A dear friend and reader sent a poem to me entitled “Rainbow Bridge” which tells of a happy place where the pets we have loved so much during life are waiting for us, I loved it and was reminded of another poem that Rudyard Kipling wrote titled, The Power of the Dog, about man’s best friend, the faithful dog. You have to read it with a Kleenex in your hand for you will very surely shed some tears. The first verse prepares the reader with: “There is sorrow enough in the natural way From men and women to fill our day; And when we are certain of sorrow in store, Why do we always arrange for more? Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware of giving your heart to a dog to tear.”
I remember our first dog, a sad eyed cocker spaniel that we named “Lucky” because we felt he was lucky that we chose him and we were very lucky to have him. As the years passed there were other dogs but one Sunday, which was the last Sunday my dad was to serve as the associate in a beautiful downtown Atlanta church, a small puppy wandered in off the street and someone handed her to the pastor as he was closing the morning service and having the congregation say goodbye to our family, he quickly turned and handed the small puff of fur into the giant, gentle hands of my dad. We named her “Cricket” and as she grew older so did we until the day seventeen years later that the doctor told us there was no hope for her and we had to let them put her peacefully to sleep. It was near Christmas, December 17, 1971 and as long as it has been we still cannot talk about her without crying.
I decided I would never love another dog, just couldn’t break my own heart that way ever again, but then along came a five-week-old mixed black lab named Reuben and we all fell in love again. I put Reuben into the hands of my 10-year-old son on April 1, 1991 and they loved each other with all the passion a little boy and his dog can share. It ended the day he came running into the house when he was a freshman at Georgia Tech his face white and his eyes huge with terror, “Mom I think Reuben is dying”. Oh my God the rushed trip to the vet, sure enough Reuben, our wonderful and faithful friend had suffered a stroke and died.
Last December 16, our sweet P’Nut died and a few days ago I went with my sister as she said goodbye to her little one who had bladder cancer, we still have our Ruby and my sister has her Sophie and we know their love to us is unconditional which reminds us of the love our Father God has for each one of us.
Isaiah 11:6 “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
The leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
The calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little child shall lead them.
I think about the time when we are living in a new heaven and a new earth that all the animals will be at peace with each other and with us, and yes I expect to see all the pets we have loved waiting there at the “Rainbow Bridge” greeting us with wagging tale and many wet kisses!