The loss of a beloved pet is a difficult time for many of us. Quite often friends, family and coworkers can not relate to the impact that our furry family members have on our lives. The loss is a great blow, recently some have compared the loss of a pet to, the loss of a close friend or even an immediate family member. Our fur companions are indeed extension of our very families, they provide us with a shoulder to lean on, acceptance just as we are, and a life time of love. The passing of a pet leaves a great void in our lives, that often only time can heal.
In an effort to provide a small amount of comfort, during what is truly a time of great sadness, we present our Silver Harness page. The page offers a collection of inspirational writings accompanied by memorials submitted by others who have lost a beloved companion.
To contribute a memorial or share a story of a lost but never forgotten friend please e-mail
Nash came home with us from the pet store September 12,1998 2 weeks before the birth of my daughter. They would grow up together and become the best of friends as we juggled the life of a puppy and a baby in the house at the same time. She took to living in her kennel with no problems and only ever bit my daughter when Hannah felt the need to stick her hand in Nash's food bowl. But Hannah soon learned that she shouldn’t put her hands in Nasha's food bowl . Although it was never really a bite more of a nibble. She grew into a great member of the family and only ever broke free a few times but with the lure of her leash and a promise of a trip to grandpas she would come running to the truck. She would spin like a top in front of the door when she wanted to go out, and spun till she was dizzy before laying on her bed looking like a doughnut at times. As she got older we no longer made her sleep in the kennel and she had free reign of the house. She would jump up on the couch and sleep there every once in while. She always loved going to see the grandparents in Plattsburgh and to see the other dogs in the family. She would love to share popcorn with anyone who would drop her a kernel and who could resist those beautiful blue eyes that would say please share with me. From a dead sleep she would hear it popping in the microwave and be awake instantly to make sure she got at least a few pieces. She got to spend vacations with the grandparents and the other dogs so she wouldn’t feel left out and alone at the kennels. She even got to go to Cape May, NJ one year where she had a big 1 acre fenced in yard to run in. She had so much space she didn’t know where to go first. Later in her life she would put her head on your lap and look at you with her beautiful blue eyes and you couldn’t help but to pet and scratch her behind her ears which would cause her to start drooling all over as if to say “ahhhh I love that; don’t ever stop”. The hardest thing to teach her to do was to howl and she would only ever howl if you would howl with her and have a “conversation”. Making her bark was even harder to get her to do. We could walk her around the block and the neighbors were always surprised that we had a husky as they never heard her. She was such a gentle happy go lucky dog and loved everyone. Unfortunately her health started to go down hill and we knew that this day was coming but hoping it wouldn't have been so soon. She had two tumors and one unfortunately was believed to be cancerous. She crossed over today July 26,2012 at 14 years old and with heavy hearts we as a family had to make one of the hardest decisions we have ever had to make and it was to let her go. I know she is in a better place and is just waiting for us on the other end.
WE Love and Miss you Nasha
Mom, Dad, RJ and Hannah
Sasha & Tia, The Northville Girls
Sasha & Tia, aka "The Northville Girls", Born together on April 4, 1984.
They were never apart until Sasha went to heaven on August 2, 2008 at the age of 14, Tia just went to be with Sasha on November 2, 2010 at the age of 16 1/2.
I know Sasha was waiting for her at the gate.
They are greatly missed in our home. When our grandaughter was born 9 years ago, they had never been around small children, they went up to her bouncy seat sniffed her decided she belonged to them layed down around the seat and protected her. Sasha (black & white) was our talker and snuggler, she loved the water bed and would sit and just talk back and forth to you as long as you talked back. Tia (red & white) thought she was a Marine and would give us her good morning "HooRaa", she was very independent but loved attention, she was our foot warmer! They loved chasing eachother around our fenced in yard, usually Sasha had Tia by the tail dragging her backwards. Sasha loved to "kill the Squeeky" and play with her toys, Tia would just sit and wait and watch...after Sasha's squeeky was gone Tia would teeze by pushing her foot down on her squeeky just to let Sasha know I still have mine! Tia did not play with toys much but after Sasha died she went into the toybox took out Sasha's favorites and slept with them to keep her sister close.
We love you girls!
