We started this page to pay tribute to some of the very special dogs we have known. Since then it has evolved into a source of help for pet owners who are facing the loss, or potential loss of a beloved dog. The name of the page, Waiting at the Bridge, comes from a wonderful poem, The Rainbow Bridge that captures the feelings and hopes of many pet owners as they face the loss of a pet. In the poem, beloved dogs who have died wait patiently for their owners before crossing over the Rainbow Bridge to eternity. On this page, you will find The Rainbow Bridge and other poems and stories that we find comforting. There are also tributes to some special dogs (and a few cats) and a list of pet-loss support sources, including links to other web sites and phone numbers for pet-loss counseling hot lines.

Fragile Circle

We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached.

Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way.

We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary plan.

Tributes: In loving memory of those who are waiting at the Bridge for someone special. They are in our hearts always.

Rainbow Bridge:  A collection of wonderful poems and thoughts to ease your pain, including the famous Rainbow Bridge.

Pet Loss Hotlines/Web sites: If you or your children are struggling with a difficult decision about euthanasia or the loss of your pet, visit a pet loss web sites or call one of the hotlines.

Books: For books to help you deal with your decision or loss.

Tributes to our Canine Friends




Abbi was simply the best, the brightest, the sweetest, the most beloved. She passed from kidney cancer at 12 years and 3 months. It’s never long enough…


Gaylan’s Fenway Harp THD CCA TDI CGC


Fenway was loved by the Dricoll family and his loss to cancer at nearly 8 was devistating to them and us. Smart and beautiful, Fenway left quite a hole in our hearts but we were blessed by his life.


Gaylan’s Flyte Commander

6/11/2001 – 7/16/2011

Jimmy was the sweetest boy and even though we have had many other dogs, he was, and will always be my special friend and companion. We had become so close.

More than anything else, I will miss going to the school with Jimmy. The smiles and joy that he brought to the children there were so very special. Jimmy died following surgery for an inflammed gall bladder.


OTCH Gaylan’s Catch A Rising Star UDX3 OM5 AX AXJ OF OBHF CCA CGC
(200 Score, GRCA Obedience Dog Hall of Fame, Multiple High in Trial, DWA)

June 22, 2008 – July 7, 2011

Catcher left us much too soon but his joy and passion touched all of us. We lost Catcher to leiomyosarcoma, a very rare stomach cancer.


Gaylans Lunar Mission UD MX MXJ JH WC CCA VCX ASCA CD

June 23, 1997 – December 15, 2008

Cry not because my body is no longer with you…
Smile because I was,
Smile because you were my teacher and I yours,
Smile because together we played, jumped, walked, swam and ran,
Smile because together we loved, laughted, hugged and celebrated,
Smile because of the lives we touched and those that touched ours,
Smile because of the friends we made and the new ones you will find,
Smile because my energy lives on; it’s with and within you,
And most importantly, Smile becasue you are me and I am you.

-by Maggie, inspred by Airplane Ears (aka Astro)


SHR Gaylan’s Sail Of The Century, CD, JH, WC, CGC, VC, mjr. pntd.

December 27, 2000 – October 13, 2006

It was an honor to share my life with such an amazingly talented, gentle animal… My conformation dog, my obedience dog, my hunting retriever, we had only just begun. My once in a lifetime dog, the light of my life, my best friend until the end… my Beacon–

Jay Franczyk


Trumpet’s Gaylan’s Butterfly CD JH AX AXJ WCX CCA VC (OD)


Loved and missed by Gayle Watkins & Andy Chmar

“Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.” –George Bernard Shaw

Having Flyer in our lives for over 13 1/2 years was a true gift. She taught us so much but her most important lesson was to honor the dog nature in our goldens. She was a dignified, majestic leader in the dog world and she had no patience for those who treated her like a stuffed bear or a human baby. Through her we learned to value the intelligence, independence and competence of a talented animal. We will never forget, Flyer! Thank you for your dedication, love and children. Through them, we will forever have you in our lives.


