addition to the wonderful thoughts and poems presented here,
you'll find links to these special writings below.
(When you click on the underlined titles,
use your browser's "back" button to return to this page,
and be sure to bookmark this page as one of your "favorites")
Davis, who lost her beloved cat Taz to kidney disease in May 2005,
sent this lovely
Letter of Thanks
especially beautiful rendition
of the much-loved story:
she was 11 years old, Katy Riley wrote this poem about her
A Poem for Max
Sue Culberson describes
her last day with her beloved Rottweiler in
Kelly Ryan shares this touching tribute to her cherished
German Shepherd dog, Gunner
Dorothyann McKeon writes about her loss in
In tribute to service dogs and their partners, and
shortly before she was matched with her own beloved
service dog, Kathy McKeon wrote
Are My Heart is
Tressa Huntsman's tribute to her beloved Enchante
Eva Vichules wrote this in celebration of the bond she
shares with her beloved
This touching and beautiful piece
was written by composer Martin Scot Kosins,
Maya's First Rose:
Diary of a Very Special Love.
It appears in the book Angel Pawprints :
Reflections On Loving and Losing a Canine Companion,
and is reprinted here with his permission.
The Fourth Day
In this piece from his astonishing memoir,
My Cat Saved My Life,
author and composer Phillip Schreibman
addresses the question
of whether animals have souls.
Where Do We Go from Here?
her warm and wonderful book
The Daisy Sutra,
author Helen Weaver offers this
"string of pearls"
which came to her as a gift
from her beloved dog Daisy.
The Daisy Sutra
her heartwarming and
Blessing the Bridge:
What Animals Teach Us
About Death, Dying and Beyond,
author Rita Reynolds
offers her gentle suggestions
for helping an animal friend
to die with peace and dignity.
Euthanasia: The Merciful
Grandy suffers a major loss,
she cooks up her own unique batch of
Richly illustrated in full color,
this marvelous book
gives both adults and children
a thorough understanding of grief,
along with a glimpse into Grandy's life
as she blends various ingredients
into her own mourning process.
Soup Home Page
If A Dog
Were Your Teacher
guest on The Johnny Carson Show, beloved movie star Jimmy
Stewart tearfully recited this heartfelt poem, which he wrote
in memory of his beloved dog,
Journey, by Crystal Ward Kent:
When you bring a pet into your life, you begin a journey -- a
journey that will bring you more love and devotion than you
have ever known, yet also test your strength and courage.
on . . .
Animals serve as conduits for people
to fulfill their primal need for connection to nature.
The animals in a home may be a person’s only
and deepest source of unconditional love.
Millions of people need this kind of love –
love without judgment, artifice, or stinginess –
in a universe of emotional and spiritual isolation.
Animals bridge the gap between our hearts and minds.
As became apparent after Hurricane Katrina and other disasters,
many people will die rather than lose a relationship
for which there is no human substitute.
– Allen & Linda Anderson, in
Rescued: Saving Animals from Disaster
Until one has
loved an animal,
a part of one's soul remains unawakened.
-- Anatole France
Somewhere Out There
Somewhere out there,
beneath the pale moonlight,
someone's thinking of me,
and loving me tonight.
Somewhere out there,
someone's saying a prayer
that we'll find one another
in that big somewhere out there.
And even though I know
how very far apart we are,
it helps to think we might be wishing
on the same bright star.
And when the night wind starts to sing
a lonesome lullaby,
it helps to think we're sleeping
underneath the same big sky.
Somewhere out there,
if love can see us through,
then we'll be together
somewhere out there,
out where dreams come true.
— James Horner / Barry Mann / Cynthia Weil, ©1987 MCA Publishing (ASCAP)
Heaven goes by
If it went by merit,
you would stay out
and your dog would go in.
-- Mark Twain
People are having
profound spiritual experiences with animals.
They are learning about God's ways by observing the animals
who bless their lives and share their homes.
The Divine is working through animals as vehicles
to bring more love, wisdom, courage, and comfort into the
Animals are good for human health -- physically,
mentally, and emotionally . . .
animals are also good for our spiritual health.
-- Allen and Linda Anderson, in
God's Messengers: What Animals Teach Us about the Divine
There is a land
of the living
and a land of the dead
and the bridge is love ~
the only survival, the only meaning.
Touch of A Friend
An angel was sent down from heaven one day
to visit a child who had nothing to say.
Now this young boy was poor, great wealth he did lack,
but he has always been happy in spite of the fact.
Until one day it happened: his best friend went away,
and it left him heartbroken, with nothing to say.
So the task of the angel was a great one indeed:
to give hope to a heart that was so much in need.
And though great power and wealth
were at the angel's command,
he sent a lost puppy
and the healing began.
The boy cheered the puppy as he chased down a stick
and he started to giggle as his face he would lick.
They ran and they jumped and they played for so long
that before they both knew it the whole day was gone.
Then without any warning the boy whose heart broke
found a reason for saying these words that he spoke:
"I love you, little puppy, I hope you will stay!
We will always be friends and together we'll play."
So the little puppy stayed and was never alone
for that which was lost had now found a new home.
And the boy was now happy - though he still remained poor
for he had a new friend, someone to care for.
You see riches and power are fine things indeed,
but for a broken heart that is not what you need.
The angel was wise, for he knew in the end
how to mend a broken heart
with the touch of a friend.
© 2001 by Tom Krause
with permission of the author
somewhere in time's own space
There must be some sweet pastured place
Where creeks sing on and tall trees grow
Some Paradise where horses go,
For by the love that guides my pen
I know great horses live again.
-- Stanley Harrison
A Place in Heaven
a place in Heaven
Where dog companions go
Before I'd want to go there
I'd really need to know
pure of spirit
And a being without sin
Is surely one that should be there
But does God let him in?
The theologians argue
A soul is what they lack
But one who's always there for you
Should be given something back
I could not face eternity
Without paws and tails
And if that's what religion thinks
Then that is where it fails
I hope God doesn't let me down
I'm sure He knows their worth
For we who have been loved by them
Have Heaven here on Earth!
laJoie Magazine, Summer 2004
There are two
means of refuge
from the miseries of life:
music and cats.
We who choose to
with lives even more temporary than our own
live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached.
Unable to accept its awful gaps,
we still would live no other way.
We cherish memory as the only certain immortality,
never fully understanding the necessary plan.
Irving Townsend, in The Once Again Prince
When your day
seems out of balance
and so many things go wrong,
when people fight around you
and the day drags on so long,
when parents act like children,
in-laws make you think "Divorce,"
go out in your pasture;
wrap your arms around your horse.
His gentle breath enfolds you
and he watches with those eyes.
He may not have a PhD,
but he is oh, so wise!
His head rests on your shoulder.
You embrace him oh, so tight.
He puts your world in balance,
and makes it seem all right.
