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….
It’s with a sad and heavy heart I’m letting everyone know Max lost his battle today with cancer. He was becoming very sick so I made the decision to let him rest in peace. I miss him. Even though I only had him 1.5 years, I promised him he would never know fear, hunger, cold, neglect or abuse again as long as he was my boy. Well now he lives in heaven and will never know anything but happiness there either. He was a very quiet, sweet soul. Once I gained his trust he was definitely my boy. He liked to lay next to my head in bed with his paw on my head like he needed to know where I was. I can’t sleep in there tonight, it’s just too hard, with him not touching my head. Sleep with the angels sweet man…run free forever in God’s gardens. I love you Max!
I spotted Dottie during the summer of 2009 at one of the shelter’s yard sales. She had been surrendered by her owners who noted on her profile that since the kids were grown and pursuing other interests, they didn’t have time for Dottie. They said she was showing her resentment by urinating on the furniture. Dottie was 11 years old. They had had her for 8 years. I only had her for 3 more years, but they were a great 3 years!
Dottie was not very attractive. Her teeth were in deplorable condition so her breath was stinky and the last 3” of her tail formed a hook from some old injury. She had a scar on her face from another old injury and she wasn’t very active. But I fell in love with her. I recall the moment that I wanted to adopt her: amidst all the hub bub at the yard sale, Dot curled up under a bench outside of the shelter’s Pole Barn and fell asleep. She looked so peaceful and content, and I just knew I wanted her in my life.
Dottie’s transition into our home was a little rocky. She and our other dog, Ginger, didn’t quite get along at first. There were a few scuffles, which I guess were understandable, because she had been the only pet at her last home. She also had to learn to share the house with our cats. But overall, I think Dottie had a great retirement home. A friend summed it up perfectly: “Dottie had a wonderful retirement full of fun smells, a huge yard, and yummy things to eat and play with.” (Thanks, Laura.) And yes, we occasionally got a few laughs by dressing her in funny get-ups like her elf hat and her gnome costume.
A few weeks ago, I came home from work and found Dottie trembling in her bed and breathing very rapidly; obviously in some sort of distress. When I picked her up, she was like a very heavy weight in my arms. At the emergency room, and after tests and x-rays, the doctor explained that Dot likely had cancer. It was a very sudden, heart-wrenching decision, but my husband and I decided to end Dot’s suffering. We were with her when she left and in many ways, she is still with us. Her bed still sits in the living room by the fireplace. I haven’t moved it because occasionally, one of the cats will curl up in it. Life goes on without Dot.
My little Dot was funny, cute, stubborn, grumpy, happy, and best of all…RESCUED. I’m so glad the Humane Society didn’t give up on a little old stinky Beagle named Dottie who has a piece of my heart forever.
-Erin & John
We adopted Leo (Leonardo) last May 20th and he has filled our lives with great joy since the day we first met. Today, I write with great sadness as we had to put Leo to sleep. He started having seizures in June and we tried everything, finally after 2 MRIs the neurologist found a brain tumor. Leo’s quality of life had diminished and he was truly suffering. We know he is finally at peace but are truly heartbroken. He was the love of our life. If we weren’t doing something with him, we were talking about him. We wish we would have had more time with him but are so grateful for the time we did have. We know it was no coincidence that he waited patiently at the shelter for us for 7 months. He sat by my feet every day as I wrote my dissertation – he is even listed in my acknowledgements. He would always wait patiently for his dad to come home, greeting him at the door with a wagging tail and 2-legged dance before his daily belly rub. Our live are richer because he blessed us for 16 months with his sweet kisses.
Thank you all for what you do – you not only impact the animals you work with but so many people. Everyone that came into contact with Leo loved him. Charles Schulz said it best: “Happiness is a warm puppy”
With deep appreciation,
-Lindsay & Matt
I rescued Matilda from The Humane Society of Harford County when she was 5. I loved her from the moment I saw her. I took her out of her cage to hold her and she hugged me around my neck. I kissed her on her head and promised her she had found her home with me. I adopted her two days later.
Matilda was the kindest, most affectionate, wisest, sweetest cat I have ever known. When I was sad she came and sat with me, “petting” me with her paw to comfort me. She and I slept cuddled up together for most of the 7 years that we had together. She greeted me each day with a loud, cheerful meow, and had many other meows to indicate her mood or react to what I was saying. She was very smart.
Matilda was plagued with health problems her whole life; we spent a lot of time at the vet’s office. I never minded because she gave so much love to me- it was the least I could do to make sure she was being well cared for.
Matilda was diagnosed with kidney failure in August 2010. We began subcutaneous fluid treatments, done every other day, upon her diagnosis. She was so brave and took her treatments like the champion that she was. Her initial prognosis was that she might live until Thanksgiving, so I made Christmas our goal. I kept giving her fluids, moved her onto my bed where I fed and medicated her and where she could look out the window, and kept her close to her little cat stairs that led to her litter pan. She slept a lot but still maintained her spirit of cheer, joy, and love. Thanksgiving came and went- as did Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, my birthday, her 12th birthday, and Mother’s Day. My brave girl fought through numerous obstacles, always with a purr and a cuddle for her mommy. I held a birthday party for her, and the family came over and we had dinner, cake, sang to her– she had a wonderful day.
