A Wonderful Story from a Veterinarian

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old   Irish Wolfhound named Belker. 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 we couldn’t do anything 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 six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might 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 know why.”  Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try to live.  He said,”People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The Six-year-old continued,  ”Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”


Live simply.  Love generously.  Care deeply.  Speak kindly.


Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:  When loved ones come home, always run to greet them;  Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride;  Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy;  Take naps;  Stretch before rising;  Run, romp, and play daily;  Thrive on attention and let people touch you;  Avoid biting when a simple growl will do;  On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass;  On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree;  When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body;  Delight in the simple joy of a long walk;  Be loyal;  Never pretend to be something you’re not;  If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it;  When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.  ENJOY EVERY MOMENT OF EVERY DAY!


Words from a Beloved Pet

Grieve not, 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.

THE RAINBOW BRIDGE POEM

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to RainbowBridge. 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 RainbowBridge together....

Author unknown...

BEYOND THE RAINBOW

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

I saw a wondrous 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, an on the other side
Were meadows rich and beautiful - lush and green and wide
And running through the 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 go run with them, but I had something left to do
I needed to reach out to you, to tell you I'm alright
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 no one 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

After All, He was Only a Pet

The death of a pet is never an easy time. Whether it is an older animal, who may have been a part of the family longer than most of the furniture and some of the children, or a pet who has been with you for only a few years, the loss can be truly traumatic. And if the end comes through a conscious decision for euthanasia, other emotions become entangled with the basic sense of loss. Once it's over, you may prefer to think that the experience is behind you. Unfortunately, it is not.

There will be a hole in your household and in your life for a while, and for the first part of that "while" the hole may seem huge. There ARE ways to fill the gap. However, the loss itself is not something you can simply ignore, assuming that your world will adjust itself. Instead, you must deal with that something, just as you would deal with the loss of any other good friend. Yes, it is a different kind of relationship, but to behave otherwise is to try and change your attitude in mid-stride. You cannot expect yourself to think of your pet as a friend and then to dismiss those feelings as disposable because THIS friend happened to be an animal. It is NOT silly to miss your pet, and it is NOT overly sentimental to grieve.

Another difference lies in the always complicated idea of "what happens next". Many people, especially older folks, express a very real concern that they won't see their animals in the next life (whatever that may be) because they have been told that animals have no souls. Maybe you, like me, are a little unsure about what exactly " the next life" holds for any of us. However, if having a soul means being able to feel love and trust and gratitude, then aren't some animals better equipped than a lot of humans?

But still, he was pet and not a person, and that makes it more complicated to sort out exactly what you are supposed to do and feel. Although we recognize the individual personalities in pets, that doesn't mean that they are just little people. The relationship you have with your pet is different from any human relationship you may have. We have the responsibility to care for animals and to learn from them. As we domesticated pets, they became dependent upon us for their needs. Part of caring for them, especially in a technologically advanced society, often means deciding when an animal can no longer live a happy life or even a content one.

When an animal is made a pet by a responsible, caring person, he is being given exactly what he needs and wants: his "creature comforts", companionship, and the opportunity to return the favor through loyalty and affection. Dogs, especially, are naturally eager to please the "leader of the pack", and the owner takes on that role. So the dog is never happier than when he knows that he is pleasing that person. When he is too old or too sick to respond in the way HE thinks he should, he can't understand why and feels the anxiety of failure.

Because their natural life-spans are shorter than ours, we usually outlive our pets. However, the life you shared cannot simply be abandoned. Don't deny yourself the thoughts, memories, and feelings that your pet's life deserves. You may decide to fill the hole with another pet. However, you can never replace the special bond you held with the one who is gone.

Thoughtful Suggestions
for a Pet Memorial

 

A friend forever
A loving cat
A loving dog
A True Companion 
Always in My Heart 
Always in our hearts
Always Our Buddy 
Always remembered
An angel visited the green earth, and took a flower away
Beloved friend
Champion of champions
Cuddly 
Dearly loved
Forever in my Heart
Forever In Our Hearts 
Forever In Our Thoughts 
Forever treasured
Gave Love, Received Love
Gone But Not Forgotten
Gone From Us, But Not Forgotten 
I will never forget you
In Loving Memory 
In Loving Memory of 
In Remembrance of 
Loved & Remembered 
Loving memories
Loving Memories Last Forever 
My Beloved Companion
My Beloved Dog
My Beloved Friend
My Beloved Pet
My Faithful Friend 
My Wonderful Companion
My Wonderful Pet
Our Baby 
Our Beloved Friend
Our Beloved Pet
Our Faithful Friend 
Our Little Kitty 
Our Wonderful Companion
Our Wonderful Pet 
Ours for a little while, with Jesus forever
Remembered With A Smile 
Remembering a tiny angel
She Gave Us Many Happy Years 
Sleep, my little one, sleep
So Loyal - So Loving - So Sweet 
So small, so sweet, so soon
Too Dearly Loved To Be Forgotten 
Treasured Memories of 
We Will Always Love You 
We Will Never Forget 
With All our Love 
You gave us many happy years
Your memory will ever be with me 
Your paws left prints on our hearts 

I Thought of You Today

 I woke early this morning, lifted the shade

to a sky overcast and gray.

No ray of sun to brighten my heart,

and I thought of you today.

The breezes of summer are no more

and have moved along on their way.

The crisp air of autumn has settled in,

and I thought of you today.

The crunch of the leaves under my feet,

I remembered how you loved to play,

chasing the leaves across the yard,

and I thought of you today.

As the daylight faded into dusk

and the shadows came to play,

I lit a candle and watched the flame dance,

and I thought of you today.

I crawled into bed, turned out the lamp

and glanced where you used to lay.

The tears came again, as they always do,

as I thought of you today.


Eternal Paw Prints
Our pets are our teachers, both in life and in death. The memories and the love will always be with us, and their paw prints will remain forever on our soul.

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