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Monday, December 24, 2012

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS AT RAINBOW BRIDGE

 
 THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS AT RAINBOW BRIDGE

T'was the night before Christmas, at Rainbow Bridge too.
We Bridge kids were thinking as always of you.
We'd seen how the holidays weren't bright this year,
Heard you whisper so often, "I wish you were here!"

We know how you wish you could just stay in bed
And sleep through the holiday lying ahead,
When all celebrate with their loved ones so near...
Unless they have loved ones on this side this year.

But we're no less alive here, on the other side.
If you could just see us, you would've laughed and not cried.
The dogs all in harness, pulling the sleigh.
The cats all in Santa hats pointing the way.

The pet birds all flying back over the rainbow,
Bound homeward in spite of Earth's darkness and snow.
All the pets that you've lost, pets for whom you've cried,
Flying home on this Christmas to be by your side.

If you feel warm fur brush you when no pet's around,
Hear a soft bark or purr, just a ghost of a sound,
We're trying to tell you we're visiting this way,
And our visits, even rainbows, can be on any day.

But for Christmas we have something special to do,
A sleigh full of happy dream visits for you.
On doggy, on kitty, on winged friend and ferret!
The love that you lavished, we mean now to share it!

We're fetching that love home, the way we once played,
With the closeness we shared and the memories we made.
Our Earth lives with you were too short for us, too,
And on this Christmas Eve we have so much to do.

So all through this night as you sleep in your beds,
Sweet visions of fur babies dance in your heads.
This one special night we can bring you Home for a while,
Your true home in Heaven, where again you will smile.

Over the rainbow you'll fly, for a short while this night,
Hours that you'll be happy, hours that will feel right,
Hours to cuddle and hug us, to run and to play,
Before the return to Earth in our magic way.

And when you awaken and face Christmas Day,
We pray you'll remember your trip on our sleigh,
But in case you forget, just remember our love.
Remember us watching you, your angels above.

Sending love wrapped in rainbows, shining and bright,
Love that will guide you through the darkest night,
Love found in each memory unwrapped through the year,
Replacing dark sorrows with Christmas cheer.

Leave the toys to St. Nick, we Bridge kids bring dreams,
Sweet visits to remind you all is not as it seems
When you look all around you with tired Earthly eyes.
If you saw as we do, there'd be joy and surprise.

There are fur angels waiting by those Christmas trees,
Always there for you and hearing your pleas.
We're never more than a thought away from your home,
You're never forgotten, you're never alone.

Nor are we alone here, with our Rainbow Bridge friends.
We know only joy here, the celebrating never ends,
And after our reunions with you Christmas Eve,
We Bridge kids will party like you'd never believe.

But we'll slip away often to be by your side.
Sitting there watching you, eyes open wide,
Praying you'll be able to catch a glimpse of us, too.
But whether or not you see us - Merry Christmas to you!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

15 mos and some days

Oh Montana....I miss you so much!  My heart is just so broken.  It has been 15 mos and some days since you left us.  I came across your Buster Cube tonight while I was looking for some toys for Bailey to play with.  It still had your kibble in it.  I thought Bailey might like something to play with that she hasn't seen in awhile.  Nothing seemed to interest her.  She has seemed pretty depressed lately.  I am sure she is missing your company.  I know it has been over a year but I don't think she has stopped missing you either.  I am going to Florida this year for Christmas and New Years.  I am going to have to board Bailey at the vets.  I have to do this because she is having a hard time holding her bladder lately and they will let her out more often then if I had a pet sitter come and let her out only 2 times.  I will miss her like crazy and will worry about her daily.  Please watch over her and protect her.

Bailey will be 11 in 2 days.  I wish I would have been able to have you here with me at 11.  It just wasn't long enough and it never would have been long enough.  You left me too soon, my sweet boy!  It is almost Christmas and I miss buying you Christmas stockings full of toys.  Even though you really didn't play with a lot of them it was fun to see you so excited over them.  I remember the first time you had your new Kong with peanut butter.  You loved it!  I also miss wrapping up a Busybone for the two of you and you smelling it and ripping the paper off.  It was so cute!  I wish I would have had videos of our Christmases together.  What a great thing to have.

I just can't wait until we are together again.  Every day will  be like Christmas then!  Love you baby boy!





Wednesday, November 7, 2012

From a Friend to Friend

FROM FRIEND TO FRIEND

You're giving me a special gift,
So sorrowfully endowed,
And through these last few cherished days,
Your courage makes me proud.
But really, love is knowing
When your best friend is in pain,
And understanding earthly acts
Will only be in vain.
So looking deep into your eyes,
Beyond, into your soul,
I see in you the magic, that will
Once more make me whole.
The strength that you possess,
Is why I look to you today,
To do this thing that must be done,
For it's the only way.
That strength is why I've followed you,
And chose you as my friend,
And why I've loved you all these years...
My partner 'til the end.
Please, understand just what this gift,
You're giving, means to me,
It gives me back the strength I've lost,
And all my dignity.
You take a stand on my behalf,
For that is what friends do.
And know that what you do is right,
For I believe it too.
So one last time, I breathe your scent,
And through your hand I feel,
The courage that's within you,
To now grant me this appeal.
Cut the leash that holds me here,
Dear friend, and let me run,
Once more a strong and steady dog,
My pain and struggle done.
And don't despair my passing,
For I won't be far away,
Forever here, within your heart,
And memory I'll stay.
I'll be there watching over you,
Your ever faithful friend,
And in your memories I'll run,
...a young dog once again.

Author Unknown

Monday, October 22, 2012

Paw Prints On My Heart




Paw Prints On My Heart

You came into my life one day,
So beautiful and smart,
My dear and sweet companion,
I loved you from the start.

And though I knew the time would come,
When we would have to part,
You'll never be forgotten,
You left paw prints on my heart.

(I love and miss you so much Montana!)


Friday, October 5, 2012

13 mos

Well my sweet boy.  It has been 13 mos since you left me.  My heart is just broken.  I miss you so much!  I just cry for you every day.  This heart ache won't go away.  You took my heart with you when you passed away.  I feel empty.  Bailey is the only thing keeping me going.  She is such a sweetheart and I know she misses you too.  There are days I just don't want to get out of bed and she makes me.  I have to continue living for her.  There are times I think about getting another dog but then I think about Bailey and how she would deal with another dog here.  I think she is enjoying having me by herself.  I don't think she wants to share me with anyone.  Or...maybe I am just not ready for another dog.  There are so many that need homes and if I could I would rescue them all.  No one would EVER take your place.  I hope you know that.  There will NEVER be another Montana!  Oh my boy...I miss you.  I miss everything about you.  I miss the feel of your fur, your sweet husky smile and your sillyness.  I hope you know how much I love you.  You will always be my heart.  Rest well my boy!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Friend Don't Mourn For Me

Friend, please don’t mourn for me
I’m still here, though you don’t see.
I’m right by your side each night and day
and within your heart I long to stay.

