5 years ago our home became a little bit louder and our hearts became a little larger when I brought Henley home from the Hancock County SPCA for a visit to see if he would get along with Bob and Wishbone. He never went back. Today, we said goodbye to Henley, and I know that Bob, Wishbone and Katie were waiting for him at the Rainbow Bridge.
Henley loved to bark, oh didn't he love to bark. He would sit by the window year round and bark at everyone, dog or person that walked in front of our house. He was a great dog, but at the age of 12 he had been recently been diagnosed with lymphoma and was struggling.
Henley put up with the arrival of not only 1 Great Dane, Wilma, but her brother too in Elmer. He would bark at them, and when they became a little too rambunctious for him, he'd go to his corner. Truth be told, the Danes knew Henley was in charge. Elmer would never walk past him if he was lying in the doorway to the kitchen. He'd sit there and whine, until we opened another door so he could get into the kitchen from the dining room.
Henley didn't come into our bedroom until his final days. The first night when we brought him home Bob barked and growled at him, telling him that the bedroom was his, and no matter how well we tried to coax him, he would sleep upstairs in the bathroom or in the TV room.
When we first lost Katie, someone shared the Rainbow Bridge poem with me. It's brought me so much comfort in the years, and someday, when I pass away, there's going to be such a dog party at 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 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....