Your tears will soon stop flowing.
The tension is now eased.
The garbage has been lifted,
and you're quiet and at peace.
So when you need the balance
from circumstances in your day,
the best therapy that you can seek
is out there eating hay!
-- Mary Ann Miller
Remembering creates appreciation and gratitude –
two of the most wondrous salves for your sorrows.
People sometimes think that they will feel better by denying
and refusing to remember what has caused it.
In some cases and at certain times, that may be true.
As your life continues to demand that you support yourself,
care for others, and be out and about in the world,
you may need to place your memories on hold.
But grief is like a bill collector:
You can delay facing it, but if you do so for too long,
it will come to meet you at your front door.
Grief will have its day, whether you consciously allow it to
So it is in your best interest to heal the wounds of grief
Refusing to remember can cause bitterness, pain, and anger to
appear to fade away.
But buried grief lies in wait and pounces unexpectedly.
Buried grief casts an invisible veil of sadness over every
It whispers that to love means to suffer.
It convinces you that life offers nothing but despair.
The dammed-up river of unresolved grief
makes it easier for each subsequent loss
to burst through your defenses.
With organic grieving, you will not bury your grief.
Instead, you will allow the rhythms of your emotions to ebb
and flow naturally.
By giving yourself the gift of remembering your animal
grief will seep back into and enrich the soil of your life
instead of creating poisonous wells of unresolved sadness
and Linda Anderson,
Finding Comfort after the Loss of Your Animal Friend,
Rainbows And Bridges: An Animal Companion Memorial Kit
Not only is there
always another good animal
in need of a good home,
but we must remember to be thankful
for the time and love our animals give us
while they are here.
Take time to enjoy them and learn from them.
As painful as it is to lose them,
they teach us to love unselfishly,
they teach us to live each day to the fullest,
they teach us to grow old gracefully,
and they teach us to die with dignity.
We do them disrespect
to focus only on the sorrow of their death
when they have given us so much joy through their life.
If we wish to honor them,
take what they have given us,
all that love,
and give it back to another animal
in need of help.
The wind of
is that which blows
between a horse's ears.
-- Arabian Proverb
Since ancient times, horses have kissed Mother Earth with their hooves.
At the same time, our heads thrust forward as we listen to the whispers of Sister Wind.
Being at peace with the wind and in harmony with the earth
connects horses with Nature’s secret healing energies.
Creation and destruction are the two faces of healing.
Horses know this to be true.
We watch as Mother Earth grows new life and embraces the dead in her arms.
We stand silently as Sister Wind blows away sadness
and takes whatever has become precious.
Horses carry wisdom about healing in their hearts.
We give it to any humans who have the humility to hear us.
And we ask for very little in return.
– Allen and Linda Anderson,
in Angel Horses: Divine Messengers of Hope
Ode to Oliver
It’s five months now, my lovely boy
The months have been and gone.
Forever since you left my side, but oh!
How your memory lingers on
last day – it broke my heart
The pain so hard to bear.
But you seemed ready, all set to go
To another life – elsewhere
I must move on, my dear, dear lad
But from day to day, you’ll see.
The love we shared, the fun we had
Will be cherished forever – in me.
So thanks again, my faithful friend
I'll try not to be so sad
But treasure the walks, the games, the love
And the brilliant time we had.
Copyright © January 2005 by
Used with permission of the author
It may be that
the most profound benefit of having a pet
is that we come to understand better
the experience of death,
lose some of our fear of it in the process . . .
Death, our pets teach us, is necessary for new life to appear,
both for our pets and eventually, for us too.
-- Martin Goldstein, DVM, in
The Nature of Animal Healing
heartbreaking responsibility that I have been through too many
but when done right, despite the pain of saying
to an amazing dog and truly a best friend,
it is tempered with the satisfaction of having shared a
wonderful time together
and the knowledge that I will have seen Bismark
through the dangers and risks of life safely
and with dignity to the other side.
Francis Battista, in
Best Friends Magazine
Grief is not just
confined to losing a person through death.
Intense feelings of loss can come from the ending of a
marriage by separation or divorce.
A move can produce feelings of grief.
A rape. A job loss. Loss of a body part or body
Financial loss. Loss of dignity and respect.
Loss of a pet.
One of the most difficult counseling situations I ever had
whose seeing-eye dog of ten years, Angel, died.
Angel was Jonathan's live-in partner,
his dearest family member,
his closest work associate,
his trusted servant,
his most faithful friend,
an actual extension of himself,
a literal part of his being
When Angel died,
all of that was lost.
Douglas C. Smith, MA, MS, MDiv
something about the outside of a horse
that is good for the inside of a man.
Our sweet Dudley closed his eyes today,
As his head lay in my hand.
It hurt so to see him in such pain,
He could not even stand.
The thoughts that raced around my head
As I held him in my arms
Were of his younger playful years,
And his oh so many charms.
Years before my sons begged for a pet,
So what was this mom to do?
They would not let me dare forget
Until their wish came true.
Now anyone who knows me
Knows that it wasn't only them
Who longed to have a dog to love,
To bring such joy again.
And so on Independence Day in 1995,
Dudley and Buster brought such happiness
Into our home and to our lives . . .
How we felt doubly blessed!
Today, there was no wagging tail
With his "I love you" gaze ~
Only hearts left with much sadness
Remembering fun-filled days.
But an Angel just appeared to me
And said, "You should cry no more;
Dudley's romping with your father
And beloved pets who've gone before."
And as I left the vet today
She turned and said to me,
"What plans have you to bury your pet?
I have options you can see."
I gathered him into my arms
And took him home with me.
Though we're burying him in our backyard,
It's in my heart he'll always be.
So I like to think of Dudley
Walking 'round the clouds with ease
As my father whistles by his side,
Now both in eternal peace.
Copyright © 2003 by Karen Russell
Used with permission of the author
. . And when one of us is gone
And one is left to carry on
Well then remembering will have to do
Our memories alone will get us through
Think about the days of me and you
Of you and me against the world . . .
-- Paul Williams and Ken Ascher
She Is Gone
shed tears that she is gone
or you can smile because she lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that she'll come back
or you can open your eyes and see all she's left.
Your heart can be empty because you can't see her
or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember her and only that she's gone
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.
You can cry and lose your mind,
be empty and turn your back
or you can do what she'd want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.
There must be a
for the animal friends we love.
They are not human,
yet they bring out our own humanity ~
sometimes in ways that other people cannot.
They do not worry about fame or fortune ~
instead they bring our hearts nearer to the joy of simple
Each day they teach us little lessons
in trust and steadfast affection.
Whatever heaven may be,
there's surely a place in it
for friends as good as these.
Acquiring a dog
may be the only opportunity
a human ever has to choose a relative.
-- Mordecai Siegal
And if I go,
while you're still here ~
know that I still live on
vibrating to a different measure
behind a thin veil you cannot see through.