Gaylan’s First Mate TDI CGC

December 27, 2000 – March 15, 2008

Loved and missed by Linda, Steve, Jenny, Jeff and John Daffron

“Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.” – Amelia Burr


Gaylan’s Lunar Gealach


Loved and missed by Linda and Paul Cullen

“Be thou comforted, little dog,
Thou too in Resurrection shall
have a golden tail.” – Martin Luther.


Gaylan’s Lunar Harvest


Loved and missed by Fletch and Shari Lamkin

“Barlee is the best dog we have ever known. Gentle, kind, intelligent, and full of fun, she has been a marvelous pet and best friend for all her nine years. We take comfort in the memories of her happy life, where her exuberance and friendliness made her loved by all who got to know her. A natural hunter, she would spend hours ridding the yard of squirrels, groundhogs, and other assorted wildlife who would intrude in her space. Our neighbor at the Lake marveled at her swimming and retrieving ability, as she out-performed his professionally trained golden. Our grandchildren absolutely love her, and she has never failed to be gentle and affectionate with them.

In July, she spent many good days at our lake home, diving in the water with Putter and Bella to retrieve an endless supply of thrown rubber ducks. She has welcomed Bella into her home, teaching her the ropes, playing with her and showing her what good dogs do. I will miss her constant company as she followed us from place to place at our home. I will miss that great head that would suddenly appear under my hand for pets. I will miss that large paw that would push on my leg or chest for attention. And I will miss her curling up with me for some peaceful moments and relaxation.

Barlee died from hemangiosarcoma. Please support Canine Cancer Research.


Gaylans Rckcrk Lunar Landing


Loved and missed by Jim, Suzi, Lauren and Jaimie Sullivan

Words can’t possibly explain the joy Ted brought to our family, friends, and neighbors. A neighbor behind our house removed part of their fence and put in a gate so Ted could visit – and so they could come over to visit him. Another family who recently kept Ted during a short vacation also started coming over to take him for walks around the park … when they heard of his loss, they wrote us a note saying “.. as you know, we adored Ted and treasured our walks … we don’t think we’d ever met a nicer, kinder, sweeter dog … thanks for sharing him with us …”

As you recall, Ted was also a certified therapy dog and Lauren frequently took him to school in her free time so troubled teens could enjoy him in the youth counseling center. And we can’t remember the number of times we met a family with a young child on a walk who asked to pet Ted because he looked so friendly … we later learned from their parents that Ted was the first dog their child wanted to touch after a traumatic experience with another dog. We’ve come to realize that even though Ted clearly loved our family, he was so much more than just “our dog”.

Ted died from lung cancer. Please support Canine Cancer Research.


Honeybee’s Gaylan’s Bedeviled JH WC (ptd)

5/3/1993 – 5/21/2006

Loved and missed by Steve and Tammy

Joss was the miracle dog, surviving 23 months after being diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma. Her only treatment were Chinese herbs prescribed by Dr Jiu Jia Wen. Despite the disease, Joss’s quality of life for her last two years was superb–she ate with gusto, chased her tennis ball daily and enjoyed everything an older dog might enjoy.
Please support Canine Cancer Research.


Loved and missed by Ruth Gulliver


Gaylan’s Lunar Hunter

6/23/1997 – 6/24/2004

I feel so blessed to have shared 6 golden years with Hunter and cherish many happy memories and new friendships which he brought to my days. We walked almost daily, he swam, retrieved, made many special friendships, gutted every stuffed animal he ever got his teeth on, introduced others to the miracle of chiropractic medicine, caught a live duck (once!), and never caught a live fish, but kept trying! He taught me persistence, living in the moment, letting go of the past and accepting whatever hand of cards life deals.

He is very loved, and will be sorely missed.


