Thursday, April 3, 2008

In memory

Today, and everyday, I offer warm thoughts and hugs to all who have lost their much loved four-legged best friends, and feathered friends!

And, yes, sadly, this means that I have recently lost my sweet, precious copper Penny. Her poor little over-worked heart just quit pumping.

Penny was such a joy! As most of you might remember, she was a “rescue” – a new playmate for my little Bailey, who had, himself, recently lost his big ol’ roommate, Talkalot! She’d apparently had a less than perfect youth, and had lots of physical problems, so I wanted to do my best to give her remaining years a lot of good times!

She was a little skeptical about moving into a box on wheels, but learned very quickly that traveling the highways meant lots of new people to pet her and doggies to sniff! She was a little princess and HATED to get her feet wet, but surprised everyone by absolutely loving the beach down in Kino Bay (Mexico). And surprised us even more by standing her ground against the big beach bullies, and indeed running them off if they got too fresh!

Penny loved to cuddle, which was especially welcome when we lost my little Bailey at Christmas ’06. She gave me enough love to fill most of the vacant spot he left in my heart!

She didn’t stay in my life anywhere near long enough, and my eyes still flood with tears at the slightest thing. The house is so empty without her! But I do know that her last couple years were full of fun and adventure – I did the best I could! And as I reminded her, she peed on more states than most people will ever see!

I’ve learned of a special website where tribute may be made to our beloved pets – and they hold a candle-lighting ceremony every Monday to remember them! Check out

Many items go around the internet about doggies, of course. Most dog lovers have seen them all, but just in case you haven’t seen them, and because I love them all, here are a few of my favorites.

“A Dog's Purpose (from a 6-year-old)

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.

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."

“Remember, if a dog were 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.

Stressed? If you can't eat it or hump it. Pee on it and walk away.

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.

Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Stop when you have had enough.

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.
Being always grateful for each new day and for the blessing you have.


I’m sure that’s what Penny would want me to be doing, so I will go on without her. Without her romping beside me, but always in my heart!

And I will remember The Rainbow Bridge and cling to it’s promise! And wish the same for all my friends who have also lost their best friends!

"The Rainbow Bridge"

There is a bridge connecting Heaven and Earth. It is called the Rainbow Bridge because of its many colors. Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge there is a land of meadows, hills and valleys with lush green grass.

When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this place. There is always food and water and warm spring weather. The old and frail animals are young again. Those who are maimed are made whole again. They play all day with each other.

There is only one thing missing. They are not with their special person who loved them on Earth. So, each day they run and play until the day comes when one suddenly stops playing and looks up! The nose twitches! The ears are up! The eyes are staring! And this one suddenly runs from the group!

You have been seen, and when you and your special friend meet, you take him or her in your arms and embrace. Your face is kissed again and again and again, and you look once more into the eyes of your trusting pet.

Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together, never again to be separated.

-author unknown

Good-bye, my sweet precious copper Penny.

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