Mom & Dad
We lost Nico due to a stomach tumor. Nico Austin was his name. He was Siberian/Wolfe mix. By far the best companion a person could ask for. He had just turned nine March 1st 2009. I have included a picture for you to post. My boy was one of a kind. He loved my wife more than anybody. We got him from a family member that adopted a abused Husky, they didn't know she was pregnant. We brought him home at 4 weeks old. His mother was to young to be a mom and was ignoring the pups. My wife Cathy got up every 3 to 4 hrs and bottle fed him till he was ready to eat on his own. Though out his life he never ceased to amaze us. He had the best dipostion that I have ever seen in a pet. He could break into anything nothing was safe if it smelled good enough to eat.
Well Nico Austin I love you and miss you terribly.
Montana was my foster dog. He was one of the "I'm moving and can't take him with me" surrenders. Even though he was only in my home for two very short months, I miss him very much. He was a wonderful fellow - good with my own dogs, good with my cats, and just an all-around sweet dog. I started doing some clicker training with him, and it was so much fun watching him trying to figure things out. His tail would wag furiously while we were training!
Unfortunately, he was not a healthy dog - I had a feeling that something was seriously wrong with this boy. It turned out that he had liver cancer and was very sick He crossed over the rainbow bridge on Saturday morning, May 21. It is still a difficult time for me - I had such hopes for him - I called him my foster dog - but in actuality, he had found his permanent home - our home.
Montana - you are in our hearts forever.
It was on the 27th day of July, in the year 2006 that Zacky went gently into the night across Rainbow Bridge. Almost 9 years to the day he literally “jumped” into our lives with gusto, but also with much gentleness. With his passing, he left a very large void in our hearts that can never be filled. There will never be an equill to Zacky, there may be others, but not a Zacky. He was a good guy, and I know that he is north of Rainbow Bridge, and when I make there, I know he will be waiting for me at the gate, wagging his tail, waiting for his “bonies”.
He would carry his dish filled with food and place it where he wanted it and it had to rest on his left paw. He used to claw me when he wanted something, I would yell, but today I wish he was here to do it again, believe me, I would not yell.
Zacky was like many Huskies, stubborn, turn his back to you, “forget” his name at times, and in his younger days, love to run free. But unlike other Huskies, he would “dance” his left paw would go up and down till he was satisfied he was sitting straight and beautiful. Diner was another highlight at our house. He would “dance and prance” between us and always nudge my wife or a female guest at the most inappropriate place and always on the left side. He loved “people” food
Always gentle and never grabbing from our hands, until he learned to eat from a fork.
Yes, Zacky is gone, he now wears the Silver Harness, but he will never be forgotten, replaced, and no other will ever take the place of Zacky .
Why do the ones we love the most leave us so soon.
Sadly missed by his “”Mommy and Daddy”, Sailor, Dakota and Grandpa.
Dakota was our first Siberian Husky, our sweet painted face Husky with a stricking “lightning bolt” on the top of her head.. She had one brown and one blue eye. We rescued her
From an abusive situation with a 7 year old boy, who hit her with a hockey stick. We brought her home, and the next day, had a stockade fence installed. When the fence was finished, we let her loose in the yard, she ran, ran and ran. I built her a dog house and she would love to run fast into it, we would be so surprised that she didn’t hit her head on the back of it!. Having a nice big yard, I decided to build a picnic table for us to entertain my kids but she took it over and proudly sat on top for hours. She dug one specific hole right under the largest tree in the yard and would curl up for hours in the shade, until her very own pool came then she would gingerly walk in it and drink from it. That is how she met Zacky- who we rescued from the New Haven Shelter just 2 days before being put down. He bounded into the yard saw her in the pool and promptly stamped his way in with her. Dakota, being a pedigree brat or Queen, just looked at him with disdain but never barked or yelped. One look from Dakota and you knew what she was thinking.
