My sweet Ethel left this world today to join her life mate, Fred, in that place people talk about over the rainbow bridge. A place where dogs run and play, free of pain and aggression, full of joy and as many bunnies as a dog can chase. The place over the rainbow bridge where I told Steve to go when he passed.
“Find Fred, Steve,” I told him as he lay quietly in the hospital bed last fall. “He’s waiting for you.” Tears started rolling down his cheek and I heard him choke up in his comatose sleep.
I can see Ethel joining them in that beautiful place, running free and sharing big sloppy kisses with Fred and her human dad. The bleeding tumor is healed, her appetite restored. She can see as far as the mountain top, clear and bright again. Her body moving as fluidly as the river and her ears flopping like the wings on an eagle.
Ethel was my problem child. Aggressive to other dogs, she would twist and lunge on the leash knocking grown men to the ground. We had an understanding though. She couldn’t get away with that when Mom was walking her. I learned to be alert, on guard, attentive at all times. She mellowed with age and eventually lived up to her nickname “Sweet Ethel”.
With people, she was all hugs and kisses, an 80 pound lapdog. She loved the car. “Let’s go!” was her favorite command. We’d find her in the car long before we were ready to leave. She didn’t want to be left behind.
Fred wasn’t much for the water. He’d wade in the shallow part. But Ethel, she loved swimming. She would fetch sticks in the water for hours. Retrieving on land was boring but nothing distracted her when she was swimming for sticks.
Stroking her soft thick coat, I whispered softly “Find Fred, Ethel. Steve will be with him and they are waiting for you.”