My body is gone but I’m always near.
I’m everything you feel, see or hear.
My spirit is free, but I’ll never depart
as long as you keep me alive in your heart.

I’ll never wander out of your sight-
I’m the brightest star on a summer’s night.
I’ll never be beyond your reach-
I’m the warm moist sand when you’re at the beach.

I’m the colorful leaves when fall comes around
and the pure white snow that blankets the ground.
I’m the beautiful flowers of which you’re so fond,
The clear cool water in a quiet pond.

I’m the first bright blossom you’ll see in the spring,
The first warm raindrop that April will bring.
I’m the first ray of light when the sun starts to shine,
and you’ll see that the face in the moon shine is mine.

When you start thinking there’s no one to love you,
you can talk to through the Lord up above you.
I’ll whisper my answer through the leaves on the trees,
and you’ll feel my presence in the soft summer breeze.

I’m the hot salty tears that flow when you weep
and the beautiful dreams that come while you sleep.
I’m the smile you see on a baby’s face.

I yr Later! Where are you now?



1 YR later and where are you now?  Are you still waiting for me at Rainbow Bridge? Are you North of the Bridge?  I guess I would have to laugh a little if you are North of Rainbow Bridge since you were never really fond of the snow or even getting your feet wet.  You were such a silly boy.  Anniversaries are so hard.  Especially the first one.  I stayed up to 4am today (September 5, 2012) to make it to the minute you left me last year.  I cried and cried....and I still cry!  You were my life...... my heart dog.  There will never be another one like you.  Because of this I don't know if I could ever get another Siberian Husky.  You were the perfect starter husky one that will never be replaced.  You loved to lay around and play with your Buster Cube or chew on a rawhide or knuckle bone.  You loved food!  You always had a smile on your face.  You made me very very happy.  I hope I at least made you a little happy too.  You were my love and my angel.  You will forever be in my heart.  Wear you Silver Harness with Pride my love.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

When the Time Comes





When the Time Comes


If it should be that I grow frail and weak
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then will you do what must be done,
For this, the last battle, can't be won.

You will be sad I understand,
But don't let grief stay your hand,
For on this day, more than the rest,
Your love and friendship must stand the test.

We have had so many happy years,
You wouldn't want me to suffer so.
When my times come, please, let me go.

Take me to where my needs they'll tend,
Only, stay with my till the end
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.

I know in time you will agree
It is a kindness you do for me.
Although my tail has last it's wave
From pain and suffering I have been saved.

Don't grieve that it must be you
Who has to decide this thing to do;
We've been so close, we two, these years,
Don't let your heart hold any tears.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Loan From God



A Loan From God

God promised at the birth of time,
A special friend to give,
His time on earth is short, he said,
So love him while he lives.

It may be six or seven years,
Or twelve or then sixteen,
But will you, till I call him back,
Take care of him for me?

A wagging tail and cold wet nose,

And silken velvet ears,
A heart as big as all outdoors,
To love you through the years.

His puppy ways will gladden you,
And antics bring a smile,
As guardian or friend he will,
Be loyal all the while.

He'll bring his charms to grace your life,
And though his stay be brief,
When he's gone the memories,
Are solace for your grief.

I cannot promise he will stay,
Since all from earth return,
But lessons only a dog can teach,
I want you each to learn.

Whatever love you give to him,
Returns in triple measure,
Follow his lead and gain a life,
Brim full of simple pleasure.

Enjoy each day as it comes,
Allow your heart to guide,
Be loyal and steadfast in love,
As the dog there by your side.

Now will you give him all your love,
Nor think the labor vain,
Nor hate me when I come to call,
To take him back again?

I fancy each of us would say,
"Dear Lord, thy will be done,
For all the joy this dog shall bring,
The risk of grief we'll run.

"We'll shelter him with tenderness,
We'll love him while we may,
And for the happiness we've known,
Forever grateful stay.

"But shall the angels call for him,
Much sooner than we've planned,
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes,
And try to understand.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Heaven's Doggy Door





 


HEAVEN'S DOGGY-DOOR

My best friend closed his eyes last
night, As his head was in my hand.
The Doctors said he was in pain,
And it was hard for him to stand.

The thoughts that scurried through
my head, As I cradled him in my arms.
Were of his younger, puppy years,
And OH...his many charms.

Today, there was no gentle nudge
With an intense "I love you gaze",
Only a heart thats filled with tears
Remembering our joy filled days.

But an Angel just appeared to me,
And he said, "You should cry no more,
GOD also loves our canine friends,
HE's installed a 'doggy-door"!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Before I Go


Before I Go

Before I grow too frail and weak,
And all that’s left is peace in sleep

I know you’ll do what must be done
To end this fight that can’t be won.

I don’t fear death as humans do,
So let me try to comfort you.

Come, let’s take a quiet stroll
And share some quietness, soul to soul

No need for words ‘tween you and I,
No need to say a last Good-bye.

We’ve grown so close in mind and heart,
It seems so cruel that we must part.

Be sure I’ll sense the pain you’ll feel,
Without me walking at our heel.

The days will seem full of despair,
Your “Sunshine” simply won’t be there.

In time the pain will slowly wane,
You’ll think of me and smile again.

Now take me where my needs they’ll tend
And stay with me until the end.

Hold me close with soft Good-byes
Until life’s bright light has left my eyes.

The final sound I need to hear
Is your soft voice upon my ear.

Your loving face will fade and dim
As the rush of heaven closes in.

And when you start your journey home,
I’ll be right behind, you are not alone.

