Well, I just got over a case of the "Blues" and here you guys are
sharing these wonderful tributes to our very "Best of Friends".
I have a photo each of both of the sweet "girls" I have lost.
I framed the photo and added a few words.
The first was "Tara" Promiselands Prairie Dancer... 2001 - 2004.
She was 28 months old and we were going to "set the world on
fire" or so I had hoped. My tribute to her was a verse of a song
by Garth Brooks. "Our lives are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
but I'd have had to miss the dance".
I know lots of folks have used this as I have seen it many many times
My second was our sweet Promise.... We lost her to cancer last year,
she would have been 9 on her next birthday which was Feb 5th, 2007.
The verse I used was from a poem by an unknown author but I know
you will recognize it.
"When tomorrow starts without me,
don't think we're far apart.
For every time you think of me,
I'm right there in your heart.
It is what it is....
Rainy Day Promise - 1998 - 2007
Smackwater Jumpin Jac Chance - 1999 - 2013
Promiselands Prairie Dancer - 2001 - 2004
Flinthills Lonesome Dove - 2004
Gimmee One More Last Chance - 2005
Black Kettle's She's a Pistol - 2009
Twolabs Her Chance to Dance - 2012
Twolabs Yancy's Fancy Pants - 2012
You are right... This should be permanant...sort of like a Rainbow Bridge where people can read and feelsad and happy and maybe find some comfort in all this lovely verse and prose.
beauty fades, but dumb is forever. (Judge Judy)
Vicky ... thanks so much or re-posting that for me. I wish you would make it a sticky.
You may remember seeing the following one. It's not so much of a memorium as it is an explanation of where these wonderful animals came from.
The XVth Day
On the fifteenth day, or thereabout, God and the Recording Angel were just taking it easy. Spread out beneath them was The Creation, and despite last-minute changes, they were feeling rather smug with the way it had all gone; so many miracles sound easier than they really are.
God was especially interested in Adam and Eve. He considered them the centerpiece of the scheme, and as he watched them, he got the feeling something was a bit off.
Eve had taken to spending more and more time sitting and at herself in one of the pools, fussing with her hair and trying to decide which was her best side. Adam was throwing sticks in the brook and watching them sail away. As God and the Recording Angel watched, Adam threw another stick, walked over to where Eve was working on a braid, and shouted, "Back!" pointing at stick with his finger. Eve barely gave him a glance as she stuck a large red flower in her hair and continued to stare into the pool.
The Recording Angel finally broke the silence. "Lord," he said, "something's missing."
"I know," God said, "but I can't quite put my finger on it."
Adam was still standing close to Eve and watching another stick he'd thrown. This time they heard him say, "Back, Eve!" As they watched, Eve slowly got up, waded out into the water, and brought back the stick. Just as God was about to smile, Eve swung the stick and broke it against Adam's shin.
"I think he needs a creature that will play with him," God said. He made a quick motion with his forefinger, and the stick that was lying across Adam's foot suddenly became a snake. Adam looked at it for a moment and then got another stick, waved it in front the snake, threw it a few feet into the water, and shouted, "Back!" The snake looked at Adam in a curious way, then slithered over to where Eve sat and whispered something in here ear. Eve looked up at Adam and made a small circular motion with here finger at her temple. The snake seemed to nod in agreement, and the two of them went of together, leaving Adam standing alone by the edge of the water.
"It's not the right size or something," the Recording Angel said. "It ought to be bigger."
"I've got just the thing," God answered. The rock that Eve had been sitting on suddenly stood up and yawned, showing great shinning ivory teeth. God Smiled.
"What's that?" the Recording Angel asked.
"Hippo," He said, obviously pleased with himself.
