I had a dream last night that my best buddy was still here on Earth.
In the dream, I had an argument with Abe, how out of character!, and was going outside for fresh air. Upon opening the back door, there stood my best bud, my black lab mix, Speedy.
He looked a little older, had some more gray in his muzzle than I remembered, but it was him. I remember gasping and running to him, calling for Abe as I embraced him, my mind and my heart at ease and overjoyed to have my fur baby back in my arms.
Abe ran out with the kids, as I started up the stairs with him, letting him in the house, thoughts racing through my head. “I knew he wasn’t gone,” I said to myself as I hunted for the dog shampoo.
“We’ll have to watch him around the babies, ” I warned Abe. He was not a fan of kids in general, but he was protective.
I remember smiling, kissing his soft fur and laughing. “See? He’s not gone! He went on an adventure. I knew he would come back!”
And all too soon, I awoke, reality set in, and now tears are running down my cheeks as I type this. Speedy used to kiss away my tears whenever I was sad. It’s hard to keep crying when you’re laughing from the tickle of a nosy puppy in your face, licking away the tears as if to say, “Stop it! Let’s play!”
Speedy was 13 years old when we lost him, just a little over two years ago. He was taken outside, and in the rush of everything going on, no one noticed when he didn’t come back in. A short while later, when things calmed down and I noticed he was no where to be found, I was frantic. I ran through the house, searching every hiding place I could think of, before running outside and screaming for him.
We walked through the woods, getting covered in seed ticks as we searched for Speedy. Going to bed that night without him made me physically ill.
The next morning I printed out 100 photos of Speedy to hand out to the neighbors, feeling certain that someone must have seen him and just taken him in, feeling bad for him.
It wasn’t long after handing out a handful of fliers that we heard something disturbing.
A dog was seen wandering around, not acting well. This was in August, but the temperatures weren’t overly hot. Still, it must have been too much for him. I think he was having a heat stroke. Instead of trying to help, the neighbor called the subdivision manager to get him out of her yard. By the time he got there, he had passed.
The manager then wrapped him in a trash bag and put him in the dumpster. Threw him away like he was trash. By the time we found this out, the dumpsters had been emptied, there was no way to be sure, there was no way to say good bye. No closure.
The guilt of what happened, the shock of losing him, the loss of my friend…. I was a mess. The grief overtook me. Speedy was my first baby. I remember telling Abe before we ever had any kids that Speedy would always be number one in my heart. If he didn’t like our kids, tough for them, because Speedy wouldn’t be going anywhere. Luckily for our kids, he tolerated them pretty well. :)
So did Speedy’s spirit/ghost/whatever you want to call it come to visit me last night? Well, call me insane, but it helps my heart to think that he did so that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.
What I wouldn’t give for that dream to come true! To open the door and see my buddy, just waiting for me, ready to step back in and take over where he left off.
It helps me to think that one day, I will see him again. Have you ever read the Rainbow Bridge? It is a poem that was written to help owners when their beloved pets die. It is a tear jerker, that’s for sure, but it is also beautiful. I guess I will end this with that poem and just say to Speedy, thank you for being awesome. I miss you.
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….