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This is Bradley's page. He was very special to me. He was adopted out from our practice as a 10-week old and returned 12 years later, just two days after being diagnosed with diabetes. For whatever reasons, his family felt unable to deal with the disease.

I don't exactly know why he was so special to me, but he was. I have my suspicions about the "real" reason he was returned but they're just that...suspicions.

He was such a love!  I had thought I would adopt him myself, but I needed to reconcile how I would handle his need to have food available all day (Brad was a "picker", never eating all his food immediately) against my own cats' need to have their food UNavailable all day, lest they become 25 pound cats!  I also wanted his diabetes well regulated and needed to figure out just how I would manage it myself with my crazed schedule.  I wasn't afraid of that, though, I figured I'd just get a glucose meter of my own and test him myself on a very regular basis to be sure of how much insulin he should get.

The following pages were ones I made immediately after his return to us and as he got used to being with us, and was given more freedom to be out of his cage.

And then Bradley stopped eating.  Entirely.  After a couple days of this, we started to syringe feed him and one of the other techs and I grabbed him to do a blood sugar. I thought that his belly felt "squishy".  Later that day, the vet did some labs on him, and a quick exam and xray - it turned out he had fluid in his belly, which she tapped.

Based on the bloodwork and the look and feel and specific gravity of the fluid from his belly, the presumptive diagnosis was Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), which is nearly always fatal, and often within days.  He was diagnosed on Tuesday and, that Friday when we came in to work, he was in extreme distress.  And so, we humanely euthanized Bradley, so he could go to the Bridge and be healthy, happy, and whole again.  I was, and remain, heartbroken.

The first page in this group of four has the last picture of Bradley that I have, and was taken just before his diagnosis.  On reflection, I now think that he wasn't looking well in this photo.  The second page was created to announce his illness, and the final two are his memorial pages.

After we put Brad to sleep, a wonderful friend of mine from ScrapbookFlair, Yvonne (lavenderskies), created a group for Bradley and me, and for other ScrapbookFlair members to create pages to pay tribute to Brad.  I'll be forever grateful to Yvonne for doing this - the pages created are truly awesome and give me joy to look at.  Here they are, in no particular order...

lavenderskies' Russel
BB's Memories
Grandma M
Lindalou b

These pages are ones that ScrapbookFlair members created for a challenge to scrap someone else's pet.  The last page was made after I posted my first page of Bradley and started telling his story.

Lindalou b
Grandma M
lavenderskies (for fun)
Grandma M

To all my ScrapbookFlair friends, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking Bradley into YOUR hearts.

The Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to 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 you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown... 

And here's another version - get the tissues out!

A Dark Day At Rainbow Bridge

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 that the animal’s heart was leaden and he was totally overcome with pain and hurt, there was no sign of injury or illness. Unlike the pets waiting at the bridge this dog had not been restored to his prime. He was full of neither health nor vigour. He approached slowly and painfully, watching all the pets who were 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 apologised sorrowfully, telling him that he would not be able to pass. Only those animals with  their special people could pass over... He had no special  beloved person not here at the Bridge nor on the earth below.

With no place else to turn, the poor elderly dog looked towards the fields before the Bridge. There in a separate field 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 just 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. The way you see him now, with greying fur and sad, cloudy eyes, was exactly the way he was when he was put into the kennels.. He never 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 no one to escort him over 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 an answer, the clouds suddenly parted and the all invasive gloom lifted. Coming towards the Bridge could be seen a single figure... a person who on earth seemed quite ordinary.... a person who, just like the elderly dog had just left earth forever. This figure turned toward a group of sad animals and extended outstretched palms. The sweetest sounds they had ever heard echoed 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 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. The newly restored pets fell into line behind the figure and quietly followed this person to the Bridge, where they all crossed over 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 the Bridge 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 animals that couldn’t find a 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.