A Pet's Prayer
Treat me kindly, my beloved master, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me.
Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I should lick your hand between the blows, your patience and understanding will quickly teach me the things that you would have me do.
Speak to me often, as your voice is the sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footstep falls upon my waiting ear.
When it is cold and wet, please take me inside, for I am now a domesticated animal, no longer used to bitter elements. And I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth.
Though had you no home, I would rather follow you through ice and snow than rest upon the softest pillow in the warmest home in all the land, for you are my God and I am your devoted worshipper.
Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for although I should not reproach you were it dry, I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst. Feed me clean food, that I may stay well to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side and to stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life, should your life be in danger.
And beloved master, should the Great Master see fit to deprive me of my health or sight, do not turn me away from you. Rather hold me gently in your arms as skilled hands grant me the merciful boon of eternal rest... and I will leave you knowing with the last breath I drew, my fate was ever safest in your hands.
....Beth Norman Harris...
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 WISH SOMEONE WOULD TELL ME
WHAT IT IS THAT I DID WRONG
WHY I HAVE TO STAY CHAINED UP
AND LEFT ALONE SO LONG
THEY SEEMED SO GLAD TO HAVE ME
WHEN I CAME HERE AS A PUP
THERE WERE SO MANY THINGS WE'D DO
WHILE I WAS GROWING UP
THEY COULDN'T WAIT TO TRAIN ME
AS COMPANION AND AS FRIEND,
THEY TOLD ME THEY WOULD NEVER FEAR
BEING LEFT ALONE AGAIN
THE CHILDREN SAID THEY FEED ME
SAID THEY'D BRUSH ME EVERYDAY,
THEY'D PLAY WITH ME AND WALK ME
IF I COULD ONLY STAY.
BUT NOW THE FAMILY HASN'T TIME
THEY OFTEN SAY I SHED,
THEY WON'T ALLOW ME IN THE HOUSE,
NOT EVEN TO BE FED.
THE CHILDREN NEVER WALK ME,
THEY ALWAYS SAY "NOT NOW".
I WISH THAT I COULD PLEASE THEM
WON'T SOMEONE TELL ME HOW?
ALL I HAVE IS LOVE YOU SEE,
I WISH THEY WOULD EXPLAIN,
WHY THEY SAID THEY WANTED ME
THEN LEFT ME ON A CHAIN.....
Don't Grieve Too Long
DON'T GRIEVE TOO LONG FOR NOW I'M FREE
I'VE FOLLOWED THE PATH GOD SET FOR ME
I RAN TO HIM WHEN I HEARD HIS CALL
I SWISHED MY TAIL AND LEFT IT ALL
I COULD NOT STAY ANOTHER DAY
TO BARK, TO LOVE, TO ROMP OR PLAY
GAMES LEFT UNPLAYED MUST STAY THAT WAY
I FOUND SUCH PEACE; IT MADE MY DAY.
MY PARTING HAS LEFT YOU WITH A VOID
PLEASE FEEL IT WITH REMEMBERED JOY
A FRIENDSHIP SHARED, YOUR LAUGH, A KISS
OH YES THESE THINGS I TOO SHALL MISS
BE NOT BURDENED WITH TIMES OF SORROW
I WISH YOU THE SUNSHINE OF TOMORROW
MY LIFE'S BEEN FULL, YOU'VE GIVEN SO MUCH
YOUR TIME, YOUR LOVE, YOUR GENTLE TOUCH
PERHAPS MY TIME SEEMED ALL TOO BRIEF
DON'T LENGTHEN IT NOW WITH UNDUE GRIEF
LIFT UP YOUR HEAD AND SHARE WITH ME
GOD WANTED ME, HE SET ME FREE
For a Friend
by Al Shelton
There is nothing quite so sad
for those of us that know
just what it's like to lose a pet
how hard to just let go
Never again to feel that love
and warmth you held so dear
though they're gone, rest assured
their love remains quite near
The many snapshots which you've saved
and the ones in mind and heart
will help you relive happy times
before you had to part
You'll feel that brush against your legs
or, maybe, hear them cry
it's just their way of telling you
they'll always be nearby
And one day, when you're cleaning
you'll find their favorite toy
instead of letting tears escape
make this a time of joy
To revel in their memory
remembering times of past
for if you keep them close at heart
their love will last and last
Right now, it must surely seem
your world is tinted gray
the void your friend has left for you
The love and friendship you two shared
is strong, just as before
just like the memories you both made
today... and evermore!
If It Should Be
IF IT BE I GROW FRAIL AND WEAK
AND PAIN SHOULD WAKE ME FROM MY SLEEP
THAN YOU MUST DO WHAT MUST BE DONE
FOR THIS LAST BATTLE CAN'T BE WON
YOU WILL BE SAD I UNDERSTAND
DON'T LET YOUR GRIEF THEN STAY YOUR HAND
FOR THIS DAY MORE THAN ALL THE REST
YOUR LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP STAND THE TEST
WE'VE HAD SO MANY HAPPY YEARS
WHAT IS TO COME WILL HOLD NO FEARS
YOU'LL NOT WANT ME TO SUFFER SO
WHEN THE TIME COMES PLEASE LET ME GO
I KNOW IN TIME YOU TOO WILL SEE
IT IS A KINDNESS YOU DO TO ME
ALTHOUGH MY TAIL ITS LAST HAS WAVED
FROM PAIN AND SUFFERING I'VE BEEN SAVED
DO NOT GRIEVE THAT IT SHOULD BE YOU
WHO HAS TO DECIDE THIS THING TO DO
WE'VE BEEN SO CLOSE WE TWO THESE YEARS
DON'T LET YOUR HEART HOLD ANY TEARS
If It Should Be
IF YOU EVER LOVE AN ANIMAL, THERE ARE THREE DAYS IN YOUR LIFE YOU WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER...