You will not see me,
so you must have faith.
I wait the time when we can soar together again,
both aware of each other.
Until then, live your life to the fullest.
And when you need me,
just whisper my name in your heart,
~ I will be there.
A dog can express
more with his tail in minutes
than a human can express with his tongue in hours.
Come Dream with Me
Come dream with
me for a while as you linger
In the sweet reverie of memories of you and me
The days so swiftly passing and time that stops for no one
Come dream with
me of youthful follies
Running, jumping, chasing, climbing, a constant whirlwind of
Smiles of exasperation lost in love
Come dream with
me all curled up on the couch
My head resting next to yours, the rumbling purr changing to
whispers of breathing
As sleep overcomes us lying there
Come dream with
me of landing on all fours right on your resting form
Forget the reading ~ I have arrived, wet kisses nose to nose
Much more important than any book
Come dream with
me of the times when no one else seems to understand
A torment of tears and I appear to stay beside you, your
grateful hand caressing me
I dare not move until calm is restored
Come dream with
me of talks at mealtime
Your dinner always looks better, a loud "Meow!" signals you to
share with me
If cat food is so good, why don’t you eat it, too?
Come dream with
me as I knead with my paws
To get a comfortable place next to the one I love best ~
of course I should have the preferred space
Am I not the most important one around here?
Come dream with
me in your sorrow
The years though passing quickly do not diminish who we are,
you and me
I remain always in that special chamber of your heart
Come dream with
me so I can let you know
I love you so and nothing can change that bond ~ it is there
for time and eternity
In the quiet of the night you will still feel my presence
Come dream with
me forever in a place
Where tears and pain have no welcome, where joyful and
glorious adventures await us
Sweet reverie surrounding as we dream together
tribute to Mercedes, Stinky and Simon –
three extraordinary cats who blessed me
with their antics, their uniqueness and their love
-- Copyright ©
2003 by Lucy Linder
Used with permission of the author
I believe that
the loss of a beloved companion animal
is like no other loss
because our relationships with animals are like no other.
Our culture tells us that an animal companion is an engaging
and that our grief over its death is alarming and ill-paced.
And our culture is just flat wrong.
As a survivor of advanced cancer myself,
I believe that the love and comfort of animals
in great measure graced me with recovery.
This being the case,
I would not be one to take kindly
to any cultural diminishment of our relationship with 'the
Bluntly put, 'Them's fightin' words' in my world.
Animals are more to us than we know.
Their partnership with us is a holy one
that endures across a lifetime
and possibly beyond.
Chernak McElroy, in
Grieving the Death of a Pet by
Betty J. Carmack
If you can go
through life without experiencing pain,
you probably haven't been born yet.
As I lie in the
Sleep and consciousness,
I feel the nudge of your head,
More insistent the second time,
Until my hand rises and you gently glide under.
Your whiskers tickle my wrist,
My hand enjoys the cool silkiness of your fur,
As you saunter past
To settle against the curve of my legs,
Then ever so quietly, methodically, you begin to purr.
"Sweet dreams," I breathe . . .
To the keeper of my peace and contentment
As we both . . . finally,
Drift off to sleep.
If we go to
so do they . . .
because if dogs are not there,
it is not heaven.
Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, in
The Soul of Your Pet: Evidence for the Survival of Animals After Death
He is my other
eyes that can see above the clouds,
my other ears that hear above the winds.
He is the part of me that can reach out to sea.
He has told me a thousand times over
that I am his reason for being --
by the way he rests against my leg;
by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile;
by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him
I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to
care for me.
When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive.
When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile.
When I am happy, he is joy unbounded.
When I am a fool, he ignores it.
When I succeed, he brags.
Without him, I am only another man.
With him, I am all-powerful.
He is loyalty itself.
He has taught me the meaning of devotion.
With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace.
He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant.
His head on my knee can heal human hurts.
His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark
and unknown things.
He has promised to wait for me--whenever, wherever--in
case I need him.
And I expect I will, as I always have.
He's just my dog.
If having a soul
means being able to feel
love and loyalty and gratitude,
then animals are better off
than a lot of humans.
A farmer had some
puppies he needed to sell.
He painted a sign advertising the pups
and set about nailing it to a post on the edge of his yard.
As he was driving the last nail into the post,
he felt a tug on his overalls.
He looked down into the eyes of a little boy.
"Mister," he said, "I want to buy one of your puppies."
"Well," said the farmer, as he rubbed the sweat off the back
of his neck,
"these puppies come from fine parents and cost a good deal of
The boy dropped his head for a moment.
Then reaching deep into his pocket,
he pulled out a handful of change and held it up to the
"I've got thirty-nine cents. Is that enough to take a
"Sure," said the farmer.
And with that he let out a whistle.
"Here, Dolly!" he called.
Out from the doghouse and down the ramp ran Dolly,
followed by four little balls of fur.
The little boy pressed his face against the chain link fence.
His eyes danced with delight.
As the dogs made their way to the fence,
the little boy noticed something else stirring inside the
Slowly another little ball appeared, this one noticeably
Down the ramp it slid.
Then in a somewhat awkward manner
the little pup began hobbling toward the others,
doing its best to catch up.
"I want that one," the little boy said, pointing to the runt.
The farmer knelt down at the boy's side and said,
"Son, you don't want that puppy.
He will never be able to run and play with you like these
other dogs would."
With that the little boy stepped back from the fence,
reached down, and began rolling up one leg of his trousers.
In doing so he revealed a steel brace running down both sides
of his leg
attaching itself to a specially made shoe.
Looking back up at the farmer he said,
"You see, sir, I don't run too well myself,
and he will need someone who understands."
Dogs in Our Lives
aren't house-proud. If we were,
we wouldn't abide the scratches on the door-frame,
the holes in the screen,
the darkened shine of worn spots on the chair.
We would wince at the mottled carpet
and fret at the hair clinging to our clothes.
If anything, we lovers of dogs are a tolerant lot,
finding greater value in the unabashed affection of our friend
than immaculate sofas. Shoes can be replaced,
but heroic retrievers are timeless.
Without dogs, our homes are cold receptacles for things.
Dogs make a fire warmer with their curled presence.
They wake us, greet us, protect us,
and ultimately carve a place in our hearts and in our history.
On reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts
defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.
At the Grave of a
whiskers be ruffled by only pleasant breezes,
May your bowls be filled with tuna and sweet cream,
May your dreams be blessed with legions of mice,
And most of all,
May you forever purr in peace.
In order to keep
a true perspective of one's importance,
everyone should have a dog that will worship him
and a cat that will ignore him.
A Dog's Plea
Treat me kindly, my beloved friend,
for no heart in all the world
is more grateful for kindness
than the loving heart of me.
Do not break my spirit with a stick,
for though I should lick your hand between blows,
your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me
the things you would have me learn.
