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Special Words pg. 2........
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Hoping these words bring comfort to those who have lost a special furbaby.

Not the least hard thing to bear when they go away from us, these quiet friends, is that they carry away with them so many years of our own lives.   John Galsworthy

Life's Journey with a Pet
 
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.
 
If you allow, the journey will teach you 
many things, about life, about yourself, and most of 
all, about love. You will come away changed forever, for 
one soul cannot touch another without leaving its mark.

Along the way, you will learn much about savoring life's 
simple pleasures - jumping leaves, snoozing in the sun, 
the joys of puddles, and even the satisfaction of a good
scratch behind the ears.
 
Your house will become muddier and hairier. You will wear
 less dark clothing and buy more lint rollers.
You may find dog biscuits in your pocket or purse,
and feel the need to explain that an old plastic shopping
bag adorns your living room rug because your cat loves
the crinkly sound.

You will learn the true measure of love - the steadfast,
undying kind that says, "It doesn't matter where we are
or what we do, or how life treats us as long as we are
together."
 
Respect this always. It is the most precious
gift any living soul can give another. You will not find
it often among the human race.

And you will learn humility. The look in my dog's eyes
often made me feel ashamed. Such joy and love at my
presence. She saw not some flawed human who could be
cross and stubborn, moody or rude, but only her
wonderful companion.
 
Or maybe she saw those things and
dismissed them as mere human foibles, not worth
considering, and so chose to love me anyway.

If you pay attention and learn well, when the journey is
done, you will be not just a better person, but the
person your pet always knew you to be -the one they were
proud to call beloved friend.

I must caution you that this journey is not without
pain. Like all paths of true love, the pain is part of
loving. For as surely as the sun sets, one day your dear
animal companion will follow a trail you cannot yet go
down. And you will have to find the strength and love to
let them go.

A pet's time on earth is far too short - especially for
those that love them. We borrow them, really, just for
awhile, and during these brief years they are generous
enough to give us all their love, every inch of their
spirit and heart, until one day there is nothing left.

The cat that only yesterday was a kitten is all too soon
old and frail and sleeping in the sun. The young pup of
boundless energy wakes up stiff and lame, the muzzle now
gray.

Deep down we somehow always knew that this journey would
end. We knew that if we gave our hearts they would be
broken. But give them we must for it is all they ask in
return.
 
When the time comes, and the road curves ahead to a
place we cannot see, we give one final gift and let them
run on ahead - young and whole once more. "Godspeed,
good friend," we say, until our journey comes full
circle and our paths cross again.
 
 Author Unknown

"And if I go, While you're still here...
Know that I 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 its fullest.
And when you need me,
just whisper my name in your heart ...
I will be there"

They will not go quietly,
the dogs who've shared our lives.
In subtle ways they let us know
their spirit still survives.
Old habits still make us think
we hear a bark at the door.
Or step back when we drop
a tasty morsel on the floor.
Our feet still go around the place
the food dish used to be,
And, sometimes, coming home at night,
we miss them terribly.
And although time may bring new friends
and a new food dish to fill,
That one place in our hearts
belongs to them...and always will.

Enter supporting content here

WHAT HAPPENS TO US AFTER WE ARE GONE????
 
I know what you're thinking. You think I'm dead. Because you cannot see me with your human eye, cannot feel me with your hands or hold me in your arms you think I am gone forever.
 
You recall how I looked when I left this place and you cannot remotely imagine that I could possibly be alive in another place. You are racked and torn by the pain of our separation and it blinds you to that which is right in front of you ... me.
 
How many times since I left your immediate sight have you been told that I'm dead and you should "get over it?" How many times have you cried yourself tosleep because you feel like an outcast, believing you're supposed to get over me because that's what people say is normal but somehow you can't and no one seems to understand?
 
How many times have you put yourself through such excruciating pain because you aren't willing to consider that I am not, by any means, dead?
 
