I Stood By Your Bed Last Night

I stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peep. I could see that you were crying, You found it hard to sleep.

I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear, "It's me, I haven't left you, I'm well, I'm fine, I'm here."

I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea, You were thinking of the many times, your hands reached down to me.

I was with you at the shops today, Your arms were getting sore. I longed to take your parcels, I wish I could do more.

I was with you at my grave today, You tend it with such care. I want to reassure you, that I'm not lying there.

I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key. I gently put my paw on you, I smiled and said "it's me."

You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair. I tried so hard to let you know, that I was standing there.

It's possible for me to be so near you everyday. To say to you with certainty, "I never went away."

You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew, in the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.

The day is over... I smile and watch you yawning and say "good-night, God bless, I'll see you in the morning."

And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide, I'll rush across to greet you and we'll stand, side by side.

I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see. Be patient, live your journey out ... then come home to be with me.

- Author unknown


It's Been One Year Since My Life Changed Colour

It was a year ago today that a big part of my heart died. It was a year ago today that I had waterworks installed in my eyes that won't stop running. I had to say goodbye to Mazlon on this day last year. November  21, 2011. There was no choice. I know that. It was the only choice to be made especially as she could no longer even stand up and was gasping for breath. ...And yet a huge part of me questions the decision I made.

Mazlon came into my life as a nine week old furry blonde bundle of energy. I got her from a breeder in Richmond Virginia. I was planning on doing search and rescue and fell in love with the puppy that the breeder picked out.  She picked Mazlon because Mazlon could follow a trail that a pixie layed out. While we never did SAR work, Mazlon grew up at the Rescue Squad and loved snuffling around to her last day. Mazlon was a gentle loving soul who was not a cuddler but was always there right by my side giving gentle comfort and held all of my secrets that I shared with her. Mazlon went everywhere with me.


I wish I could write more. I can no longer see my computer screen. (side note ... why is it when you cry, your nose produces more than your tears do?)  The one thing I know is that Mazlon sent me Káva. Káva is a breath of fresh air. I can't even begin to compare the two because they are so different in energy and personality.

Mazlon ... I miss you. The world is grayer without you in it. I know that you are at the Rainbow Bridge with Misha waiting for us to arrive and watching over your pack.

A Dog's Purpose

A Dog's Purpose.

(from a 6-year-old).

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker 's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.

Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ''I know why.''

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live.

He said,''People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?'' The Six-year-old continued, 

''Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long.''

It goes on to say:

Live simply.
Love generously.
Care deeply.
Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:
When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.
Take naps.
Stretch before rising.
Run, romp, and play daily.
Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
Be loyal.
Never pretend to be something you're not.
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.


Having just lost my heart, Mazlon, I found this poem a beautiful description of what happens at The Rainbow Bridge. I can only pray that this is true.


By Kathleene S. Baker


Shiloh awoke ever so rested. She stood, stretched, and the lush meadow of clover beneath her paws felt velvety. She did not understand. Nor did she grasp the beauty all around her -- she'd been sightless for five years, although images did return in dreams. She'd often awake saddened, yet never gave up hope that her vision would return.

Woofs, yaps, song birds, and even unfamiliar sounds echoed in the distance. A babbling brook nearby summoned Shiloh's thirst. She ambled in that direction.

Shortly, overcome with confidence, she picked up the pace, exhibiting a confidence she'd not had in years. She sprinted towards the rivulet. What joy to run again!

Now and then she completed circles at full speed simply for the thrill. Shiloh's vision had returned! Her reflection in the sparkling water was proof! Lapping the cool water, she viewed beautifully hued fish playing chase several feet below the surface.

Shiloh gazed about for mum and dad. She'd only enjoyed free rein in the backyard and felt uncertain. What if she wandered into danger?

As anxiety escalated, two snow-white doves alit beside her. Finally, something familiar! Trees at home teemed with cooing doves when she meandered about her yard. She'd never understood their calls but now she did. They beckoned her to follow.

