. Links to other Pet Loss pages
The Story of the Rainbow
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.
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 6,000 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.
I am a thousand winds that blow. I am the diamond gilt on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain. I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush, I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand by my grave and cry... I am not there... I did not die.
I, Silverdene Emblem O'Neill (familiarly known to my family, friends and acquaintances as Blemie), because the burden of my years is heavy upon me, and I realize the end of my life is near, do hereby bury my last will and testament in the mind of my Master. He will not know it is there until I am dead. Then, remembering me in his loneliness, he will suddenly know of this testament, and I ask him then to inscribe it as a memorial to me.
I have little in the way of material things to leave. Dogs are wiser than men. They do not set great store upon things. They do not waste their time hoarding property. They do not ruin their sleep worrying about objects they have, and to obtain the objects they have not. There is nothing of value I have to bequeath except my love and my faith. These I leave to those who have loved me, to my Master and Mistress, who I know will mourn me most, to Freeman who has been so good to me, to Cyn and Roy and Willie and Naomi and - but if I should list all those who have loved me it would force my Master to write a book. Perhaps it is in vain of me to boast when I am so near death, which returns all beasts and vanities to dust, but I have always been an extremely lovable dog.
I ask my Master and Mistress to remember me always, but not to grieve for me too long. In my life I have tried to be a comfort to them in time of sorrow, and a reason for added joy in their happiness. It is painful for me to think that even in death I should cause them pain. Let them remember that while no dog has ever had a happier life (and this I owe to their love and care for me), now that I have grown blind and deaf and lame, and even my sense of smell fails me so that a rabbit could be right under my nose and I might not know, my pride has sunk to a sick, bewildered humiliation. I feel life is taunting me with having over lingered my welcome. It is time I said good-by, before I become too sick a burden on myself and on those who love me.
It will be sorrow to leave them, but not a sorrow to die. Dogs do not fear death as men do. We accept it as part of life, not as something alien and terrible which destroys life. What may come after death, who knows? I would like to believe with those of my fellow Dalmatians who are devout Mohammedans, that there is a Paradise where one is always young and full-bladdered; here all the day one dillies and dallies with an amorous multitude of houris, beautifully spotted; where jack-rabbits that run fast but not too fast (like the houris) are as the sands of the desert; where each blissful hour is mealtime; where in long evenings there are a million fireplaces with logs forever burning and one curls oneself up and blinks into the flames and nods and dreams, remembering the old brave days on earth, and the love of one's Master and Mistress.
I am afraid this is too much for even such a dog as I am to expect. But peace, at least, is certain. Peace and long rest for weary old heart and head and limbs, and eternal sleeps in the earth I have loved so well. Perhaps, after all, this is best.
One last request I earnestly make. I have heard my Mistress say, 'When Blemie dies we must never have another dog. I love him so much I could never love another one.' Now I would ask her, for love of me, to have another. It would be a poor tribute to my memory never to have a dog again. What I would like to feel is that, having once had me in the family, now she cannot live without a dog! I have never had a narrow jealous spirit. I have always held that most dogs are good (and one cat, the black one I have permitted to share the living-room rug during the evenings, whose affection I have tolerated in a kindly spirit, and in rare sentimental moods, even reciprocated a trifle). Some dogs, of course, are better than others. Dalmatians, naturally, as everyone knows, are best.
So I suggest a Dalmatian as my successor. He can hardly be as well bred, or as well mannered or as distinguished and handsome as I was in my prime. My Master and Mistress must not ask the impossible. But he will do his best, I am sure, and even his inevitable defects will help by comparison to keep my memory green. To him I bequeath my collar and leash and my overcoat and raincoat, made to order in 1929 at Hermes in Paris. He can never wear them with the distinction I did, walking around the Place Vendome, or later along Park Avenue, all eyes fixed on me in admiration; but again I am sure he will do his utmost not to appear a mere gauche provincial dog. Here on the ranch, he may prove himself quite worthy of comparison, in some respects. He will, I presume, come closer to jackrabbits than I have been able to in recent years. And, for all his faults, I hereby wish him the happiness I know will be his in my old home.