Speak to me often,
for your voice is the world's sweetest music,
as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail
when the sound of your footstep falls upon my waiting ear.
Please take me inside when it is cold and wet,
for I am a domesticated animal,
no longer accustomed to bitter elements.
I ask no greater glory than the privilege
of sitting beneath your feet beside the hearth.
Keep my pan filled with fresh water
for I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst.
Feed me clean food that I may stay well,
to romp and play and do your bidding,
to walk by your side
and stand ready, willing and able
to protect you with my life
should your life be in danger.
And my friend, when I am very old,
and I no longer enjoy good health, hearing and sight,
do not make heroic efforts to keep me going.
I'm not having any fun.
Please see that my trusting life is taken gently.
I shall leave this earth knowing
with the last breath I draw
that my fate was always safest
in your hands.
I know my heart will suffer, for you will not be here
but I know the days and nights we spent together
will always be so near and dear
I know you will always be with me in memory, my friend
and I will hold onto that, so tight and never to forget
and never will I ever let those thoughts ever end
I told you I would never leave you
and in your own way, you said the same
but the time has come for us to say goodbye
I will love you always and tears will be shed
although my heart will wither with pain
the memory, your unconditional love and loyalty,
will always be the same
For you were my best friend
a special friend I will see once again
I will always cherish and honor you
and never forget your name
The fun we had together
will never be too far from thought
For you and I will always be together ~
Rest in peace, Budman ~
In loving memory,
MY BEST FRIEND
August 1989 - March 2003
Copyright © 2003 by Michael Richard
Used with permission of the author
My Dog is Love
Dedicated to my service dog Kujjo
who died on June 3, 2002
Love is God
To show His love
He sent us Dogs
For here we all are
In search of true love
To find who we are
And learn unconditional love
My dog is love
Love is my dog
For he always loves
As he is from God
For God loves us all
And to help us learn love
He sent us His angels
Dogs, with unconditional love
Copyright © 2002 by Armand Emery Brun
Used with permission of the author
Tribute To Dakota
I remember bringing you home.
You were so small and cuddly
with your tiny paws and soft fur.
You bounced around the room
with your eyes flashing and ears flopping.
Once in a while you'd let out a little yelp
just to let me know this was your territory.
Making a mess of the house
and chewing on everything in sight
became a passion
and when I scolded you,
you just put your head down
and looked up at me with those innocent eyes
as if to say," I'm Sorry,
but I'll do it again as soon as you're not looking."
As you got older,
you protected me by looking out the window
and barking at everyone who walked by.
When I had a tough day at work,
you would be waiting for me
with your tail wagging just to say,
"Welcome home! I missed you!"
You never had a bad day
and I could always count on you
to be there for me.
When I sat down to watch T.V. or read the paper,
you would hop on my lap looking for attention.
You never asked for anything more
than to have me pat your head
so you could go to sleep with your head over my leg.
As you got older,
you moved around more slowly.
Then one day,
old age finally took its toll,
and you couldn't stand on those wobbly legs anymore.
I knelt down and patted you lying there,
trying to make you young again.
You just looked up at me
as if to say you were old and tired
and that after all of these years of not asking for anything,
you had to ask me to do one last favor.
With tears in my eyes,
I drove you one last time to the vet.
One last time you were lying next to me.
For some strange reason
you were able to stand up in the animal hospital.
Perhaps it was your sense of pride.
As the vet led you away,
you stopped for an instant, turned your head
and looked at me as if to say,
" Thank you for taking care of me."
And I thought, " No . . . Thank you for taking care of me."
-- Chuck Wells, Palmyra NY
Taken from Ann Landers' Column
Dayton (Ohio) Daily News, April 10, 1992
Submitted by Cheryl Schreck
in honor of Dakota,
"who will always be my Bubby Boy"
of the Family
What would I do without you,
My precious, furry friend?
Part mischief, but all blessing,
And faithful to the end!
You look at me with eyes of love;
You never hold a grudge . . .
You think I'm far too wonderful
To criticize or judge.
It seems your greatest joy in life
Is being close to me . . .
I think God knew how comforting
Your warm, soft fur would be.
I know you think you're human,
But I'm glad it isn't true . . .
The world would be a nicer place
If folks were more like you!
A few short years are all we have;
One day we'll have to part . . .
But you, my pet, will always have
A place within my heart.
© 1993 by Hope Harrington Kolb
I'll Cross That
Bridge ~ When I Come to It
came into my life soft and gentle,
so small I put him inside my coat to keep him from the cold,
until we got him home.
He was scared, a little ~
he was used to his cage and his brother by his side.
I put him in a box with a warm blanket next to the couch and
pet him ~
as often as I could.
The nights he spent in the back room,
behind a barricade
to protect him and his new home.
We all know how puppies are!
He cried, this little guy, until he cried himself to sleep.
Okay, you guessed it!
I slept on the couch with my hand resting on his tiny body.
Everyone loved him right away; it was so easy to do.
He grew by leaps and bounds ~ and he would leap and bound all
What energy he had! He never tired of playing.
His first ball was twice his size
but he managed to kill it and drag it all over the yard.
What a sight to see!
He must have been confused until he finished "house training."
At times, I'm sure he must have thought he might be part bird.
As soon as he even looked like he might squat ~ he was
I'd swoop him up and run to the closest door and down into the
where he would calmly do his "business"
and wait to get carried up the steps again.
He had a dozen or so toys, which never seemed to last very
Usually he chewed them until they were all gone.
But he got to be very clever ~
he somehow knew exactly which toy we asked him to get.
Even if he already had one clutched in his mouth, as he
he'd spit it out, like those old PEZ candy dispensers,
and quickly fetch your choice.
"Hey, Rascal! Where's your monkey?" And he'd get
"Good boy! Where's your hedgehog?" Zap it goes
from his mouth,
and he's off to bring you the hedgehog.
And he loved the game so.
One thing, though ~ he would rarely relinquish his toys.
Oh, he'd go and get them for you, but just try to get them
from him ~
It was like trying to open the Jaws of Life with a Q-tip.
When he was ready he'd drop it at your feet so you could throw
He would chase whatever it was, as far as you could throw it,
Grab it and prance back with it ~ tightly locked in his teeth.
And start all over again. Drove my husband crazy, but I
It was the game, his game,
He made up the rules and everyone played by them ~ or ~ you
He quickly became my guardian.
Not my guard dog, you understand, but my guardian.
I was as much to him as he was to me
And I never knew such peace of mind.
And oh, my, he was so happy to see me
when I came home from somewhere,
and I never knew such pure love.
He followed me everywhere, and I mean everywhere!
I gave up shutting the bathroom door,
just so he wouldn't knock it off its hinges with his snout.
When it was nap-time, he'd curl up by my feet ~ as best he
(By his third year he had topped 120 pounds
and was the size of a Great Dane built like a German
He would then extend his great big old paw and expect me to
make body contact.
