Shortly after we arrived in 1997, our neighbor called and announced that she had found a dog for us. "We didn't know we were looking for a dog. Oh yes, you need a dog". Thus began our 16 years with Chester, our tall Aussie Sheppard. He was probably the best ambassador we had for the bed and breakfast, converting even kids scared of dogs to be his best friend. We had trouble getting some of them to the breakfast table when the option was to throw a stick for Chester!
We lost him to old age in September 2013 - he was still trying to follow me around the property, but his body was no longer up to the task. He still WANTED to play and would look longingly at a ball. When we threw it, he would turn and watch Oreo go get it.
Our memories will always be with us and there will be a special moment as we shovel snow - his greatest excitement was standing in front of me, leaping at the snow thrown in his direction. And a horseshoe in the pond will be another, left by him after picking it up from the horseshoe pit and running into the pond with kids yelling and laughing behind him. Then he dropped it - horseshoes tend not to float - so it remains.
There is a bridge connecting Heaven and Earth. It is called The Rainbow Bridge because of its many colors. Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge is a land of meadows, hills and valleys, all of it covered with lush green grass.
When a beloved dog dies, the dog goes to this lovely land. There is always food and water and warm spring weather. There, the old and frail animals are young again. Those who are maimed are made whole once more. They play all day with each other, content and comfortable.
There is only one thing missing. They are not with the special person who loved them on earth. So each day they run and play until the day comes when one suddenly stops playing and looks up! Then the nose twitches! The ears are up! The eyes are staring! You have been seen, and that one suddenly runs from the group!
You take him in your arms and embrace. Your face is kissed again and again and again, and you look once more into the eyes of your trusting dog. Then together, you cross The Rainbow Bridge, never again to be separated.