Rainbow Bridge

By Unknown Author "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…


I have been training dogs for many years and Jelly is by far, my favorite success story. Her owner called me with concerns about Jelly’s aggressive behavior towards other dogs. She was especially concerned because of her breed, a staffordshire bull terrier. She didn’t want Jelly to be an example of why the bully breeds get such a bad rap. I invited her to bring Jelly to one of our hike outings. When I met Jelly she instantly made me laugh. She was an adorable little brindle with an energy level that was off the charts and a big bully smile that went on for miles. She dragged her owner over to the other dogs who wanted no part of her and when they growled to warn her off, she just wanted to fight. I convinced her very nervous owner that together we could fix the problem and to continue bringing her to the outings. Jelly was lucky to have a very dedicated owner. It took several months but Jelly did a complete 180. We got her accustomed to the other dogs one at a time. In fact, the first dog we introduced her to was my Kodiak. He sat on her a couple of times and seemed to roll his eyes a lot but Jelly learned; one dog at a time, she learned. She even became known as the social butterfly in the group. Her energy level never slowed down but now it was happy, friendly energy instead of aggressive. The dogs all got used to her and accepted her for the bundle of exhuberance that she was. On the trail she drank her water out of a plastic wine glass, always the diva. On Saturday, May 25th, 2013, (the same day as Kodiak) she had a cardiac episode and went unexpectedly to the rainbow bridge. She was 8 years old. Jelly is deeply missed by all who knew her. Still, when I think of her and Kodiak at the bridge I picture her in her infinite exhuberance and him sitting on her and it brings a smile to my face.


I adopted Kodiak when he was 3 years old. I was going through a rough time in my life and so was he. We bonded quickly and soon became inseparable. He was my first training assistant dog and he loved his job. I would take him with me when I taught classes so he could demonstrate different commands. He loved to show off for everyone but his favorite job was helping to socialize the young puppies. He would play and romp with them and lay down on the floor so they could crawl all over him. If they got out of hand he would simply sit on them or pin them down with one of his huge paws then put his nose up in the air and pretend they weren’t there. He was always extremely sweet and gentle, especially with kids. The more kids he had hanging off his ears the better. He eagerly participated in every activity we asked of him. He loved sledding, weightpulling and hiking and had many trophies and medals. On Saturday, May 25th, 2013, I reluctantly sent him to the rainbow bridge. He was 14 years old and my life will never be the same.


I adopted Xena when she was approximately 8 months old. She was gorgeous, powerful and full of life, always ready for the next adventure. Xena was eager to do anything I asked of her and I asked for a lot. We enjoyed camping, hiking, sledding and weightpulling together. In fact, Xena earned quite the reputation at the weightpull competitions even though she never won a trophy. She was more interested in socializing and gaining the attention of small children by sneaking up behind them and pulling off their hats. The pompoms always caught her attention so she would get into stalking mode, sneak up behind a child and pull off their hat. She would then stand there holding the hat, wagging her tail waiting for the child to come and retrieve their hat and of course pet her. This in turn made everyone around roar with laughter,which seemed to encourage her. Xena also had a serious job. She served many years as a therapy dog for the mentally disabled. She was very tolerant of people and always seemed to know just what they needed. There were even a couple of her regular "clients" who didn't speak to people yet they always had plenty to say to Xena when she visited.


I adopted Storm when he was approximately a year old. He was sweet, gentle and eager to please. He got along well with other dogs and adored children. I could take him anywhere. He enjoyed participating in school programs, hiking, sledding and weight-pulling. His passion was weight-pulling. Actually it was not his passion, he was completely obsessed. He always gave 110%. When I married my husband, Scott, my oldest stepson, Justin, started competing with him. The two bonded quickly and Justin always gave Storm a few sips of Mountain Dew at every competition. They soon became known as the "Mountain Dew Duo." I have many trophies and ribbons displayed in my office with Storm's name on them. He always made us proud. When he retired at the age of 10 he was one of the top weight-pulling siberians in the midwest.


ELLIOT was an awesome dog who had a very active life. He excelled at weightpulling, sledding and skijoring. He also worked as a therapy dog for many years. He even did security and police work with his original owner. He was ten years old when I got him after his owner (and my good friend) passed away. He was healthy and happy up until the last few weeks of his life. Ultimately I was forced to make the decision I had been dreading and on November 13, 2012 he died peacefully in my arms at the vet’s office. I think of him all the time and he is greatly missed.