This was a ritual, not to be broken or taken lightly.
You know, it may sound odd, but he tried so very hard to hold
Not to just give his paw to you but . . .
he'd literally bend as much of his paw as he could to wrap
around your hand.
And nights, by my side of the bed, on his bed,
paw extended holding my hand as it dangled from the bed,
like it was the most natural thing ~
until he fell asleep.
He wasn't a good traveler ~ suffered from car sickness ~
but oh, how he loved the mountains.
He'd run and chase the ball and sometimes even give it to you
to throw again.
He'd leap from the deck and down the drive and back again in a
But not this time. This time my heart skipped a beat.
The last time, he had trouble getting up and down.
And he took the steps ~ slowly.
He'd had medical problems over six of his nine, almost ten
Skin infections mostly, sometimes his ears.
Lumps and bumps that appeared and disappeared.
We tried to keep up with it
and for the most part ~ things were kept under control.
But this time, something wasn't "right."
Sure, he was older and having some problems with his legs now
When we got him home, I'd call the vet ~ again.
I called the vet Monday morning and was able to get an
appointment that night.
We sat in the waiting room and watched the other dogs and cats
come and go.
Then it was our turn.
My husband and I took him into the examining room.
Our vet is excellent with him,
gets right down on the floor with him ~ that impressed me, a
But he didn't impress me this time.
This time he broke my heart.
My Rascal was ill, very ill.
He had cancer.
It was aggressive and it would kill him ~ soon.
In my heart I knew, I knew when he looked at me
after he couldn't make the jump.
I cried on the way home from the mountains.
I cried on the way to the vet.
I cried harder on the ride home.
No medicine would help, not this time.
The only thing they could do was ease his pain until he was
put him down.
How could I decide? How could I not decide?
"Are you sure you can't make him better?" I sobbed between
This is too fast! I wasn't ready! I knew, but I
wasn't ready, not yet!
The vet turned to me and said, "You knew when you brought him
in, didn't you?"
Oh yes I did, but I wanted so much to be wrong. This
"He is my best friend, my guardian, my buddy! How can
you ask me
to do this to him?"
How could I let him suffer?
The first shot slowed him down and he got a little woozy.
Rascal left my side, soft and gentle,
so large I put my coat over him to keep him from the cold,
until he got home.
He was scared, a little ~ he was used to his home and his
person by his side.
I sat down on the floor with him and hugged him ~ as often as
I cried then, as I am crying now, as I have cried so many
times since then.
Someone sent me a card with the Rainbow Bridge poem;
it was and is the only thing that brings me any consolation.
If you have never shared a special animal's love and
affection, I pity you.
It's just a dog, you say, but oh, you are so wrong.
When my time comes
and after I get to meet up
with all of my loved ones who have gone on before me
I am going to go to the Rainbow Bridge,
to the field where the dogs are running and playing
as when they were young and healthy.
And when I see the dog that stops, and turns, and begins to
run towards me ~
I'll be running as fast as I can
to meet up with Rascal again
and, I'll cross that bridge,
when I come to it.
Copyright © 2002 by Winnie Hillock
Used with permission of
at Rainbow Bridge
On the morning of September 11, 2001, there was an
unprecedented amount of activity at the Rainbow Bridge.
Decisions had to be made. They had to be made
quickly. And, they were.
An issue, not often addressed here, is
the fact that many residents really have no loved ones for
whom to wait. Think of the pups who lived and died in
hideous puppy mills. No one on earth loved or
protected them. What about the many who spent unhappy
lives tied in backyards? And the ones who were abused
— whom are they to wait for? We don't talk about
that much up here. We share our loved ones as they
arrive, and are happy to do so. But we all know there
is nothing like having your very own person who thinks you
are the most special pup in the Heavens.
On this particular Tuesday morning a
request rang out for pups not waiting for specific persons
to volunteer for special assignment. An eager, curious
crowd excitedly surged forward, each pup wondering what the
assignment would be. They were told by a solemn voice
that unexpectedly, all at once, over 3000 loving people had
left Earth long before they were ready. All the pups,
as all pups do, felt the humans' pain deep in their own
hearts. Without hearing more, there was a clamoring
"May I have one to comfort?"
"I'll take two — I have a big
"I have been saving kisses
One after another they came forward,
begging for assignment. One cozy-looking fluffy pup
asked hesitantly, "Are there any children coming?
I would be very comforting for a child ‘cuz I'm soft
and squishy and I always wanted to be hugged."
A group of Dalmatians came forward asking
to meet the firefighters and be their friends.
The larger working breeds offered to
greet the police officers and make them feel at home.
Little dogs volunteered to do what they
do best: cuddle and kiss.
Dogs who had never had a kind word or a
pat on the head while they were on Earth stepped forward and
said, "I will love any human who needs love."
Then all the dogs, no matter where on
Earth they originally came from, rushed to the Rainbow
Bridge and stood waiting, overflowing with love to share,
each tail wagging an American flag.
God had made the earth and sky,
flowers and the trees,
then made all the animals,
fish, the birds, and bees.
when at last He'd finished,
one was quite the same.
said, "I'll walk this world of mine
give each one a name."
so He traveled far and wide,
everywhere He went,
little creature followed Him
its strength was spent.
all were named upon the Earth
in the sky and sea,
little creature said, "Dear Lord,
no name left for me."
the Father said to him,
left you to the end.
turned my own name back to front
called you DOG, my friend".
Heartbreak is life educating us.
-- George Bernard Shaw
Grief is like the ocean;
it comes on waves ebbing and flowing.
Sometimes the water is calm,
and sometimes it is overwhelming.
All we can do is learn to swim.
-- Vicki Harrison
They come to us,
from shelters or friends or in any number of ways,
these beings of fur or feather or other outer shells.
They come to us wanting only
to be fed, sheltered, and loved.
And we take them into our homes and our hearts.
They may have prized pedigrees,
or they may be abandoned or abused
and rough around the edges.
But there is something about them,
some sort of light in their eyes
that tells us they are meant for us.
And a sweet dance of love
begins with our new friends.
We watch them delightedly discover their new home,
laugh at the antics of kitten or puppy,
smile as the former lost soul
settles comfortably into our arms.
They become a beloved member of our family,
a reminder of the uninhibited joy
that we have often forgotten how to feel.
The dog that excitedly runs
to greet his human friend returning home,
or the contented cat curled up on a lap
remind us of how large
unfettered love can be.
They come to teach us to remember how to love.
They come to teach us that our hearts,
so often battered by this world that we struggle through,
are still open enough to feel wonder and mystery
and a precious connection to another being.
And we love them, and care for them,
and experience the joy
we thought was lost from our lives.
But life is fragile.
One day, perhaps unexpectedly,
or perhaps after a long struggle with illness,
our precious friends are gone.
