I didn’t write this, but I embrace it:
The 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….
Dory went peacefully this evening and it was just as heart-wrenching as I expected it to be. I asked the veterinarian to do an examination just to make sure we weren’t making a premature decision and she concurred that it was time. There was nothing to be done medically, the deterioration was significant, and she felt there was pain due to issues with Dory’s spine, abdomen, and nerves.
We made the ultimate decision, one that we felt was the best decision, and stayed with Dory as the veterinarian and her assistant retrieved what was needed to send her peacefully. I asked our 11-year old son if he wanted to stay in the room and he assured me that he did.
As Dory lay quietly, the veterinarian spoke softly and explained each step as she went through them. Seeing Dory relax, the two of us continued to pet and whisper to her as she slowly faded to sleep.
Tears welled in his eyes and he whispered a final goodbye. After some quiet moments, they handed us Dory’s collar and graciously offered to let us exit through the back due to Michael’s concern about people seeing him cry in the waiting room. With a tight hug and the assurance that Dory was in a better place, I asked Michael if he wanted to stay a while. He didn’t, he was ready to leave.
As we sat in the parking lot I asked if he’d like to go to the grocery store for some sugar therapy.
Heather and I often make trips to the bakery aisle in times of stress because bad calories just seem to have a way of making things feel better. So, I thought he would benefit from some welcomed guilty pleasures as well. And in typical Michael fashion, his reply brought a smile.
“Sugar can’t replace love, Dad. But I’ll take it.”
Tonight, our home is minus one. I can’t say it’s quieter, because Dory never made a peep. I can’t say it’s calmer, because Dory never really moved. But I can say it’s lonelier, because Dory still made a difference.
I won’t miss the random urination but I will miss her spacey vapid presence. We only had her for a year but at least we can take solace in the fact that it was the best year of her life.
It wasn’t nearly long enough. But, as Michael said,
I’ll take it.
Dory Joins the Family (A Dog’s Life)
The Mission to Give Her All She Was Denied (Dory’s Bucket List Adventure)
Starting From Scratch (Maybe You Can’t Teach an Old Dog New Tricks)
We Tried Our Best (Dory’s Bucket List is Ready!)
The Readers Unite (Neuter the Tumor!)
A Bucket List Trip (Doggin’ It On the Farm – A Pictorial)
The Miracle of Social Media (Dory is Tumor Free!)
Recovery Shenanigans (Dory’s Post-Surgery Update)
“Damn. I really hope that’s dog fart.” (Canine Regression)
Anticipated But Still Unexpected (A Teaspoon of Dory)