Today Elton worked with me, and on our drive home I passed a gentleman in the neighborhood that I see almost daily. He is older and is always out walking his basset hound. In tow behind him a little, red wagon with an obviously much older basset hound, too old for walking the same distance as the younger one. I think it's such a sweet image. I love that he has this daily ritual with his pups and has worked out a solution to ensure the older basset doesn't miss out on the excitement. It reminded me of a book I read awhile ago called, You Had Me At Woof, by Julie Klam. She reflects on her own experiences with Boston Terriers, specifically volunteering within a Boston Terrier rescue group as a foster for dogs. In the book she shares "The Rainbow Poem." The poem's author is unknown, but it is thought to have been written as a way to help deal with the loss of a beloved pet. I, of course, was reading the book on a flight, and had to try to keep it together to avoid freaking out the person next to me too much.
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to
someone here, that pets goes to Rainbow Bridge. There
are meadows and hills for all our special friends so they
can run and play together. There is plenty of food,
water, and sunshine, and our friends are warm and
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
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...