And we mourn them deeply.
We feel lost, and alone,
and that the joy is once again gone from our lives.
We feel anger, and pain, and fear.
We question Deity, and wonder why.
Life is fragile.
Their lives are more fragile than ours.
We cannot escape death,
and for it to take our most precious friends,
who ask so little,
seems unfair and too much for us to bear.
But they leave us always with a gift.
They leave us with that love they gave, that joy they sparked.
Our hearts are larger for having loved them.
We are enriched by having these special souls in our lives,
even if it was for too brief a time.
Love never dies.
And the love that was created
by our special friends who came into our lives
is a living thing,
always a part of our being.
We may think our hearts are closing again,
but we cannot erase the fact
that they have been opened.
They teach us love for a reason:
so that we will have it in our hearts always.
Each day, each act of kindness or love,
is a tribute to our furbabies who have moved on.
Honor your special friend with kindness and love.
Each day, reach out to your living furbabies
and let them know how precious they are.
Reach out to others in your life
and let the love your friend brought you live on.
Reach out to others in need, whether human or animal.
I can think of no better gift than the love they teach us.
And I can think of no better way to honor their memories
than by extending that love.
In this way, they will truly live forever.
by Ginger-lyn Summer
20 September 2000
Reprinted with Permission of the Author
Animals, among God's most perfect creations,
are alive and well
on the other side, too.
(And to be honest, if they weren't,
I don't think I'd have the slightest interest in going there.)
All the animals that exist on earth
exist on the other side,
without fear or aggression,
and they are appropriately cherished and respected
as the pure, innocent, guileless spirits they are . . .
The animals on the other side
include every pet we've had
in this and in all our past lives,
and they watch over us from there
with the same pure, steadfast loyalty
they gave during their lifetimes . . .
When we first arrive on the other side,
our spirit guides
and transcended loved ones
can hardly get to us
through all the animals
to welcome us home.
— Sylvia Browne and Lindsay Harrison, in
The Other Side and Back
not to step on a caterpillar
is as valuable to the child
as it is to the caterpillar.
The Little Cat Angel
The ghost of a little white kitten
Crying mournfully, early and late,
Distracted St. Peter, the watchman,
As he guarded the heavenly gate.
"Say, what do you mean," said his saintship,
"Coming here and behaving like that?"
"I want to see Nellie, my missus,
Sobbed the wee little ghost of a cat.
"I know she's not happy without me,
Won't you open and let me go in?"
"Begone," gasped the horrified watchman,
"Why the very idea is a sin;
I open the gate to good angels,
Not to stray little beggars like you."
"All right," mewed the little white kitten,
"Though a cat, I'm a good angel, too."
Amazed at so bold an assertion,
But aware that he made no mistake,
In silence, St. Peter long pondered,
For his name and repute were at stake.
Then placing the cat in his bosom
With a "Whist now, and say all your prayers,"
He opened the heavenly portals
And ascended the bright golden stairs.
A little girl angel came flying,
"That's my kitty, St. Peter," she cried.
And, seeing the joy of their meeting,
Peter let the cat angel abide.
This tale is the tale of a kitten
Dwelling now with the blessed above,
It vanquished grim Death and High Heaven
For the name of the kitten was Love.
— Leontine Stanfield, in
The Best Loved Poems of the American People
this spot are deposited the remains
of one who possessed beauty without vanity,
strength without insolence,
courage without ferocity,
and all the virtues of man
without his vices.
which would be unmeaning flattery
if inscribed over human ashes,
is but just a tribute
to the memory of
-- Lord Byron
. . In one winter two disastrous events happened at the same time, each
of which made an impact on my life.
First, a number of men were killed in a mining accident . . . The
other tragic event was having our 15-year-old cat ‘put to sleep.’
Can you guess which of those events caused me to cry my eyes out?
You guessed it — the cat!
scarcely any comparison between the loss of human life and the end of a
semi-crippled old cat. But
Samantha was my cat. I
loved her. She was a
permanent part of our history. Her
loss was not an academic thing. I
didn’t look at television or newspaper accounts of her death and say,
“That’s too bad!” and go on to the sports page.
She was mine. Her
loss plunged me into grief . . . This was my loss and at that moment, as
far as I was concerned, it was the worst thing to happen in the whole
world. I didn’t want
anyone to tell me how great it was that she didn’t suffer, or how far
beyond a normal life expectancy she had lived.
I wasn’t very
objective about the loss of Samantha as compared to the mining disaster,
or the loss of my parents some years earlier or the starving masses in
the Third World. Grief is
like that. It isn’t
helped by saying, “How childishly you are behaving over a cat!”
I have known
deeper times of grief . . . I have held the hands of friends as they
died, baptized stillborn infants, helped families decide when to
disconnect life-support systems and worked with parents whose children
Each of those
experiences was painful. Nevertheless,
at the moment my cat died, her loss was the very worst kind of grief for
me in the whole world . . .
for grieving. Remind
yourself as often as needed that the very worst kind of loss is always
yours. Learn to acknowledge
that your loss is worthy of grief . . .
Bob Deits, in
Life After Loss: A Practical Guide to Renewing Your Life After Experiencing Major Loss
|On the Lighter Side: Where Do Pets Come From?
It is reported that the following excerpt from the Book of Genesis was discovered in the Dead Sea Scrolls. If this is authentic, it would shed light on the question, "Where do pets come from?"
And Adam said, "Lord, when I was in the garden, you walked with me every day. Now I do not see you any more. I am lonesome here and it is difficult for me to remember how much you love me."
And God said, "No problem! I will create a companion for you that will be with you forever, and who will be a reflection of my love for you. Thus, you will know I love you, even when you cannot see me. Regardless of how selfish and childish and unlovable you may be, this new companion will accept you as you are and will love you as I do, in spite of yourself."
And God created a new animal to be a companion for Adam. And it was a good animal. And God was pleased. And the new animal was pleased to be with Adam, and he wagged his tail.
And Adam said, "But Lord, I have already named all the animals in the Kingdom and all the good names are taken and I cannot think of a name for this new one."
And God said, "No problem! Because I have created this new animal to be a reflection of my love for you, his name will be a reflection of my own name, and you will call him DOG."
And Dog lived with Adam and was a companion to him, and loved him. And Adam was comforted. And God was pleased. And Dog was content and wagged his tail.
After a while, it came to pass that Adam's guardian angel came to the Lord and said, "Lord, Adam has become filled with pride. He struts and preens like a peacock and he believes he is worthy of adoration. Dog has indeed taught him that he is loved, but no one has taught him humility."
And the Lord said, "No problem! I will create for him a companion who will be with him forever and who will see him as he is. The companion will remind him of his limitations, so he will know that he is not always worthy of adoration."
And God created CAT to be a companion to Adam. And Cat would not obey Adam. And when Adam gazed into Cat's eyes, he was reminded that he was not the supreme being. And Adam learned humility.
And God was pleased. And Adam was greatly improved. And Cat did not care one way or the other.
— Found on the Internet, as reprinted in the Spring 2000 APLB Newsletter
Oh, what unhappy twist of fate
Has brought you homeless to my gate?
The gate where once another stood
To beg for shelter, warmth, and food
For from that day I ceased to be
The master of my destiny.
While he, with purr and velvet paw,
Became within my house the law.
He scratched the furniture and shed
And claimed the middle of my bed.
He ruled in arrogance and pride
And broke my heart the day he died.
So if you really think, oh Cat,
I'd willingly relive all that
Because you come forlorn and thin
Well . . . don't just stand there . . . Come
-- Francis Witham
. . We did indeed gather on that Sunday morning in August — thirty of
us — and told stories that were as much about us as Gyda [the dog].
Mostly about the attachments possible between living creatures
when they are patient with one another.
We buried her ashes under a rhododendron bush that’s planted in
a barrel on her owners’ back porch.
I always nod in her direction when I pass by.
The grand old virgin aunt in the dog suit.
training didn’t cover how to perform a dog funeral.
It takes a real
dog to teach that. And when
the pupil is ready, the teacher appears.
Robert Fulghum, in
Uh-Oh: Some Observations from Both Sides of the Refrigerator Door
As we lay our hands upon you,
before your final rest,
our hearts surround to love you,
and thank you for your best.
Our home you watched and treasured,
Our lives you truly blessed.
Loosening now your burdens,
we tend your tired bones.
Let us be your pillow,
then wings to take you home.
Listen for God's calling,
sweet promises of peace.
Old friend, leap to Heaven,
-- Annie Dougherty
I go now?
you think the time is right?
I say good-bye to pain-filled days
endless lonely nights?
lived my life and done my best,
example tried to be.
can I take that step beyond
set my spirit free?
didn’t want to go at first,
fought with all my might.
something seems to draw me now
a warm and loving light.
want to go.
difficult to stay.
I will try as best I can
live just one more day,
give you time to care for me
share your love and fears.
know you’re sad and so afraid,
I see your tears.
not be far,
promise that, and hope you’ll always know
my spirit will be close to you,
you may go.
you so for loving me.
know I love you too.
why it’s hard to say good-bye
end this life with you.
hold me now, just one more time
let me hear you say,
you care so much for me,
let me go today.
Susan A. Jackson
Stumbling Block, or A Stepping Stone?
two travelers were going through a deep forest when night suddenly
descended on them. In a
matter of minutes, the narrow, indistinct path which they had been
following became invisible.
In the darkness, terror lurked everywhere.
Then, to crown
it all, a violent thunderstorm broke over the forest.
Terrifying flashes of lightning were followed by peals of
thunder, which shook the ground under their feet. Torrents of rain
poured down on them. The trees swayed dangerously.
The first man
looked on the storm as a calamity. Every time there was a flash of
lightning he looked up at the sky and cursed God. The result was that he
strayed from the path and got lost in the forest.
The second man,
however, looked on the storm as a blessing in disguise.
Each flash of lightning lit up a little bit of the path ahead of
him. By keeping his head
down, he succeeded in staying on the path.
And so, one step at a time, he made his way out of the forest.
misfortune can prove to be a stumbling block to one person and a
stepping stone to another.
Flor McCarthy, in Windows on the Gospel
To by beloved family and
death is nothing at all . . .
have only slipped away into the next room.
am I, and you are you.
we were to each other, that we still are.
me by my old familiar name,
to me in the easy way which you always used to.
no difference in your tone.
no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
as we always laughed
the little jokes we enjoyed together.
smile, think of me, pray for me.
my name be ever the household word that it always was.
it be spoken without effect,
without a ghost of a shadow on it.
means all that it ever was.
is the same as ever.
is absolutely unbroken continuity.
should I be out of mind
I am out of sight?
am but waiting for you
round the corner.
Canon Henry Scott Holland
is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog.
are his life, his love, his leader.
will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart.
owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.
Animals’ Eden is a huge, beautiful walled garden where all pets go
until such time as their human companions can join them. (Although only
pet animals go to this walled garden, there are other special places for
all the other animals, and especially beautiful places for animals who
have suffered while on Earth, since their souls need peace and healing
before they can move on.)
The garden is full of lawns
and hedges, flower borders and shrubs, wildflower meadows and red brick
patios. All of this is surrounded by a beautiful decorative wall, just
like an English garden from the Middle Ages, but much, much larger—
so large that none of the animals feel as though they are in any
All the pets who have
passed into the Animals’ Eden and are waiting for their special humans
are free to do whatever they want, and because it is a heavenly place,
none of them wants to do anything that would harm their animal friends.
The horses and ponies graze and gallop in the meadows. The dogs romp on
the lawns and sniff in the shrubberies. The cats lounge on the patios,
basking in the sunshine, or take their ease in the dappled shade of the
great oak trees. Birds are no longer caged, but fly free in the trees,
eating the plentiful fruits and berries. None of them actually feel
hungry, but are provided with heavenly food if they wish, so long as
they can eat without harming the others waiting alongside them. The
garden has every kind of animal who has ever been a pet and who has
someone special to wait for.
There is a beautiful arch
is the garden wall, the sort of brick arch that might have held a
wrought iron gate in earthly gardens. Sometimes one or more of the
animals gets a funny feeling, a bit like butterflies in the tummy. Those
animals stop their playing or basking, and make their way to the
archway. They sense that something special is about to happen.
When they reach the gate
they can see that their special human is walking toward the archway.
Then, because the Animals’ Eden is a place for animals only, those
animals can pass through the arch to join their human friends, and walk
together in the sunshine on the next stage of their souls’ journey.
For although the garden is a beautiful and happy place, there is nothing
more joyful than a reunion between dear friends who have been apart too
know you’re feeling sad,
there’s no need to be —
if I can’t be there, purring
rubbing around your feet.
still got a windowsill,
warm places in the sun.
no one really owns a cat,
me, you were the one.
know my time had come
know that you did, too.
don’t think you did me wrong.
did what you had to do.
may be feeling guilty
my life is at its end,
please don’t feel that way.
memories, you’ll always be my friend.
An Old Man and His
old man and his dog were walking down a dirt road with fences on both
sides. They came to a
gate in the fence and looked in.
It was nice, with grassy, woodsy areas — just what a hunting
dog and man would like — but it had a big sign saying No
Trespassing, so they walked on.
They came to a beautiful
gate with a person in white robes standing there.
“Welcome to Heaven,”
the robed man said. The old man was happy and started in with his dog following
The gatekeeper stopped
allowed. I’m sorry, but
he can’t come with you.”
kind of Heaven won’t allow dogs?” the old man said.
“If he can’t come in, then I will stay out here with him. He’s been my faithful companion all his life.
I can’t desert him now.”
“Suit yourself,” the
gatekeeper said. “But I
have to warn you, the Devil’s on this road and he’ll try to sweet
talk you into his area. He’ll
promise you anything, but the dog can’t go there either. If you won’t leave the dog, you’ll spend Eternity on this
So the old man and his
dog went on. They came to
a rundown fence with a gap in it — no gate, just a hole.
Another old man was inside.
“Excuse me, sir.
My dog and I are getting mighty tired.
Mind if we come in and sit in the shade for a while?”
“Come on in,” the
man said. “There’s
some cold water under that tree over there.
Make yourselves comfortable.”
sure my dog can come in? The
man down the road said dogs weren’t allowed anywhere.”
“Would you come in if
you had to leave the dog?”
sir. That’s why I
didn’t go to Heaven. He
said the dog couldn’t come in.
We’ll be spending Eternity on this road, and a glass of cold
water and some shade would be mighty fine right about now.
But I won’t come in if my buddy here can’t come too, and
The man smiled a big
smile and said, “Welcome to Heaven.”
mean this is Heaven? Dogs
are allowed? How
come that fellow down the road said they weren’t?”
was the Devil, and he gets all the people who are willing to give up a
lifelong companion for a comfortable place to stay.
They soon find out their mistake, but then it’s too late. The dogs come here, the fickle people stay there.
God wouldn’t allow dogs to be banned from Heaven.
After all, He created them to be man’s companions in life.
Why would He separate them in death?”
on the Internet by Carroll Brown; Reprinted
in APLB Newsletter, Spring 1999
grieve for me, for now I’m free.
following the path God laid for me.
took His hand when I heard Him call.
turned my back and left it all.
could not stay another day,
laugh, to love, to work or play.
left undone must stay that way.
found that place at close of day.
my parting has left a void,
fill it with remembered joy.
friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
If able, these
things I too
Please don't be
times of sorrow.
wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
life’s been full; I savored much:
friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.
my time seemed all too brief.
consume yourself with undue grief.
up your heart and share with me.
wanted me now; He set me free.
Copyright © 1998
- 2005 by
faithful dog will play with you,
with you or cry,
gladly starve to stay with you,
never reason why,
when you’re feeling out of sorts,
seems to understand,
looks at you with shining eyes,
tries to lick your hand,
blind, implicit faith in you
matched by such great love —
kind of love we all should have
our Master up above.
all is said and done,
not so very odd
when you spell “dog” backwards,
have the name of God.
I come to the end of the road
the sun has set for me,
want no rites in a gloom-filled room.
cry for a soul set free?
me a little — but not too long
not with your head bowed low.
the love that we once shared.
me — but let me go.
this is a journey that we all must take
each must go alone.
all a part of the Master plan,
step on the road to home.
you are lonely and sick of heart,
to the friends we know
bury your sorrows in doing good deeds.
me — but let me go.
is a bridge connecting Heaven and Earth. It is called the rainbow
bridge because of its many colors. Just this side of the rainbow
bridge there is a land of meadows, hills and valleys with lush green
a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this place. There is always food
and water and warm spring weather. The old and frail animals 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. They frolic and romp all day with one another.
run and play together, until the day comes when one of them suddenly
stops playing and looks off into the distance. The nose twitches. The
ears are up. The bright eyes are intent. The eager body quivers.
Suddenly this one runs from the group, faster and faster, leaping and
flying over the tall green grass.
have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet,
you take him or her in your arms and embrace, clinging together in
joyous reunion. Happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again
caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes
of your cherished pet, so long gone from your life, but never absent
from your heart.
with your pet beside you once again, you cross the rainbow bridge
unknown. Source: Abigail Van Buren,
Republic, February 20, 1994
not stand at my grave and weep.
am not there. I do not sleep.
am a thousand winds that blow.
am the diamond glints on snow.
am the sunlight on ripened grain.
am the gentle autumn rain.
you awaken in the morning’s hush,
am the swift uplifting rush
quiet birds in circling flight.
am the soft star that shines at night.
not stand at my grave and cry.
am not there. I do not die.
. . .
you can start the day without caffeine,
you can get going without pep pills,
you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,
you can resist complaining
boring people with your troubles,
you can eat the same food every day
be grateful for it,
you can understand when your loved ones
too busy to give you any time,
you can overlook it
those who love you take it out on you
something goes wrong through no fault of yours,
you can take criticism and blame without resentments,
you can ignore a friend’s limited education
never correct him,
you can resist treating a rich friend
than a poor friend,
you can face the world without lies and deceit,
you can conquer tension without medical help,
you can relax without liquor,
you can sleep without the aid of drugs,
you can say honestly
deep in your heart you have no prejudice
creed, color, religion or politics,
are almost as good
. . His dog up and died, up and died.
After twenty years, he still grieves.
— Mr. Bojangles by Jerry Jeff Walker ©1968 Cotillion Music, Inc.
& Daniel Music, Inc.
to Bury a Dog
are various places in which a dog may be buried. We are thinking now of
a Setter, whose coat was flame in the sunshine, and who, so far as we
are aware, never entertained a mean or an unworthy thought.
Setter is buried beneath a cherry tree, under four feet of garden loam,
and at its proper season the cherry tree strews petals on the green lawn
of his grave.
a cherry tree, or an apple, or any flowering shrub is an excellent place
to bury a good dog. Beneath such trees, such shrubs, he slept in the
drowsy summer, or gnawed at a flavorful bone, or lifted his head to
challenge some strange intruder. These are good places, in life or in
it is a small matter. For if the dog be well remembered, if sometimes he
leaps through your dreams as actual as in life, eyes kindling, laughing,
begging, it matters not at all where the dog sleeps. On a hill where the
wind is unrebuked, and the trees are roaring, or beside a stream he knew
in puppyhood, or somewhere in the flatness of a pasture land where most
exhilarating cattle graze. It is all one to you, and nothing is gained,
and nothing lost — if memory lives. But there is one best place to
bury a dog.
If you will bury him in this spot, he will come to you when you call — come to you over the grim, dim frontiers of death, and down the well-remembered path, and to your side again. And though you call a dozen living dogs to heel, they shall not growl at him nor resent his coming, for he belongs there. People may scoff at you, who see no lightest blade of grass bent by his footfall, who hear no whimper, who may never really have had a dog. Smile at them, for you shall know something that is hidden from them, and which is well worth the knowing.
The one best place to bury a dog is in the heart of his master.
a Portland Oregonian editorial by Den Iiur Lampanon,
response to a subscriber’s Letter to the Editor asking, “Where shall I
bury my dog?”
real value of ease cannot be appreciated
having tasted bitterness,
of good without having seen evil,
even of life itself
having passed through death.
Sadhu Sundar Singh