Losing a Beloved Canine Companion

I read a beautiful article in the Wall Street Journal this morning by Karl Rove about the passing of his Border Collie, Nan.  The link is here:  http://on.wsj.com/1MVKHTk  (I don’t know if it works without a subscription.)  I found it very touching, and it reminded me of many families I have worked with who have lost a beloved pet, as well as my own canine friend from my youth.  My loyal, loving Cocker Spaniel, Tammy, passed away of old age when I was away at college.  She had been my companion since I was a little girl.  She liked running around our 3 acres during the day, and I loved having her sleep with me at night.  Although she was the family pet, there was an understanding that she was really my dog.  I never called her “Tammy,” I had several nicknames for her- she would come to any of them- and I don’t think she ever knew her name was Tammy.  Being away for awhile before she passed sheltered me from the reality of her decline and passing. In all my memories of her she is happy and healthy.  I will always treasure the friendship we had.

For those grieving the loss of a furry friend, the following poem might bring solace.

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….
-Author Unknown