Anon

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Couple Bad Days

Montana....I have been missing you like crazy!  I have been crying on and off for days now.  Why all of a sudden do I feel this way?  I wish I knew.  My sleep is so screwed up so I think that has a lot to do with it.  I miss your presence.  I miss hearing you breathe and the jingle of your collar as you would get up and switch places during the night.  I miss you barking at me during the night to be let out.  I miss you barking at me to get up in the morning even though when I would get up you would go lay down and go back to sleep.  I miss everything about you.  I remember you would be ready to go to bed and would stand in the hall barking and wanting me to go to bed with you.  I also remember you going into the bedroom and barking until I would come lay down on the bed with you or just sit next to you on the bed.  Your bark was my command... lol.  I also remember having to walk you before bed so you would go to the bathroom.  Sometimes in the middle of the night I would have to take you for a short walk because so you would go to the bathroom.  You had me trained well.  No one could ever say you weren't spoiled.  Or well taken care of.  I can't wait until we are together again.  I will wrap my arms around your big neck and tell you that I missed you and that I love you.  I will ALWAYS love you and miss you, Montana!


Friday, June 8, 2012

All Pets Go To Heaven

 

All Pets Go To Heaven 

 

Can you imagine a heaven without pets?

There is a very special place where beloved pets go after they die. This is only a temporary location. But there are trees and grass and lakes, and everything they love. Here they can play and eat and sleep, even better than they did, before they died. Now, there are no aches or worries or dangers of any kind to trouble or threaten them. The only joy missing is their beloved human companion, you.
All health is restored completely, and all injuries are healed. Dogs and cats play with each other like youngsters, and they do not have time to feel lonely for you. They miss you, and with the special wisdom that animals have, they trust that this condition will get better. And they confidently wait as they frolic.

A wonderful day will come for each of them, when in the middle of playing they will suddenly feel something is different. And all their senses will be at the height of excitement and exuberance. They will sniff the air and look off in the distance where they recognize that dearly loved special presence. Then they will call out in elation, and with eyes shining and tail going wild, tear off at a full gallop, almost flying over the green grass.

Your expected arrival has been sensed, and now there is nothing that can keep the two of you apart, ever again. As you run toward each other the tears flow from your eyes. Your pet leaps into your arms, and you cling together in jubilant reunion. The joyous kisses are all over your face, and you kiss back, just as ecstatically. Your hands so lovingly caress once more the beloved fur, the head and neck and body you knew so well. And you look into each other’s loving eyes, and all those old, wonderful shared feelings are back, again.

And then something will call the both of you on, to a different field of warmth and nurture, where all the love you knew now comes to fruition. With your pet, you leave that special waiting area, walk into the main part of heaven, and begin a new existence there, together.

If you accept that pets can love us as much as we do them, then the logic is clear and cannot be denied. If you believe that there is a heaven for people, then they must be there, waiting for us, when we cross over. Heaven is love, and pets always share that with us.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

9 months



Hi there sweet boy!  Today marks the 9 mos anniversary of your death.  I miss you so much my baby boy!  The days seem to drag but then again time has flown by.  I was still awake at 4:00am and thought about how I was helping you to the Bridge at that time 9 months ago.  I still cry every day for you.  There have been a  few days that I made it without crying.  I was very surprised.  You are on my mind 24/7.  Yesterday I happened to look up the 2005 calender online because I wanted to see what the date was for Labor Day that year.  That is the day you came to live with us.  It happened to be Sept. 5th, 2005.  You passed away on Sept. 5th, 2011, Labor Day.  How weird is that?  I wish I could hold you and hug you.  I want to feel your soft fur under my hands.  I even miss your bark.  I thought I heard you whining last night.  Were you here?  Do you come here to comfort me?  I hope you do.  I have to be honest though.  I don't feel you here.  I want to so much.  I look at your urn and can't imagine you being in there.  I know it is just your ashes and you really aren't there.  You are all around me.  Every where I look I see you here.  Your toys....your stuffed lion.  I still imagine you laying on the floor by my feet.  I miss you so much!  I will NEVER stop missing you!


Monday, May 28, 2012

Beyond The Rainbow

      Beyond The Rainbow


As much as I loved the life we had and all the times we played,
I was so very tired and knew my time on earth would fade.
I saw a wondrous image then of a place that's trouble-free
Where all of us can meet again to spend eternity.

I saw the most beautiful Rainbow, and on the other side
Were meadows rich and beautiful -- lush and green and wide!
And running through the meadows as far as the eye could see
Were animals of every sort as healthy as could be!
My own tired, failing body was fresh and healed and new
And I wanted to go run with them, but I had something left to do.

I needed to reach out to you, to tell you I'm alright
That this place is truly wonderful, then a bright Glow pierced the night.
'Twas the Glow of many Candles shining bright and strong and bold
And I knew then that it held your love in its brilliant shades of gold.

For although we may not be together in the way we used to be,
We are still connected by a cord no eye can see.
So whenever you need to find me, we're never far apart
If you look beyond the Rainbow and listen with your heart.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

8 mos. Are you still here?

Today marks 8 mos that you have been gone.  I miss you so much!  These monthly anniversaries kill me.  One more month without you.  Where is the time going?  It just seems like yesterday you left for the Rainbow Bridge.  I love you and miss you so much!

Are you still with me?  Are you?  I haven't felt any signs that you are.  I hope you are with me all the time.  I was sent this poem yesterday from Louane.  The woman that rescued you.  It makes me cry when I read it.  I want it to be true.  I want you to be here with me!

I Stood By Your Bed Last Night

I stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peep.
I could see that you were crying. You found it hard to sleep.
I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear,
"It's me, I haven't left you, I'm well, I'm fine, I'm here."
I was close to you at ...breakfast, I watched you pour the tea,
You were thinking of the many times your hands reached down to me.
I was with you at the shops today. Your arms were getting sore.
I longed to take your parcels, I wish I could do more.
I was with you at my grave today, You tend it with such care.
I want to re-assure you, that I'm not lying there.
I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key.
I gently put my paw on you, I smiled and said "It's me."
You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair.
I tried so hard to let you know, that I was standing there.
It's possible for me to be so near you everyday.
To say to you with certainty, "I never went away."
You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew.
In the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.
The day is over... I smile and watch you yawning and say
"Good-night, God bless, I'll see you in the morning."
And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,
I'll rush across to greet you and we'll stand, side by side.
I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see.
Be patient, live your journey out... then come home to be with me.

~Author Unknown


Monday, April 23, 2012

Animal Communicator

Last month I emailed an Animal Communicator named, Jill Cornwell.  She told me a lot of things about Montana.  Somewhat gave me peace knowing he was ok and with me all the time.

