It is not often that we have a story teller who is also celebrating his birthday!  Join us in singing Happy Birthday to him in Tsalagi (Cherokee)!

Alihelisdi Udetiyisgv ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Nihi ♥ ♥ ♥ Alihelisdi Udetiyisgv ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Nihi ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ Alihelisdi Udetiyisgv ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪Nihi ♥ ♥

A li he li s di (ah-lee-he-lees-dee)
U de ti yi s gv (oo-day-tee-yees-guh)
ni hi (knee- hee)

Happy Birthday ♪♫*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ To You♥ ♥ ♥ Happy Birthday♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ To You♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ Happy Birthday ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪To You ♥ ♥
For Artists Exposed - Dreamcatcher Emu Egg - Native American and Wolf
Ron, Carving one of his beautiful eggs!  To see his work, please go to:

Kicking Bear, our forum thread elder and mentor opened the story hour with beautiful blessing:

O Great Spirit,
We come before you in a humble manner.
We stand as many spirits but joined with one heart.
One no greater than the other. When one stumbles
There are many to help them to their feet.
We are not mere friends, we are brothers and sisters,
A family following the red road with love for one another.

I ask your blessings on all those that enter here and
Remind them, they are a guest only once ….
After that they are family
We are joined by spirit and one heart

Amidst the beauty of this Great Creation
We give thanks for the gift of life that we have been given.

We give thanks to Mother Earth and to the Sacred Fire
which burns brightly in our hearts
We thank you for the precious gift of clarity,
openness, strength and wisdom.

We walk the path of peace and give thanks to all
our relations and for the beauty of all things.
We ask your healing hands be placed upon our
Brothers and sisters .

O Great Spirit
Wipe our tears and cover us in your blanket
of love and understanding.
In balance and harmony we give thanks.

It is all good.

Ron began his story telling with this preamble:
This is a story I read many years ago and have changed somewhat. It is my version. I will have another after this one. Please visualize this as you read it.

The scene is the fields at the Rainbow Bridge. A dog appears; looking confused. A black cocker/poodle mix comes up to the dog.

Nessie: Hi! Welcome to the Rainbow Bridge! My name is Nessie. What’s yours?

Dog: I don’t know. Where am I?

Nessie: You’re at the Rainbow Bridge. When we leave Earth, we come here. We are young and healthy again, and we can run and play and have fun until our humans come.

Dog (very scared): You mean humans are here too?

Nessie (with a yip of understanding): Oh! You never had a special human who loved you, did you?

Dog: Human? Love?

Nessie looks around, and calls to a black Doberman running laps in the field.

Nessie: Thor! Do you have some time?

Thor comes running up.

Thor: Hi, Nessie! Who’s this?

Nessie: He’s a new arrival to the Bridge. He never had a special human as we did. I thought maybe you could explain it better than I could.

Thor: I can try. I think you may have been like me, friend. When I was young, the human I was with hurt me and scared me. My memories are of hurting hands and loud angry voices. Fortunately, I was very lucky. I was rescued by two wonderful people. They took me into their home. For over ten years I had good food, fresh water, a comfortable place to sleep, room to run, and lots of love and attention. Eventually, though, I became old and tired. I came here, where I have more energy than I had even as a puppy. I can run for hours and hours and hours. Someday, my two special humans will come here; we will have a wonderful reunion and then we will cross that beautiful Bridge there. We will never again be separated.

Dog (wistfully): That sounds so nice. What will happen with me?

Thor: Well, you can run and play here for as long as you want. You can learn about fun and love. If you want, you can learn about special humans.

Dog: How?

Thor: We dogs don’t live as long as most humans on Earth. So, usually we arrive here first and have fun while we wait for our special humans. Sometimes, however, the human gets here first. They wait here for their special dogs. Those waiting often welcome a chance to pet and spend time with dogs while they are waiting. I saw one of them sitting on the other side of this field a while ago. Would you like to meet her?

Dog: Are you sure she won’t hurt me? Humans have chased me, kicked me and beat me, all through my life. I’m afraid.

Thor: I can guarantee it. No human who comes here would deliberately hurt a dog. I don’t know where the people who do hurt and abuse dogs go, but they are never seen here. Do you want to go?

Dog: Okay.

Thor, Nessie and the dog cross the field. On the edge of the field a woman is sitting and looking off in the distance. Thor calls out to the woman.

Thor: Hi Pat! How are you today?

Pat: Hello, Thor. I’m fine today. Hello, Nessie. It’s good to see you. Who’s your friend?

Nessie: He’s a new arrival to the Bridge, Pat. He doesn’t have a name. Nobody cared enough to give him a name while he was on Earth. We brought him over to meet you.

Pat: I’m glad you brought him here.I’m glad to meet you, boy. Would you like to sit next to me?
The dog gingerly sits next to Pat.

She starts petting him gently.

Pat: Would you like to see what I was doing? (The dog nods). I was looking at Earth, looking at my two special dogs. Can you see them down there? It’s the two Shi Tzus, there with those big dogs.Their names are Sparkle and Angel. When I came here, I was so worried about them. They now have a good home with a wonderful person who loves them. I don’t worry about them now, but I do like to sit here and watch their antics. See, Angel is now looking up at us. We miss each other, but know that the day will come when their time on Earth is finished and they will come here and we will cross the Bridge together.

