Hi Mark!

I just finished reading your book which a friend bought me. I had to put my chocolate lab, Ben, to sleep in May due to cancer. Like you, we had decided the night before that his time had come to an end. I talked to him about it and he seemed to understand. He slept in my arms, wanting stroked, all night long. The next day, at the vet, he was put to sleep as I sat on the floor with him, with his head on my lap. I know all to well what you have been through.

I know today, tomorrow, and the holidays are going to be especially difficult for you. I know Christmas will bring back many (fond) memories of Ben.

Like you and writing your book, I had to find ways to deal with my pain and guilt.

I wanted to share some of the things I have done in hopes that it may help others.

I had Ben creamated. His ashes were returned to me in a heart shaped box. I have the box on a table along with the Rainbow Bridge poem and his remembrance card.

I made remembrance cards with a picture of Ben with my son (who is 15) as a young child in the background and an older picture of Ben inserted into it. I included the poem
“They say memories are golden, well maybe that is true. I never wanted memroies, 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.
I sent this to family and friends.

I also did a memorial by our fireplace where I included his favorite toys, pillow, pictures, the remembrance card, a copy of of Rainbow Bridge (http://www.indigo.org/rainbowbridge_ver2.html), fresh flowers, and a candle which I lit every night. I kept this up until his 11th birthday two months later.

I also wrote a poem of our life together and did a slideshow of Ben’s life which included pictures and the songs: you’re my best friend (Queen), there you’ll be (Faith Hill), you’re gone (Diamond Rio), my heart will go on (Celine Dion), and goodbye my friend (Linda Ronstadt).

As you, I took the time to thank those who had taken such good care of Ben during his life and illness.

I recently came across another version of Rainbow Bridge which has helped me and I thought I would share….
Was it today; yesterday; a week; a month ago?

There are no days; there are no nights since my furchild died.

I reach to pet my furry friend who is no longer here.

My heart is broken; my arms are empty; how many tears I’ve cried.

I leave the house, into the lane we always walked together.

The rain is falling. I notice not. Just more tears on my face.

He used to lead me down the lane. His spirit leads me still.

But we go a different way to a very strange and different place.

I stand before a rustic bridge I’ve never seen before.

I stop. I know I’m not to cross. But why, I want to know.

And then the rain suddenly stops. I look up into the clouds.

I look down. The bridge is gone and in its place is a rainbow.

I look across the Rainbow Bridge and see a joyful sight;

Thousands of healthy furchildren playing with my beloved pet.

I want to run and love him, but I’m rooted to the spot.

He looks and wags his tail and I hear him bark, “Not yet.”

And then his bark turns to a voice and I hear him say,

“You cared for me, you played with me and loved me to the end.

I’m healthy now, don’t cry for me. I’ll meet you here again.

Others need your love and care. I’m sending you a friend.”

I rub my eyes and the rainbow is again a rustic bridge.

I send a prayer for that quick glimpse to the loving God above.

I hear a noise and glance back down. I can’t believe my eyes.

Across the bridge, my darling pet sent a furbaby for me to love.

I pick up the furry bundle, hold him close to my dampened cheek.

He nuzzles my neck, kisses my tears. It’s true love at first sight.

Not to replace the one who’s gone; another who needs my love and care.

My eyes are drawn upward to see a Rainbow Bridge in radiating light.

A Glimpse of the Rainbow Bridge
Copyright, 1995 Jean L. Mowry-Everett
In July I got a black lab puppy, Riley. Although he can never replace Ben he has already brought great joy to my life. I believe Ben helped me pick him out and is happy to know I have a dog to love and care for once again.

Your book brought tears to my eyes. It was helpful to know that others like you feel the way I do. I commend you for celebrating Sprite’s life and mourning his death through your book.

Know that he lives on…in your heart, your soul, your memories…in the person you are!

Colleen from FL


One Response

  1. Elissa Says:

    I love what you wrote, I just had to put my dog down, I still cry all the time.
    You know how I feel.