"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.... "
2012 started off extremely rough for our family. We began this year with a heartwrenching, tearful goodbye to our sweet Charlie Brown.
His cancer spread much quicker than the doctors had anticipated and he deteriorated rapidly within just a few days. We knew he was suffering. And we couldn't bear to see him in pain. His furry brothers knew that his time was limited. They spent his last few days by his side, licking his face, rubbing against his body and keeping him company.
And then it was time for his final car ride.
He devoured his last meal of chicken, dog biscuits and donuts. He laid his head lovingly in my lap as I stroked his beautiful, soft ears and Jason patted his back. His breath was steady and even. He was happy, content, loved. And then he slowly drifted away and was gone.
It's never easy, saying goodbye. And this was no exception. A beautiful soul was lost on January 6th. The likes of which this world will never see again.
I miss him. We all miss him.
Things get especially tough when Aidan talks about him. He doesn't understand. He still includes Charlie in his everyday talks. When we leave the house he says goodbye to Charlie. When we give Flippy a treat he wants to give one to Charlie, too. He thinks Charlie will be coming back. It's hard for him to understand that his constant companion is gone forever.
It's hard to believe that he won't be. We'll never see that big, goofy smile in person again. He'll never roll over with all four paws in the air for a back rub, or skid across the kitchen floor as he runs in from the back yard at full speed. And Connor will never know him, either. That's especially hard.
It physically hurts. My heart is broken. But, I know I am lucky. And so was Charlie. He loved us unconditionally and he knew his love was requited. He left this world truly happy.
And I know I will see him again. And the next time I do, he'll have four paws, a shining white coat and by his side will be another wonderful boy that we lost four years ago.
We love you Charlie Brown.