Posts Tagged ‘Death’

A few of my favorite references…what are yours?

“When the dog was created, it licked the hand

 of God and God stroked its head, saying

‘what do you want dog?’ It replied,

‘My Lord, I want to stay with you,

in heaven, on a mat, in front of the gate…’”

                 Marie Noel

“Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.”  Ann Landers

“When the man waked up he said,

What is Wild Dog doing here?”

And the Woman said,

“His name is not Wild Dog any more,

but the First Friend,

because he will be our friend

for always and always and always.”

Rudy Kipling


“Only an animal lover is able to comprehend the sorrow experienced at the loss of a pet.”  Father Jack Federico


“I used to look at my dog and think, ‘if you were a little smarter you could tell me what you are thinking,’ and he’d look at me like he was saying, ‘if you were a little smarter, I wouldn’t have to.’”

 Fred Jung Claus

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” Attributed to both Will Rogers and Unknown

Mystery Passes

Our Christmas Mystery passed away on Saturday.  He was 14-15 years old but He only shared his days with us since December 21.  My daughter, Margaret, gave him a wonderful home for his final days.  We knew when he came that he wanted a family of friends for his final days…and he sure had that.  There are plenty of us who believe there is another world for our beloved pets…and surely Mystery is enjoying that ‘wonderful world of cats’ as you read this.  I have included the following from earlier writings.   

Mystery at Christmas

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Mystery arrived seven days before Christmas.  One of those unexpected surprises of life that is difficult to figure.  A puzzle with missing pieces.  A happenstance that defies explanation.  Margaret found her curled in a bale of hay…weak, neglected, old, underweight, dehydrated, and gasping for air because of a twisted flea collar.  We fed her a few morsels of cat food, offered water sparingly until, satisfied, ignoring the interest of the other cats and dogs, she found her place in the hay and slept.  On the sixth day before Christmas she was obviously on the rebound.  Though merely more than skin and bone, she purred at the touch, and languished in our arms.  We guessed her to be eight to nine years of age, slump shouldered: her steps are of labor, and her fangs are longer than any I have seen.  I wanted to call her Wolf.  She is Mystery though, because we do not know from whence she came.  But, we do know WHY she came.  See did not want to die alone.  And so we have taken her in.  On the fifth day before Christmas, today, Margaret took her to the veterinarian where tests will determine her future.  I will tell you those results tomorrow.  No matter the decision though, one of the Mystery’s of the Christmas season, when we all find ways to extend our arms to one another, be it our human or animal friends, has once again manifested itself.  John


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Our Mystery remains just that…but he is our Mystery.  Home tonight from the vet, who pronounced him disease free and recovering from being malnourshed, dehydrated, starving, and lonely.   Mystery is no longer at death’s door…rather he will now find his place in the barn amongst two cats, two dogs, and five horses.  His youth has passed and we know nothing of his past days, but his future, as long as he wishes to stay with us, is secure.  No doubt if this cat could speak his words would be ten, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”

The Passing of Mumbles

The following letter and poem were sent to my by my niece.  I thought you might appreciate what it says. 

Hello everyone – It has been a very strange week for Danny and I to say the least. We are trying everyday to cope with the idea that Mumble is no longer with us. The smallest things catch our attention. No barking when the mailman walks down the street (she had the best bark), no pitter-patter down the hall in the mornings to come say hi to us, no thumping and wag of a tail against our bed as we petted and loved on her, no “knocking” at the back door when she was ready to come in, no hanging out in the evenings with each other on the couch, no spreading our legs so she could walk back and forth between them as we said “get your mommy or get your daddy” while rubbing her butt and hips (her favorite). The toilet paper actually got to be put on the dispenser this week and not get eaten off…  I could go on and on about all the absences that I now find myself taking note of and missing her even more. To us, she was our baby, a part of our family. She gave us the best year and 9 months that we could have ever asked for. We cherished and loved her every day.

Danny and I find ourselves talking about her and to her still. We reminisce on the memories we have of her and talk about what we would do if we could just see her one more time. We are trying to keep her memory alive, it hasn’t even been a week, but somehow it seems as if she is so far away. We are doing our very best to lean on each other and be there for one another right now. As hard as all of this has been, we are trying to be positive about our future and the very special blessing that is coming our way so soon… Mumble would have made such a great big sister.

Many friends and family have been in contact with us expressing their sympathies to us and we appreciate it so much. Someone sent me a very special poem about dogs and death, reading it helps me know she is happy and in a better place and not suffering anymore. I thought I would share it with you.

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 that 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. Her bright eyes are intent; Her eager body quivers. Suddenly she begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, her legs carrying her 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.

Much love,

Sarah & Danny


How do we know when it is time to let our dogs go?

For some unknown reason I have been getting this question from friends and family almost daily.  Here is how it is answered in my book, 14000 Dogs Later.

Obviously, your veterinarian is the person to turn too.  None of us wants our dogs to live in pain, and yet, we don’t want to be the decision-maker regarding life and death.  I had a friend who carried that guilt for many years because he felt he had made the wrong decision…even though his dog could hardly stand.

“Who am I,” he said to me, “to take the life of my friend?” his guilt evident by the streaming tears.

That’s not a question any of us can answer, nor is it a question we should try to answer.  “It’s the right thing to do.  Your pet is better off.  You’ll get over it soon.  At least you don’t have to watch him suffer anymore.”  All of those may be the right answer, but it’s the wrong time to voice them. 

“You helped your dog because you were his friend,” is the answer I used for my friend’s question.  But I did not voice that thought until after he had dealt with the grieving.

Through the years numerous pet owners with terminally sick pets have asked, “What would you do, John, if he were your dog?”

I have always answered their question with other questions.

  • Is he incontinent?
  • Is he in severe pain?
  • Can he still walk?
  • Can the pain be controlled?
  • Has he stopped eating and drinking?

The answers to these questions assist my friends in making up their own mind as to what is best for their dog.

 Please remember this:  If your dog must be put down, it is not a decision you are making.  Your dog is making the decision; you are only carrying that decision out for him.

14000 Dogs Later is available at