She loved bonies and would guard them for hours only then yelping at Zacky or then Sailor if they came near them! At 4 PM every day for the past 2 years she would come out of the bedroom – her safe haven and “ nose “ or WOO you for her bonies.. Her appetizer before dinner. Dinner was a calm experience with Dakota, unlike Zacky who pranced between- she laid under the table always knowing she would get people food eventually. She was refine and had manners
Dakota was with us when we moved to St. Maarten. Once the huskies did escape and off she went – always in the lead- We heard that she ran into one of the villas down the road whose door was open – got a drink of water and continued on. We know because the french lady whose house they decided to visit told us the one with the 2 eyes came in and then dashed off. Luckily a kind couple corralled them and called us and we got them back, however, in that climate it was quite a bit away from home.
Each dog and of course, each husky has its own personality. Dakota was a loner pretty much and at times aloof, but her gentle eyes and that gorgous face could do you in.
Each night, I would lay down with her and do :”moonies”, say goodnight and give her a kiss. “ Moonies”, and she knew the word, was to rub the white area above her eyes. It calmed her and she loved it.
We knew since July she was failing and we believe the loss of Zacky- even if they didn’t interact so much in the last years made her grieve in her own way. Her legs and backend gave out in the end and she went peacefully on November 22, just 4 months after our nutty and loveable Zacky. Our original two huskies can never be replaced in our hearts and we are so grateful they came to us- we had 10 wonderful years. There will be other Siberians but Dakota and Zacky will always be cherished in our hearts.
April 24, 2007
As a species we let you down Chief. You came into this world with the same innocent dependence as thousands of your fellow canines. Your fate was to find a home with the dregs of our society. Despite the fact that loving, kind and very devoted humans eventually brought you into their pack, you still had difficulty shaking memories of your past. Their tears could not wash away your pain, nor their love ease your fears. Wear your Silver Harness with pride faithful Sibe. You are loved and missed.
December 13, 2008
You were a proud and confident pup in spite of being ignored and isolated by your human family. After being dumped at the shelter, you placed your faith in a kind volunteer and a Rescue. Sadly, you found that even Rescues sometimes have selfish and uncaring humans in their midst. You earned your Silver Harness the hard way my Sibe friend. Until we meet again, keep your heart open for those who care. Sua Sponte, Tahoe.
The Silver Harness
by Andre DeMerchant
Tookla's magnificent head came up with a start. What was that? Another sound? Ears forward, Tookla's ice-blue eyes stared out from the doorway of his plywood doghouse.
Getting up slowly he stretched luxuriously and moved carefully from the warmth of his hay filled house into the bitter chill of his fenced outdoor run. Standing still, Tookla alertly scanned the February afternoon landscape outside his run. Nothing.
How many times now had he expectantly searched the surrounding area only to be disappointed? Walking to the end of his run, Tookla sat slowly down and heaved a great sigh. Sparkles of frost chased by shivery wintry blasts twirled through the air and landed on his thick warm coat.
Half closing his eyes, Tookla began to think back to the old days, the good days. "It wasn't always like this," he thought to himself. "I used to go with my master and the team always. But no more. Not for a long time. My own son now has my place at the front of the team. Faster than me now. Much faster. Like I was faster than my father, Sabu. But I wasn't always faster than my father. I had to grow, to work so hard! Running back in the team with the others. Not for me. I didn't like that. Only after Sabu and my master taught me the words could I go in front. Then we were so fast! Soon I was even faster than father! Often I was at the front. I remember running through all those pine trees with the others, faster than ever! We flew down the trail.
When it was over he was so happy with us. So many people came to see us and pet us and give us treats. Always after that I was at the front. So many times we went out and so many times we ran faster than others. But no more now. My legs are stiff and I can no longer run as far as before. Oh, I have not run for so long! Now my son leads the others. As it was for my father, it is for me also and shall one day be for my son."
Opening his eyes Tookla had another look around the yard. Seeing nothing he rose slowly to his feet, turned and walked swiftly toward his dog house. A sudden noise behind Tookla caused him to whirl quickly around. His eyes grew wide with fright as he took an involuntary step backward.
"Who's there?" challenged Tookla.
"It is I. Sabu." came the reply.
"Sabu? But..no! It can't be! You've been gone for so long now. I remember you were very old. Then one day you went away and never came back. How can it be you are here now?"
"I have come back to see you Tookla."
"To tell you of a place. A wonderful place. The sun shines always. We never want for food or water. And run! Oh, Tookla! We can run forever on grassy fields, through thick woods. Many little animals are there also. We chase them often but never are they caught. It is all for fun. All the others are there also. Your mother, Sheena. Your sister, Koola, who has gone before you. We run together always. It is such a marvelous place!"
