Our Hearts Are Broken

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.

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Monday November 18, 2019. The Last photo I took of Scout.

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.

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We will miss you, Scout, until we meet again.

37 thoughts on “Our Hearts Are Broken

  1. This was hard for me to comment on. Even though I don’t live with them every day, the animals in the family still become mine as well. Scout held an extra special place ! He was a true and loyal protector of my sister and her family. His love of them was unmatched. He did live a good long life, he loved and was loved. Who could ask for anything more? Farewell old friend.

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  2. Oh Ruth, I am truly so, so sorry. It’s incredibly painful to lose a ‘fur baby’. The day you first saw him at that shelter was fate, you just ‘know’ it’s right when they see you and ‘speak’ to you, like they’ve chosen you rather than the other way around. I felt like that when we found our dog, and it was heartbreaking when we had to let him go to Rainbow Bridge, too. Scout had a good life filled with love with your family, a real home. This is a wonderful tribute to him, and such lovely photos. Sending love  ♥🌹
    Caz xxxx

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  3. Oh Ruth – I am so sorry for your loss and my eyes were welling up with tears as I read your story of how Scout came to join your family – it was a match made in Heaven. I really like how you included photos of Scout through the years and my favorites were the two dogs waiting for their bath water and the pictures with the chicks … the little feathery ones. 🙂
    I know your heart is heavy right now – you had remarked a few times that it was getting more difficult for Scout to get around, but even knowing that it was inevitable, it will never make it any easier. I cannot have pets anymore because after my last three birds crossed to the rainbow bridge (the last two since I’ve been alone after my mom passed away), the grief was so unbearable, that even though they were companion pets for me since I am alone here and work from home as well, I cannot go through the heartache again. The memories of Scout will keep him in your heart forever ….

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    1. Thank you Linda. Each of those photos evokes memories of the great times we had. It was my way of writing the book with out putting it into words.
      You are right, even knowing it was coming and trying to prepare for it did not make it easier. My heart goes out to you as I could not imagine having to go through this alone and even though it hurts to know that my husband and Trooper are grieving as well it helps that we are going though this together.

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      1. I know many people have said to me that you have to get another pet, but my answer is and will be “no” … my mom and I had a beloved parakeet named “Joey” – he got a tumor on his esophagus and passed away in my mom’s hands. Parakeets are more social about interacting and becoming finger tamed unlike canaries which are timid and skittish, but still full of love, inquisitive, and a lot of companionship. After Joey died in 1983, we vowed to never get another bird and we did not, but my neighbor went on vacation and she had just gotten a new canary and we took care of it for her … she said just come over and feed it at night after work, but it was October and too cold and just brand-new, so we brought it to our house – she was gone visiting her sick mom in Arizona for three weeks. We fell in love with this little bird and he was the same – when he returned home with Marge, he moped, was listless and refused to sing – she gave him to us and asked “do you want Sugar?” “Do we want him – oh yes, we would love him!” The memories just now made my eyes well up, so it never will end in many respects. You have good memories to get through this until you meet again. Take care Ruth.

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      2. You are right Ruth – it was meant to be. When he first went home with my neighbor, I would go to the end of our yard and look through the doorwall where I could see him. He would just be sitting in a corner and no light in the kitchen, just the fading sunlight. She worked as a hostess in a psychic tea room and was gone from about 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at work, but she often got together with the other employees on days the tea room was closed or after work and they went out to eat. Sugar was along for many hours in the day. My mom, due to medical issues, did not go out by herself, only with me, so he had a constant companion and so did she. Hugs back to you Ruth. Hope you have a nice Thanksgiving with your family, but sadly missing one member this year.

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  4. I’m sorry for your loss. “I have realized that we would not be suffering this pain had it not been for the joy that Scout brought to our lives.” How well put. And what a wonderful meeting it was. An instant connection. The photo of him sniffing/ kissing the chick is awesome.

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    1. Thank you. When we first started raising chickens we had to introduce Scout slowly because we thought he might hurt them. We told him those were his babies and he had to be nice to them. Then whenever we had chicks he would want to watch them and want us to hold them for him so he could sniff them. If he heard them making noise he would want to see what the problem was. We told him he was a good Chicken Daddy.

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  5. My sincere condolences. It is so sad that our angels with fur have such a short time on this earth, but I personally think it’s their reward too. This world is often cruel to animals, and perhaps a Loving Father in Heaven has shown compassion and granted short lives to them. They bring such love and comfort and I’m really glad they have a wonderful place to go ‘after’, and that we can be reunited with them in that wonderful place. Take care of yourselves in these coming days. I lost my Hunydog in February and it still rips my heart when I read about someone else experiencing what is incredible pain with the loss of their beloved furbaby too. Scout is at peace and is waiting. ❤

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  6. So sorry to read you’ve lost your beloved Scout, Ruth. How loved he was by all of you – I can understand the “Scout-shaped holes” in your hearts. When we found our cat at the animal shelter, she did a very similar thing that Scout did to your husband. She looked right at me, as though she knew me. I immediately said “this is our cat”.

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