When I went to this website and saw Sprite’s picture, I can understand your immediate and deep attachment. And so it was with our most recent pal, Jake.
We “found” Jake through a lady in Salado, Texas, who helps rescue Golden Retrievers, in particular. Earlier in 2006 we had to put to sleep our fourth dog during our 39 years of marriage, a sweet mutt we obtained through a shelter. Anyway, the Golden Retriever lady had an abandoned, skinny retriever that desperately needed a family. We gladly took him in and named him Jake. Almost immediately Jake began to improve. He gained weight and put on a brand new glossy coat. He was the most beautiful Golden Retriever we had ever seen. But within a few weeks, we noticed a urinary problem and took him to the vet. Two vets ran some tests, both with the same results: Jake had a terminal condition with his kidneys. Jake was expected to go into decline within a week, maybe two, and then the end would come quickly. Since we had already fallen hard for this wonderful dog, we decided to make his final 1-2 weeks the best they could be, with a family that loved him.

Looking back, it now seems that in exchange for that love and attention, Jake gave us not two weeks, but several months of the best times we have had with any of our pets. His favorite was to go out on the boat and go swimming. The vets all said it was a miracle that Jake lived so long after the diagnosis. They were right about one thing, howver; when the time did finally come, it was over in a few days. To this day, the tears return when I think of Jake. He was our Sprite And I am more convinced than ever that our dogs all go to a special place, just for our dogs, and someday for a special reunion. Surely it must be that way.

Best personal regards, Mark.
Ray and Nancy from TX

2 Responses

  1. Carol Says:

    I agree that we will be reunited someday. Here is something that may give you some comfort. I submitted it to this site, but it hasn’t been published. It’s something I wrote after my 18 year old mutt, Sparkle, died.


    Throughout the years I have read stories that seem to verify that pets who have crossed over the Rainbow Bridge still exist somewhere. Following are but two of the convincing stories:

    One woman reluctantly left her aged and ailing dog with her mother while embarking on an out of town business trip. On her second night away, her dog came to her in her motel room, and jumped up on her bed. The next morning the woman called her mother, who told her that her dog had died the previous night!! He had come to his owner to say goodbye.

    Then there was the story in Guideposts Magazine a few years ago, where a seriously ill man had a near-death experience. He caught a glimpse of what lay on the other side, and had been greeted by his beloved dog, who was waiting there for him.

    Human beings are very chauvinistic, believing ourselves to be the only creatures special to God. I’ve always had questions about that, knowing that we are the only creatures that willfully offend God. True, while some animals
    occasionally do things that appear malicious, that behavior can generally be traced back to humans. These animals have usually been abused, trained to be vicious, or in-bred. Sometimes they act on their primitive instincts. Perhaps sometimes so do humans. The difference is that we have the ability to reason and can differentiate between right and wrong. We can decide to act on these instincts or not.

    I had a friend, now deceased, an elderly Russian Orthodox nun who founded and ran an animal shelter in Tucson. One day we were discussing whether animals had souls. She remarked, “ Well, what is a soul, anyway? A physical entity, a wavy line? No! It is the essence of God and everything He created has one.”

    Yet more proof, for me, that animals go to heaven, is the Christmas story. If you believe it, as I do, then surely God must have a soft spot in His heart for animals. When all the humans approached turned the holy family away, the
    animals in the manger welcomed and sheltered them. It was those animals…not humans…who were privileged to witness the birth of the Baby.

    Other stories have led me to believe that heaven provides whatever you need and love from this world. I truly believe that we will be surrounded and welcomed by all our loved ones who have passed on before us…including our
    furry family.

  2. Ray Kozusko Says:

    Carol, your message has been read and appreciated. That’s the second time I’ve read of this Rainbow Bridge, with some really good stories. And I’ll say it again, “surely it must be so.” Thanks for taking the time for Jake. (Listen – did you hear that?) Merry Christmas!