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
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....
September 11th, 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 one 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. Who are they to wait for?
We don't talk about that much up here. We share our loved ones as they arrive,
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.
Last Tuesday morning a request rang out for pups not waiting for specific persons
to volunteer for special assignment. An eager, curious crowd surged excitedly
forward, each pup wondering what the assignment would be.
They were told by a solemn voice that unexpectedly, all at once, over 4,000
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 among them - "May I have one to comfort?" "I'll take two,
I have a big heart." "I have been saving kisses forever."
One after another they came forward begging for assignment. One cozy-looking
fluffy pup hesitantly asked, "Are there any children coming? I would be very
comforting for a child 'cause I'm soft and squishy and I always wanted to be
hugged." A group of Dalmatians came forward asking to meet the Firemen 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 on Earth had never had a kind word or a pat on the head, stepped
forward and said, "I will love any human who needs love."
Then all the dogs, wherever 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.
On November 30, Skutla had to be Euthanized due to a shattered tibia (bone above the hock). It was a freak accident.
The star in my eye
So sweet, so willing
Curious and cute
Mane thick and long
Coat so dense and pretty
So many things yet to see.
So many things yet to do.
Take things slow.
Plenty of time to do it all.
Build love and trust
No fear, no conflict
Comfortable and calm
Loving brown eyes
One moment of confusion
One slip of the hoof
A pain so sharp and final
Echoed with a snap
The breathing fast and labored
Yet not a sound at all
It's ending soon
Still taking treats to please
So many things we'll not see.
So many things we'll not do.
Time's to short.
No time to do it all.
Memories too few
A piece of this heart stolen
Love left in its place
So full of love it hurts
I'll lend you for a little while
My grandest foal, He said.
For you to love while she's alive
And morn for when she's dead.
It may be one or twenty years,
Or days or months , you see.
But, will you, till I take her back
Take care of her for me?
She'll bring her charms to gladden you,
And should her stay be brief
You'll have treasured memories
As solace for your grief.
I cannot promise she will stay,
Since all from earth return.
But, there are lessons taught on earth
I want this foal to learn.
I've looked the wide world over
In my search for teachers true.
And from the throngs that crowd life's lanes
With trust I have selected you.
Now will you give her your total love?
Nor think the labor vain,
Nor hate Me when I come
To take her back again?
I know you'll give her tenderness
And love will bloom each day.
And for the happiness you've known
Forever grateful stay.
But should I come and call for her
Much sooner than you'd planned
You'll brave the bitter grief that comes
And someday you'll understand.
For though I'll call her home to Me
This promise to you I do make
For all the love and care you gave
She'll wait for you, inside Heaven's Gate.
The Empty Trailer
The white mare follows the loose held lead
To the stall beside the old black steed.
Her dinner awaits and she's unaware
Of the change in routine in the still night air.
The halter goes on and he leaves the barn
A brush to his tail, braid his mane with yarn.
To the trailer he slowly makes his way
On tired legs he seems to sway.
His eyes are dim and his step is slow
Not much further does he have to go.
In his day a lively step
Into the trailer and he's all set.
The white mare asks him with a nicker
If he will come and eat his dinner
She calls to him to stay with her
The old black steed with graying whisker.
The talk is subdued on the long slow drive
No one wanting to arrive.
Talk about all his wonderful traits
Laugh about his horrid gaits!
The children that he's taught to ride
With patience took it all in stride.
Learn new things and take his lumps
With caring eyes and trotty bumps.
The trailer pulls up to the gate
They say that he won't have to wait
Not far to walk on aching limbs
Turn our backs, the tears will brim.
It's very hard to close the door
And put the halter on the floor.
A snip of tail to remember him by
There is no way that I won't cry.
The trailer sounds hollow like a hole
No warm sweet breath to fill my soul
Each in thought of the passing friend
We talk about the horse he's been.
The white mare heard the engine drone
And called her greeting 'Welcome Home!'
Waiting at the pasture gate
The empty trailer sealed his fate. Goodbye Jake.