I want you to do me a favor and go back in time with me. Remember the glorious day you brought me home - was I not the most intriguing creature you'd ever met? Did I not make you laugh and giggle? Did I not look at you with such adoration that you wanted nothing more than to spend the rest of your life with me? I wanted this too.
 
Remember the days when I was in my prime and we did many things together. You were so proud of me! I was a good friend and I took care of you when you cried, were angry or felt down and unhappy. When you didn't have a lot of time for me because of your obligations, I waited patiently for you. I was always there when you needed me.
 
Did I not look at you with such acceptance and patience that at times you felt perhaps a bit unworthy? You were never unworthy in my eyes.
 
Remember when age crept up on me, my bones became stiff and my movements slower. Still I met you at the door when you came home and followed you around the house. We'd been together for so long, I was your very best friend regardless of what you were doing, saying, thinking.
 
Did I not look at you with such kindness and understanding that you felt overwhelmed? I couldn't get enough of you.
 
Remember the last time we saw each other with earthly eyes. You tried to be brave but I knew you were crying ... I know you so well. Better than anyone else in the whole world. Did I not look at you with such pure trust and love that you yearned only to hold me close and keep me with you always?
 
Did you not promise that you would love me forever? I believed you.
If this is so then why have you let me go by thinking I no longer exist?
Remember the depth in my eyes all those times I looked at you with
adoration, acceptance, patience, trust and love.
 
Who created this depth and love? Would the Creator diminish the song of our laughter which was created in the name of love? I am no longer an earthly figure, this is true. My body was only part of who I really am. My body would have been but a mere shell on earth if it were not filled to overflowing with my soul, my spirit, my loving light.

When we met you thought I was cute, sweet, pretty and adorable. But what kind of relationship would we have had if this is all that I'd been? How could you have loved me if I'd had no spiritual substance?
 
We are all made up of energy which resides far deep down inside of us, it is our core, our soul, spirit and loving light. It is the energy that is all of life ... it has no beginning, it has no end. It simply is and always will be and without it there is no life.
 
You can't see it with the naked eye nor can you hold it in your hand, it is simply a certain knowing that this energy does exist. It's a knowing just as you know that our love existed on earth - you couldn't see our love in a solid sense, you couldn't gather it all up and confine it to one place. But you *knew* it existed. There was no doubt in your mind.
 
They demand you get over me, insisting that I'm dead and you'll never see me again because animals don't go to Heaven. Oh really? I'm here to tell you different. You were worthy of my love and undying devotion on earth as I was of yours. Do you really believe this love would be snatched from us *forever* by a loving Creator simply because I wasn't human?
 
Was I not a living, breathing creation with personality? How could I have been so if I didn't possess the energy of soul, spirit and loving light? And if this energy is and always will be, then how can it be that I am dead?
 
If my core is not of the energy that is all of life then I was never alive to begin with. But you know better. You cry because you miss me, this I understand. I miss you too - I miss the belly rubs, hugs and kisses that we shared. But life does go on beyond these wonderful, fulfilling physical connections. I came to this place to live a whole new life, not because I didn't love you anymore or because I wanted something better.
 
I came here because it was time for me to go to the next
phase of my existance, something all living creatures must do eventually. It is the normal progression of life. I was not taken away from you because you cannot take away that which was never owned.
 
My presence in your life was and is a gift to be cherished and honored just as I cherish and honor you. Life is not simply about being born into a body, living a certain number of years and then dying. Energy cannot die.
 
We are blessed with time in a body so that we can learn, share and grow. It prepares us for the next phase of our eternal life. The body holds within it the true life force of our existence...our soul, spirit and loving light. Without these our bodies would be empty, blank, void of feeling and expression. Without our energy we would indeed be dead and could never have experienced our love for each other.
 
You say that all you have left are memories. Not so. You see, when I took leave of my earthly body I left a little something behind for you. You can't touch it, hold it or examine it for what I left behind is far too
uninhibited for confinement. I left behind a piece of my soul. I placed it right next to your own which is quite fitting as we were always side by side in our earthly life together.
 
