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Posts Tagged ‘pet-loss’

Favorite Video Friday – Life is better with you

October 9, 2015 8 comments

Yesterday, I got word that another pet sitting client and former MN Valley Humane Society dog (where I volunteered) had crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. Zephyr was a sweet and precious thing who looked so very  vulnerable when she was at our shelter. I worried about her finding the right home, but fortunately, she had already captured another volunteer’s heart. She could not have landed with a better family. She had a great life and was very much loved. She was one of the lucky ones.

The number of dogs I know from our old shelter is getting smaller and smaller. So many of us lost when that place suddenly closed down. It was such a tight-knit community. Seeing so many of the dogs we adopted out now making that journey over the Bridge reminds us of the loss once again.

I have two MVHS dogs of my own, Daisy and Jasper, who will one day follow. This video and Zephyr’s death, is a reminder of how much they have made my life better. I cannot imagine my life without them.

Today’s video is a celebration of Zephyr’s life, and of the time I have had with Daisy and Jasper.

God speed sweet Zephyr.

Happy Friday everyone.

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How do you imagine your Rainbow Bridge reunion?

October 8, 2012 20 comments

On Monday I learned that a friend had lost her beloved husband to cancer, after a very short but hard-fought battle over these past three weeks. I couldn’t help but be sad for her and for the animals they shared. They didn’t know he wouldn’t be coming home when he went into the hospital for pneumonia. I know they all miss him terribly. I have no doubt that one day Greg and Ecco (their Chocolate Lab) will reunite happily at the Rainbow Bridge where they can be together forever. At least, I believe it to be true.

Animal lovers often refer to the Rainbow Bridge when a beloved pet passes. All of us hope to one day meet up with our pets at that bridge and cross over it together on our way to heaven. But when we think of that rainbow bridge, and what lies beyond, what do we imagine it to look like? Do we take the time to imagine what that reunion will be like? And, what do we imagine what we (our dogs and us) will do when we get there?

In my mind, the Rainbow Bridge is more beautiful than any human words can describe. The reunion with my pets more joyous than I can ever imagine.

I hope my last two dogs, Indy and Aspen, are there to greet me with smiling faces. I hope to see my first Sheltie, Alicia, spinning in excitement, as she did so often when she was here. I imagine my cat, Sebastian, wrapping his paw around my hand as we sleep together on a heavenly bed of clouds.

I also see my days spent in laughter as I watch my dogs running around heaven with their noses to the ground, exploring it with joy and excitement. I see Alicia curled up at the foot of my bed every evening and Jasper chasing his ball over and over again during the day. I imagine my little Lady barking her excitement at first seeing me, and then licking me on the tip of my nose, as she does now when she is happy. I imagine Daisy confident and strong, and just as gentle as she is today; happy to sit with me by a river or lake, or to leap in with her tail wagging as she happily paddles around.

I imagine the world beyond that Rainbow Bridge to be better than my best day with my dogs on earth, because it is there I will see them at their most strong, most healthy and most happiest.

After reading about Colton Burpo’s death (and return) in “Heaven is for Real” I feel even more assured that I will one day see my pets again – both at the Rainbow Bridge and beyond. If Colton says there are dogs in heaven I am more than happy to believe him.

So how do you imagine your reunion at that rainbow bridge? Who will you see? What will you do?

The Rainbow Bridge Poem
Just this side of heaven is a place called the Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to the 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. 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

Rainbow Bridge Pictures, Images and Photos

Greg – wherever you are, I hope that everything you imagined heaven to be is true. I have no doubt that your pets greeted you at that Rainbow Bridge or that you crossed over together. That is as it should be. Godspeed.

Love the ones you’re with (while you still have them)

April 11, 2012 21 comments

Last week I wrote about my dog Jasper and the intensity in which he attacks everything in his life.