Gaylan’s Lunar Far Side CD TD OA OAJ

6/23/1997 – 12/24/2003

Larson joined Torch at the Bridge after a brief illness.
Canine Cancer Research.


Gaylan’s Sparks A Flyin’ TD JH WC

6/11/2001 – 12/21/2003

I will eventually find the words to capture how I feel about Torch but not today. There will be time tomorrow. Today I need to go love Andy, Flyer, Corey, Una and Tango because they are missing her terribly. Tonight, on this longest night of the year be sure to look up because there is a glorious new star in the heavens. And it’s way was illuminated by the hundreds of candles lit by those who loved this dog, Torch.
Canine Cancer Research.


Gaylan’s Cannon Malone

4/13/98 – 4/11/03

We loved every single minute we had with Cannon. What a beautiful animal! Cannon was such a huge part of our lives. He made our house a home & we are all so lonely without him. We miss him so terribly. We enjoyed over the years attending the two reunions & meeting all the wonderful people who have also been so lucky to own a Gaylan’s Golden.

“Maggie Mae”

Gaylan’s Sink Navy CGC

4/13/98 – 12/26/02

In a flash, she is gone. Taken by kidney failure due to Lyme’s disease, Maggie passed away just after Christmas 2002. She is dearly missed by Rita, Auggie and the kids but memories of her antics bring smiles to their faces, despite their grief.


Can Ch Gaylan’s Winter Promise UD SH NA WCX CGC Can CD

Am-Can Ch Whipaly Sierra Zip’n Zachary CDX JH WCX OS x Aurora’s Dream of Garzas Canyon Am-Can CD WCX OD)

December 28, 1985 – February 9, 2001

“I could have missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss the Dance.” Dancing with Sparky was an incredible experience. I will be forever grateful for the gift life gave me in the form of this brilliant and beautiful golden retriever. She is with her mom now waiting for us at the Bridge, sliming tennis balls and making snow angels. Sleep well, my baby girl.

That’s Koral on the far right with his brother and sisters.


Gaylan’s Winter Koral WC

12/28/85 – 7/22/99

Koral touched so many lives.  He started his life with my brother, Bill, and his wife.  Even though he left them after only a few years, he has remained in their hearts and thoughts throughout the years.  He then joined Andy and I while we were in Germany. There, he wiggled his way into our hearts and those of the entire neighborhood.  So much so that he joined the family of our neighbors, Paul and Lynn Munch.  For the last eight years, he has been their companion and friend.  However, even hearts as great as Koral’s can’t stop the march of time.  His body has betrayed him so he is going to the Bridge, carried by the love of the many people he has touched but especially that of Lynn and Paul.  God speed, Koral.


Gaylan’s Red Austin Healey


Another young life taken far too early and too suddenly. Aussie was the beloved pet of Dana and Kevin.  Our only comfort is his older sister, Molly, was there to show him the way.  Together they wait at the Bridge for those of us who follow.  We are left with wonderful memories and questions.


Gaylans Lunar Creedence Molly

6/23/97 to 7/18/98

Her time here was much too short.

Clancy met Molly at the Bridge to show her the way.  Now they wait patiently for Bob and Cathi.

Support Canine Cancer Research.


Gaylan’s Coleman of Sudbury

5/28/1985 – 7/27/1999

Loved by Reed and Linda.

“He was the best dog in the whole world, and the silence of not having him around is DEAFENING!!!!!”

From left to right:  Dream (mom),  Sparky Jessie, Gabby,  Zach (dad)


Gaylan’s Winter Gadabout UD JH WCX


We lit a candle tonight when we heard the world had lost a wonderful dog and Michele had lost her best friend. I’m so thankful I got to see Gabby, looking so happy and full of life, at the beginning of November.

Gabby was met at the Bridge by her dad, Zach.  Together they are waiting patiently for Michele’s arrival so they can cross the Bridge together.