I love you too much to have left you with nothing but memories which tend to fade and grow cloudy as the years go by. I love you too much
to have vanished without a trace. How selfish it would be of me to remove love and light from your life.
 
I understand your tears, each one you shed is testament to your love for me and I am honored and humbled. But don't forget the good things we shared - remember and smile. This is an honor for me as well. And when you need me I will be here. Close your eyes, relax, take slow, deep breaths and picture me in your mind. Shut off the world and your notions of what death is and give me a chance.
 
Look for the subtle signs I send you. Don't stop being proud of
me, I am a friend to be proud of, I am still your friend and soul mate.
Don't memorialize the death of my body but instead honor and celebrate my never-ending life for it is eternal and forever as is my love for you.
 
Until we meet again...
 
Author unknown

Old Dog in a Locket

Old dog in a locket.
That lies next to my heart
I will always love you
As I did right from the start.

You were right beside me
Through the darkest of my days
It was your kind and gentle nature
That made me want to stay.

Now I hold you in my arms
Your breath still warm against my hand
Our hearts still beat together
And I wonder if you understand.

Through the hours that I held you
Before the light did leave your soul
I knew a way to keep you
Forever in my hold.

I snipped the hair from around your eyes
So I would always see
The beauty that surrounds me
Even in times of need.

I snipped the hair from around your ears
So I would always hear
Music in the distance
To quiet all my fears.

I snipped the hair from around your back
To bring me strength in time of need
And the power in your essence
Would always be with me.

I snipped the hair from around your heart
That beat in time with mine
So I'd know your love would find me
At some distant time.

And so your life slipped out of mine
On a quiet winter day
But I knew that a part of you
Was always here to stay.

Old dog in a locket.
That lays next to my heart
I will always love
Even though we had to part.

Author Unknown

 YOUR SPECIAL ANGEL
 
Death is beautiful... At least it is for me. But I see
you crying for me and I want to touch your face with my
soft paw and tell you that I am still with you.
You just can't see me now; or feel my touch or hear my purr.
I can run and jump and play just like I did as a kitten
before my body was in pain hurting from the ravages of time.
 
How good it feels to be in this new world where
there is no disease, no cruelty, no hurt. But my heart
aches for you. I long to tell gou that I am free; I long for your caress.
One day we will be together again, United for all eternity.
 
Until then, talk to me with your soul.
I will always be with you as your own special angel.

"To My Family, With Love" .............. 

As much as I loved the life we had and all the times we played, I was so very tired and I knew my time on earth would fade.

I saw a wonderous image then of a place that's
trouble-free, where all of us can meet again to spend
eternity.

I saw the most beautiful rainbow, and on the other side, were meadows rich and beautiful - lush and green and wide!

And running through these meadows, as far as the eye could see, were animals of every sort as healthy as could be.

My own tired, failing body was fresh and healed and new; and I wanted to run with them, but I had something left to do.

I needed to reach out to you, to tell you I'm all right,
that this place is truly wonderful, then a bright glow
pierced the night.

'Twas the glow of many candles shining bright and strong and bold, and I knew then that it held your love in it's brilliant shades of gold.

For although we may not be together in the way we used to be, we are still connected by a cord that no eye can see.

So whenever you need to find me, we're never far apart; if you look beyond the rainbow and listen with your heart.

Forever beyond the rainbow, we'll always be near.
I'll love and miss you throughout the years.
 
Author Unknown

 The Rainbow Bridge - For Michael
                       
Michael knocked softly at his sisters house. She opened
the door with a crumpled tissue in her hand. His sister
looked bone tired and he could tell she’d been crying.
"How long ago did you tell him?" asked Michael. "When he
got home from school", she said . "He’s in his room. He
said he wanted to be alone. What with his Dad out of
town until tomorrow night...." she looked at her brother
for help and her voice trailed off.

"It’s OK", said Michael, putting his arm around his
sisters shoulders, "I’m glad you called. I’ll tell him
about it. It doesn’t matter which one of us tells him.
Just as long as he knows".

