Friday, April 30, 2010

The Prettiest Girl in the World

I'm a dog person. I'm such a dog person that I'm suspicious of those who are not. There was a short six-month span of my childhood when my family did not have a dog. Our first dog was Chessie, short for Chesapeake Gold (or Chesserdoodle Stinkomatic Skootertronz McGillicuddy, depending on who you ask). She was my parents first "child." She was a red Golden Retriever that my parents got when they lived in Mississippi. I think of her as "Saint Chessie." And when she finally died, I was about seven. I cried for hours. Then there was Buffy. Short for Buffalo Girl. We got her the day before or after my birthday (I can't quite remember). She was a stunningly beautiful purebred Golden. She looked just like a Golden should, except she was short. We called her our "mini golden." Then we got Louie. Short for King Louie. He was part lab, part chow, part... god only knows. He was the silliest looking dog in the world and he peed when he got excited. But he was more my dog than any we've ever had. He was my boy. A short time later, we had to give Buffy up for adoption to an organization called Golden Retriever Rescue of North Texas. They are an amazing group of people. Buffy was a good girl, but she didn't do well with kids. And there are three of us, and our cousins (little at the time) came over all the time. So we gave Buffy to a home where she'd be happier. And she was. And I cried for hours. So we had one dog for a while. And then my mom got itchy. And we got Sandy, not short for anything, but she had a lot of nicknames (Sanny, Sandy-girl, Baby-girl, Prettiest Girl in the World, and Countess Sandra Francesca). She came to us through GRRNT, and she and Louie were the best of friends. Then, over Spring Break when I was in high school, we were told that Louie had died suddenly and unexpectedly of septic shock when a cyst had burst in his lung. Once again, I cried for hours. Sandy grieved right along with us. She missed him terribly. And once again, mom got itchy. So we got Blitzen, another rescue Golden, and Mom's spoiled baby.

And Sandy got older. She was a good dog. She loved to be dried off after her bath. For some reason, she hated baths, but loved being towel-dried afterward. She would hop up and down when you poured kibble in her bowl because she was so excited. And she always knew when I needed her to cry on. And today, we had to put her to sleep. I will miss her forever, and so in honor of my sweetest baby girl, I'm posting "Rainbow Bridge."

Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of Heaven is a place called The 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 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 or 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 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 to each other 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........

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