Dog: That sounds wonderful. Do you know what will happen to me?

Pat: Well, first you are going to stay here, and learn about fun and love and peace. When you feel ready, you have several options. You can stay here at the Bridge, helping dogs, other dogs that were neglected or abused or tortured, helping them learn about love. Another option is that you can find a special human.

Dog: I can?

Pat: Yes. There are several types of special humans who come here that you can connect with. The first are those with incredibly large hearts. They loved dogs so much when they were on Earth, that when they get here, they rescue a few more. Then they all cross the Bridge together. The other type are those who loved dogs, but who couldn’t have one when they were on Earth, for some reason. Maybe they were allergic to dogs, or maybe the humans they lived with were allergic, or for some reason there was never a right time on Earth for them to have a dog. When they get here, they can finally find the right dog for them. They spend some time here, playing with and meeting dogs, and then cross the Bridge with the ones that are right for them. There are also some very special people who Rescue dogs who are abused and uncared for, oftentimes they are allowed to stop here at the Bridge and cross over with those dogs who weren’t adpoted.

Dog: That sounds wonderful. I would be so happy to share all the love in my heart with someone special.

Pat: I’m so glad you think so. Don’t worry, you can take as much time as you need here before you make a decision on when you are ready to find the right human.

Pat starts scratching behind the dog’s ear. He relaxes against her, closes his eyes and lets out a long sigh of contentment. For the first time ever, he has found love and happiness.

Rainbow of Happiness Wall Plaque

Illustration by Heart Works (Jan).  To purchase this sign or see more of her work, please go to:

Ron’s Second Story:
Beckett’s Story by Ginny Lunt

I just got back from my Valkyrie act, taking all 5 dogs to the vet’s for heartworm checks by myself. Of course, I asked for the first appointment of the day, to avoid the craziness of Saturday appointments.

When I walked in with my 5, I was surprised to see a knot of people in the back room. The door was open. The vet still had her coat on. And I could see they were performing CPR on a large Rottie. The tech came out and apologized for the fact that I’d have to wait. No problem. Do what you have to do, I said. I can wait all day. They left the door open.

Beckett stood and watched it all intently, never taking his eyes off the back room. Finally, a guy in sweats came out and told me what was going on. He’d been jogging through the parking lot when he heard a man he had just passed cry out, “Oh, no, Charlie.” And then, “Help, I think he’s dead.”

This man had called in on his car phone to tell the clinic he was bringing in his 2 year old Rottie, Charlie. Charlie had been vomitting last night, and this morning was unable to get up and appeared to be very sick. He loaded him in the car, calling the clinic on the way there. He got there as the tech was opening up, and left Charlie in the car until the vet arrived, since Charlie weighed 150 pounds, and he wanted a gurney to get him in. As the vet arrived, the guy went back out to the car to check on the dog, as the vet and the tech prepared to follow him out with the gurney. That’s when he found Charlie apparently dead, and the jogger turned back to help them.

When they got Charlie inside, moments before I got there with my gang, they found a faint heart beat and attempted to revive him. The jogger came out to talk to me just as they were giving up, after about 20 minutes of CPR.

Meanwhile, Beckett never took his eyes off the goings-on in the back room. The rest of the gang were lying down or milling around, but Beckett was like a statue watching that back room. We had a clear view of everything, and he was watching it all. He watched as they rolled the gurney out to us, and out the door. He watched as they loaded Charlie’s body back into the car. He watched as the group of people came back inside. The owner sat down in the chair next to me and put his head in his hands and sobbed. Beckett watched. And watched. After about a minute, Beckett quietly moved around the rest of my gang, and walked over to the man, and very slowly slid his head under the man’s hands and hid his face in the man’s lap. And then just stood there. That’s when the vet and the tech and I looked at each other and all lost it at the same moment.

Then the man lifted his head and looked down at Beckett, who still had his face hidden against the man’s belly, and was still standing there as quiet as a statue. The man spread his hands and sat looking down at the back of Beckett’s neck, somewhat bewildered, and then he looked up at us, with his hands still spread, as if to say, “What’s this?” Then Beckett looked up at him, and kissed his face, and the man threw his arms around Beckett and hid his face against Beckett’s neck and cried for about another minute.

Then he stood up, wiped his arm over his face, gave us a little sad, smile, and walked out. No one said anything. Beckett walked over to the door and watched him leave, then he turned back to me, licked my face once, and laid down on the floor next to my chair.

The vet, the tech and I just sort of looked at one another, and then began to weigh the dogs and get on with things. None of us mentioned what had just occurred until later, when the vet finished drawing Beckett’s blood. She was kneeling next to him on the floor and when she finished, she put her arm around him, and looked up at me and said, “What a wonderful dog – he just took care of all of us, didn’t he?”

“Yes,” I said, “He’s something special. I think I’ll keep him.”

And I think I will.

They still don’t know what Charlie died from. I feel very sad that such a beautiful young dog died so suddenly, and that nothing could be done to save him. Maybe from his spot at the Rainbow Bridge Charlie saw the small act of kindness that Beckett offered to his owner, and when Beckett makes his own passage to the Bridge, there will be a big, happy, beautiful Rottie there among the dogs from Magi who will be waiting to greet him.