Michael tapped on Timothy’s bedroom door and then opened
it just wide enough to stick his head in. "Hey Buddy",
he said quietly. " Can I come in?" Tim was lying on top
of the bedspread with his pillow over his eyes. His
jeans looked as if he’d been playing softball and there
was a smudge of dirt on one arm. One of his sneakers had
the laces tied, the other had what looked like a
dangling ribbon of mud hanging off the side of the bed.

At the sound of his Uncle's voice, Timothy sat up and
wiped his eyes on the shoulder of his striped T-Shirt.
Timothy took a ragged breath and with a gravelly voice,
replied "Yeah, sure, come on in."
"You wanna talk?" asked Michael. Timothy shrugged and
shook his head, but a moment later he tried to speak.

"..Jack.... Jack was my friend...." he began. Timothy
tried to hold the tears in and couldn’t manage it.
Michael gathered the sobbing boy into a great bear hug.
"I know, sport", Michael said. He glanced around the
room. " Isn’t that Nana’s old rocking chair?" he asked.
Timothy hiccuped and nodded. Michael’s sister tiptoed
into the room with a cold, wet washcloth in her hands.

"Grab a chair, Sis", he said. Michael himself sat down
in the well-worn old rocker. "C’mere, kid", he said, and
held out his arms. "I’m not a baby", said Timothy.
"Nobody said you were", said Michael. "But then again,
nobody ever gets too big to need a hug". "Sit", he said,
patting his knee. "I’m going to tell you where Jack is".
 
"I know where he is", said Timothy, angrily. "He’s dead.
And they’re going to dig a hole and bury him and I’m
never going to see him again, ever". He started to cry
again.

"Wrong, my friend", said Michael softly. He took the
washcloth from his sister and began wiping Timmy’s eyes
and forehead and snuffly nose with it. "Lean back, put
your head on my shoulder", he said, and as he rocked,
Michael began to tell an old, old story.
"Just this side of heaven", began Michael, "..is a place
called the Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has
been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to
the valley at the edge of the Rainbow Bridge." .

"Your dog Sheba died", said Timothy sadly. "Did Sheba go
to the Rainbow Bridge?" For a moment Michael stopped
rocking and had a far away look in his eyes. Then he
swallowed hard and nodded. "Sheba was with me for well
over twenty years, kiddo. She met me at the school bus
every day, I introduced her to my first date, she rode
on my first motorcycle.." he laughed softly at the
memory.
 
"I dressed her up in an aviator scarf and a pair
of goggles. She loved it." He smiled, remembering. "The
guys and I even took her on a run in the fire engine
once or twice. Heck...I almost took her skydiving", he 
said, amazing even himself. He shook his head with a
rueful grin. "Buddy, that little girl was with me ever
since I was a kid. We did everything together."

"What about kids", asked Timothy, gravely. "Are there
kids at the Rainbow Bridge too?" Michael’s smile faded.
He put his arms around the boy and patted his head.
"Sometimes", nodded Michael. "Yeah son, sometimes there
are little kids there too."

Michael began rocking again. "At the edge of the Rainbow
Bridge, Tim, there are meadows and hills for all of our
special friends so they can run and play together.
There’s plenty of food and water and sunshine, and our
friends are warm and comfortable. The ones who had been
ill and old, like Sheba, are again restored to health,
so that they can run and jump and play once more. Those
who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again,
just the way we remember them in our dreams.

At the edge of the Rainbow Bridge, both Sheba and Jack
and all the others are happy and content, except for one
small thing: they miss someone very special to them;
someone who had to be left behind."

"Sheba left you behind", said Timothy, tears welling up 
in his eyes again, "...and Jack left me behind". He
buried his head in his uncle’s shoulder.
"Yeah, son, but I had to leave Sheba behind when I went
away to school. And Jack couldn’t go everywhere with you
either. Sometimes you have to be apart for a while."

"What happens at the Rainbow Bridge?" asked Timothy in a
muffled voice. "Pretty much the same thing that happened
while you and I were away at school", explained Michael.
"Pets and little kids all run and play together."

