I said farewell to a goat this week. We are slowly closing down the farm, as we prepare for new adventures elsewhere, and as the stock animals die they are not being replaced. Belle was old; she was rickety; it was time. Still, she gave us some good years, some good kids and some good milk. Her daughter, Sequoya, is the last goat standing.
Somehow, about a month ago, I let the second anniversary of the death of my Best. Dog. Ever. slip past me. Her name was Tasha. She was some kind of husky. We called her The Wolf. She shared my soul. I miss her at least once a week; I can still feel her coat and see her face when I think of her.
There is a long parade of animals that have gone on ahead of me since I was a child. I was relieved to learn of the Rainbow Bridge when I began my journeys in Native American culture. That was the first place I encountered it; in a story about a boy and a dog. I have encountered the idea in other places since then; I believe that is where the Rainbow Bridge moniker actually came from.
If you are not familiar with the concept, the belief is that there is a bridge we all must cross to get to the next reality that is guarded by all the animals (especially the dogs) we have cared for in this lifetime. If we have been unkind to many of those animals, they will oppose our passing over the bridge.
I am hopeful that Tasha will return to lead me to the bridge; I am hopeful that she will forgive me for not realizing what was killing her. I am also hopeful that my old horse, Rocky, will forgive me for letting him linger for three days because I wanted to let him die with dignity. I hope Lager will be in his right mind in the next world; he was schizophrenic in this one.
And there are many others I am anxious to see again: Stephan (the fuzz-head), Dimitri, Thor, Sheba (She-Bear), Duke, Tordenskjold (Torrie), Nianke, Cuddles, Glitter Girl, and Jet. Those are just the ones I had a very personal relationship with; the parade is much longer than that.
That had better be a really big bridge. There should be a lot of old friends waiting there.