My friend Amy left the following comment “Buster has a lot of the same energy as Jasper, but now that he’s approaching is 5th birthday, he seems to be settling down a bit. There are more moments of calm between the craziness and, while I thought it was what I wanted, it makes me feel a little sad. It means he’s getting older and I’m not so excited about that.” I couldn’t help but feel a sense of sadness, because I knew what she meant. It won’t be that long before Jasper will be slowing down too. I so love his intensity. I love that he is naughty sometimes. I love that he keeps me on my toes and is always making me think. Slow down? I don’t want to even consider it.

Xander

Then later that week, I got word that a family who had been involved in the search for Lady had lost their beloved dog, Xander. They had adopted Xander from Minnesota Sheltie Rescue after his original owner died. Being the big-hearted people they are I have no doubt that Xander was showered with love for the five wonderful years they had him. I couldn’t help but be reminded that my time with Jasper (and Daisy and Lady) is short.

Even at his most exasperating, I know that one day I will be missing Jasper, like Xander is being missed right now.

I know that one day I am going to miss the fact that he has to go back outside 3 minutes after he gets back in because he forgot to go to the bathroom while he was out the first time. I will miss him attacking the outside water dish every time I empty it out to put fresh water in. I will miss him staring at me, waiting for me to throw his ball. I will miss his need to herd me, the cat, Daisy and Lady. I will even miss him chasing runners at the park.

Hearing about Xander and reading Amy’s comment made me realize that I need to appreciate all of my moments with my dogs – the good, the bad and the frustrating. Because, someday, I will miss each and every one of them.

My condolences to the Gilbert family on the loss of their boy. I know it must be heartbreaking to not have him there with them. I just hope they find some comfort in knowing they gave him such a wonderful life. One filled with love and happy memories.

Dogs, Death and Saying Goodbye

June 12, 2009 3 comments

On Wednesday, one of my doggie clients crossed over the Rainbow Bridge to wait for his loving owner. It was a terribly sad day for his Mom and for me. Teddy has been a part of her life for the past seventeen years. He was a tenacious fighter, who battled through many ailments and managed to enjoy life despite some neurological issues that affected his back legs. He wanted to live, but his little body just could not hold out any longer.

It is never easy to lose a beloved pet, no matter what the age.

People ask me…When is the right time to say goodbye? After losing three dogs (two in the past four years), I can only tell you that the answer is never the same for everyone. My first dog, Alicia, stayed with me for fifteen glorious years. I had a very hard time saying goodbye to her and I believe that I probably waited longer than I needed to because I just couldn’t accept that she would no longer be a part of my life. Indy suffered from seizures brought on by a combination of vaccines. When the seizures became so frequent that she was on longer able to enjoy life, we knew it was time to say goodbye – she was without a doubt a very special girl. Aspen was ill when I adopted her. I suspected cancer, but could not bear the thought of letting her die in a shelter (like her owners had chosen to do). Although it turned out that my suspicions were wrong, she still had some gastrointestinal issues that made her very ill. I knew that I would only have a short time with her. I was lucky to have one wonderful year (she died last May) – I miss her personality the most. I miss her still. Each dog was different when it came time to making the decision to say goodbye.

After Aspen died, a friend said to me “It’s the absence of their presence where they once used to be that is the hardest part.” I could not agree more. You see them everywhere they used to be… a favorite bed, the end of the couch, lying on the rug waiting until you get out of the shower, out in the backyard sitting in a pile of leaves that you just raked up. I think that is the hardest part of losing a pet. Knowing where they always hung out and knowing they are no longer there.

I’ve never been one to immediately let another dog into my life. I need some time to process, to grieve and to accept their loss. For some people, getting another dog right away is what helps them through it. Just like each good-bye is different, everyone handles their grief differently. I am so glad that Teddy’s mom had a great bunch of friends who offered her their support and encouragement as she prepared to say goodbye.

There are some great websites and resources out there for anyone who has lost a pet. There are even grief counseling groups for pet owners who have recently lost a pet. I have included a few below.

God bless you Teddy. I pray that you have finally found peace somewhere over that Rainbow Bridge.

The Pet Loss Grief Support Website
Pet Loss Support Page
How Will I Know When it is “Time” to Put a Pet to Sleep?
The Humane Society of the United States: Coping with the death of your pet

Aspen in September 2008

Aspen in September 2008

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