THE FIRST IS A DAY BLESSED WITH HAPPINESS WHEN YOU BRING HOME YOUR YOUNG NEW FRIEND. YOU MAY HAVE SPENT WEEKS DECIDING ON A BREED. YOU MAY HAVE ASKED NUMEROUS OPINIONS OF MANY VETS, OR DONE LONG RESEARCH IN FINDING A BREEDER OR PERHAPS IN A FLEETING MOMENT YOU MAY HAVE CHOSEN THAT SILLY LOOKING MUTT IN THE SHELTER. SIMPLE BECAUSE SOMETHING IN ITS EYES REACHED YOUR HEART. BUT WHEN YOU BRING THAT CHOSEN PET HOME AND WATCH IT EXPLORE AND CLAIM ITS SPECIAL PLACE IN YOUR HALL OR FRONT ROOM AND WHEN YOU FEEL IT BRUSH AGAINST YOU FOR THE FIRST TIME IT INSTILLS A FEELING OF PURE LOVE YOU WILL CARRY WITH YOU THROUGH THE YEAR'S TO COME.
THE SECOND DAY WILL OCCUR 8, 9 OR 10 YEARS LATER. IT WILL BE A DAY LIKE ANY OTHER ROUTINE AND UNEXCEPTIONAL BUT FOR A SURPRISING INSTANT YOU WILL LOOK AT YOUR LONG TIME FRIEND AND SEE AGE WHERE YOU ONCE SAW YOUTH. YOU WILL SEE SLOW DELIBERATE STEPS WHERE YOU ONCE SAW ENERGY, AND YOU WILL SEE SLEEP WHERE YOU ONCE SAW ACTIVITY. SO YOU WILL BEGIN TO ADJUST YOUR FRIENDS DIET AND YOU MAY ADD A PILL OR TWO TO HIS FOOD AND YOU MAY FEEL A GROWING FEAR DEEP WITHIN YOURSELF WHICH BODES OF A COMING EMPTINESS AND YOU WILL FEEL THIS FEELING ON AND OFF UNTIL THE THIRD DAY ARRIVES...
AND ON THIS DAY IF YOUR FRIEND AND GOD HAVE NOT DECIDED FOR YOU THEN YOU WILL BE FACED WITH MAKING A DECISION OF YOUR OWN ON BEHALF OF YOUR LIFE LONG FRIEND AND WITH THE GUIDANCE OF YOUR OWN DEEPEST SPIRIT. BUT WHICHEVER WAY YOUR FRIEND EVENTUALLY LEAVES YOU, YOU WILL FEEL AS ALONE AS A SINGLE STAR IN THE DARK NIGHT. IF YOU ARE WISE LET THE TEARS FLOW FREELY AND AS OFTEN AS THEY MUST AND IF YOU ARE TYPICAL YOU WILL FIND NOT MANY IN YOUR CIRCLE OF FAMILY OR FRIENDS WILL BE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND YOUR GRIEF OR COMFORT YOU. BUT IF YOU ARE TRUE TO THE LOVE OF THE PET YOU CHERISHED THROUGH THE MANY JOY FILLED YEARS, YOU MAY FIND THAT A SOUL A BIT SMALLER THAN YOURS SEEMS TO WALK WITH YOU AT TIMES DURING THE LONELY DAYS TO COME. AT MOMENTS WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT ANYTHING OUT OF THE ORDINARY TO HAPPEN, YOU MAY FEEL SOMETHING BRUSH AGAINST YOUR LEG VERY LIGHTLY, LOOKING DOWN AT THE PLACE WHERE YOUR DEAR PERHAPS DEAREST FRIEND USE TO LAY; YOU WILL REMEMBER THOSE THREE SIGNIFICANT DAYS. THE MEMORY WILL MOST LIKELY BE PAINFUL AND WILL LEAVE AN ACHE IN YOUR HEART. AS TIME PASSES THE ACHE WILL COME AND GO AS IF IT HAS A LIFE OF ITS OWN. YOU WILL BOTH REJECT IT AND EMBRACE IT. IF YOU REJECT IT , IT WILL DEPRESS YOU; IF YOU EMBRACE IT, IT WILL DEEPEN YOU. EITHER WAY IT WILL STILL BE AN ACHE.
BUT THERE WILL BE I ASSURE YOU A FORTH DAY WHEN ALONG WITH THE MEMORY OF YOUR PET AND PIERCING THROUGH THE HEAVINESS IN YOUR HEART THERE WILL COME A REALIZATION THAT BELONGS ONLY TO YOU. IT WILL BE AS UNIQUE AND STRONG AS OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH EACH ANIMAL WE HAVE LOVED AND LOST. THIS REALIZATION TAKES THE FORM OF A LIVING LOVE LIKE THE HEAVENLY SCENT OF A ROSE THAT REMAINS AFTER THE PETALS HAVE WILTED. THIS LOVE WILL REMAIN AND GROW AND BE THERE FOR US TO REMEMBER. IT IS A LOVE WE HAVE EARNED. IT IS THE LEGACY OUR PET LEAVES US WHEN THEY GO AND IT IS A GIFT WE MAY KEEP WITH US AS LONG AS WE LIVE. IT IS A LOVE WHICH IS OURS ALONE AND UNTIL WE OURSELVES LEAVE PERHAPS TO JOIN OUR BELOVED PET; IT IS A LOVE WE WILL ALWAYS POSSESS.