Adam could see that the hippo enjoyed being in the water. He got another stick, larger than the one he'd thrown for the snake. The stick made a great splash, and Adam watched expectantly as the giant beast slid into the water and disappeared. After almost an hour and no sign of the hippo, except an occasional water spout, Adam sat down on the bank and cradled his head in his arms. He was still sitting there in the fading light when Eve returned with the snake at her side. She was carrying a handful of leaves, which she tried on, looking for Adam's approval. He finally pointed at one she'd discarded and she angrily tore it in half and tossed it in the pool.
"Eve's acting a little cross, Lord," the Angel remarked.
"Well, nobody's perfect," God answered, somewhat annoyed.
It was getting dark when God turned to the Receding Angel and said, "I'm going to hold up the night for a while until we get this thing solved. What's left in inventory for delivery?"
The Recording Angel hauled out a thick scroll and began reading out loud, starting with aardvark. God listened attentively but did nothing more than occasionally shake his read, now and then making an outline of something in the earth with the quill-end of a long white feather. At the end of the list, the Recording Angel waited fretfully for God to ask him what a zygote was, but He didn't. The Angel was quite relieved; so much small stuff tended to look alike.
Suddenly God smiled. "I think I've got it," He said, waving His hand at a small passing Cloud, which stopped and rained on the ground where He had been sketching. God began taking handfuls of mud and and shaped them this way and that. As He worked, He spoke aloud, as if to give the Recording Angel a lesson in creating.
"It's got to be just the right size; strong, but not so big it's always knocking things over," He said. "It ought to like the water about as much as the land, so we'll give a nice thick coat and a powerful tail - even webbed feet!"
"You're not making another duck, are You?" the Recording Angel asked, somewhat anxiously. He knew God loved ducks, but He'd made so many already that it was difficult to tell them apart.
"No, nothing like that at all. This creature has four legs and can't fly. The really important thing is the disposition. I don't want it to ever get cross with Adam. I want it to follow him around and be good company, to please Adam more anything else. If Adam wants to run, it will run with him; if Adam wants to play, it will play with him."
God paused for a moment and then said, "I thought Eve would be like that, but maybe I used a little too much rib."
He continued to work with the clay, broadening the head and chest, shaping the leg and tail until they were just so. He looked it over with great care, and then said in a deep and warm voice that more than hinted at His pleasure, "That's good."
The Recording Angel walked around behind him. "I really like the looks of it, Lord," he said. "What are you going to call it?"
The Lord smiled and said, "A Labrador Retriever."
"Won't that be a little hard for Adam to Spell?"
"No," He said, "all he has to remember is i before e."
Then He reached out and touched the clay and said, "Sit!" The glossy black hair rippled over the heavy muscles as the Labrador sat, brown eyes sparkling. He seemed to be begging to be asked to do something. God reach for the the Recording Angel's staff, broke off a foot or so, and threw it. Then the Lord said, "Back!"
Instantly, the Labrador broke into a full-speed run, tumble head-over-heals as he grabbed the stick, and brought it back. God threw it again, and the Labrador bounded off even more joyously. When he came back, God and the Recording Angel were grinning like schoolboys.
"Let me try it!" the Recording Angel asked, and threw the stick far across a distant stream. The Labrador leaped into the water and, almost before they could believe it, was back in front of them, quivering with happiness.
The next day, the Recording Angel and God threw more sticks and the retriever, seemingly tireless, ran and swam and brought them back with an almost palpable joy. Eve stood off to one side watching them.. Finally, she walked over, picked up a stick and threw it. The Labrador sat, watching. When she cried, "Back," he leaped into the air and almost flew into the water. Eve laughed as the droplets wet her. When he returned and gave here the stick, she took it and playfully tugged his ear. The Labrador raised his head and licked her hand. God and the Recording Angel watched her smile; it was radiant in its loveliness.
"I think I'll make one for Eve," God said.
"Exactly the same?" asked the Recording Angel.
"Yes and no," God replied.
The Recording Angel had made his staff whole again and stood leaning on it for the longest while. Then in a very quiet voice, he said, "Lord, would it be too much to ask you to make one more? Then we could keep it here just to make sure it's perfect."