This is what she sent me:

Hi Beth!
Montana is so funny, I first asked him how old he was and he said 13, 9, old enough. (a little a.d.d)? :) I asked him why you would have perceived him to be so stubborn and he said that "sometimes she just didn't make any sense". I think if he didn't see the value in what you were asking then it didn't really have any meaning in it for him. "Which was most of the time" (his words). He said that you fussed over him quite a lot and that he knows you did everything you could, his care was everything and then some. He liked things simple and says that he got more care than was needed but loves you for it. He knows that you loved him very, very much. He says that he loved you too and that you spoiled him with lots of toys and treats and a big puffy bed but he said he would have loved you just as much if he lived with you in a shack with a dirt floor. He is healthy and happy and spends some of his time running through green fields with his tongue hanging out and spends some of his time following you around, with his tongue hanging out of the right side of his mouth. For whatever reason he wanted me to be sure to put that in there (the part about his tongue hanging out of the right side of his mouth). He sits with you when you cry and he puts his paw on your leg to let you know he is still there with you. He says that you can feel him there with you, don't brush it off as just your imagination. He is not in any pain any more, he was but didn't want you to know because you worry too much and he said he could handle it. He thought you were a very good mom and when he is ready he will return to you in a new body. The universe will arrange things perfectly, don't wonder how or when, just let the universe do it's magic, you won't miss each other. He said that his leaving his first family was divinely orchestrated that it was just time for him to leave his first family and to be with you. You were not ready yet for him if he had shown up in your life earlier than he did.
And he says "oh yes! He loved his name" It was big like his personality. I asked him if there was anything else he wanted me to say and he told me that he used to love rolling on his back and rubbing his face in the carpet and getting up and shaking hair all over your living room and then stand there smiling at you; with his tongue hanging out. :)
I hope this helps you, Beth, he is still with you and if you don't discount it as your imagination you will feel him and even possibly see him with you. He purposefully left you reminders so you would smile and think of him.
God bless,
Jill

I Miss You Montana

I miss you so much, Montana.  I was so depressed this past weekend.  I know it didn't help with the cold and rainy weather.  Even after 7 mos, almost 8 mos., I can't believe you are gone.  If only I had more time with you.  I found this poem on Facebook and I thought it was appropriate.  I love you so much, Montana!

God promised at the birth of time,
A special friend to give,
His time on earth is short, he said,
So love him while he lives.

It may be six or seven years,
Or twelve or then sixteen,
But will you, till I call him back,
Take care of him for me?

A wagging tail and cold wet nose,
And silken velvet ears,
A heart as big as all outdoors,
To love you through the years.

His puppy ways will gladden you,
And antics bring a smile,
As guardian or friend he will,
Be loyal all the while.

He'll bring his charms to grace your life,
And though his stay be brief,
When he's gone the memories,
Are solace for your grief.

I cannot promise he will stay,
Since all from earth return,
But lessons only a dog can teach,
I want you each to learn.

Whatever love you give to him,
Returns in triple measure,
Follow his lead and gain a life,
Brim full of simple pleasure.

Enjoy each day as it comes,
Allow your heart to guide,
Be loyal and steadfast in love,
As the dog there by your side.

Now will you give him all your love,
Nor think the labor vain,
Nor hate me when I come to call,
To take him back again?

I fancy each of us would say,
"Dear Lord, thy will be done,
For all the joy this dog shall bring,
The risk of grief we'll run.

"We'll shelter him with tenderness,
We'll love him while we may,
And for the happiness we've known,
Forever grateful stay.

"But shall the angels call for him,
Much sooner than we've planned,
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes,
And try to understand."

Monday, March 12, 2012

2 Days

You are not going to believe it!  I have not cried in two days.  What is happening to me?  Am I finally moving on and excepting your death?  I don't know what to think of it.  Today I was busy worrying about Bailey.  She had her tumor removed and I was a nervous wreck the whole day.  Sick to my stomach and everything.  I was so relieved when they called and said that things went well.  I was still nervous.  I didn't feel better until I got her home and took a good look at her.  She has quite the incision and obviously her chest is shaved.  They brushed her and cut her nails when they were done with the surgery.  I was very pleased to see that.  It looks like she will be ok.

I miss you so much, Montana.  Please don't think I don't love and miss you because I do.  More than you will ever know.  Maybe you do know.  Are you around?  I haven't seen any signs.  Were you there watching over Bailey during her surgery?  I like to think you were.  I got your urn last Thursday and couldn't open it.  Dumb me I was turning the screws the wrong way.  I brought it to Val and Andy's to help me open it.  I also brought the tin urn that you were in and the little baggy of your hair that I had.  Once we opened the new urn I had to open the tin urn where your ashes were.  I  didn't cry.  I got tears in my eyes but didn't cry.  I put the ashes, hair and two little cards from the crematorium in the new urn.  Sealed it back up and brought you home.  I miss you my big beautiful boy.  You are in my heart always.
 


Monday, March 5, 2012

6 Mos Later/ Memories

Well..... today marks 6 mos I have been without you.  Where has the time gone?  It just seems like yesterday you were here with me.  Now you are gone.  My life isn't the same without you.  Bailey still misses you.  She wanders around here looking for you and barely playing with her toys.  She hardly eats.  I think we are still both grieving for you.  You left such a hole in my heart.  Bailey fills a lot of it but you took a lot with you.  I go to Petloss.com and chat in the chat room almost every night.  There are some great people there.  I was able to tell them all about you.  How beautiful you were and how silly you could be at times.  Then the horrible morning of September 5th, 2011.  It still plays over and over in my head.  Could I have done something different?   Would you have survived the surgery they wanted to perform on you?  Did I do the right thing to let you go?  Should I have been more selfish and put you through that horrible surgery?  I don't think so.  I think I did the right thing to help you to The Bridge.  I am sure that was the kindest thing I could do.  I should be getting your new urn on Thursday.  I can't wait to see it.  That will mean I have to open your tin urn again.  I am afraid to.  I don't want to see the ashes again.  I don't want to think about that being you.  In my heart I know that isn't you.  You are with me always.  Just not in a body.  Those ashes aren't you.  Just the remains of a shell.

Well my sweet love.... I must go to bed and think about you and talk to you like I do every night.  You are missed and so loved!


Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Next Day

I was doing so good until tonight.  Val and I went out to dinner and she was telling me that Zander is so stubborn just like you were.  She said he reminds her a lot of you.  She also said that his back end was turning the same color as you were.  All of a sudden I was crying again.  Darn it!  I just can't seem to go more than one day without crying for you.  The loss is almost unbearable.
There is a cycle of love and death that shapes the lives of those who choose to travel in the company of animals. It is a cycle unlike any other. To those who have never lived through it's turnings or walked it's rocky path, our willingness to give our hearts with full knowledge that they will be broken seems incomprehensible. Only we know how small a price we pay for what we receive; our grief, no matter how powerful it may be, is an insufficient measure of the JOY we have been given.

