T’was the night before Christmas, and partly through the night, not a noise was heard throughout the house; just silence. George the German Sheppard blinked; he thought he saw a shadow. Then he turned, and saw he wasn’t alone. A shadowy strange figure of a Dachshund sat near the Christmas tree, its colors shone like a rainbow.
“Who goes there?” George asked, as the fur on his spine rose like pine needles.
“Why, you don’t remember me George?” The cloudy figure adjusted his position.
“If I knew who you were I wouldn’t be asking now would I?”
“Would you like to go for a walk?” The figure asked.
“At this time? I’ve already done my business, unlike you apparently,” George nearly growled.
“But you liked going on walks,” the figure said quietly.
“What do you know? What do you want, and why are glowing like that?” George sniffed.
Quite unexpectedly, two other figures appeared; the Dachshund’s looked identical to one another. Now, all three were glowing. George backed away and this time, his growl nearly turned into a bark.
“Shhh, you’ll wake the family,” said the middle one.
“George?” asked the one to the far right. The dog that appeared first said, “You don’t remember us do you?”
Suddenly, the middle hound pawed at the air, and then jumped back and forth as if jumping through invisible hoops.
The hound to the far right came closer, his steps slow. George felt funny, like he was about to fall asleep. His eyes felt heavy and droopy. His body slumped to the ground. Images came and went so fast, he got dizzy. Then he saw them: they had all been playing; the tennis balls kept coming. The family loved to play fetch as much as the dogs did! These were his brothers from years ago. He had said goodbye to them before they went over the Rainbow Bridge!
It all came back like a wild wind – the memories: the first dog that appeared; was Henry, Jack, and then Ricky. Henry came up to George and licked his face, only it wasn’t real, but it felt real. “You remember now?” asked Henry.
Then Jack stepped close, and Ricky. “We miss you too buddy! It’s great to see you again!” “You’re doing a good job taking care of our family.” Jack said. Ricky threw a tennis ball at George. Jack and Henry picked it up and tossed it back at George.
Suddenly, the living room went bright. There stood his human family, smiling, and happy as they saw the tennis ball in George’s mouth. They came up to him, and said he could open his present early. The figures faded, but he could swear he heard three barks, all distinctly different. The family hugged and squeezed him, and he felt grateful for all that he has including the memories of his family on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.