The Lord smiled and said, "I was thinking the very same thing."
Remi and Rusty aren't my whole life, they're just trying to fill the hole in my heart left by Cappy's passing.
From time to time, people tell me, "lighten up, it's just a dog," or,” that’s a lot of money for just a dog". They don't understand the distance traveled, the time spent, or the costs involved for "just a dog."
Some of my proudest moments have come about with "just a dog." Many hours have passed and my only company was "just a dog," but I did not once feel slighted.
Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by "just a dog," and in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of "just a dog" gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day.
If you, too, think it's "just a dog," then you will probably not understand phrases like "just a friend," "just a sunrise," or "just a promise." "Just a dog" brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure unbridled joy. "Just a dog" brings out the compassion and patience that make me a better person.
Because of "just a dog" I will rise early, take long walks and look longingly to the future. So for me and folks like me, it's not "just a dog" but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment. "Just a dog" brings out what's good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day.
I hope that someday they can understand that it's not "just a dog" but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being "just a woman/man."
So the next time you hear the phrase "just a dog" just smile, because they "just" don't understand.
http://www.oakdaleretrievers.com/Remembrance.html "You'll Cry"
Training is not science, it is art. A blend of this, a measure of that, a deep breath at the appropriate moment and always a loving touch.
GRHRCH Macabe’s Spring Lake Dude MNH QAA “Dude” passed away Sunday, February 17th after a brief illness at 9 years of age. Owned by Drs. Ernest and Patty Cook, Dude was trained and handled by Ronnie Lee of Duck Roost Kennels, Louisville, MS. Dude had 3 for 3 Grand Passes and was a member of the 500 Club. He passed his first Master Nationals in 2005 in Texas and the 2007 event in Virginia for his Master National Hunter title. He was also All Age Qualified.
For many years, Dr. Ernie Cook was a familiar face at hunt tests and an active member of the Ponchartrain HRC. He has been in a nursing care facility in Lafayette for the past few years but Ronnie Lee told me that he’d had a good conversation with him at Christmas about Dude -- “Just like the old days.” Dr. Patty Cook kept Dude at home and let him be a “couch potato” between the hunt test seasons.
Dude was the first dog that Ronnie passed in a Grand and he had handled him since 2001. Our sympathies go out to the Cooks, but also to Ronnie & Shelia Lee, who loved Dude as one of their own.
From another list
When you bring a pet into your life, you begin a journey. A journey that
will bring you more love and devotion than
you have ever known, yet will also test your strength and courage. If
you allow, the journey will teach you many things, about life, about
yourself, and most of all, about love. You will come away changed
forever, for one soul cannot touch another without leaving its mark.
Along the way, you will learn much about savoring life's simple
pleasures -- jumping in leaves, snoozing in the sun, the joys of
puddles, and even the satisfaction of a good scratch behind the ears. If
you spend much time outside,
you will be taught how to truly experience every element, for no rock,
leaf, or log will go unexamined, no rustling bush will be overlooked,
and even the very air will be inhaled, pondered, and noted as being full
of valuable information. Your pace may be slower, except when heading
home to the food dish, but you will become a better naturalist, having
been taught by an expert in the field. Too many times we hike on
automatic pilot, our goal being to complete the trail rather than enjoy
the journey. We miss the details: the colorful mushrooms on the rotting
log, the honeycomb in the old maple snag, the hawk feather caught on a
twig. Once we walk as a dog does, we discover a whole new world. We
stop; we browse the landscape, we kick over leaves, peek in tree holes,
look up, down, all around. And we learn what any dog knows: that nature
has created a marvelously complex world that is full of surprises, that
each cycle of the seasons bring ever changing wonders, each day an
essence all its own.