(Bones would rain from the sky - Suzanne Cloither)

4:20am - Can't Sleep


Another night without sleep.  I have taken 2 Ambien and it hasn't helped.  I just got done drinking Decafe Constant Comment tea.  I love the stuff.  I was hoping it would start raining again.  A big storm would be nice.  I feel bad for all those people in IN that lost their homes and lives.  How devastating.

I have met a milestone today.  I thought of you, Montana and didn't cry.  There were tears in my eyes but I didn't sob like I always so.  It isn't that I love you any less, Montana.  I still miss you like crazy and I know I always will!  I am just hoping the memories out way the tears.  I know I could be good today and break down tomorrow.  It is crazy how that works.  I ordered your Urn a couple days ago.  I hope it turns out the way I am hoping it will.
I just needed something beautiful to put you in.  It seems weird that you have been in a tin box since September.  I have opened that box once and that was the night I brought you home.  I know I am going to have a hard time opening it up again.  The guy from the crematorium enclosed a very nice card telling me you were privately cremated and it has your name on another card.  It is very nice.

Monday, March 5, 2012, you will be gone 6 mos.  I never knew I could cry every day and call out your name for 6 mos straight.  180 days straight of crying.  I know you wouldn't want me to cry but I can't help it.  You aren't here for me to touch you and I miss that.  I miss your silly ways.  Bailey has been a godsend.  If it weren't for her I would be with you.  I have thought about it several times but I couldn't leave Bailey.  Who knows what would happen to her and I can't let anything bad happen to her.

Well I suppose I should try to get some sleep.  I haven't been able to remember my dreams lately but I wish you would come to me in my dreams and have me remember them.  Goodnight my sweet love.  My heart dog!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bodie, Your Friend, Died Yesterday

My sweet Montana.  Bodie, one of your Dogster buddies, passed away yesterday.  The vet found a large mass on his lungs.  His mom brought him to the vet because he was having trouble breathing.  He had a 106 degree temp (just like you did) and he was dehydrated.  They did xrays and found the mass.  The vet did all he could but Bodie's lungs collapsed.  They did CPR but could not save him.  He was only 9 yrs old.  I hope you were there along with his sister Kiara to meet him at The Rainbow Bridge.

His poor Mom!  I know she is just heartbroken.  It happened so suddenly.  First Kiara died on September 5, 2009, you died on September 5, 2011 and now Bodie, February 29, 2012.  So many of your friends are going to the Rainbow Bridge.  I hope you are having a wonderful party for all the new comers.  I can see you all playing like true huskies in the snow North of the Bridge.  We can't wait to be reunited with our furbabies.  You all are so precious to us.  Our lives are empty without you in them.  I am grateful that I have Bailey, your sister, and Margie has Sinatra, Bodie's brother.  I hope Sinatra helps Margie through the tough times just like Bailey has helped me. 

I want to do something special for Margie with one of Margie's favorite pictures of Bodie.  I really want to do what she did for me when you died.  I wish I could do more for her.  She really has a good heart and have always been there for me when you died, Montana.  This is the picture she had made for me after you died.
I am so grateful that she thought of me.  Taja Vanilla Moon Graphics made it so she could give it to me.  So thoughtful.  I just love this picture!

It is 3:40am.  I have taken 2 Ambien and it isn't doing anything for me.  With Bodie's death, all the feelings of heartbreak are back.  I feel like I lost you all over again.  I was laying in bed trying to sleep and I cried out your name, Montana.  Oh my sweet boy I am just so lost without you.  I miss the 3am barking to let you outside.  Maybe that is why I usually wake up at that time every night since Sept 5, 2011.  Next Monday, March 5, 2012, you will have been gone 6 mos.  I can't believe it!  Where has the time gone.  It just seems like yesterday I was giving you hugs and kisses.  You would lay down on your side with your paw up in the air wanting me to pet you and hold your paw.  You were a silly boy.  I miss so much abut you.  You use to antagonize Bailey when she would eat her food.  You would stand there and bark at her just to get her to eat quicker so you could then check out her bowl and eat whatever was left in there.  Usually there wasn't anything left and you would move on to your bowl and finish it completely.  That is why I think Bailey is having a hard time eating now.  There isn't anyone rushing her to eat.  Maybe she isn't use to eating whenever she wants to with no pressure.  However she did just eat her dinner 2 days in a row.  It is a miracle.  I didn't even have to put anything on it except Bug Off Garlic.  We have had quite a few claps of thunder tonight.  While Bailey would be hiding in the bathtub you would be glued to my side....panting hard.  I would pet you and sooth you trying to calm you down.  Everything I wasn't suppose to do with a fearful dog.  I just want you to know how much I cared for you and your safety.  I felt better myself holding you in my arms during a storm.  I still haven't up my curtains that you ripped down trying to hide in the corner of the bedroom behind the bed last spring or summer.  It really didn't matter to me.  Your safety is what meant to me.

When the time came for you to go to the Bridge, I hoped and prayed that you weren't afraid.  I was there holding your paw, soothing your face and rubbing your ears.  Telling you over and over that you were such a good boy and that I loved you so much.  I really hoped you understood me.  I wanted you to go peacefully.  When you started struggling it really scared me.  I tried to calm you down by telling you it was ok and that I loved you and continued to rub your face and ears even though you were struggling to get up.  I will never forget that.  You finally laid down with a peaceful look on your face.  I heard your breathing became shallow and the doctor took his stethoscope and told me you were gone.  Oh how I flung myself over you and just sobbed.  I am sure the whole place heard me crying.  I really didn't care.  My sweet boy had gone to The Bridge and I couldn't go with him.  Oh did I want to, but I had to think of my sweet Bailey.  She never got to say goodbye to her brother and I don't know how she would have reacted.  Maybe she still wouldn't be grieving now.  It is a mystery.  I have Montana's fur in little plastic bag.  Eventually I will get a bigger urn and hope to place the fur inside it.  Now that you are gone from this world all my focus is on Bailey.