Tessa E Reeve firstname.lastname@example.org (all rights reserved 04-09-2000)
Rites of Passage
Some of the most poignant moments I spend as a
veterinarian are those spent with my clients assisting the
transition of my animal patients from this world to the
next. When living becomes a burden, whether from pain or
loss of normal functions, I can help a family by ensuring
that their beloved pet has an easy passing. Making this
final decision is painful, and I have often felt powerless
to comfort the grieving owners.
That was before I met Shane.
I had been called to examine a ten-year-old blue heeler
named Belker who had developed a serious health problem.
The dog's owners - Ron, his wife, Lisa, and their little
boy, Shane - were all very attached to Belker and they were
hoping for a miracle. I examined Belker and found he was
dying of cancer.
I told the family there were no miracles left for
Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for
the old dog in their home. As we made arrangements, Ron and
Lisa told me they thought it would be good for the four-
year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt Shane
could learn something from the experience.
The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as
Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm,
petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he
understood what was going on.
Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.
The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without
any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while
after Belker's death, wondering aloud about the sad fact
that animal lives are shorter than human lives.
Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, "I
Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his
mouth next stunned me - I'd never heard a more comforting
He said, "Everybody is born so that they can learn how
to live a good life - like loving everybody and being nice,
right?" The four-year-old continued, "Well, animals already
know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."
By Robin Downing, D.V.M.
from Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul
Copyright 1998 by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Marty
Becker and Carol Kline
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not here; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond's gilt on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn's rain.
When you awake in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplighting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine in the night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not here. I did not die.
If It Should Be
If it should be that I grow weak,
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then you must do what must be done,
For this last battle cannot be won.
You will be sad, I understand;
Don't let your grief then stay your hand.
For this day more than all the rest,
Your love for me must stand the test.
We've had so many happy years -
What is to come can hold no fears.
You'd not want me to suffer so;
The time has come, so let me go.
Take me where my needs they'll tend
And please stay with me until the end.
Hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.
I know in time that you will see
The kindness that you did for me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I've been saved.
Please do not grieve - it must be you
Who had this painful thing to do.
We've been so close, we two, these years -
Don't let your heart hold back its tears.
Death is a Door
Nancy Byrd Turner
Death is only an old door
Set in a garden wall;
On gentle hinges it gives, at dusk
When the thrushes call.
Along the lintel are green leaves,
Beyond the light lies still;
Very willing and weary feet
Go over that sill.
There is nothing to trouble any heart;
Nothing to hurt at all.
Death is only a quiet door
In an old wall.
Don't cry for the horses
That life has set free
A million white horses
forever to be.
Don't cry for the horses
Now in God's hands
As they dance and they prance
To a heavenly band.
They were ours as a gift
But never to keep
As they close their eyes
Forever to sleep.
Their spirits unbound
On silver wings they fly
A million white horses
Against the blue sky.
Look up into heaven
You'll see them above
The horses we lost
The horses we loved.
Manes and tails flowing
They gallop through time
They were never yours
They were never mine
Don't cry for the horses
They will be back someday
When our time has come
They will show us the way
Do you hear that soft nicker
Close to your ear?
Don't cry for the horses
Love the ones that are here.
The Horse's Ten Commandments:
 My life is likely to last 20 or more years. Any separation from you will be painful for me. Remember that before you take me home.
 Give me time to understand what you want from me.
 Place your trust in me. It is crucial to my well being.
 Don't be angry with me for long.
 Don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your entertainment and your friends. I have only you.
 Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don't understand your words, I do understand your voice when it is speaking to me. Be aware that however you treat me, I'll never forget it.
 Remember before you hit me that I am powerful enough to hurt you, but choose not to.
 Before you scold me for being uncooperative, obstinate, or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I have a problem that you are not yet aware of.
 Take care of me when I am old. You too will be old one day.
 Go with me on the last journey. Never say "I can't bear to watch or Let it happen in my absence." Everything is easier for me if you are there.