Even from indoors you will find yourself more attuned to the world
around you. You will find yourself watching: summer insects collecting
on a screen; how bizarre they are; how many kinds there are or noting
the flick and flash of fireflies through the dark. You will stop to
observe the swirling dance of windblown leaves, or sniff the air after a
rain. It does not matter that there is no objective in this; the point
is in the doing, in not letting life's most important details slip by.
You will find yourself doing silly things that your pet-less friends
might not understand: spending thirty minutes in the grocery aisle
looking for the cat food brand your feline must have, buying dog
birthday treats, or driving around the
block an extra time because your pet enjoys the ride. You will roll in
the snow, wrestle with chewie toys, bounce little rubber balls till your
eyes cross, and even run around the house trailing your bathrobe tie
with a cat in hot pursuit, all in the name of love. Your house will
become muddier and hairier. You will wear less dark clothing and buy
more lint rollers. You may find dog biscuits in your pocket or purse,
and feel the need to explain that an old plastic shopping bag adorns
your living room rug because your cat loves the crinkly sound. You will
learn the true measure of love. The steadfast, undying kind that says,
"It doesn't matter where we are or what we do, or how life treats us as
long as we are together."
Respect this always. It is the most precious gift any living soul can
give another. You will not find it often among the human race. And you
will learn humility. The look in my dog's eyes often made me feel
ashamed. Such joy and love at my presence. She saw not some flawed human
who could be cross and stubborn, moody or rude, but only her wonderful
companion. Or maybe she saw those things and dismissed them as mere
human foibles, not worth considering, and so chose to love me anyway.
If you pay attention and learn well, when the journey is done, you will
be not just a better person, but the person your pet always knew you to
be. The one they were proud to call beloved friend. I must caution you
that this journey is not without pain. Like all paths of true love, the
pain is part of loving. For as surely as the sun sets, one day your dear
animal companion will follow a trail you cannot yet go down. And you
will have to find the strength and love to let them go. A pet's time on
earth is far too short, especially for those that love them. We borrow
them, really, just for a while, and during these brief years they are
generous enough to give us all their love, every inch of their spirit
and heart, until one day there is nothing left. The cat that only
yesterday was a kitten is all too soon old and frail and sleeping in the
sun. The young pup of boundless energy now wakes up stiff and lame, the
muzzle gone to gray.
Deep down we somehow always knew that this journey would end. We knew
that if we gave our hearts they would be broken. But give them we must
for it is all they ask in return. When the time comes, and the road
curves ahead to a place we cannot see, we give one final gift and let
them run on ahead, young and whole once more. "God speed, good friend,"
we say, until our journey comes full circle and our paths cross again. ~
"We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached. Unable
to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way. We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary plan." Irving Townsend.
Nestle – Chessie/Lab mix, summer 1998 – April 28, 2008
You didn’t have a registered name. You were born of ‘lower’ class parentage. But what did we care about such nonsense…You were born a hunting dog, a family member, a guardian, and wonderful companion… …..You made every visitor smile when you picked up your food dish or water bowl… “What’s the matter girl?” they’d say, “are you hungry, need some water?”..And I'd have to explain that no, you got plenty to eat and drink, in fear they would think you were not well cared for…Little did they know that it was neither food nor water you wanted, but their undivided attention; to have them grab a bumper to throw for you or come over to get slobbered on by your big wet tongue.
While you did not inherit the wavy coat of a chessie, you certainly inherited just about everything else the breed is known for. Your incessant ‘rooing’ when we came home, your loyalty and devotion to your family. And yes, even your desire to do things ‘your way’. You are the dog that was responsible for me ever wanting a ‘brown dog’. I am not sure whether I should thank you or scold you for that. Because now the breed is in my blood.
Regardless of your 'low class' heritage, you were a true retriever at heart. Whenever you went into the house, the first thing in your mouth was a shoe, or sock, or glove…anything. And you would walk around with that item for several minutes, eyes bright and tail beating hard. If nothing was immediately available, your tongue quickly found one of the kid’s cheek or someone’s hand to kiss. You would lay down for hours holding a bumper in your mouth. Even to the point of falling asleep.. Bumpers were your prized possession in all the world, except of course, for birds.