I have to bring her to the vet on Friday because she has a very large Lipoma on her chest.  It seems to be getting bigger and I just don't want it to become to uncomfortable for her.   Not sure if they would suggest surgery.  She is 10 yrs old now and I know surgery for seniors is risky at times.  We shall see what they say on Friday.  Bailey is an angel and my shadow.  What would I do without her.  I love my pets as if they were my children.  I would do anything for them.

Good night my sweet Montana.  Please come visit me once in awhile.  I really want to feel your presence.  Please come back to my dreams.  I miss you there.

All my love,

Mom!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hi Baby Boy

Hi my sweet boy!  I thought of you today.  Like always.  There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of you.  I know you are happy and healthy and running free with all the sweet dogs that went before you and after.  I am sure Bailey is still missing you.  She looks from room to room still.  I think she is looking for you.  We are both grieving.  She isn't eating again.  I worry about her.  I can't believe on March 5th you will have been gone for 6 mos.  It just seems like yesterday I was rubbing your sweet face as I was helping you to The Bridge.  My sweet sweet boy.  How I grieve for you.  They say time heals all wounds.  I don't think that is really true.  My heart aches to touch you again.  To hug you and to put my face in your fur.  I long to see your sweet smile again.  I can't wait to see you run to me when I join you.  I can't wait to be with you again.

This is a short post.  I just wanted you to know I am thinking about you....always.  I love you Montana boy!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Only One Video

The one and only video that I have of both Montana and Bailey together.  This was taken at the Dog Park in Michigan on January 12, 2007.







Sunday, February 19, 2012

Montana's Final Bill



Montana, I have been thinking a lot about you.  Well....I think about you every day but it seems like most of my day is consumed with my thought of you.  After 5 1/5 mos I finally had the nerve to look at the bill from the emergency vet.  It spelled out everything.  More then I really wanted to see.  Of course I sobbed when I read it. This is what it said:

CLIENT INFORMATION

Beth Winchell

PATIENT INFORMATION

Name:  Montana                                 Species:         Canine
Sex:     Male, Neutered                       Breed:           Siberian Husky
Deceased:   09-05-11                         Age:              D@9y
ID                                                       Rabies
Color:   Black and White                   Weight           102.20lbs
Reminded:  (none)                             Codes:           D

MEDICAL HISTORY

Date              By              Code            Description               Qty (Variance)
____________________________________________________________

09-05-11      JH             001         Emergency Exam Fee

    Age:  9y     Weight:  102.20   Temp:  106.00     Pulse  180.00
    Other:  mm - pale pink

SUBJECTIVE SECTION

Surgery to amputate tail last Wednesday.  Has not eaten since.  Was on Deramaxx and Tramadol.  Vomiting dark brown fluid.  Tonight panting, weak, lethargic.  Dr. Harper on duty.

OBJECTIVE SECTION

mm- pale pink, pulses thready.  Chest - tachycardia, heart muffled.  Abd - distended.  Laterally recumbant, panting, very weak.  Febrile.

ASSESSMENT SECTION

               RULE - OUTS
               Gastroduodenal Ulcer Disease                  


              DIAGNOSES
              Sepsis and Bacteremia
              Septic Shock
              Acute Abdomen

PLAN SECTION

            NOTES

                 I-Stat EC8+- See report; metabolic acidosis
                 Oxygen 5LPM via mask
                 IV placed, bolus 2L Norm-R, 300ml Hetastarch IV; pulses improved,                                   HR decreased
                 U/S FAST - large amount of free fluid in abdomen - 1L of brown pus
                 removed via abdominocentesis          
                 Cell counts - WBC 78K, TS - 3.8; cytology degenerate neutrophils and
                 pleomorphic bacteria.  BG of fluid 45,  Diagnosis - septic abdomen
                 (perforating ulcer?), septic shock
                Discussed poor prognosis with owner, the need for immediate
                surgery 
                and the risks associated.
                Owner requested euthanasia
                Euthasol 15mg IV

                          1005             Informed Consent
                          HETA          Hetastarch (HES) 6%                 300
                          NORMR      Normosol -R 1000ml
                          611              IV Extension Set
                          601              IV Catheter & 1st Bag Fluids
                          EFFUSION Automated Cell Counts - Effusions
                          GLUCOME Blood Glucose - Glucometer
                          420              I-Stat EC8+
                          USFAST     Ultrasound F.A.S.T. Exam
                          117             Abdominocentesis
                          OXY5         Oxygen per minute @ 5 lpm          15
                          ACUTEAB Acute Abdomen
                          D1016         Septic Shock
                          D6058         Sepsis and Bacteremia
                          1112           Euthanasia
                          EUTH         Euthasol 390mg/ml                       15
                          1110           Ashes Returned:  100-140# 


FOR:  Beth Winchell                                             Printed:  09-05-11 at 4:25am
                                                                                Date:      09-05-11
                                                                                Account: 34720
                                                   
                                                                                Invoice:  62944


Date              For                  Qty      Description                              Net Price
 _____________________________________________________________

09-05-11      Montana              1   Emergency Exam Fee                        82.00
09-09-11                                  1  Informed Consent                                0.00
09-05-11                              300  Hetastarch (HES) 6%                        69.00
09-05-11                                  1  Normosol-R 1000ml                         38.00
09-05-11                                  1  IV ExtensionSet                                 16.00
09-05-11                                  1  IV Catheter & 1st Bag Fluids             86.00
09-05-11                                  1  Automated Cell Counts - Effusions    50.50 
09-05-11                                  1  Blood Glucose - Glucometer             12.50
09-05-11                                  1  I-Stat EC8+                                        53.55
09-05-11                                  1 Ultrasound F.A.S.T. Exam                  92.00
09-05-11                                  1  Abdominocentisis                              60.00
09-05-11                                 15 Oxygen per minute @5 lpm                 2.25
09-05-11                                  1  Euthanasia                                          55.00
09-05-11
                        We are truly very sorry for your loss

09-05-11                                15  Euthasol 390mg/ml                            20.40
09-05-11                                 1  Ashes Returned 100-140#                 250.00

09-05-11                                Care Credit                                           -887.20

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Old Balance           Charges        Payments                             New balance
        0.00                   887.20           887.20                                           0.00

















Saturday, February 4, 2012

Montana and Dakota



My sweet boy, Montana, had just had is tail operated on in May 2009 and this was July 2009.  His hair was still growing back in this video.  Montana very rarely would howl or woo.  This video shows one of those rare moments.