" But one day, far off on the horizon, a figure will
appear. And suddenly, there will be a pause in the play
as they all stop to study the figure in the distance,
watching for a familiar walk, listening for a particular
whistle. Even from so far away, one of them will
recognize the figure and begin to quiver with
excitement. The others will smile to themselves, as they
watch the one suddenly break away from the group, and go
flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him
faster and faster. "

"One day, it will be Sheba who recognizes me off in the
distance. And when that happens, we’ll never be apart,
ever again. She’ll come tearing across the field and
leap into my arms. She’ll plant little wet dog kisses
all over my face; and I’ll stroke her head, and rub her
ears, and I’ll be able to look into those beautiful
trusting eyes once more.
 
She’s been gone from my life for a long time, Timmy,
but she’s never been gone from my heart.
When that time finally comes, boy, Sheba and I 
will cross the Rainbow Bridge together."
 
 Michael brushed
the hair out of Timothy’s eyes. "That’s what will happen
with you and Jack, Buddy. You haven’t lost him. He’s
right there waiting for you. However long it takes, 
he’ll still be right there waiting. "

Timothy looked up into his Uncles eyes " Is that the
truth, Uncle Michael, the really, truly, honest to
goodness truth?" he asked solemnly. Michael looked
directly into Timmy’s eyes and nodded his head. "True
story, son", he said.

Timothy’s mother stood up and walked across the room.
She ran her hand softly over her brother’s head. "Thank
you", she said simply. She looked closer, then took her
hand and gently brushed a tear off her brother’s cheek.

"You still miss Sheba, don’t you Mikie?" she asked.
"Yeah..." he said, looking up at her with a wistful
smile. 

"But I know right where she is. She’s at the Rainbow
Bridge. Showing Jack around."
                        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        The Rainbow Bridge - For Michael by Cynthia Gurin -
                        Copyright 1996 - All Rights Reserved Authors Note:
                        Stories about a place called the Rainbow Bridge have
                        been passed down from parent to child all over the
                        world, in one form or another, for a number of years.
                        In our considered opinion, Timothy's Uncle Michael is right.
                        It's a true story.

What Happens When Our Pets cross the Bridge..
                  
My bulldog passed away, no more to breathe a sound. I
held him for the last time, then entombed him in the
ground. Day and night I wept somuch, in tears I thought
I'd drown. I searched my soul for comfort, but no peace
therein was found.

In great despair, I hit my knees and then began to pray.
"Father, will I ever see my dog again someday?" I raised
my eyes and saw an angel standing near a gate. I sensed
an inner peace I'd never felt before that day.

The angel smiled and said to me, "Oh man of little
faith! God sees every bird that falls, He knows your
bulldogs fate. I have met your little dog, I saw him
pass my way. Your precious dog is still alive, he just
walked through this gate.

"Paradise is lovelier than you can comprehend. No pain
or grief, no tears or fears, and life will have no end.
God gave to man His only Son, to cover all his sins, so
why would God withhold you from your pure and loving
friend?"

The angel took me by the hand and said, "Now come with
me, a glimpse of paradise I'll give to you so you can
see." Through the gate and o'er the Rainbow Bridge we
did proceed, through green valleys filled with flowers,
rolling hills and trees.

"Wow, so this is paradise!!" The place was filled with
joy. I saw my bulldog playing there with dogs and cats
and toys. He also had some doggie treats, and food that
he enjoyed. He'd made a lot of new friends there,
including girls and boys.

Then I saw a child come near and hug my little mate. She
said to him, "I love you so..." and kissed him on the
face. The angel said, "The child just crossed the
Rainbow Bridge today. Now she needs a little friend to
love and help her play."

God's love for her would be enough, in that make no
mistake, but in His love He knew full well the child
would want a mate. This is why God called your dog
unto this splendid place. God's entrusted her with him until
you pass through the gate.