I never did get to take you pheasant hunting, though I am sure that now you are happily chasing some wily rooster through a field of green. Leaping and catching the ‘ol man by his tail…his raucous cackle inspiring you all the more. But I am so thankful for the days I spent last fall grouse hunting with you. I will hold those memories in my heart forever. How incredibly enjoyable it was, even when you got too far ahead and put up the birds before I could see them to shoot…You were so happy and full of life during those hunts, your eyes bright and eager, tail beating wildly when you watched me bring out the shotgun. If I had known those would be your last days to hunt, I would have taken you even more.
You were the first dog I ever took to a hunt test. You were 5 or 6 yrs old by then. Life in remote Alaska had prevented us from being able to enter any tests until then. We worked together just enough to get one meager intermediate pass in a NAHRA hunt test - with at least 3 other failed attempts - to go along with a couple of started passes. I wish we could have done more and gone farther. Perhaps down the road we shall.
Thank you Nestle – you will not be forgotten.
God answers prayers all the time. Even the ones we don't know we asked. God is Good (always)
"There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle."
- Albert Einstein
A Place For Us
Written and © copyrighted by Terri Onorato.
I know what you're thinking. You think I'm dead. Because you cannot see me with your human eyes, cannot feel me with your hands or hold me in your arms, you think I am gone forever. You recall how I looked when I left this earth and you cannot remotely imagine that I am alive in another place. You are racked and torn by the pain of our separation and it blinds you to that which is right in front of you...me.
How many times since I left your immediate sight have you been told that I'm dead and you should "get over it"? How many times have you cried yourself to sleep because you feel like an outcast, believing you're supposed to get over me because that's what people say is normal but somehow you can't and no one seems to understand? How many times have you put yourself through such excruciating pain because you aren't willing to consider that I am not, by any means, dead?
I want you to do me a favor and go back in time with me. Remember the glorious day you brought me home - was I not the most intriguing creature you'd ever met? Did I not make you laugh and giggle? Did I not look at you with such adoration that you wanted nothing more than to spend the rest of your life with me? I wanted this too.
Remember the days when I was in my prime and we did many things together. You were so proud of me! I was a good friend and I took care of you when you cried, were angry or felt down and unhappy. When you didn't have a lot of time for me because of your obligations, I waited patiently for you. I was always there when you needed me. Did I not look at you with such acceptance and patience that perhaps at times you felt a bit unworthy? You were never unworthy in my eyes.
Remember when age crept up on me, my bones became stiff and my movements slower. Still I met you when you came home and followed you around. We'd been together for so long, I was your very best friend regardless of what you were doing, saying and thinking. Did I not look at you with such kindness and understanding that you felt overwhelmed? I couldn't get enough of you.
Remember the last time we saw each other with earthly eyes. You tried to be brave but I knew you were crying...I know you so well, better than anyone else in the world. Did I not look at you with such pure trust and love that you yearned only to hold me close and keep me with you always? Did you not promise that you would love me forever? I believed you.
If this is so then why have you let me go by thinking I no longer exist?
Remember the depth of love in my eyes when I looked at you. Who created this love? Would the Creator diminish the song of our laughter that grew and flourished in this love? I am no longer an earthly figure, this is true. My body was only part of who I really am and it would have been but a mere shell on earth if it were not filled to overflowing with my soul, my spirit and my loving light. When we met you thought I was cute, pretty and adorable. What kind of relationship would we have had if this were all that I'd been? How could you have loved me if I'd had no spiritual substance?
We are all made up of energy that resides far deep down inside of us, it is our core and our soul, spirit and loving light. It is the energy that is all of life...it has no beginning, it has no end. It simply is and always will be and without it there is no life. You can't see it with the naked eye nor can you hold it in your hand, it is simply a certain knowing that this energy does exist. It's a knowing just as you know that our love existed on earth - you couldn't see our love in a solid sense, you couldn't gather it all up and confine it to one place. But you *knew* it existed. There was no doubt in your mind.
