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… Author Unknown
Friday morning, November 22, 2019 our beloved Scout went to wait for us at the rainbow bridge.
I am speaking for both my husband and myself when I say there are now Scout-shaped holes in are hearts. It is through the grieving process, which has only just begun, that I have realized that we would not be suffering this pain had it not been for the joy that Scout brought to our lives. So much joy that no amount of money could have purchased. Thus the precious memories we have will mitigate the pain.
I could fill a very large book with stories of our life with Scout over the past 12 1/2 years, but I have decided to share just one. The first one.
The Beginning Of A Love Story
Though we loved dogs we hadn’t had one in our home for several years. We just weren’t home enough to give a dog the kind of attention they deserved, but 2007 was a year of many changes for us. In February my husband and I got married. In March I lost the hearing in my left ear. In April we decided that my husband’s job could more than support our family and I left work to be a stay-at-home mom and full-time home manager.
It wasn’t long after I left my job that I began to think about getting a dog. I could now see many pros to having a dog. During the week days the kids were at school and I spent much time alone. It would be nice to have a companion. My hearing loss was also a concern. Depending on where I was in the house when someone came to the door I may not hear them. A dog could alert me of things like this. At the time my husband worked a job that took him away from home for weeks at a time. A dog could offer some security while he was away.
We began having discussions about what type of dog would be best. While puppies are fun and adorable there is also a lot a lot of work involved in training a puppy. Perhaps an mature dog would be better if we could find a good match. We were pretty open as far as breeds and didn’t have a problem with a mixed breed dog. I did want a larger size dog – one with a big bark.
It was June 16, 2007 when my husband, our three daughters, and I piled in the van to search for our new family member. I always remember the date as it was our daughter Hanna’s birthday. Our first stop was what I thought was an animal rescue. From their website I was under the impression that they had several puppies and dogs up for adoption. When we arrived what we found was a doggy day care. When we asked about their adoptable dogs they only had one puppy who seemed to be a wild little thing. We all agreed it was not the dog for us. We then went over to the Macomb County Animal Shelter. I think they had two adoptable dogs that day, but again they did not seem to be a good fit.
Needless to say we were disappointed and weren’t really sure where to look next. My husband suggested the Saint Clair County Animal Shelter. I thought it was worth a try but it would probably take us an hour to get there. Since it was a time before everyone had a computer phone (I still don’t have one) I called my mom and asked her find out what time they closed that day. I don’t remember what time she said, but we had enough time to get there before they did.
I’ll never forget my husband’s words as he drove on I-94 heading for Port Huron “Lord, please help us find the perfect dog,” he prayed. I suspect my reply was “Amen” because it is my usual response when he prays aloud.
When we walked into the Saint Clair County Animal Shelter there was a reception desk to the right and to the left there was a room with a large window. On the other side of the window were the kennels where the adoptable dogs were housed. I could see and hear that there were several dogs up for adoption. While I was taking in the whole scene at once, including workers and other people who seemed to be there looking for pets, my husbands attention was immediately drawn to a dog. He said, despite being in a kennel on the other side of the window, this dog looked directly at him and barked as if speaking to him. He knew then that we had found our dog.
We stood by the window looking at the dogs for a few minutes before a worker told us we could go into the area where the kennels were. As we walked though the door towards the kennels we passed though a room where another family was being introduced to a dog. It was the dog who had caught my husbands attention. While we walked down the hall looking at the 4 or 5 other dogs that were awaiting adoption, that dog was returned to his kennel. We quickly approached a worker and asked to meet that dog. When the worker brought him in and let him off the leash he immediately rolled over on his back and wanted his belly rubbed. As the girls crouched around him rubbing his belly, and he wagged his tail in joy, I knew that we had found our “perfect dog”.
After filling out paperwork and paying the adoption fee we were told that we would have two weeks in which we could return him if thing didn’t work out. After that his license would be mailed to us.
When we left the building to get into the van I don’t know that I had ever seen a more enthusiastic dog. He jumped into the van and sat on the seat in-between the girls where he got lots of attention.
I think it was about five days later when my husband called the animal shelter and told them that we would not be returning Scout. They could sent out his license anytime. God had answered our prayer.
We will miss you, Scout, until we meet again.