rainbow bridge, pet loss, grief, healing

Dogs Never Die

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“Some of you, particularly those who think they have recently lost a dog to ‘death’, don’t really understand this. I’ve had no desire to explain, but won’t be around forever and must.

Dogs never die. They don’t know how to. They get tired, and very old, and their bones hurt. Of course they don’t die. If they did they would not want to always go for a walk, even long after their old bones say: ‘No, no, not a good idea. Let’s not go for a walk.’ Nope, dogs always want to go for a walk. They might get one step before their aging tendons collapse them into a heap on the floor, but that’s what dogs are. They walk.

It’s not that they dislike your company. On the contrary, a walk with you is all there is. Their boss, and the cacaphonic symphony of odor that the world is. Cat poop, another dog’s mark, a rotting chicken bone (exultation), and you. That’s what makes their world perfect, and in a perfect world death has no place.

However, dogs get very very sleepy. That’s the thing, you see. They don’t teach you that at the fancy university where they explain about quarks, gluons, and Keynesian economics. They know so much they forget that dogs never die. It’s a shame, really. Dogs have so much to offer and people just talk a lot.

When you think your dog has died, it has just fallen asleep in your heart. And by the way, it is wagging its tail madly, you see, and that’s why your chest hurts so much and you cry all the time. Who would not cry with a happy dog wagging its tail in their chest. Ouch! Wap wap wap wap wap, that hurts. But they only wag when they wake up. That’s when they say: ‘Thanks Boss! Thanks for a warm place to sleep and always next to your heart, the best place.’

When they first fall asleep, they wake up all the time, and that’s why, of course, you cry all the time. Wap, wap, wap. After a while they sleep more. (remember, a dog while is not a human while. You take your dog for walk, it’s a day full of adventure in an hour. Then you come home and it’s a week, well one of your days, but a week, really, before the dog gets another walk. No WONDER they love walks.)

Anyway, like I was saying, they fall asleep in your heart, and when they wake up, they wag their tail. After a few dog years, they sleep for longer naps, and you would too. They were a GOOD DOG all their life, and you both know it. It gets tiring being a good dog all the time, particularly when you get old and your bones hurt and you fall on your face and don’t want to go outside to pee when it is raining but do anyway, because you are a good dog. So understand, after they have been sleeping in your heart, they will sleep longer and longer.

But don’t get fooled. They are not ‘dead.’ There’s no such thing, really. They are sleeping in your heart, and they will wake up, usually when you’re not expecting it. It’s just who they are.

Grow Old with Dogs

Courtesy of Michelle Koban

Grow Old with Dogs

When I am old….
I will wear soft grey sweatshirts,
and a bandanna over my silver hair,
and I will spend my social security checks on wine and my dogs.

I will sit in my house on my well-worn chair and listen to my dogs breathing.
I will sneak out in the middle of a warm summer night
and take my dogs for a run,
if my old bones will allow.

When people come to call……
I will smile and nod as I show them my dogs……
and talk of them and about them;
the ones so beloved of the past
and the ones so beloved today.

I will still work hard cleaning after them, mopping and feeding them and whispering their names in a soft loving way.
I will wear the gleaming sweat on my throat, like a jewel
and I will be an embarrassment to all…especially my family….
who have not yet found the peace in being free to have dogs as your very best friends.

These friends who will always wait at any hour,
for your footfall….
and eagerly jump to their feet out of a sound sleep,
to greet you as if you are a God.

With warm eyes full of adoring love
and hope that you will always stay,
I’ll hug their big strong necks…..
I’ll kiss their dear sweet heads……
and whisper in their very special company.

I look in the Mirror…… ..And see I am getting old.
This is the kind of person I am and have always been.
Loving dogs is easy, they are part of me.
Please accept me for who I am.
My dogs appreciate my presence in their lives…
they love my presence in their lives.

When I am old, this will be important to me.
You will understand when you grow old……
if you have dogs to love too.

I Loved You Best of All

Courtesy of Phyllis Potterfield

I Loved You Best

So this is where we part, My Friend,
and you’ll run on, around the bend,
gone from sight, but not from mind,
new pleasures there you’ll surely find.

I will go on, I’ll find the strength,
life measures quality, not its length.
One long embrace before you leave,
share one last look, before I grieve.

There are others, that much is true,
but they be they, and they aren’t you.
And I, fair, impartial, or so I thought,
will remember well all you’ve taught.

Your place I’ll hold, you will be missed,
the fur I stroked, the nose I kissed.
And as you journey to your final rest,
take with you this…I loved you best.

-Jim Willis 2002

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 barking 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, sometime, 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.

OLD DOG IN A LOCKET

OLD DOG IN A LOCKET
Old dog in a locket
That lays 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 any fears.

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

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

And so, your life slipped out of mine
On a quiet spring like 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 you
Even though we had to part.
- -Author Unknown

Just a Dog

Just a Dog
From time to time, people tell me, “lighten up, it’s just a dog,” Or “that’s a lot of money for just a dog.” They don’t understand the distance travelled, the time spent, or the costs involved for “just a Dog.” Some of my proudest moments have come about with “just a dog.”
Many hours have passed and my only company was “just a dog,” but I did not once feel slighted.
Some of my saddest moments have been spent with “just a dog,” and in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of “just a dog” gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day.
If you, too, think it’s “just a dog,” then you will probably understand phases like “just a friend,” “just a sunrise” or “just a promise.”
“Just a dog” brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure unbridled joy.
“Just a dog” brings out the compassion and patience that make me a better person.

Because of “just a dog” I will rise early, take long walks and look longingly to the future.
So for me and the folks like me, it’s not “just a dog” but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment.
“Just a dog” brings out what’s good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day.
I hope that someday they can understand that it’s not “just a dog” But the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being “just a person.”
Author Unknown

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Clumber Tribute

“I will lend to you for awhile, a Clumber pup God said,
For you to love him while he lives
And mourn him when he`s dead
Maybe for twelve or fourteen years
Or maybe two or three.
But Will you ? till I call him back…
Take care of him for me.

He`ll bring his charms to gladden you,
and (should his stay be brief)
You`ll always have his memories
As solace for your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay
Since all from earth, return.
But there are lessons taught below
I want this pup to learn.

I`ve looked the whole world over
In search of teachers true,
And from the folk that crowd Life`s land
I, God have chosen You.

Now will you give him all your Love
Nor think the labor vain
Nor hate Me when I come to take
My Clumber back again.

I fancied that I heard them say..
“Dear Lord, Thy will be done”
For all the joys this Clumber brings,
The risk of grief we`ll run.

We`ll shelter him with tenderness
We`ll love him while we may.
And for the happiness we`ve known,
Forever, grateful stay.

But should you call him back again
Much sooner than we`ve planned
We`ll brave the bitter grief that comes
And try to understand

If by our love, we`ve managed
Your wishes to achieve
In memory of him who we loved,
to help us while we grieve,

When our faithful bundle does depart
This world of pain and strife
We`ll have yet another Clumber
And we`ll Love him all his life”

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