I miss you baby boy!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Another Little Hero At The Bridge



I hope Montana was there to meet you at The Bridge little one! No more seizures....no more suffering!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

All Pets Go To Heaven



All Pets Go To Heaven
Can you imagine a heaven without pets?
There is a very special place where beloved pets go after they die. This is only a temporary location. But there are trees and grass and lakes, and everything they love. Here they can play and eat and sleep, even better than they did, before they died. Now, there are no aches or worries or dangers of any kind to trouble or threaten them. The only joy missing is their beloved human companion, you.
All health is restored completely, and all injuries are healed. Dogs and cats play with each other like youngsters, and they do not have time to feel lonely for you. They miss you, and with the special wisdom that animals have, they trust that this condition will get better. And they confidently wait as they frolic.
A wonderful day will come for each of them, when in the middle of playing they will suddenly feel something is different. And all their senses will be at the height of excitement and exuberance. They will sniff the air and look off in the distance where they recognize that dearly loved special presence. Then they will call out in elation, and with eyes shining and tail going wild, tear off at a full gallop, almost flying over the green grass.
Your expected arrival has been sensed, and now there is nothing that can keep the two of you apart, ever again. As you run toward each other the tears flow from your eyes. Your pet leaps into your arms, and you cling together in jubilant reunion. The joyous kisses are all over your face, and you kiss back, just as ecstatically. Your hands so lovingly caress once more the beloved fur, the head and neck and body you knew so well. And you look into each other’s loving eyes, and all those old, wonderful shared feelings are back, again.
And then something will call the both of you on, to a different field of warmth and nurture, where all the love you knew now comes to fruition. With your pet, you leave that special waiting area, walk into the main part of heaven, and begin a new existence there, together.
If you accept that pets can love us as much as we do them, then the logic is clear and cannot be denied. If you believe that there is a heaven for people, then they must be there, waiting for us, when we cross over. Heaven is love, and pets always share that with us.
— Wallace Sife, Ph.D. The Loss of a Pet (Third Edition, 2005), Chapter 16

So Sweet

I just have to share this picture of Montana. To me he looks like the most gentle creature on Earth. He was!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Another Reminder Card

I received another reminder card today from the vet to remind me that Montana's yearly physical was overdue. So of course I cried. The emergency vet faxed them the day he died to tell them he passed away. They have known that since September 5, 2011. So then in November I get a card from the vet reminding me of Montana's yearly physical that was due in December. Of course I tried to ignore it, but of course I cried. Then two weeks ago I called the vet to make an appointment for Bailey to get a lump checked out. I had made my mind up that I would never take another pet to that vet office because I feel they killed Montana. I called around to try to find out the most reasonable priced vet since I lost my job in Nov. Well it turns out that Lake Forest Vet Hospital was the least expensive. They were Montana and Bailey's vet. When I called to make the appointment they asked me if I was bringing Montana or Bailey. I informed them that Montana had passed away in September. She said she would note that in their system but I still got this notice! I am debating on whether to call them again to remind him that he is gone. It just makes me so mad that they can't even get it right that he is dead and has been for over 4 mos.

Monday, January 23, 2012

I Only Wanted You



I ONLY WANTED YOU

They say memories are golden
well maybe that is true.
I never wanted memories,
I only wanted you.

A million times I needed you,
a million times I cried.
If love alone could have saved you
you never would have died.

In life I loved you dearly,
In death I love you still.
In my heart you hold a place
no one could ever fill.

If tears could build a stairway
and heartache make a lane,
I'd walk the path to heaven
and bring you back again.

Our family chain is broken,
and nothing seems the same.
But as God calls us one by one,
the chain will link again.

"Walk With An Old Dog" -- by Gayl Jokiel

"Walk With An Old Dog" -- by Gayl Jokiel

Because you will not be forever,
Hope against time though I may,
I paint your picture in my memory,
Eyes blue with age, muzzle gone gray.

Because you walked with me in Springtime,
Puppy-clumsy, running free.
As you grew, we grew together-
You became a part of me.

Because you shared with me my sorrows,
Not understanding- simply there.
Often spurring me to laughter--
My friend, you know how much I care.

Because the years have slowed your fleetness,
Though your spirit still is strong.
I promise I will take more time now,
So that you can go along.

Because you do not fear the future,
Living only in the now,
I draw strength from your example-
Yet time keeps slipping by somehow.

Because the day will soon be coming
When I will no longer see
You rise to greet me-but in memory
You will always walk with me.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Bad Day

Mommy is having a really bad day today, Montana. I am just heartbroken over losing you. You would think things would be getting easier but they aren't. I feel like I am just getting worse. This no job thing is really bringing me down. I just wish you were here to keep Bailey and I company. I would have been able to spend so much time with you. I am not sure why I am crying so hard today. I have been having a hard time sleeping lately. The doctor gave me some Ambien yesterday and I took it last night. I think all this crying has to do with it. I also had these terrible dreams of losing Bailey. I just couldn't bare that. I found out today that one page that I really loved on Facebook (Everything German Shepherd)is closing due to the health of the owner. I loved going to that page every day and learning new things about the GSD. Every since you died I have had a hard time knowing where I stand with the Siberian Husky community. They have all been wonderful and very supportive. Sometimes I feel funny posting on the Husky/Mal groups since I no longer own a Sibe. I guess I would miss it if I stopped. I hope to own another Sibe or Mal in the future. Nobody would ever replace you my sweet boy! You were definitely one of a kind. I can't imagine opening up my heart again to another dog. You and Bailey were/are my life. I have no purpose without you both. I am hoping today will get better and I will be able to function like a "normal" human being. I love you Montana. I think of you every minute of every day!

Here is a picture of the two most important beings in my life!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Silver Harness by Andre DeMerchant


Tookla's magnificent head came up with a start. What was that? Another sound? Ears forward, Tookla's ice-blue eyes stared out from the doorway of his plywood doghouse.

Getting up slowly he stretched luxuriously and moved carefully from the warmth of his hay filled house into the bitter chill of his fenced outdoor run. Standing still, Tookla alertly scanned the February afternoon landscape outside his run. Nothing.

How many times now had he expectantly searched the surrounding area only to be disappointed? Walking to the end of his run, Tookla sat slowly down and heaved a great sigh. Sparkles of frost chased by shivery wintry blasts twirled through the air and landed on his thick warm coat.