"No!" growled Tookla, suddenly wary. "It is a trick! You are not Sabu!"
"No Tookla. It is no trick. Come, let us butt noses. You will see that I am your father. You will see that what I tell you is true."
Slowly, gingerly, almost on tiptoe, Tookla moved towards the muzzle poking though the chain link. Sniffing carefully, Tookla stretched his neck until the noses just touched. Quickly he jumped back, eyes wide.
"It is you!" he exclaimed in amazement.
"It is as I have said, my son."
"But what is that upon your back, Father?"
Sabu turned to afford Tooka a better view.
"It is my silver harness."
"It is beautiful! Oh, that I could wear such a harness! How the light dances upon the silver straps!"
"We all have one to wear, Tookla. It is especially for the Run of the Lights."
"What is the Run of the Lights, Father?"
"It is when we all run together, each of us wearing a silver harness. We run when it is dark, faster and faster we go till we take off! We race into the sky, past the stars and the moon itself. The light from the stars shines and twinkles upon our silver harnesses sending flashes and streams of light all over the sky!"
Gazing longingly up at the gathering February twilight, Tookla could only manage, "Oh that would be so grand!"
"Now, Tookla, it is time for me to tell you the reason for my visit."
"What is it, Father?"
"It is your time, Tookla. It is time for you to take your place beside us. I have come to lead you to the wonderful place."
"But..." Tookla stammered. "I'm not ready! I mean, I haven't seen my master come back with the team! I haven't had my walk..."
"Come, Tookla. It is time."
"But I can't. I can't leave my run. I'm locked in."
Backing up a few paces, Sabu turned to face Tookla.
"Walk towards me, my son," he said softly.
Cautiously Tookla walked forward. When he reached the fence he stopped and whined.
"I can't! I can't get out!"
"Come, Tookla," replied the voice with great warmth. "You can do it. Just keep walking."
Tookla picked up a front paw and moved it slowly forward. It went through! It went through the fence! Now thoroughly excited, Tookla shut his eyes and walked gingerly ahead. After a few paces he stopped and, turning around, opened his eyes.
"I'm out! I did it!" His eyes danced with joy as he quickly surveyed the yard, now lying deep in evening shadows.
"Come, Tookla. We must go," reminded Sabu, who, without further word, turned and started running towards an open field. Tookla was soon in step beside him as they streaked across the ground.
"Now Tookla!" panted Sabu. "Run! Run as fast as you can!" Ears flat against his head, tail straight out, Tookla put all his heart into his running. Suddenly they took off, rocketing up into the night sky.
"Look! Look at me run, Sabu! No longer are my legs stiff! No longer do I grow quickly tired! I'm young again!" shouted Tookla, tongue lolling, eyes shining with excitement.
Sabu laughed. "Yes, you are very fast my son. And you look very good in your silver harness."
Glancing back, Tookla exclaimed, "The harness! I too have a silver harness!" And with a heart bursting with happiness, Tookla kept pace beside his father. Starlight glittered and moonlight flashed off the silver webbing and across the darkening sky as the two Sibes soared up towards the wonderful place.
Hal was lost in thought as the truck bumped and lurched up the laneway and into the darkened yard. Shutting off the engine, Hal heaved himself out of the truck then suddenly pulled up short.
"It's real quiet around here tonight," he thought to himself as he peered into the gloom of the yard. "Too darn quiet!" Walking swiftly to the kennel building he flipped on all the lights and started to check all the runs.
"What's going on guys?" said Hal as he moved among the pens. A couple of Sibes rose from the floor and waved their tails apologetically. At the other end of the building one of them whined softly. As if suddenly struck with a thought, Hal pivoted on his heel, and banging through the door, sprinted across the yard towards Tookla's single run by the house.
"Tookla! Tookla, we're home! Tookla? Hal spoke loudly as he reached the run door. The familiar form of Hal's old lead dog was not in its usual place at the end of the run. Tendrils of apprehension gripped Hal's heart as his shaking hands fumbled with the lock. "Tookla! Where are you? Tookla, come see me!" Hal said urgently as he swung the gate wide. Dropping to his knees in front of the dog house, Hal hesitated, dreading what he would find. Reaching inside, Hal buried his hand in the fur of an inert form and gave it a shake.
