Friday, May 10, 2013

Rest In Peace, Old Friend

I always forget how painful it is to lose a pet.

Dogs are such a special part of our families; they teach us what love and forgiveness really is and how to be better people.

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Shadow came to live with us in 2002, right after we moved to the country. He was just a puppy when we got him (an 8-month-old, 70 pound puppy) and my parents planned for him to be an outdoor dog who slept in the garage--this lasted a good 6 hours. Shadow had different plans and quickly moved into the house and into our hearts. 

Shadow was our friend, walking buddy, guardian, project and activity "overseer," and loyal and loving companion. Shadow was the first to greet you at the door and last to tell you goodbye. I will miss his company on our long, country walks in the summer and the booming sound of his tail whenever he'd get excited and start to wag it.

Shadow battled arthritis for several years, as most large dogs do. Over the last couple of months, his health began to decline; he had a hard time getting up, eating, moving--life was beginning to get tough. Yesterday, the veterinarian came to my parents house and he went peacefully in his bed. It gives my heart peace to know he left us in a painless way, surrounded by those he loved.

A friend reminded me of the poem "Rainbow Bridge"--reading it gave me (another) good cry and I wanted to share it with all of you.

Shadow last summer.
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....




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6 comments:

  1. Aww, Shadow! Losing a pet is so hard :( Beautiful poem

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  2. Thinking of you and your family! God's richest blessings to Shadow!

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  3. Thinking and praying for you, my friend! Sending love your way!

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  4. I'm sorry about your dog. :(

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  5. So sorry Annie!!!! It is one of the hardest things for sure, thinking of you! XO

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  6. Oh, Rainbow Bridge, I always choke up over that. Losing a beloved pet is just so hard; I am so sorry for your loss. Shadow was blessed to have you for his humans. xxoo

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