Looking up as they hovered above her, a rainbow glistened as if each color was configured of precious gemstones. Soon an old-fashioned, arched, stone bridge appeared glinting with gold and silver. The woofs were closer and Shiloh realized the birds crooned Christmas carols!

Only a few paces onto the bridge, Shiloh was astonished -- Josey raced to her side with a shower of kisses. A red ribbon about her neck with tiny Christmas bells attached tinkled with each movement. Momentarily, games of chase and wrestle ensued -- favorites they'd enjoyed before Josey departed her earthly home.

Shiloh instantly understood, this was Rainbow Bridge!

Mum had described it in detail for weeks as her health declined. Josey introduced Shiloh to family members who had come and gone before her. Her folk's first Schnauzer, Festus, greeted Shiloh with a high five! Tiffany, Schnauzer number two, offered kisses. Maggie and Jack, a mum and son duo, approached with wagging tails. Unexpectedly, two tiny Yorkies appeared -- Fang and Fancy! Yorkies, my folks had Yorkies? They greeted her with gestures of love.

Lastly, cousin Greta excitedly arrived. Shioh's angst began to melt in the midst of a loving family. Still, she'd forever miss mum, dad, and her Schnauzer pal Hank. He'd guided her through the darkness and gave her life meaning.

The pack revealed that the Rainbow Bridge was eternally glorious. And Christmas time was breathtaking to behold as they celebrated Christ's Birth -- the creator of domestic pets. He gifted them an inborn ability to develop remarkable bonds with humans.

With holiday preparations underway, Shiloh was in awe. Red birds, Blue birds, and white doves perched in trees -- live ornaments! All sized spiders spun golden webs of garland 'round and 'round the trees and fire flies twinkled in branches. The weather was mild, sunny, and the few clouds shimmered silvery, yet trees were veiled with snow.

For Shiloh, confusion reigned! In unison, the group proclaimed, "All things are possible at the Bridge." Every tree was decorated, none in the same manner. Covered with iridescent snow, a stately scotch pine stood embellished with butterflies, wings aflutter, displaying a magnificent array of colour and creating swirls of snow that enshrouded the tree with luminous motion.

Knowing her mum's love of poinsettias, Shiloh took special note of a huge fir tree filled with vast red blossoms, goldfinch, and thousands of fire flies. All about were gardens of poinsettias.

Tomorrow was Christmas Eve. Shiloh could only imagine what wonder lay ahead. After a hearty warm meal the pack showed her a new fluffy bed adjacent to theirs. It was plush beyond imagination. The family told of how grand golden eagles soar into the skies to select the proper sized cloud for each new arrival.

Shiloh snuggled in.

Once comfortable, an angel approached whispering, "I'm Dana and will always be nearby, Sweet Girl." She gently placed a coverlet, adorned with pink lace, across a now-healthy, restored body and silently vanished.

Shiloh thought to herself, "Dana! She's my aunt and mum's niece. Greta was her puppy. Oh, I am truly safe." She sighed.

Shiloh drifted into sleep while song birds softly sang her mum's favorite Christmas carol, The Littlest Angel. She knew it was meant for her first night at Rainbow Bridge. Mum had always called her a little angel.

Shiloh slept well, stirring only once to roll over.

She dreamt of the day she would sprint to the bridge and joyfully escort mum, dad and beloved Hank to the other side.

Until then she would play, and rest, and romp, and nap, and wait... 

The Dragonfly

The Dragonfly


Once, in a little pond, in the muddy water under the lily pads,
there lived a little water beetle in a community of water
beetles.  They lived a simple and comfortable life in the pond
with few disturbances and interruptions.


Once in a while, sadness would come to the community when one of
their fellow beetles would climb the stem of a lily pad and
would never be seen again.  They knew when this happened; their
friend was dead, gone forever.


Then, one day, one little water beetle felt an irresistible urge
to climb up that stem.  However, he was determined that he would
not leave forever.  He would come back and tell his friends what
he had found at the top.


When he reached the top and climbed out of the water onto the
surface of the lily pad, he was so tired, and the sun felt so
warm, that he decided he must take a nap.  As he slept, his body
changed and when he woke up, he had turned into a beautiful
blue-tailed dragonfly with broad wings and a slender body
designed for flying.


So, fly he did!  And, as he soared he saw the beauty of a whole
new world and a far superior way of life to what he had never
known existed.


Then he remembered his beetle friends and how they were thinking
by now he was dead.  He wanted to go back to tell them, and
explain to them that he was now more alive than he had ever been
before.  His life had been fulfilled rather than ended.


But, his new body would not go down into the water.  He could
not get back to tell his friends the good news.  Then he
understood that their time would come, when they, too, would
know what he now knew.  So, he raised his wings and flew off
into his joyous new life!


~Author Unknown~

On Christmas morning, I wish...

On Christmas morning, I wish...

For every dog searching trash cans for breakfast, a filled bowl with his name printed in bright letters. 

For every dog who slept fitfully last night, chained in a frozen yard, a soft, warm bed with a person snoring gently nearby. 

For every shelter dog, spending Christmas morning in a soiled run, a forever home, filled with sounds and smells of family. 

For every ..."Christmas" puppy given today, a tolerant, caring owner who won't abandon you as you grow into a real dog. 

For every ailing pet, enough money for your owner to pay the bills to make you well. 

For every lost dog, a clear, safe road, and well marked path, to lead you home.

For every old and tired friend, a warm fire, and a soft bed, to ease your aches and pains. 

And...For every Heart Dog at the Bridge, a moment when you know that you are remembered today, missed again, and loved forever. 

Author unknown

Goodbye To A Piece of My Heart

On November 21, 2011, I had to say goodbye to a piece of my heart. Mazlon came into my life on Dec 6, 2000. I had planned on doing Search & Rescue with her, but after working the Pentagon on Sept 11, I decided that I couldn't ask my child to do that. It turned out that Mazlon also had bad hips so it is proably a good thing that we never continued with the training. For the past 11 years, Mazlon went just about everywhere with me ... to work, to the squad, to friends houses, on portrait sessions, and helped raise my nephews.

Mazlon LOVED little critters and was constantly bringing me baby squirrels, baby rabbits, baby anything. Not a hair would be harmed on their heads and Mazlon always looked so proud of herself. Soooo ... I would carefully put them in a box and treck out to Second Chance Wildlife Rescue much to the disappointment of Mazlon. She loved her kitties and when Misha died, she went into a severe depression. It wasn't until I brought Leprechaun into the household long before I was ready that Mazlon started eating and playing again. Lep and Maz bonded and I became the incidental feeding machine for Leprechaun. Mazlon was definately the center of his world. 

When I opened the door for the final time to carry Mazlon to the car as she could no longer stand or walk, I noticed that the herd of deer that Mazlon loved to chase and would often wait for Mazlon to catch up to them was standing at the edge of the woods in front of my house as if to say goodbye. It was as if God were giving me the final sign that it was time to let her move on to the Rainbow Bridge.

I know Mazlon is waiting at the Rainbow Bridge happily gathering up chipmunks, squirrels, and baby rabbits caring for and making a home for them. It is going to be a painful adjustment for me and my other fur kids. She had a wonderful final weekend in West Virginia where she got to sniff the smells of the past 150 years in Harpers Ferry and wade in the Shenandoah River ... swimming was her favorite sport.


Goodbye To My Heart from Lida Verner on Vimeo.

On November 21, 2011, I had to say goodbye to a piece of my heart. This tribute video is a therapy for me and is comprised of a mixture of images I have taken over the past 11 years. Some of the images are of pretty poor quality taken with phone cameras and some of the earliest digital cameras. It is a long video (12 minutes) but since it was done primarily for me, I wasn't concerned about the length.

Mazlon, I miss you. You will always be in my heart. Have a blast at the Rainbow Bridge.

The songs used in this video are:

"All This Joy" by John Denver http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/all-this-joy/id428820994?i=428821025

"Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

"Only the Ones We Love" by Tanita Tikaram

The songs used in this video are:
"All This Joy" by John Denver 
"Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole 
"Only the Ones We Love" by Tanita Tikaram




The direct link: http://vimeo.com/32900426