I just found this beautiful poem on the internet about where animals go when they have to leave us. As I was reading it the tears started falling - it is a beautiful, moving poem! It makes me feel happy knowing Shanna is up there with the other "gals" who were members of our family, & that they are running around & playing whole & pain-free. I would like to share this poem with all who read my blog & have a love of animals as much as I do -- ------------------------------------------------------- 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.
As soon as mommy came home from work, she let me out of my crate & told me to hurry cuz she wanted to let me outside before it started to rain harder. I HATE RAIN! When it rains mommy says, “It’s raining puppies & kitties!” I don’t know why cuz I watch where I walk so I don’t step on any, but, all that happens is that I get wet. I don’t like the loud booming noise or flashes of light either. Boy, did I haveta go! I’ll wait until it stops to go out again. I’m a big Husky so I can hold it, I hope!
Daddy called mommy to let her know that he would be a little late coming home from work cuz it was raining & they wouldn’t be able to go out on a trail ride with the horses. When they go out to the barn, he will attach the horse trailer to his truck & take it to the place where they will inspect it. I’m luckier than the horses! When I go bye-byes for a ride, I get to be in the car either in my crate or on the seat beside them. Mommy stays in the back seat to be wif me. But, I rather take her front seat & sit beside daddy, tee-hee!!
Mommy told me that they will bringing home a Sibe puppy to grow up to be my buddy on Saturday. She is all excited. She says that I will be a big help with him. You betcha! He’s going to be housebroke real quick cuz I like my bedtime beauty sleep! He’ll hafta listen to me, won’t he, cuz I will be the big brother!!
Years ago at Equine Affaire in Columbus, Ohio, I stopped at the Rocky Mt. Horse booth. The breeder explained to me how “people-friendly” & giving their temperaments are. Their rocking-motion gait does not jar a rider’s aching bones. He invited me into the stall to meet his stud horse. The animal leaned towards me as I pet him & even let me hug him. The breeder did say, however, that he would never dream of letting me ride him because this particular horse had too big of a “motor” for me. I liked his honesty. Two years ago (time does fly!), I came to the realization that I had to divorce myself from my present horse, Snoopy. After 2 big accidents & the horse not respecting me or any rider on the trails anymore, it was time to call it quits. Joel said that this time around I should look for my “dream” horse, a Rocky. In April of 2005, Joel & I started on our trek for a Rocky Mountain to be my next trail buddy. We met a lot of good Rocky people along the way. Through word of mouth from one Rocky owner to another in Ohio, we were led to Dan Weber’s place in Morrow, OH. Within 15 min. of being called, he had Charlie saddled & waiting for me to try. I must admit that it was not love at first sight on my part. Charlie’s feet were too long & he still had his dark, bushy winter coat. I rode him at a walk around the property with Dan walking beside us until I felt more confident & continued on Charlie by myself. When I asked why he would consider selling Charlie to me, I was given the answer, “Because I think you need him more than we do!” And, of course, I got emotional & started to cry. Two weeks later, Joel hooked the trailer to his truck & we started out on our week-long Rocky Mt. horse quest. We had appointments from West Virginia, to 3 parts of Kentucky & finally ended our quest back at Dan Weber’s on Wednesday of that week. Dan & his friend, Shonda, took Joel & me on a 2-1/2 hr. trail ride at a park near them. This was the best way for me to experience how Charlie handled himself on a trail ride. We both did just great as a team! We even walked by his dad, Dusty, giving Dan a hard time because he wanted to go swimming in the creek that we crossed over. At one stretch, we all broke out in the Rocky gait so I could experience how smooth this breed’s gait is. Yes, it was love then! Joel said that I was grinning from ear-to-ear. On May 12, 2005, we brought Charlie Horse home to Pittsburgh. We had a few “rocky” starts with mounting & spooking on the trail. Riders beware - of horsey eating bunnies on the trail, ha-ha (inside joke with Cutter)! Charlie is a great trail horse as well as my buddy - he looks out for the both of us on the trail. When he gets into his gait, we float! I will always be a timid rider, but he has helped me to overcome a lot of the fear with trust on both our sides. Charlie & I have come a long way in the two years that we have owned each other. His motor is just fine for me!
Cutter is a 17-year old, 15.2 hands Quarter Horse. He joined our family in February 1999. After Joel finished test riding him, Cutter put his head over Joel’s shoulder & snuggled with him as if to say, “Take me home & we’ll be great partners.” He knew who the softie of the family was! Joel more or less got into horses so I would have someone to ride with on the trails. I do not ride alone. But, Cutter is Joel’s boy through & through. Yes, I have even caught Joel giving Cutter a few smooches on his nose - but don’t say I said so! In the beginning, Cutter had some wee little problems that had to be dealt with. One of them was rearing when Joel started to mount him; another was taking off when Joel put his foot in the stirrup. Joel & Cutter had discussions during that period over what was acceptable Mullin horse behavior. Cutter came to realize that those little behavior quirks were not going to continue. The most horrible time that we had to live through was when Cutter came down with the Strangles. We thought we were going to lose him. At one point, it was touch & go. Joel & Cutter really bonded during the time of his illness. He has turned into an awesome riding buddy for Joel. If he wasn’t such a great horse, our trailer would have come back with 2 Rocky Mt. Horses when we added Charlie to our family 2 years ago. Joel & Cutter still have their discussions from time-to-time, but Joel likes it when Cutter is showing some spirit & does his ‘happy-hops.’ Cutter loves to be with his best buddy, Norris. On a trail ride he tolerates Charlie. Charlie can rub his head on Cutter’s tail & doesn’t get kicked. But when Charlie, Norris & Cutter are in turn-out, Cutter bullies my Charlie. He gets jealous when Norris pays attention to him. He is just telling the little ‘whipper-snapper’ who is boss!
