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....
If it should be that I grow frail and weak
and pain should wake me from my sleep,
then you must do what must be done
for this last battle can’t be won
You will be sad, I understand
don’t let your grief then stay your hand,
for this day more than all the rest
your love and friendship stand the test
We’ve had so many happy years
what is to come will hold no fears,
you’ll not want me to suffer, so
when the time comes, please let me go
I know in time you too will see
it is a kindness you do to me,
although my tail it’s last has waved
from pain and suffering I’ve been saved
Do not grieve that it should be you
who has decided this thing to do,
we’ve been so close, we two, these years
don’t let your heart hold any tears
SHEILA (June 1990 – October 2002)
Sheila was one of our original club members, she also was one of the key factors (spelled D-O-G-S) that contributed towards starting “The Canine Disc Masters” which later evolved into the current Disc Dogs in Southern California.
She was a brown-eyed blue merle Australian Cattledog with a black and white raccoon striped tail, only a few months old when I found her at the Santa Ana Animal Shelter it was love at first sight, from the first time I picked her up until the last day we shared together, she always had that sparkle in her eyes whenever I spoke to her.
Our first of couple years together Sheila and I attended many obedience, agility and just fun canine classes; her attitude and unique coloring always made her popular and she made friends with both people and animals everywhere we went.
We discovered Canine Frisbee late in life (she was 7-years old when we started) and although she was never considered a threat in Freestyle, in the toss and fetch competition she almost always placed high.
She was semi-retired when she reached 10-years old and began to slow down a bit. Her heart was always into playing with that plastic disc even when she was battling the Cancer that eventually claimed her life at 12-years old.
She enjoyed working the demo’s the Club put on and loved having the excited kids throw the Frisbee for her to chase. I’m sure she left a lasting impression on many a child, including the kids in one of the condos we lived in.
We lived upstairs (facing the inside of a fenced in quadrant) and the complex’s young kids would come up asking if Sheila could come out and play, She would look up to me and flash her smile that said “Please, please, please” and of course I’d tell her “Go Play” and wouldn’t see her until later when she appeared at the top of the stairs outside our door.
Her very last day with me broke my heart and still chokes me up reminiscing about it. The cancer had been eating away at her, and in my heart I knew it was time. I took her out into the back yard for a few minutes and the first thing she did was to pick up a Frisbee, I threw it for her a few times before telling her it was time to go.
It was so hard letting her go, she was my friend, confidant and competitor, but I also couldn’t stand by and let her suffer any longer. I will always keep her close to me in my memory and more importantly, in my heart. Thanks for taking the time to read this and letting Sheila reach out once again and touch someone.
He was just six weeks old when I first laid eyes on him, he was a McNab Shepherd, one of the lesser known-herding breeds, a black and white bundle of energy. After paying an agreed upon price, we stopped at my wife’s mom’s house on the way home, she lives on horse property up near Santa Inez.
We had brought our other two dogs along for the ride, Marley, a Rottie-mix rescue (my wife’s dog) and Tazzie, my almost two-year old Australian Cattledog. We took all three of them out to play in one of the corrals behind the house.
Both Marley and Taz love to chase Frisbees and I had brought a couple along. The first throw had both of them racing after the white plastic disc. Tazzie got there first, made the catch and was bringing it back with Marley beside her, the puppy who had been sitting beside me had watched their every move.
On the second throw, the puppy joined in, running full gait, trying to keep up with both the bigger dogs. I couldn’t help but to laugh. We played for over 30-minutes and the puppy never gave up. The three of them slept all the way home.
In the short time span of two weeks, the black and white puppy, now named “Chase”, was running down his own Frisbees (we had got a couple of smaller ones for him). Before he hit three months, he was leaping into the air to catch the plastic discs.
A week later he died. What happened? Chase had caught Parvovirus while we were visiting friends, we hadn’t known they had it the virus on the premises, they didn’t either. Chase and I had played with the Frisbee on Saturday morning, he became ill Saturday night, we gave him fluids and kept a close eye on him all day Sunday. By Thursday, after a solid four days at the vet's he lost his battle against the virus.
This is Nitro, he came from the efforts of Maggie Elliott's male McNab Herbert, and Gail Kampen's female McNab-Border Collie, Dallas.
He began to show a strong interest in Frisbee at nine weeks old and by the time he was five months old he was competing in toss and fetch.
He was my canine soulmate, we did everything together and became more "in-tune" than I've ever experienced with a dog.
By the time he was one year old we were competing in Freestyle Disc, getting better with each passing competition.
I lost Nitro when he was 15-months old, he got out of the yard, wandered up onto the highway and was struck and killed instantly. My world came crashing down and I was totally devestated with his loss.
Both Maggie and Gail were aware of what I was going thru, I got a call from Maggie a week later offering me a pup from another litter that had just been born, she told me it was a black tri little boy and that she would hold him for me. I told her I couldn't even think about another dog for a while, but she was insistant and we made the trip up to Visalia 8-weeks later.
I felt something special for this little guy and agreed to take him, we named him Maverick and you can see his picture on my homepage. Replace Nitro? wasn't supposed to, never has that's a seperate place in my heart. Maverick is writing a whole new chapter in my life and occupies his own spot of my heart!
Annie Oakley, my sweet little Blonde McNab!
After seeing two blonde male McNabs from Sundance's litter, I mentioned to Laura Fowler, the breeder, that if she gets a blonde female in her next litter that I wanted it.
A year later Laura called with the news "I've got your little girl" I fell in love with her the instant I saw her.
Annie took a strong liking to Frisbee and floated threw the air making spectacular catches. A tragic accident cut her amazing life short, in her last competiton, she wow'd the crowd with 10! airborne catches finishing 1/2-point out of first in the Intermediate class.
She was one in a million and getting over her loss has not been easy. I had a plaque dedicated to her at the Redlands Dog Park! "GodSpeed my Beautiful Sweet Annie, love David"