Article #1: Military working dog, Lucky, passed away in September from cancer. He was 10 years old and served 5 tours in Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan. This dog provided extra security for president, vice-president, and congress visits in addition to serving with his handler in over 30 local emergencies around Fairchild Air Force Base. This was the 3rd time he battled cancer over 10 short years. His service mates memorialized him on Thursday in a special ceremony, complete with a chaplain. His girlfriend, a Belgian Malinois working dog like him named Dakota, attended the service as well. RIP Lucky!
Article #2: In June 2005, Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell (author of Lone Survivor) was the only survivor of his team after a firefight with Taliban forces in Afghanistan. DASY, a Labrador retriever named with his initials and the initials of the team he lost (Danny, Axe, Southern boy, and Yankee), was shot by men while outside her family home on April 1, 2009. Luttrell had received DASY as a gift after coming home from the war to help him cope with mental and physical injuries sustained while on tour. These men not only shot the dog, but returned to the scene to beat the poor dog with a bat and laughed as she died at their feet. Luttrell found his dog and the criminals where he exerted a hell of a lot of control by not shooting them all on the spot. I wold have. Instead, he chased them through 3 counties before the police finally caught up to them and arrested the men for cruelty to non-livestock animals. The man that beat the dog was found guilty in early December for his part in the crime. Another man plead guilty to shooting the dog. Sentencing is planned to happen in February and these men face up to two years in jail and a $10,000 fine. They should get so much more than two years... like a tattoo on their foreheads that read "I am a puppy killer" or something. This is one of those instances where I am happy that justice within the prisons is harsh. I imagine there are a lot of jaded, pissed off, and beefed up prisoners that miss their own dogs. RIP DASY!
I read a poem/story a long time ago that is for animals when they pass away. I'm fairly certain the author is unknown, though if not, please correct me and I'll update it.
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.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together.
I'm going to go cuddle Aurora and Sadie now.
Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS