So many of us have travelled difficult roads with our beloved animal companions.
If love was a magic potion, certainly none of our dogs would ever be faced with the cruelty that is cancer.
“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 . . .
“I have sometimes thought of the final cause of dogs having such short lives and I am quite satisfied it is in compassion to the human race; for if we suffer so much in losing a dog after an acquaintance of ten or twelve years, what would it be like if they were to live double that time?”
Sir Walter Scott
“Request from the Rainbow Bridge”
Weep not for me though I am gone
Into that gentle night.
Grieve if you will, but not for long
Upon my soul’s sweet flight.
I am at peace, my soul’s at rest
There is no need for tears.
For with your love I was so blessed
For all those many years.
There is no pain, I suffer not,
The fear now all is gone.
Put now these things out of your
In your memory I live on.
Remember not my fight for breath
Remember not the strife
Please do not dwell upon my death,
But celebrate my life.
I give you this one to keep . . .
I am with you still . . . I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not think of me as gone . . .
I am with you still . . . in each new dawn.
Native American Prayer
“I Stood By Your Bed Last Night”
I stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peep.
I could see that you were crying, You found it hard to sleep.
I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear,
“It’s me, I haven’t left you, I’m well, I’m fine, I’m here.”
I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea,
You were thinking of the many times your hands reached out to me.
I was with you at the shops today, Your arms were getting sore.
I longed to take your parcels, I wish I could do more.
I was with you at my grave today, You tend it with such care.
I want to reassure you that I’m not lying there.
I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key.
I gently put my paw on you, I smiled and said “it’s me.”
You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair.
I tried so hard to let you know that I was standing there.
It’s possible for me to be so near you everyday.
To say to you with certainty, “I never went away.”
You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew …
In the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.
The day is almost over… I smile and watch you yawning
and say “goodnight, God bless, I’ll see you in the morning.”
And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,
I’ll rush across to greet you and we’ll stand, side by side.
I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see.
Be patient, live your journey out … then come home to be with me.
We Have A Secret
We have a secret, you and I,
That no one else shall know,
For who but I can see you lie,
Each night, in fireglow?
And who but I can reach my hand
Before we go to bed,
And feel the living warmth of you
And touch your silken head?
And only I walk woodland paths,
And see, ahead of me,
Your small form racing with the wind,
So young again, and free.
And only I can see you swim
In every brook I pass…
And, when I call, no one but I
Can see the bending grass.
“They Will Not Go Quietly”
Thanks to our special friend, Deb Orwig
nor speak of me with tears,
but laugh and talk of me
as if I were beside you
I loved you so
’twas Heaven here with you.”
Isla Paschal Richardson
“I Can’t Stop Seeing You!”
It was a beautiful day in the mountains
Fresh snow lay cool on the forest floor
Giant Sequoias pierced the winter blue
The trip was all we had hoped for, and more
As we drove down the mountain highway
and your Golden form came into view
pacing determinedly on the inner shoulder
it was so unexpected, this vision of you
A purposeful air to your quickening stride
You paced onward as our van drew near
Away from homes, far from a safe path
You were a sight, heartbreakingly dear
What were you doing out there by yourself?
I could find no answer that eased my dread
Had you been abandoned? Were you lost?
Fear for your safety screamed in my head
Please stop the car and turn around I pled
as we had passed him, continuing our drive
Poor thing must surely be lost or worse
chances were he would not long stay alive
Could you tell? Was he wearing a collar?
Please go back to him, stop, and let’s see
He may have tags with his name, a number to call
If he were my dog, wouldn’t you do that for me?
Besides, it’s not safe to leave him out there
It’s getting dark, he won’t be as easy to see
There’s room in the van, we can bring him inside
Please! He’s alone and not where he should be.
But to my rising horror our pace didn’t slow down
My words had fallen on closed hearts and deaf ears
I looked back and saw him as he rounded the bend
My spirit in sorrow, my eyes filled with tears
Feeling angry, now, I knew, would not help him, so
I turned back as the beauty around me rushed by
It was so clear that the Retriever was searching…
for something only he could see in his mind’s eye
I prayed, “Please, God, don’t leave him alone.
Lead him to shelter, a safe harbor for the night.
Guide him to his loved ones. If not, to a new home.
I’m sorry we didn’t stop, Lord. Please make it right.”
His striding form played again in my head
but this time the Golden was not alone
for with every step his paws did tread
a pair of angel’s feet kept pace…
to lead the Golden home.
Copyright 2004 by Kathy Anne Harris
“WHEN TOMORROW STARTS WITHOUT ME”
When tomorrow starts without me, and I’m not there to see;
If the sun should rise and find your eyes, all filled with tears for me;
I wish so much you wouldn’t cry, the way you did today,
While thinking of the many things, we didn’t get to say.
I know how much you love me, as much as I love you,
And each time that you think of me, I know you’ll miss me too.
But when tomorrow starts without me, please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name, and took me by the hand.
And said my place was ready, In heaven far above,
And that I’d have to leave behind all those I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away, a tear fell from my eye,
Even though I knew I would always watch you from the sky.
I had so much to live for, so much yet to do,
It seemed almost impossible, that I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays, the good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared and all the fun we had.
If I could relive yesterday just even for awhile,
I’d say goodbye and kiss you just to make you smile.
But then I fully realized that this could never be,
For only remaining love would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldly things, I might miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did, my heart was filled with sorrow.
But when I walked through heavens’ gates, I felt so much at home.
When God looked down and smiled at me, from His great golden throne.
He said, “This is eternity, and all I’ve promised you.”
Today for life on earth is past, but here it starts anew.
So when tomorrow starts without me, don’t think we’re far apart,
For every time you think of me, I’m right here, in your heart.