As I was wondering what to post about today, my eye fell on a cartoon I have printed out and taped to my desk wall. It has the image of St. Peter welcoming a new person to heaven- who looks to be in his 50s or 60s. Beside St. Peter is a very, very happy looking dog. The line below it says, "So, you're little Bobbie; well, Rex here has been going on and on about your for the past 50 years."
|Rox, my heart dog, waiting at the window|
Animals can play such a strong role in the mental and physical health of humans. They bring comfort to people who are ill and/or who are dying. They are companion animals who help humans live a fuller life.
Pets can help lower blood pressure (as long as they're not destroying the furniture in the home!) and help ease the pain of anxiety and depression. A pet loves you for you. Not what you do, not who you are, but you.
|Our Oscar, doing what he did best|
Not everyone loves animals and pets. Some pet lovers say that this is the sign of someone that they couldn't be with. But I don't think it's so black and white. I think that as long as the person is kind and would never hurt an animal, either by doing something or not doing something, then whether they would love to have a pet isn't important. What is important is their respect for the animal's life and well being.
I live with and love someone like that. He doesn't care to have pets in the house. But when we did, he did everything that ever needed to be done to be sure that they were happy, safe, and healthy. And when the time came that they had to leave us, he mourned them as well.
|Chance, a foster between Oscar and Dee|
Oscar was my first greyhound. He came to us, also at two years old, straight off a racetrack in Massachusetts. He wasn't a successful racer, but he was a successful couch potato. He was so special. I wrote a book about him after he was taken from us all too early, at the age of five. Also from cancer.
|Brood mom and brat, Dee|
No dogs followed these three. I would love to have another one. But as much as I do want another dog, part of me - a small part - kind of appreciates that my husband doesn't. Because I don't know if I can lose another one. I've lost dogs and cats as a child and then these three, along with a number of guinea pigs. It just hurts so much. I know that this pain appears because we love them so much, because they give us so much joy - but sometimes, the memory of the pain makes me wonder if I could ever do that again.
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....