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Goodnight, sweet prince, and flights of angels sing you to your rest.

Winston Peterson, October 7, 1991 to February 1, 2006

This is one of our last good pictures of Winston, being a Basset by sleeping as much as a cat does.  He had the most perfect Basset head, and had the "noble Basset" pose down perfectly.  He slipped the chains of his aching, failing body this evening, and is no longer suffering.

The recycled stories are cut, but they help me to post them. They may be Christian in tone, but their sentiment is pretty darned Pagan.

Just this side of heaven is a place called the 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....

Author unknown


An old man and his dog were walking along a country road, enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to the man that he was actually dead. He remembered dying, and that his dog too had been dead for many years. He wondered where the road would lead them, and continued onward. After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill a tall white arch that gleamed in the sunlight broke it. When he was standing before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother of pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He was pleased that he had finally arrived at heaven, and the man and his dog walked toward the gate. As he got closer, he saw someone sitting at a beautifully carved desk off to one side. When he was close enough, he called out,

"Excuse me, but is this heaven?"
"Yes, it is, sir," the man answered.
"Wow! Would you happen to have some water?" the man asked.
"Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up."
The gatekeeper gestured to his rear, and the huge gate began to open. "I assume my friend can come in?" the man asked, gesturing toward his dog.
But the reply was "I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets."
The man thought about it then thanked the gatekeeper, turned back toward the road, and continued in the direction he had been going. After another long walk, he reached the top of another long hill, and he came to a dirt road that led through a farm gate. There was no fence, and it looked as if the gate had never been closed, as grass had grown up around it. As he approached the gate, he saw a man just inside, sitting in the shade of a tree in a rickety old chair, reading a book.

"Excuse me!" he called to the reader. "Do you have any water?"
"Certainly, There's a pump over there," the man said, pointing to a place that couldn't be seen from outside the gate. Come on in and make yourself at home."
"How about my friend here?" the traveler gestured to the dog
"He's welcome too, and there's a bowl by the pump," he said.
They walked through the gate and, sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a dipper hanging on it and a bowl next to it on the ground. The man filled the bowl for his dog; he then took a long drink himself. When both were satisfied, he and the dog walked back toward the man, who was sitting under the tree waiting for them, and asked, "What do you call this place?"

"This is heaven," was the answer.
"Well, that's confusing," the traveler said. "It certainly doesn't look like heaven, and there's another man down the road who said that place was heaven."
"Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates?"
"Yes, it was beautiful."
"Nope. That's hell."
"Doesn't it offend you for them to use the name of heaven like that?"
"No. I can see how you might think so, but it actually saves us a lot of time. They screen out the people who are willing to leave their best friends behind."

We'll miss you, old man.


( 42 comments — Leave a comment )
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Feb. 2nd, 2006 03:00 am (UTC)
im sorry hon i wish there was something i could say but all i can say is I feel and understand that feeling all too well. those poems still make me cry.......
they remind me so much of my ginger who died in 2003 arthiritic bent and 14 years old.. we put her to sleep on the morning of the huge blackout. I can never forget her eyes as I left to go to work that morning nor how I couldn't see through my tears.
It's funny because both her and Winston have the same birthday only difference was hers was in 1988...
life is full of coincidences...
but they are both happy now.
Feb. 2nd, 2006 03:07 am (UTC)
I'm sorry:( it's awful to lose a pet.
Feb. 2nd, 2006 03:13 am (UTC)
Our condolences. I believe Val is on the phone with you guys now.
Feb. 2nd, 2006 03:18 am (UTC)
Having also lost a familiar this week, Eric and I send our sympathies and our love.
Feb. 3rd, 2006 05:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks. We also send our sympathies to you are Eric. I heard last Friday, but have not had a chance to contact you two.
Feb. 2nd, 2006 03:26 am (UTC)
*giant gentle hugs*

Much sympathy to you and yours.
Feb. 2nd, 2006 03:29 am (UTC)
I remember my few interactions with Winston *smiling* and for some reason wanting to call him Churchill:) "Noble", I like that. It fits. Thank you for sharing the lovely writings. I had misplaced my own copies. Now I can find them again:) Thoughts of my friends who have gone to the Rainbow Bridge come to mind and I know they will keep your Winston company until the time comes to cross with that special someone. *thinking of all of you*
Feb. 2nd, 2006 03:35 am (UTC)
I asked Surf Cat (my familiar of 16 years) to welcome Winston and show him around.

Blessings to all of you.
Feb. 2nd, 2006 04:42 am (UTC)
"Let this memory lighten grief." I remember Winston and how he was patient for the petting "to come around," when we visited during the dogsitting days. I know you'll miss him, but know that we will as well.
Feb. 2nd, 2006 04:43 am (UTC)
I'm sorry for your loss.
Feb. 2nd, 2006 05:34 am (UTC)
Oh, sweet Winston! I'm so sorry.

There are a herd (almost literal) of beloved dogs awaiting Winston when he arrives at the Rainbow Bridge. I'll tell Tesla to keep an eye out for the fellow.
Feb. 2nd, 2006 06:09 am (UTC)
Do let the TTIA know of the passing of Ajint Snuffleapagus, please.
Feb. 2nd, 2006 05:54 am (UTC)
What a beautiful dog, and a sad loss for you and your family. I hope you have lots of wonderful memories to treasure.
Feb. 2nd, 2006 06:10 am (UTC)
Thank you. I'm most concerned for my husband, because those two bonded almost instantly. We didn't get him till he was 7 years old, but we made sure his last ones were good years.
(no subject) - mactavish - Feb. 2nd, 2006 07:24 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - teal_cuttlefish - Feb. 2nd, 2006 08:23 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - galen_dp - Feb. 3rd, 2006 05:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 2nd, 2006 06:22 am (UTC)
I can see he was loved and knew it. He'll be waiting for you. {{hugs}}
Feb. 2nd, 2006 06:51 am (UTC)
Can you imagine how neat it would be if all of our animals who've crossed the bridge already get to meet each other? And, when we meet again with our beloved friends, how many other new friends we'll all have? My heart hurts for you, Doug and everyone who loved Winston.
Feb. 3rd, 2006 05:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
Feb. 2nd, 2006 07:24 am (UTC)
Aww. *hug*
Feb. 2nd, 2006 07:24 am (UTC)
* hugs * :*(
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( 42 comments — Leave a comment )