Our first family dog, that I was old enough to remember, was a perfect companion for us kids. She would head out on her rounds in the neighborhood and visit the neighbors. She would lay out in the middle of the street to sun. Everyone in the neighborhood knew who she was and she was a good ambassador for the family, usually. She was very loyal to us fellow pack members. If I was sent to my room, she came with me for comfort and company. She would keep my feet warm under the blankets on cold nights. All of this is likely why I am such a dog person.
I have had a cat who thought it was hilarious to jump out at me when I walked down the hall.
I have had a gerbil that I thought was hilarious when it jumped out at mom from behind the furniture.
…A beta fish that jumped to his tragic death but was nice enough to land on a tissue and wrap himself up.
Animals can be great companions. They can also be used in therapy to help relax spastic muscles and encourage movement of injured limbs. Horses are used to help build core muscle strength in children. There are working service animals that help people and society. Pets can give the lonely and mobility limited a sense of purpose and a feeling of being needed. They can help you feel safe. Some say they can help you sleep better. (That may depend on if they are waking you in the middle of the night to go sniff at the fence.)
If you have been by the relaxation gallery, you may recognize this last picture.
It is a picture of friend that I can no longer go visit at her home a mile away. I thank her for the fun and and the friendship.
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….