One of the 4 "hack" horses that we leased in October 1998 from Rolling Hills Ranch in Bridgville, PA, was a 14.2 hand Appaloosa named Norris. He was supposed to have been Joshua's horse. One evening Josh asked me if I wanted to give Norris a try. The first time I sat on his back he acted like a goof-ball. I got off & gave him back to Josh. Norris had more spirit & stubborness (definitely he fits right in with our family, ha-ha!) than the horse that I usually rode at RHR. The next night, I asked Josh if I could give Norris another try. That was it Norris became my boy! Josh started riding one of the other horses that we had leased named Calvin. From that day on, Norris & I were a team. In April 1999, I bought Norris from Rolling Hills Ranch. He looked out for the 2 of us on the trail. I know that this horse loved me. The whole time I rode him he never bucked or threw me off. Sometimes I would be too much in his mouth. It was as if he knew that I was a fearful rider & he put up with me. He always knew when he was being really stubborn & not listening. That was when I got off & Joel got on. Norris would give me a look then look back at Joel with an expression on his face as if to say, "Boy, I'm in for it now!" He is now around 26+ years young. We have semi-retired him. When he does go out on the trail with Joel, Josh, or a friend, he is still an awesome sure-footed boy & full of 'giddy-up & go!' I haven't ridden him on the trails for about 3 years. At my time of life (yep, the years are creeping up slowly), I need a riding buddy who is a little calmer, more laid back, & doesn't have the sudden, quick movements that Norris has. Norris knows that mommy still loves him though. She takes care of him & gives him lots of rubs & treats. But I do it now from the ground, rather than on his back.
Nine years ago (1998), we didn’t know what to do for a family vacation. Suggestions were Atlantic City & Disneyworld. Got the - “been there, done that” - from the family! They wanted to do something different. Then Marlene suggested, “How about a dude ranch?” At that time the kids watched the Nickelodeon show, Hey Dude (& Marlene sometimes watched it, too!). She read & researched to find the best ranch with day & evening activities to keep Joel, Erin, & Josh from getting bored. Tumbling River Ranch in Grant, CO, a 4-boot family-owned dude ranch, was picked. Before we went on vacation, Joel suggested going somewhere locally in Pittsburgh to get our bodies used to horseback riding. We started riding at Rolling Hills Ranch in Bridgeville, PA once every other week until we went on our vacation. We left on a Sunday in June & returned the following Sunday for the dude ranch. They had camp groups for Erin & Josh. The day activities included half-day to all-day horseback rides, short & long rides to brunch ride, ride to a fajita lunch, & a day of white-water rafting. Marlene did not join in on the white-water rafting. She rode her horse! Joel took Erin & Josh white-water rafting. You can definitely say that this vacation started us/Marlene in horses. She wasn’t bitten by the horse bug; she was infested by it, ha-ha!! Everyone in the family had a great time. When we returned to Pittsburgh, Joel told Marlene that he would continue to take her horseback riding every other week at Rolling Hills Ranch. The one week that was to be the off week, Marlene suffered horse-withdrawal that Joel gave in & took her riding for her horse fix. At the end of September, the owner of Rolling Hills asked Joel if we would like to lease 4 of their horses for the winter. We would be able to come & go as a boarder. This would give us the opportunity to see if we wanted to pursue horses. Well, let’s see 3 & several horse in-between years later . . . . .
My name is Cosmos. I am an almost 2-year old Siberian Husky. I adopted my 2-legged mom & dad (Marlene & Joel) through MAPAW Siberian Husky Rescue in February 2007. Mommy gave me my birfday as July 10, since when I came to be wif them they said I was near 1-1/2. I was very sad to leave my MAPAW foster family, but mommy keeps in touch with them. In December 2006, mommy & daddy had to say good-bye to their girl Siberian, Shana Maidel (9-1/2 years young) when she crossed the Rainbow Bridge. The house was just too woo-less & empty without any Sibes to keep them company. So, mommy & daddy agreed to be part of my "furever" family. Since I was used to having 4-legged buddies to play with at my MAPAW foster family, The Stoutino Inn & Foster Kennel, mommy & daddy told me that very shortly they will be bringing home another Sibe-puppy so I will have someone to hang out & play with. Hopefully that will happen real soon.
Mommy's passions are Siberian Huskies (& all breeds of dogs, too) & horsies. Daddy has helped mommy continue with her dream of riding & owning horsies by surprising her with Charlie Horse, a Rocky Mountain gaited horsie, in 2005 for her birthday present. Presently, our 4-legged clan consists of 2 Sibes (me, Cosmos), my Sibe bro, (the demon youngin, Juneau), & 2 horsies (Charlie Horse & his bro, Bud - Norris has been retired to Maryland in 8/07 & Cutter to his 1st family in 3/08). The 2-legged members are Daddy-Joel, Mommy-Marlene, Joshua, Erin & her hubby, Eric. We live in Pittsburgh, PA. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.