follow them his pain was very great. But something deep inside said he must make it to that gate. Some in line looked real fine, they pranced and hopped about.
But most were just like him, in pain and full of sorrow. But all of them formed a line and crossed the gilded bridge. Their they waited their turn to tell of life on earth. Each one hoping to gain admittance to the afterlife.
As Jake approached he heard the stories of each and every dog. They pleaded their case to the one in charge of the Rainbow Gate. The tales were sad except a few who had lived a perfect life. Jake had no story, only pain and he wanted it to end.
At last Jake stood before the giant gate his head and tail hung low. A voice boomed soft and sweet inside his head, “Welcome young Jake” it said, “Tell me your story of life.”
Jake raised his snout and looked upon the voice. He was a huge Saint Bernard with brown floppy ears, his soft brown eyes filled with tears from all the fears and stories of the line.
“It’s okay little one, and you can call me Peter. I have to hear your story of life before I can let you enter.”
Jake looked at the great big gate with a husky on each side. He looked at Peter and told his tale from deep inside his heart. “I’ve done my time with mankind, and I think that I have failed.”
Peter’s eyes laughed back at him and with a big smile, the voice boomed inside his head, “It’s your first time little one, and you’ve done nothing wrong.”
Jake was sad and his body hurt and he’d almost lost all hope. But somewhere deep inside a whispered voice called out. “We never quit and its been that way for all time.” It was followed by the howling of a pack.
A million voices filled his head with tales of his kin. The knowledge of a million souls who’d come before and lived a million times.
Jake looked up into Peter’s big brown eyes and asked, “What’s to become of me?”
“If you like you’ll live a life, a million times over. And if you don’t you are welcome to stay here forever.”
Jake followed Peter past the gates and entered into winter. The wind was fierce with blowing snow, and no signs of cover. The pines were swaying with the wind and the mountains went on forever. His body healed and he felt no pain as he transformed into an adult. Beautiful, and strong, as he’d never had a chance to discover.
He raced around the blowing drifts and others came and joined. They welcomed young Jake to the place that huskies go. Frolicking and biting legs amid the blowing snow.
Peter waited patiently beside the big gate. He knew young Jake was new, and for some… the time it takes to learn what they are.
When at last the game was over young Jake sauntered over, “He’d healed all up and found his home amid that frozen waste.
“Can I stay here forever?” Jake asked of Peter.
“Of course, you can but is that what you truly want?”
Jake looked around and sniffed the wind, it was all so perfect.
But deep inside a voce awoke and told him of the pact. “Man, and dogs it’s always been, they need us to learn. For people will never survive without our gift of love. We teach those who listen, and ignore those who don’t. The hope of man lives inside your furry coat young Jake of the north. The trail is hard and you must do your very best, for that’s what Huskies do.”
Jake’s heart felt like it would explode out through his chest. His job was to help all those down under the icy clouds. To give his love unconditionally, come rain, or snow, or thunder. He might suffer but then again, he might get that life he’d heard about. Man, and dogs fighting through the storms of life, one heart with another.
Jake looked over at St. Peter and told him with full conviction, “I’ll go back and try again, I think I can do better.”
St. Peter smiled and walked away, looking back over his shoulder.
“I knew you would my little friend, of this I had no doubt. I’ll call you soon because the time is very short. They need your heart and knowledge too… maybe even you can save a few. For that’s what you huskies do.”
Jake looked around and then raced around as fast as feet could fly. He would enjoy his time before he was called to do his part, to go below and spread his love the best that he could muster.
On his second trip, he met a girl he bonded to, and they grew up together.