"Tookla. Tookla it's me." he said softly.
Oh no. Oh Tookla!" exclaimed Hal as the reality of the situation struck.
Pulling Tookla onto his lap, Hal sat down on the cold cement and caressed the lifeless form.
"Oh, Tookla. My poor, poor Tookla. Good-bye, old friend," muttered Hal as tears coursed down his cheeks, falling and freezing on the furry figure below.
Feeling suddenly very weary, Hal leaned back against the chain link as a February wind blustered around him. Leaning his head back, Hal turned his red-rimmed eyes toward the night sky and sat for a long time, both enthralled and comforted by the brilliant beauty of the dancing Northern Lights.
The author of this story is apparently Andre DeMerchant. It has been circulating on the web If any of you have more information, please let me know.
Frito was a big loveable shepard mix, with a zest for life and a love for all, she left me when I was young, but her memory has never left me.
I will see you on the other side my friend
"A better friend would be hard to find"
Snowy passed peacefully over the Rainbow Bridge on Friday August 21st 2006. He will be missed by all who knew him.
Fresh snow and fast trails, Snowy.
The Rainbow Bridge
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....
Nadjya, your were such a beautiful girl. Right from the day I met you, you had the best howl ever and you grew into such a wonderful friend and companion. You will live forever in my heart and will be missed greatly. I love you. I will see you at the bridge.
Rescue Rainbow Bridge
Unlike most days at Rainbow Bridge, this day dawned cold and gray, damp as a swamp and as dismal as could be imagined. All of the recent arrivals had no idea what to think, as they had never experienced a day like this before. But the animals who had been waiting for their beloved people knew exactly what was going on and started to gather at the pathway leading to The Bridge to watch.
It wasn't long before an elderly animal came into view, head hung low and tail dragging. The other animals, the ones who had been there for a while, knew what his story was right away, for they had seen this happen far too often.
He approached slowly, obviously in great emotional pain, but with no sign of injury or illness. Unlike all of the other animals waiting at The Bridge, this animal had not been restored to youth and made healthy and vigorous again. As he walked toward The Bridge, he watched all of the other animals watching him. He knew he was out of place here and the sooner he could cross over, the happier he would be. But, alas, as he approached The Bridge, his way was barred by the appearance of an Angel who apologized, but told him that he would not be able to pass. Only those animals who were with their people could pass over Rainbow Bridge. With no place else to turn, the elderly animal looked toward the fields before The Bridge and saw a group of other animals like himself, also elderly and infirm. They weren't playing, but rather simply lying on the green grass, forlornly staring out at the pathway leading to The Bridge. And so, he took his place among them, watching the pathway and waiting.
One of the newest arrivals at The Bridge didn't understand what he had just witnessed and asked one of the animals that had been there for awhile to explain it to him.
"You see, that poor animal was a rescue. He was turned in to rescue just as you see him now, an older animal with his fur graying and his eyes clouding. He never made it out of rescue and passed on with only the love of his rescuer to comfort him as he left his earthly existence. Because he had no family to give his love to, he has no one to escort him across The Bridge."
The first animal thought about this for a minute and then asked, "So what will happen now?" As he was about to receive his answer, the clouds suddenly parted and the gloom lifted. Approaching The Bridge could be seen a single person and among the older animals, a whole group was suddenly bathed in a golden light and they were all young and healthy again, just as they were in the prime of life.
"Watch, and see," said the second animal. Another group of animals from those waiting came to the pathway and bowed low as the person neared. At each bowed head, the person offered a pat on the head or a scratch behind the ears. The newly restored animals fell into line and followed her toward The Bridge. They all crossed together.
"That was a rescuer. The animals you saw bowing in respect were those who found new homes because of her work. They will cross when their new families arrive. Those you saw restored were those who never found homes. When a rescuer arrives, they are allowed to perform one, final act of rescue. They are allowed to escort those poor animals that they couldn't place on earth across The Rainbow Bridge."
"I think I like rescuers," said the first animal.
"So does God," came the reply.