Rest in Peace Echo, our beloved family dog. Echo was 1 year old when we brought him home from the San Diego County Animal Shelter. Tim and I had been married just over 2 years and Echo was our first dog. He was a classic mutt – a little foxhound, boxer, probably some pit thrown in.
He was a supremely silly puppy and his antics made us laugh a lot. I will remember watching him fred-flintstone it on our wood floors and crash into every piece of furniture and wall in the house. His ability to destroy any toy in minutes was impressive to say the least. He was also a very smart dog and knew commands like “shake right” and “shake left,” how to speak, lay, stay, find any of his numerous toys by their individual name, and just a few months ago I taught him “roll over” – which just goes to show you that an old dog CAN learn new tricks! When he was a puppy I took him to work with me at a house that sat on an acre of land. He ran the length of it many times a day, chasing ducks and birds, and splashing in whatever body of water was available. He made friends with the 2 Great Danes on the property and was routinely put in his place by them.
Echo was an excellent watch dog (some nights a little too excellent); I distinctly remember a time when Echo roused us in the middle of the night. He was in the bedroom with Tim and I wrapped myself in a blanket and went to the living room to look under the drapes. When Echo and Tim came out of the bedroom I suddenly heard Tim yell “it’s mommy! It’s mommy!” and I turned around to see that Echo had positioned himself right in front of Tim, ready to protect his human.
We adopted Whisper when Echo was almost 3 (she was 4 months old). When I brought her home Tim held our new little puppy up in front of Echo when he suddenly caught sight of a long, thin, white, moving toy near daddy. Needless to say, Echo reached up and nipped at the end of it, Whisper gave a sharp yelp from having her poor tail bitten and Echo fell back in shock! So began many years of chase and play between Echo and Whisper. When Whisper was a puppy she would work Echo into a tizzy and then dive-bomb under the couch before he could catch her. He would run after her and slam, nose first, into the couch trying to reach her. They spent many hours chasing each other around and around the gazebo in our backyard, and sometimes in the evenings they would suddenly begin howling at the moon together – it was a beautiful sound.
During Echo’s final days we had a lot of fun together. Tim braved the December-cold pool water at our neighbor’s house in order to give Echo a chance to swim again. This was something he loved to do when he was a puppy, and it was 90* outside. He didn’t seem to like it so much in December, when it was 65* outside, but hey, we tried! Echo had his very own big bowl of popcorn, but would only eat it from my hand. In one of the shining achievements of his life, Echo was finally allowed to sleep on the bed with us, and lay on the couch without reprimand. Tim took him for a run and we went on a long car ride where Echo got to sit in the front seat and have the window rolled all the way down. He had a raw steak dinner and got to lick Tim all over his face for as long as he wanted. And, of course, Echo was given lots of hugs, kisses, and belly rubs.
Echo, we loved you very much and we will miss you dearly. You brought us much joy and though you are gone from this life, you will never be absent from our hearts. Till we see you at the bridge . . .
The Rainbow Bridge
By the edge of a wood, at the foot of a hill,
Is a lush green meadow where time stands still.
Where the friends of man and woman do run,
When their time on earth is over and done.
For here, between this world and the next,
Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.
On this golden land they wait and they play,
Till the rainbow bridge they cross over one day.
No more do they suffer in pain or in sadness,
For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.
Their limbs are restored, their health is renewed,
Their bodies have healed with strength imbued.
They romp through the grass without even a care,
Until one day they start and sniff at the air.
All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back,
Then all of a sudden one breaks from the pack.
For just at that instant, their eyes have met;
Together again, both person and pet.
So they run to each other, these friends from long past,
The time of their parting is over at last.
The sadness they felt while they were apart,
Has turned into joy once more in each heart.
They embrace with a love that will last forever,
And then, side by side, they cross over together.
(this poem can be found at: http://www.newrainbowbridge.com/NRB/rbpoem.htm)