I used to sing to Matilda- she loved to hear me sing. Towards the end, when I saw her slow down, I began to read to her instead. She loved to lay next to me as I read books like The Velveteen Rabbit and The Giving Tree. She listened and even touched each page with her paw, purring loudly. I read books about gratitude and love, because for 7 years that’s all she ever gave me. Her love, her heart, her affection. I adored her every moment of her life with me.
I am unable to have children of my own for health reasons, so I know that I made quite the fuss over Matilda. I adopted a little sister for her 5 years ago, Mirabelle. Mirabelle suffered from serious asthma and used to have into severe attacks. I gave Mirabelle her inhalers many times a day. Matilda laid with Mirabelle and the two became quite close. When Matilda passed on, Mirabelle was as simply as lost as I was. We were devastated by this and bonded together to get through it. Mirabelle was such a sweet, loving girl. She passed away 10 days ago.
The decision to have Matilda euthanized was not made lightly; I felt as though I would die right there with her. Her time came, though, and when she began having difficulty breathing, I could not ask her to fight through one more thing. She laid on the table in the vet’s office, head down- she never did that. She acted as though she had had enough. I cried and pleaded for there to be another option, but I could not save her. In order to give her the final gift of mercy and love and to thank her for all that she did for me in this life, I made the decision. I sat with her and told her the story that I first saw on this site- the story of the Rainbow Bridge. I told her how much I love her and thanked her for her unfailing love and support through the many trials in my life and hers. She’s my best friend and I love her so dearly. I am honored that I got to be her mom. As she fell asleep I continued to hug and kiss her, encircling her in my arms. She passed away as I hugged her and I gave her a final kiss and held her paw for a moment. I thought of how many times she placed that paw on my hand as I slept or cried or watched TV. I thought of her constant companionship, her selfless love even as she suffered, and I acknowledged how much I learned from being her mom. I am a better person for having had Matilda for my daughter.
I wanted to let you know that the kitty who was rescued from your organization had a wonderful life and was loved beyond measure. Thank you for rescuing her, so that I could adopt her, and she could in turn save my life.
July 21, 1994 – August 30, 2011
“Our Little Man” and “A Great Little Guy”
Murdock was truly a great member of our family. When we adopted him from “Connolly Road,” he was very much welcomed by his feline sister, Sarah (who was rescued by John, as a newborn from a stray litter, and came to live with us on September 4, 1993). It really took only a couple of weeks for Murdock and Sarah to get acquainted. He was also welcomed by his canine sister, Meggie, who was also a street rescue and a member of our family since 1984. Meggie passed away the summer of 1995. Then on June 17, 1995, Murdock and Sarah welcomed their new canine sister, Brooke, into the family. Brooke (previously known as Sheba), was also adopted from “Connolly Road.” Brooke passed away on June 27, 2009. Then on November 25, 2009, Murdock and Sarah welcomed a new canine sister, Nova, who was also a rescue, taken from abusive surroundings. And then very recently, Murdock and Nova lost their sister, Sarah, who passed away on April 6, 2011.
Including Murdock’s siblings in this writing is to convey how wonderful it can be for all adopted animals to go into families with existing pets. You see, with love and attention, they really can have long and happy lives, coexisting as if they were humans. They really can and do love each other, as you can see in our photos. And without realizing it, they give so much to their people as well. We are the better for knowing and loving them.
I remember the first time I met Murdock at “Connolly Road.” He was about 6 months old. Being an all-black cat, he was having a difficult time being adopted. I found him to be a beautiful cat and so full of personality. He was in a cage, extending his paw out to me constantly. I also recall learning from the shelter volunteer that they needed to take time-outs, putting Murdock in the cage off and on in order for the other cats to have their “peaceful” meal times, etc. I knew immediately, under all of these conditions, he needed to be in our loving home. The following day John accompanied me to see Murdock, and the decision was made effective immediately. And we have never regretted that decision.
Murdock was never a cat that could be picked up and held for long. We knew that immediately. We tried, over the years, to see if we could make him feel more at ease, letting him down after a few seconds or so. But that habit never really disappeared. He did, however, get up in our laps. He seemed to enjoy it even more when the weather was cool, and especially in front of a fire. But this was on his terms; and that was completely okay with us. In fact, there was a time when he would not sleep with us. But that did change not long after he began to live with us. He seemed to enjoy it more when the weather was cool. And we did have the wonderful experiences of Murdock curling up next to us whenever we took naps!
For many years, I (and John when he did the feeding), worked on the “eating” habits of Murdock. He was one that wanted to eat his siblings’ meals in addition to his own. For the most part, over the years, he found some security in knowing he would be fed everyday, twice a day. He would have a “relapse” now and then. But all-in-all, he progressed well. I used to say to him, “How long will it be before you realize you will be getting two square meals a day? We love you, and you’re here to stay.”
For a cat who had to be removed “from the crowd” (while living at “Connolly Road”), in order for the others to get their chances to eat, Murdock certainly came a long way living with his siblings in our home. He was truly a loving cat. He always wanted to please. And that’s a fact. If he threw up a hairball, he would show signs of being sorry. I used to tell him, it’s okay. I can’t say enough good things about him. I never found anything negative about him. He was pure fun and a loving pleasure to have in our family.
Our home has felt very empty since Murdock’s passing. But we have never regretted welcoming him into our family.
-John & Debbie