The Loss Of A Loved One (and The Rainbow Bridge)

Tomorrow will be 2 weeks since we had to put our little dog Jill to sleep due to a host of major issues that all seemed to hit hard at once. It was a massively difficult decision to make, but it had to be done. I trusted the doctors and my heart on that. While there is regret from doing it, there is more regret in not seeming to find and treat these issues sooner. I am kicking my self for somehow not seeing any signs or maybe not taking her to the vet sooner. I am kicking myself for not treating her (and Jack) as well as they were treated pre-kids. I know that’s close to impossible but the drop-off seems to severe. Yes, the kids made them scared by torturing them, and that’s a main reason for it, but still. It stings just the same.

I suppose that’s part of life, always thinking more could be done, not being happy with things once someone is gone and you can’t make it up to them. I guess the finality of the whole thing is really the kicker for most of us. There’s nothing that can be done, and that stings. There’s no make-ups or take-backs. There’s no extra hugs, kisses, trips to the park, or doggie treats. There’s no more kind words to be delivered.

It’s amazing how attached you can become to an animal, but dogs especially are always there, ready to greet you and ready to love you. It’s unconditional unlike anything else a person will or could experience in their lives. It certainly doesn’t happen with even the best people on Earth. That’s the special bond and that’s why dogs are “man’s best friend” I suppose.

At the end of it all, you just have to be happy with all the good times that were had. As imperfect as it may have seemed, I think Jill had a pretty good life and was mostly happy. You have to think about the 14 years and 3 months and be happy she wasn’t ailing for very long. There was minimal suffering, which is all you could hope for in your own life. She was loved and she gave love. Happiness was shared, good times were had, memories were made.

To non-dog owners (and maybe to a lot of owners), it may seem strange to be some upset about the loss of an animal and not a person, but I’m not sure it is. Dogs are family.

Little Jilly will certainly be missed and thought of frequently. Whenever we come home and she’s not barking, or going buts begging for food, or jumping up on the couch looking to lay on your lap, she will be missed. When the wee-wee pad is changed, the dog food put out, or the medicine she and Jack would take twice a day, she will be thought of. You can only be sure that when all is said and done, and we all leave God’s green earth for His even greener pastures, that Jilly girl will be there, tail wagging, tongue out, waiting for us to come home and see her once again.

Rest In Peace, little girl. We’ll be home soon.

I’ve included a poem called the Rainbow Bridge that I’ve never heard of but received in a card from the place that took care of Jill. It’s good.

rainbow bridge

The Rainbow Bridge:

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

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 and 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….

Author unknown…

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