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One day, Mr. Big, we#8217;ll cross the Rainbow Bridge together

This is a very sad time for Martha and me. We just received word that my younger brother and his wife had to have their beloved dog Mr. Big euthanized Thursday.

Our hearts go out to them.

I didn’t spend a lot of time with Mr. Big, as Michael and Melissa live in Michigan, but I remember him from those times we were together.

Like most dogs, he was a loving animal and a good companion to my brother, sister-in-law and later the little girl they adopted.

I do remember how that dog could jump. My brother, who is taller than six feet, would stand up, pat his chest, and from a sitting position in front of him, the dog would jump straight up into his arms. Of course he was much younger then. And so was my brother.

I don’t know Mr. Big’s age at the time of his death, but I know he was an old dog, perhaps 15 or older.

I can certainly relate to the pain they are in today.

We have also lost a few animals, and those of you who are regular readers of this column know we are watching over an old dog right now.

Not too many years ago I lost my oldest cat Mel to cancer. She was one week shy of 17 when I had to make that heart-wrenching decision. Just one year later I had to do it again, but that time the cat, Snow Peas, was only 9.

Then a year later Michael had to have his oldest cat Roe put down.

Since then, my mother has lost her dog Sprite and my sister in South Carolina her dog Olivia.

For those of you who are pet owners and have gone through this experience, you know how we feel right now.

They are more than just animals. They are truly members of the family.

They have very distinct personalities, and no two of them are the same, even if they come from the same litter. Sound a bit like kids?

They are always there for us, no matter what. They don’t judge us.

They give unconditional love, and all they ask in return is that we love them.

And except for the hair, and the fact they walk on four legs instead of two, they aren’t much different than humans. In fact, I’d rather have them around than some people I know.

Having pets is a wonderful experience. Losing them is part of that experience. And despite knowing it’s going to eventually happen, it isn’t any easier when that day comes.

To my brother and his family, and anybody else who has ever lost a beloved pet, I offer the following, called “The Rainbow Bridge.”

“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 that 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

Grant is the managing editor of the Suffolk News-Herald. Contact him at doug.grant@suffolknewsherald.com or 934-9603