An awful sadness has fallen over our group. It's times like these, that make rescue work so hard. When every measure was taken and everything that could have possibly done was done ... and we still don't get a happy ending. It makes us question many things and shed a lot of tears collectively.
Winken was a little guy out of the puppy mill system. He really wasn't that old when we got him, but he had been so scarred by his time in the mill that he was very timid and shy. He was very loving and warm at home with his foster Mom, but he had a terrible time enduring the adoption events and was very skittish.
Times like these we grasp for reasons to not feel completely defeated. We tell ourselves at least Winken spent the last year of his life in a loving home with a warm bed, plenty of food in a much more peaceful world than he had come from from. At least Winken was found and was able to take his last breath in a warm home with someone there to care for him and let him know he was not alone. But it doesn't take away all the grief and tears. It seems like when one of our rescue dogs dies, all the other dogs who haven't made it in our group come to mind and add to the sadness and confusion. The rainbow bridge is a common term discussing when a beloved animal passes on. The poem is below and I have to admit I usually can't read it because it makes me cry.
The Rainbow Bridge - Anonymous
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....