I adopted Haley almost 14 years ago. At the time the shelter estimated that she was already two years old. Her name had been Chinook, like the cold northern winds. She looked like a Golden Retriever but all black. It was during the period that the Hale-Bopp comet was passing the Earth so I named her Haley because she had a tail like a comet. She became my velvet shadow, always close by and velvety soft.
She was to be an outside dog. Well, an outside and just a downstairs dog. Okay, an outside, downstairs and upstairs dog. Eventually she was allowed on my bed and was my warmth on cold nights.
I firmly believe that she scared off an intruder once. I heard the window being rattled and she barked, then silence. She was also at my side when we watched coyotes hunting in the park one night. She watched them silently as if she knew what was happening.
She never asked much of me except for tummy rubs and food. Always patient when I needed a hug and a good cry in her fur. She was my Wonder Dog.
She would not leave my side as I would not leave hers during this last journey she was about to take. She finally communicated that she was ready to pass and I had to let her go with terrible sadness. In her passing I wanted to share something that was written by an unknown dog owner and sent to me years ago. I believe that Haley will have a journey to the other place for the next four days. I will do my best to guide her passage.
"...This morning he had seizures and I rushed him to the vet but there was nothing to do but make him comfortable, he was beginning his last journey to the other place. He was my friend and faithful companion. My heart is sad and the shadows today are long. Under the full moon tonight I walked in the pasture and said goodbye, I could feel him at my side. It’s a four-day journey to the other place. I made marks in the dirt so he could find his way. I made loud noises so he would know he was not alone. I threw out some dog biscuits so he’d not go hungry. I let smoke drift in the wind to hide his spirit from evil along the way. I’ll see in four days a sign, maybe the rustle of the leaves, or the splatter of rain in the dirt, or an image in a cloud and I’ll know he arrived."
Good bye Haley. I will always try to be as good a human as you thought I was. Safe journey my dear companion. I will see you at the Rainbow Bridge.