Half closing his eyes, Tookla began to think back to the old days, the good days. "It wasn't always like this," he thought to himself. "I used to go with my master and the team always. But no more. Not for a long time. My own son now has my place at the front of the team. Faster than me now. Much faster. Like I was faster than my father, Sabu. But I wasn't always faster than my father. I had to grow, to work so hard! Running back in the team with the others. Not for me. I didn't like that. Only after Sabu and my master taught me the words could I go in front. Then we were so fast! Soon I was even faster than father! Often I was at the front. I remember running through all those pine trees with the others, faster than ever! We flew down the trail.

When it was over he was so happy with us. So many people came to see us and pet us and give us treats. Always after that I was at the front. So many times we went out and so many times we ran faster than others. But no more now. My legs are stiff and I can no longer run as far as before. Oh, I have not run for so long! Now my son leads the others. As it was for my father, it is for me also and shall one day be for my son."

Opening his eyes Tookla had another look around the yard. Seeing nothing he rose slowly to his feet, turned and walked swiftly toward his dog house. A sudden noise behind Tookla caused him to whirl quickly around. His eyes grew wide with fright as he took an involuntary step backward.

"Who's there?" challenged Tookla.

"It is I. Sabu." came the reply.

"Sabu? But..no! It can't be! You've been gone for so long now. I remember you were very old. Then one day you went away and never came back. How can it be you are here now?"

"I have come back to see you Tookla."

"But why?"

"To tell you of a place. A wonderful place. The sun shines always. We never want for food or water. And run! Oh, Tookla! We can run forever on grassy fields, through thick woods. Many little animals are there also. We chase them often but never are they caught. It is all for fun. All the others are there also. Your mother, Sheena. Your sister, Koola, who has gone before you. We run together always. It is such a marvelous place!"

"No!" growled Tookla, suddenly wary. "It is a trick! You are not Sabu!"

"No Tookla. It is no trick. Come, let us butt noses. You will see that I am your father. You will see that what I tell you is true."

Slowly, gingerly, almost on tiptoe, Tookla moved towards the muzzle poking though the chain link. Sniffing carefully, Tookla stretched his neck until the noses just touched. Quickly he jumped back, eyes wide.

"It is you!" he exclaimed in amazement.

"It is as I have said, my son."

"But what is that upon your back, Father?"

Sabu turned to afford Tooka a better view.

"It is my silver harness."

"It is beautiful! Oh, that I could wear such a harness! How the light dances upon the silver straps!"

"We all have one to wear, Tookla. It is especially for the Run of the Lights."

"What is the Run of the Lights, Father?"

"It is when we all run together, each of us wearing a silver harness. We run when it is dark, faster and faster we go till we take off! We race into the sky, past the stars and the moon itself. The light from the stars shines and twinkles upon our silver harnesses sending flashes and streams of light all over the sky!"

Gazing longingly up at the gathering February twilight, Tookla could only manage, "Oh that would be so grand!"

"Now, Tookla, it is time for me to tell you the reason for my visit."

"What is it, Father?"

"It is your time, Tookla. It is time for you to take your place beside us. I have come to lead you to the wonderful place."

"But..." Tookla stammered. "I'm not ready! I mean, I haven't seen my master come back with the team! I haven't had my walk..."

"Come, Tookla. It is time."

"But I can't. I can't leave my run. I'm locked in."

Backing up a few paces, Sabu turned to face Tookla.

"Walk towards me, my son," he said softly.

Cautiously Tookla walked forward. When he reached the fence he stopped and whined.

"I can't! I can't get out!"

"Come, Tookla," replied the voice with great warmth. "You can do it. Just keep walking."

Tookla picked up a front paw and moved it slowly forward. It went through! It went through the fence! Now thoroughly excited, Tookla shut his eyes and walked gingerly ahead. After a few paces he stopped and, turning around, opened his eyes.

"I'm out! I did it!" His eyes danced with joy as he quickly surveyed the yard, now lying deep in evening shadows.

"Come, Tookla. We must go," reminded Sabu, who, without further word, turned and started running towards an open field. Tookla was soon in step beside him as they streaked across the ground.

"Now Tookla!" panted Sabu. "Run! Run as fast as you can!" Ears flat against his head, tail straight out, Tookla put all his heart into his running. Suddenly they took off, rocketing up into the night sky.

"Look! Look at me run, Sabu! No longer are my legs stiff! No longer do I grow quickly tired! I'm young again!" shouted Tookla, tongue lolling, eyes shining with excitment.

Sabu laughed. "Yes, you are very fast my son. And you look very good in your silver harness."

Glancing back, Tookla exclaimed, "The harness! I too have a silver harness!" And with a heart bursting with happiness, Tookla kept pace beside his father. Starlight glittered and moonlight flashed off the silver webbing and across the darkening sky as the two Sibes soared up towards the wonderful place.

Hal was lost in thought as the truck bumped and lurched up the laneway and into the darkened yard. Shutting off the engine, Hal heaved himself out of the truck then suddenly pulled up short.

"It's real quiet around here tonight," he thought to himself as he peered into the gloom of the yard. "Too darn quiet!" Walking swiftly to the kennel building he flipped on all the lights and started to check all the runs.

"What's going on guys?" said Hal as he moved among the pens. A couple of Sibes rose from the floor and waved their tails apologetically. At the other end of the building one of them whined softly. As if suddenly struck with a thought, Hal pivoted on his heel, and banging through the door, sprinted across the yard towards Tookla's single run by the house.

"Tookla! Tookla, we're home! Tookla? Hal spoke loudly as he reached the run door. The familiar form of Hal's old lead dog was not in its usual place at the end of the run. Tendrils of apprehension gripped Hal's heart as his shaking hands fumbled with the lock. "Tookla! Where are you? Tookla, come see me!" Hal said urgently as he swung the gate wide. Dropping to his knees in front of the dog house, Hal hesitated, dreading what he would find. Reaching inside, Hal buried his hand in the fur of an inert form and gave it a shake.

"Tookla. Tookla it's me." he said softly.

Oh no. Oh Tookla!" exclaimed Hal as the reality of the situation struck.

Pulling Tookla onto his lap, Hal sat down on the cold cement and caressed the lifeless form.

"Oh, Tookla. My poor, poor Tookla. Good-bye, old friend," muttered Hal as tears coursed down his cheeks, falling and freezing on the furry figure below.

Feeling suddenly very weary, Hal leaned back against the chain link as a February wind blustered around him. Leaning his head back, Hal turned his red-rimmed eyes toward the night sky and sat for a long time, both enthralled and comforted by the brilliant beauty of the dancing Northern Lights.

Wear your Silver Harness with pride Montana!