Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day. It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.  – John Grogan

Most of my life I’ve had a dog. My first was a German Shepard named Prince. I was very young and really only remember him because of pictures. Pee Wee was my next dog, he was a feisty Chihuahua. I remember when my dad brought him home. He literally fit in the palm of my fathers hand. Pee Wee was a member of our family for about 11 years. I was attending Cleveland State University at the time my dad had to put him to sleep. I remember coming home and seeing pamphlets on the hall table about coping with the death of you pet. I was upset with my parents for not telling me they were going to do that, and I was very hurt. I wasn’t as hurt as my father though, but I didn’t know that until later on in life.

Over the next few years I had a couple of dogs but because of where I lived I couldn’t keep them.

After Theresa and I married, our daughter Briana always asked us for a pet or a dog. We all agreed that when she turned 8 she could get a pet. It just so happened that where we were living our neighbor had a litter of dogs and she picked out this black and brown dog with huge paws. Rusty “Big Paws” Carter was welcomed to the family.

I have many stories I could share with you but this post would go on forever. What I can tell you is the joy he brought our family for so many years. He even won over my wife who isn’t really a dog lover. Rusty was able to see my son Joseph come into our lives and just recently he met both of the foster children we have had and have. They won’t remember him, but we will not forget how kind and loving he was to the babies.

The favorite part of coming home for me each day, was always seeing Rusty at the back door with a toy in his mouth, wagging his tail like crazy with eager anticipation on me opening the door so I scratch his back and ears.

I waited as long as I could to put him down. I even cancelled our first appointment but the time had come and the call was made. Thankfully we found a vet that did house calls and we didn’t have to take him out of the comfort of his home. He was in a familiar place around the family that he loved.

As I’m writing this I see, it’s been about three weeks without Rusty and this is really the first time I’ve sat to say something about him. I knew after 14 years it would be difficult without him, I just didn’t know how much. I now understand what my father went though and why he did what he did regarding Pee Wee.

All in all it still hurts, but I have great memories of a dog who became a family and this mans best friend.

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Goodbye old friend…

until then…

 

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

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