Aurora’s Dream of Garzas Canyon Am-Can CD WCX (OD)

April 1979-May1993

We began our adventure in goldens in June 1979 when we picked out a red-gold puppy from a litter sired by Digger, Pluis Davern’s beautiful and bright boy.  Dream introduced us to all aspects of golden activities from puppy raising to obedience to breeding to the field.  She tolerated my inept training attempts in obedience and, in spite of me, got her American CD when she was just over a year–in three trials, with placements.  And all I had done was read a book about obedience–no matches, no classes.  As a senior citizen, she showed what talent she really had by getting her Canadian CD with wonderful scores and a HIT.


Westwin’s Early Riser UD WCX

April 1979-May1993

Riser came to us in 1981 and brought us to a higher level in the obedience ring.  She was a Gaines competitor with a Dog World Award, 35 OTCh points, 3 HITs, and numerous High Combined awards.  We retired Riser after some serious health problems threatened her life.  She then started her second career that was to last another seven years as Sharon’s best friend and

Stephanie’s constant companion.


Gaylan’s Sundowners Aurora UD JH WCX (OD)

October 1981 – September 1997

The only bitch from our first litter, Rowdi showed up her brothers from the very beginning.  She went home with with Bernie, Hazel and Pluis and explored the breed ring, obedience ring, and field.  She also became a search and rescue dog.  Rowdi retired with major reserve wins in the breed ring.


Gaylan’s Chase the Winter UD JH WCX TT

December 1985-September 1997

Chase’s name comes from a particular way of making Chardonnay. Here is an explanation. Chase has grow up to be both fresh and brilliant so consider her well named.Michele’s arrival so they can cross the Bridge together.


Gaylan’s Winter Sierra

December 1985-October 1996

Sierra, waiting for the Zuckermandels


OTCh Lady Timberline Mandell UDT WC Can UD

September 1980-1996

Mandy, waiting for Linda

We have included our favorite poems and writings to remember our dogs.

Visit the Superdog Pet Loss site for even more.

Another wonderful site for children is the Rainbow Bridge bedtime story.

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 and water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.   All the animals who have 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 begins to quiver.   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 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 together you and your special pet cross the Rainbow Bridge…

-Author Unknown


From the silence of your pain I heard my name
and on the wings of light
I have come to see the sadness in your eyes
that cry without tears.

Can you see me? I am here,
I will always be near you
to calm your shattered heart and
to make you smile at the memories.

Do you feel me, perhaps a soft brush of my fur?
You ache to believe it’s real but you are afraid to hope
You brush away a strand of hair
but it was I, whispering.

I am only here for but a moment.
The silver thread gently quivers,
I will leave behind my love in a dream.
When you awaken, and without really knowing why

Your heart will know at last
that is is all right, for now
to say good-bye.

Copyright © Lisa Carmel Singer

A Pet’s Prayer to St. Peter

I have traveled so far to reach this Pearly Gate.
But I do not want to wander beyond this place.
I just need to rest for awhile for my friend, I wait.
Please let them know I love them still.
Let them know that I understand what they did, they did with love.
With my body gone, my spirit flew on the wing of a dove.
To my Creator’s Heaven above.
Now I ask that I may wait. I will lay quietly by the gate.
For if I entered now without my friend, it wouldn’t be Heaven at all…

-Author Unknown

Late Fragment

And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.

-Raymond Carver, American Poet (1938-88)

Pet Loss Web sites and Hotlines

If you are struggling with a difficult decision about euthanasia or the loss of your pet, visit a pet loss web sites or call one of the hotlines.

Pet Loss Web Site – a wonderful site!

American Veterinary Medical Association Pet Loss Web site

Cornell University Veterinary School Pet Loss Web site

Iowa State University Pet Loss Support Web site

Argus Institute Pet Loss website

List of Pet Loss Hotlines

Iowa State University Pet Loss Support Hotline (toll-free) (888) ISU-PLSH (888-478-7574)

Cornell University Pet Loss Support Hotline (607)253-3932