"On the other side of the bridge to forever, our animal friends wait for us.
Good-bye hurts so much But someday you will think of your animal friend with smiles instead of tears.
And it will feel as if this little soul left a rainbow in your heart."
This was a Hallmark card sent by a friend.
My dog, Coco, who was around 14 years or so, has recently died. Coco, a brown poodle was a rescue I adopted from a shelter, then around 5 or 6 years old, who had been abused by children. As with many shelter dogs, who just need more love and understanding, than those who have never been on the streets, hungry, alone and at the mercy of whomever might harm then. Life would not always be easy with Coco. But it would certainly have mostly happy times.
When I found Coco at the shelter, he was up on his back legs, front paws dancing in the air, dogspeak for "Hey, Take Me Out of Here!" When I brought him home, he was often out in the back yard, running around and around in huge circles, like a circus dog. And who knows, perhaps he did run away from the circus. He did other dances when we were at outdoor cafes and he wanted attention. Coco was a very smart dog.
Coco loved going out, to even hear the sound of car keys had him alert and going toward the door. He hated being left alone. From the time he came home to live with me, 9 years ago, we would live on the west coast, then Europe, then the east coast. He was a delight in so many ways, and in his earlier years, loved other dogs, loved meeting new adult people.
Watching Coco's decline: But during the past year, slowly Coco's world would narrow. No more trips to the big dog park. He no longer had the energy to run, and jump and play. He even walked slowly. He could no longer jump up or down to the car seat, or the couch.
When his time came, I wanted him to hear my voice comforting him, my hands petting him. And that is how it happened, as his life slipped away, and he took his last breath, I was right beside him, talking to him, petting him, and then he was gone. And my heart ached.
I have more tears right now than I have smiles, because there is a hole in my heart right now. But I know in time that I will instead feel the rainbow in my heart that he left behind. But not quite yet. My house is so quiet. There is no water bowl to fill first thing in the morning. There is the sense of waiting for Coco to wake up and come into the living room making his presence known, but that is an expectation that is ultimately filled with emptiness.
I didn’t know losing the little soul that was Coco would hurt so much, or that I would miss him this much. I wanted to do this diary to honor his life, but I hope that others who are grieving that have lost a beloved pet, or are facing that happening, will share their memories, and maybe that helps all of us mourn, to write about the dogs and cats that share our lives, that become such a part of our families.
I have rescued cats and dogs since childhood, and have always felt that there is an animal heaven, And this video is how I want to think of Coco now, and all the other animals who have passed on........running free, running, jumping, playing, their souls now free, happy in animal heaven, feeling totaly joy, walking on sunshine.
Doggie Heaven - I'm Walking on Sunshine!