One last word of farewell, Dear Master and Mistress. Whenever you visit my grave, say to yourselves with regret but also with happiness in your hearts at the remembrance of my long happy life with you: 'here lies one who loved us and whom we loved.' No matter how deep my sleep I shall hear you, and not all the power of death can keep my spirit from wagging a grateful tail.
Remember me always, but do not grieve for me too long.
I have tried always to comfort you in times of sorrow, and have made every effort to add joy to your life.
I never wanted to cause you pain.
Peace for me is certain now, and I suspect I will have eternal sleep in the earth I have loved so well.
Please, after your period of grieving for me, make room in your heart for another.
You are the kind of human being that should always have a friend like me to love.
Your kind and gentle heart should not be wasted on my memory for too long.
Give your love to another.
I know your new friend will never take my place, because we had something very special.
It may not be quite the same, but a new devoted and loving companion will in time, become special in their own way.
You loved me very much and I loved you.
My spirit will always be with you, and no matter how deep my sleep, my grateful heart will always remember you.
NOTE FROM THE BRIDGE
To my dearest family,
some things I'd like to say.
But first of all, to let you know,
that I arrived okay.
I'm writing this from the Bridge.
Here I dwell with God above.
Here there's no more tears of sadness.
Here is just eternal love.
Please do not be unhappy
just because I'm out of sight.
Remember that I am with you
every morning, noon and night.
That day I had to leave you
when my life on earth was through,
God picked me up and hugged me
and He said, "I welcome you.
It's good to have you back again,
you were missed while you were gone.
As for your dearest family,
They'll be here later on."
God gave me a list of things,
that he wished for me to do.
And foremost on the list,
was to watch and care for you.
And when you lie in bed at night
the day's chores put to flight,
God and I are closest to you...
in the middle of the night.
When you think of my life on earth,
and all those loving years,
because you are only human,
they are bound to bring you tears.
But do not be afraid to cry,
it does relieve the pain.
Remember there would be no flowers,
unless there was some rain.
I wish that I could tell you
all that God has planned.
If I were to tell you,
you wouldn't understand.
But one thing is for certain,
though my life on earth is o'er.
I'm closer to you now,
than I ever was before.
There are rocky roads ahead of you
and many hills to climb;
But together we can do it
by taking one day at a time.
It was always my philosophy
and I'd like it for you too;
That as you give unto the world,
the world will give to you.
If you can help somebody
who's in sorrow and pain;
Then you can say to God at night...
"My day was not in vain."
And now I am contented...
that my life was worthwhile.
Knowing as I passed along
I made somebody smile.
So if you meet somebody
who is sad and feeling low;
Just lend a hand to pick him up,
as on your way you go.
When you're walking down the street
with me on your mind;
I'm walking in your footsteps
only half a step behind.
And when it's time for you to go...
from that body to be free.
Remember you're not going...
you're coming here to me.
I ONLY WANTED YOU
They say memories are golden
well maybe that is true.
I never wanted memories,
I only wanted you.
A million times I needed you,
a million times I cried.
If love alone could have saved you
you never would have died.
In life I loved you dearly,
In death I love you still.
In my heart you hold a place
no one could ever fill.
If tears could build a stairway
and heartache make a lane,
I'd walk the path to heaven
and bring you back again.
Our family chain is broken,
and nothing seems the same.
But as God calls us one by one,
the chain will link again.
Links to Rainbow Bridge and Pet Loss Pages
Eternal Companions Pet Memorial website
Eternal Companions Pet Memorial, Rigaud, Quebec
this is a link to their Rainbow Bridge page - make sure to click on
their "Legend of the Rainbow Bridge" video presentation
Pet Loss Support Group, Ottawa,
phone: 613- 730- 0848
Ontario Veterinary College Pet Loss Support Helpline
Canadian Centre for Pet Loss Bereavement
a large web site ~ links to just some of their pages below
books on pet loss and grieving
concerning pets with special needs
dealing with the guilt
a large collection of poems, many familiar
the Monday evening candle ceremony
Newsgroups, Chat Rooms & E-Mail Lists
About | Alerts & Publications | Dog-Friendly Places & Services | Education | Events & Directories | Fundraising & Sponsors
Home Page | Legislation | Links | Miscellaneous | Projects, Studies & Research | Rainbow Bridge | Site Map | What's New?