The majority of pet owners are aware of the poem titled The Rainbow Bridge. Does everyone believe in this magical place? My thoughts on that is that there are three groups of people: the ones who believe with every ounce of their being that such a wonderful place exists; the ones who do not believe at all , and the third group are the people who just aren't sure...they want to believe that there is such a place, but have their doubts.
This is our story...from doubters to believers. Our story sadly begins on January 23rd, 2011 when we had to say goodbye to Tigger our 12 year-old German Shepherd Mix. His health had been declining, but we we stunned to hear that his organs were shutting down. Reality came knocking...we had to say goodbye.
We decided to have Tigger cremated because laying him to rest whole was not an option in the middle of January. It took a week to receive his ashes. During that week, Toby waited for his faithful companion, and waited, and waited some more. He would either be laying out in our yard and staring at the road, or would be looking out the window waiting for Tigger to return.
On the 8th day, we finally brought Tigger home. I brought the dogs over to Tigger and we formed a circle around him. They finally understood that Tigger was at The Rainbow Bridge and he was fine. Toby took over Tigger's duties as the leader of the pack and would have made Tigger proud.
Fast forward to May 27th, 2011 when my world came crashing down around me. I received the news that my baby bear had a very large inoperable brain tumor. I can't even describe how I felt....the pain, the anger, and the regret for a future that wasn't going to include my Toby.
I was simply devastated. After moping around the house and crying for a few days, I decided to cut through the fog and celebrate Toby's life for the remaining days he had with us. I spoke to him everyday and asked if he could stay with us until his 7th birthday on June 15th. Every morning I'd say "one more day, baby boy..one more day".
Toby fought valliantly and made it to his 7th birthday and beyond. But on June 22nd it was apparent that it was time to say goodbye. Surrounded by his pack, and in his favorite spot in the backyard we said our goodbyes...Toby slipped peacefully away.
We wrapped Toby in a blanket so that we could step away to get his final resting place ready. His Dad and Pearl went to finish that task, while Buster and I stayed with Toby. Buster laid down next to Toby and watched over him until it was time. As Paul walked by me, he sadly said to me that he really hoped that The Rainbow Bridge exisited and that Tigger was there to greet him. I told him you have to believe...that's what keeps us going.
As Paul was working, I decided that I wanted to make a few imprints of Toby's paw, so he would be forever in our home. The recipe made 5 disks, and I did one imprint at a time, travelling from the kitchen to Toby, back and forth.
I laid each finished cast of Toby's paw on the stovetop side by side. As I came in with the 5th pawprint I looked over to the stove and what I saw made my heart skip a beat. I started crying uncontrollably. Streaking across the 4 completed pawprints was a rainbow, which was being cast by some sort of "prism effect" through our window.
For those who do not believe...here is your sign. I stood there in silence for a few minutes, crying uncontrollably. Toby had told me that he had reached the Bridge and had been reunited with his brother Tigger.
I believe that when our soul is released there is a transition period. This" miracle" told us that the process takes 45 minutes, because the rainbow crossed Toby's paw prints exactly 45 minutes after he took his final breath. My camera was nearby, so I took pictures because I knew that the doubting Thomases would still not belive if they did not see it with their own eyes.
I met Paul as he was returning from his grim task and said to him that Toby was OK...we need not worry anymore and showed him the pictures. We cried together, tears of disbelief for what had happened, but also tears of joy knowing that our kids were together and would be waiting for us when the time came for our final reunion.
So for the droves of people out there that just aren't sure if The Rainbow Bridge exists, please take this as a sign, and believe.......I BELIEVE.
RIP sweet Toby & Tigger....we will be reunited someday.
"He who has faith has... an inward reservoir of courage, hope, confidence, calmness, and assuring trust that all will come out well - even though to the world it may appear to come out most badly"~B.C. Forbes