There are those who demand you get over me, insisting that I'm dead and you'll never see me again because animals don't go to Heaven. Oh really? I'm here to tell you different. You were as worthy of my love and undying devotion on earth as I was of yours. Do you really believe this love would be snatched from us *forever* by a loving Creator simply because I wasn't human? Was I not a living, breathing creation with personality? How could I have been so if I didn't possess the energy of soul, spirit and loving light? And if this energy is and always will be, then how can it be that I am dead? If my core is not the energy that is all of life then I was never alive to begin with. But you know better.
You cry because you miss me, this I understand. I miss you too - I miss the belly rubs, hugs and kisses that we shared. But life does go on beyond these wonderful, fulfilling physical connections. I came to this place to continue on in a new life, not because I didn't love you anymore or because I wanted something better. I came here because it was time for me to go to the next phase of my existence, something all living creatures must do eventually. It is the normal progression of life. I was not taken away from you because you cannot take away that which was never owned. My presence in your life was and is a gift to be cherished and honored just as I cherish and honor you.
Life is not simply about being born into a body, living a certain number of years and then dying. Energy cannot die. We are blessed with time in a body so that we can learn, share and grow. It prepares us for the next phase of our eternal life. The body holds within it the true life force of our existence...our soul, spirit and loving light. Without these our bodies would be empty, blank, void of feeling and expression. Without our energy we would indeed be dead and could never have experienced our love for each other.
You say that all you have left are memories but this is not so. You see, when I took leave of my earthly body I left a little something behind for you. You can't touch it, hold it or examine it, for what I left behind is far too uninhibited for confinement. I left in your tender care a piece of my soul. I placed it right next to your own which is quite fitting as we were always side by side in our earthly life together. I love you too much to have left you with nothing but memories that tend to fade and grow cloudy as the years go by. I love you too much to have vanished without a trace. How selfish it would be of me to remove love and light from your life.
I understand your tears, each one you shed is testament to your love for me and I am honored and humbled. But don't forget the good things we shared - remember and smile. This is an honor for me as well. When you need me I will be here. Close your eyes, relax, take slow, deep breaths and picture me in your mind. Shut off the world and your notions of what you think death is and give me a chance. Look for the subtle signs I send you. Don't stop being proud of me, I am a friend to be proud of, I am still your friend and soul mate. Don't memorialize the death of my body but instead honor and celebrate my never-ending life for it is eternal and forever as is my love for you.
Until we meet again...
I posted this on another thread, but this story should probably be here:
I have a father-in-law, out in East Texas, raises cattle. He had this one dog, named "Blackey", and that dog was a cow dog. That dog literally laid his life down on a couple of occasions, saving him from an old heffer stomping him to death. And my father in law would take that dog with him everywhere he would go. That old dog, I think he lived til he was 15. He was a fixture around the ranch. Every kid, every grandkid rode on that dog. You'd go visit them and there would be that old dog just waiting for you every time. Just lookin' atcha and you'd love on him and he'd lick you to death...just a great old dog and he'd lay his life down for Ben R. Newman.
That dog got to be about 15 years old and his hips got all crookedy and stove up and got to where he couldn't even go anymore. My father in law would then just take him and put him up in the cab, and he would ride with him everywhere he went.
But finally that dog couldn't get up, and my father in law knew what he had to do. You ever been there before? A person has said that there is no man good enough to be a dog. It's hard to put a dog down. You know, to send a dog to the vet. But he knew he had to do it. But he said "I took old Blackie and put him in the cab, took him over to Longview to the vet" He said like he always did he laid his head in his lap, looked up at him. It was like he knew where they were going.
My father-in-law said he petted him gently on the head and said to him:
"Boy, can you trust me?......just one more time"