The fluff ball curled up next to the man on the seat of the truck and went to sleep. He hadn’t wanted another dog, but finally agreed. They named her “Beep” because her bark sounded like a car horn. When she was six months old, she snuck up next to the man on the recliner as he pretended to be asleep. They napped together like that often when the man was tired from being gone so long. She loved the man more than anything.
She ran like the wind with her long nimble legs as she chased squirrels, and balls, and anything that moved. She loved to help the man work in the yard by catching the wiggly worms he stirred up with his raking and digging. When they brought home a new puppy, she adopted him as her own. Beep and Oreo were best buddies, even though he grew up stocky and couldn’t quite keep up with her and couldn’t turn around as fast as she could. Beep and Oreo didn’t like the bossy hound dog that came to live with them. The hound wanted all the food. The hound thought she was the queen, but Beep knew she was the favorite, because the man always listened to her. She let him know when she wanted a drink of water, or a snuggle on the couch, and he always gave it to her. She could feel his love, and he could feel hers.
When the household split in two, he wouldn’t let her go. “The dogs stay with me. You can have the cats,” he said. Beep became his most loyal companion. As she got older and couldn’t climb the stairs, he carried her up to bed at night.
When the new woman came, Beep wasn’t happy with being displaced. She grudgingly accepted the mom as the new alpha female and adopted the daughter as her own.
They moved south to live with the new woman and her daughter and shared their new home with two new dogs. But Beep always felt loved.The warmer weather helped her move better and the winters were more bearable. She settled into a comfortable routine with her pack.
After a couple years, one of the new dogs, the old silky-haired one who slept a lot, went away. Then, her friend Oreo became very tired. He didn’t want to move. He went away and didn’t come back. She missed her buddy. The daughter wasn’t there much anymore and only came for short visits.
But Beep still knew she was loved by the man and the woman. They both took care of her. They took her for walks and snuggled with her on the couch.
When Beep had lived 15 winters, her back legs got stiffer and didn’t work right. She fell down a lot. The man and the woman helped her up the back steps, and the man gave her shots. They kept loving her, snuggled with her almost every night, and took her to the vet a lot. Then her front shoulder stopped working. It hurt so bad she could hardly get up. She wanted to get up and walk, but she could only hobble. Her body hurt more than she could ever remember. She could feel that the man and woman were worried. She could also feel that they loved her. One day the man took her into the car and held her on his lap while the woman drove the car. She snuggled on his chest with her head on his shoulder just like when she used to sleep with him in the recliner.
Gently, the man put her on the table. The vet came in and gave her a shot. She was getting used to the vet by now. The man and woman were very sad, but she couldn’t worry about that much because she started to feel sleepy – so sleepy she couldn’t keep her eyes open.
She felt strange, like when she woke up from long sleep. She shook her head. Her body felt good! She stood up, and she could walk! It didn’t hurt anymore! Where was she? The soft grass held smells of small animals. In front of her was a bridge of many colors – colors she had never seen before. Another dog appeared on the other side of the bridge. He yipped. It was Oreo! Her good friend! They ran to each other and met on the middle of the bridge. He licked her face and yipped again, telling her to follow him across the bridge. She could smell wonderful things on the other side.
Suddenly, Beep felt like running!
You can’t catch me, Oreo! She shot a look back as she passed him.
She ran like the wind across the rainbow bridge.
In 2010, I asked God to send me a soulmate who loved dogs. We started our life together with five dogs. Now we have two left (Doodle and Marigold.) I believe we will be meeting up with quite a pack of dogs in heaven.
All photos in this post are by Ayla Likens
March 16, 2016 at 4:32 pm
Gone to Rainbow Bridge JoAnna. ❤
March 16, 2016 at 8:02 pm
Yes! Thank you for that clear and beautiful image.
March 16, 2016 at 9:06 pm
You do know about Rainbow Bridge do you?
March 16, 2016 at 10:57 pm
Yes ! Thanks for reminding me. Your comment stimulated colorful vision. I didn’t think about including it in my ending. Maybe I’ll go back later and add it. Maybe heaven is where dogs see more colors. Anything is possible. ❤
March 16, 2016 at 5:47 pm
These types of posts always make me cry. Dogs are family. I’m always thankful to have them in my life and to have given them a forever home. I’m the one who comes out ahead every time 🙂 There’s nothing like dog-love.
March 16, 2016 at 8:06 pm
Sorry about the crying part. I hope you liked the ending. It’s so nice to connect with people who understand about dog love. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience!
March 17, 2016 at 1:55 am
Such a beautiful telling of a life well loved. I had to pull out the tissues but the ending was wonderful.
March 17, 2016 at 7:23 am
Thank you, Evelyn. I’m so glad you liked the ending. I just tweeked it a bit.
March 17, 2016 at 4:01 am
Sending you healing thoughts. Thank you for sharing the lovely story.
March 17, 2016 at 7:24 am
Thank you, Joanne. ❤
March 17, 2016 at 4:10 pm
Very touching. We had a dog that lived to be 18. She was the same age as my older daughter who now wears a necklace containing her ashes around her neck.
March 17, 2016 at 8:10 pm
Wow, that’s very touching! I can imagine how hard the loss was, but glad you shared such a wonderful life for 18 years!
March 18, 2016 at 8:36 am
I loved reading the story of your dogs… The photograph at the end shows the happiness and warmth shared by all of you. Heaven will be a very noisy happening place already!
March 19, 2016 at 3:20 am
I’m so glad you enjoyed this story. Yes, I can imagine dogs running around having a good time and me playing with them. I will love that!
March 19, 2016 at 7:06 pm
Dear JoAnna – this is such a beautiful and poignant posting….yes, it made me feel “misty” and it also reminded me of the unique bond between a person and their dog and the dog and their person. Loss is something we sometimes can’t prevent, however I love how you wrote this piece so elegantly that it fostered loving memories. Sending you comfort, Harlon
March 21, 2016 at 6:45 am
Thank you, Harlon, for such a thoughtful compliment and for the comfort which is well received. I think my love of dogs, and the need to keep those loving memories alive, helped the words flow easily from my heart on this one.
March 20, 2016 at 5:37 pm
You told the story beautifully, JoAnna. I can relate to the heartfelt bonds we form with our pets, and the difficulty in letting them go… They are such beautiful mirrors of love and companionship! They inspire and nurture us, and teach us so many things… Creation is such a beautiful place…!
March 21, 2016 at 6:50 am
Beautiful mirrors of love and companionship – what a perfect description. They do teach us much about love. I’m glad you can relate and understand the beauty of creation. Thank you, Michael.
March 20, 2016 at 9:31 pm
So sad when they go….sad for us. Sorry JoAnna…
March 21, 2016 at 6:52 am
Thank you, Mary. I appreciate your blessings.
March 26, 2016 at 2:24 am
sad for you, but the right thing to do for the beloved Beep
April 13, 2016 at 4:59 am
Thank you for your support, Lorie.
April 12, 2016 at 7:48 am
Pets are family members, JoHanna. I felt all the emotions and your sense of loss. The family and Beep were once very happy, now living on in special fur ball origins and memories. ❤
April 13, 2016 at 5:00 am
I agree. They are definitely family. I wish more people knew this. We are adjusting and grateful for the memories and the support. Thank you!
April 13, 2016 at 6:30 am
You are most welcome. I really liked how you added the rainbow bridge and beautiful reunions of other dogs in your family who have gone before Beep. My Mom’s dog’s vets office has a 3-D painting with cloth dog and cat cut-outs. It is almost like a tapestry. ❤