I pleaded, "May I hug them both?" The angel answered,
"No! you'd violate a sacred site, and now it's time to
go." He led me back across the bridge and through the
gate to home. He left me there with new-found hope and
peace within my soul.

If someone ever asks what happens to a dog that dies,
just give a gentle smile of joy and look them in the
eye. Take their hand and comfort them and tell them not
to cry. For dogs don't die, they simpy cross a bridge to
paradise.
 
Written by Dan Atcheson

Note: The following was written by a very special lady.  I am a Bridgemom.  I never wanted to be a Bridgemom but now that I am....well ....I'm kinda glad I am.  I'm in good company.
 
Bridgemom

 When asked why I wore a “Rainbow” pin,
 “I’m a Bridgemom”, I explained to him.
 “Whatever does ‘a Bridgemom’ mean?
 That’s the oddest word I’ve ever seen.”
 A Bridgemom misses an angel…..with fur
 or perhaps with feathers…...a him or a her.
 A Bridgemom is one who knows the love
 Of a precious furchild lent from above.
 A Bridgemom saves bits and pieces of hair,
 Lovingly collected from the cloth of a chair….
 She may have a scrap of a little clipped nail,
 Or fluff that was saved from a big fuzzy tail.
 She remembers lullabyes softly sang,
 And around her neck a locket may hang.
 A Bridgemom will cry at the drop of a hat….
 From the smell of “this”….or the sound of “that”.
 Maybe a blankie or a coat of red
 Lays every night at the foot of her bed.
 She has pictures on most every wall…..
 And a precious, well-used tennis ball.
 She may tend a grave or hug an urn…
 And glimpse her angel at every turn.
 A Bridgemom remembers each little bark,
 Each and every walk in the park.
 She remembers a piggy who uttered a purr
 Each time his Mom touched his silky fur.
 The chirp of a bird…each tiny “mew”,
 The first time they met….she remembers that, too.
 Bridgemoms dry each others tears…..
 Embrace their hopes and calm their fears.
 Every Bridgemom bears a scar on her heart…
 The piece that’s missing….it covers that part.
 With an aching heart she remembers the day
 When her forever baby went away……..
 Whether bird or dog or lizard or cat……
 Oh yes, every Bridgemom remembers that……..
 For every Bridgemom,
 ‘Mo’s Mom Carol
 August 21, 2002

"Please Ask"
               
  Someone asked me about you today.
  It's been so long since anyone has done that.
  It felt so good to talk about you.
  To share my memories of you.
  To simply say your name out loud.
  She asked me if I minded talking about what happened to you.
  Or would it be too painful to speak of it.
  I told her I think of it every day,
  And speaking about it helps me to release the tormented
  thoughts whirling around in my head.
  She said she never realized the pain would last this long.
  She apologized for not asking sooner.
  I told her, "Thanks for asking."
  I don't know if it was curiousity
  Or concerns that made her ask,
  But told her, "Please do it again sometime.....
  Soon......
 
 
 

A plea from an animal in need of rescuing:
 
Rescue me not only with your hands
but with your heart as well.
 I will respond to you. 
Rescue me not out of pity but out of love. 
 I will love you back. 
Rescue me not with self-righteousness but with compassion. 
 I will learn what you teach. 
Rescue me not because of my past but because of my future. 
 I will relax and enjoy. 
Rescue me not simply to save me but to give me a new life. 
 I will appreciate your gift. 
Rescue me not only with a firm hand
but with tolerance and patience. 
 I will please you. 
Rescue me not only because of who I am
but who I'm to become. 
 I will grow and mature. 
Rescue me not to revere yourself to others
but because you want me. 
 I will never let you down. 
Rescue me not with a hidden agenda
but with a desire to teach me to trust. 
 I will be loyal and true. 
Rescue me not to be chained or to fight
but to be your companion. 
 I will stand by your side. 
Rescue me not to replace one you've lost
but to sooth your spirit. 
 I will cherish you. 
Rescue me not to be your pet but to be your friend. 
 I will give you unconditional love. 

  Author Unknown

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