On behalf of Dr. Simon and the staff of the Woodside Animal Clinic we lower our heads for a moment and offer you our condolenses and sincerest sympathy at the loss of your pet. We understand your pain and we are honored to have this opportunity to pay our respect to your dear companion who has recently passed.

What follows is a touching story, by an unknow author, that is a beautiful tribute to our four legged and 2 legged friends who have passed away. It acknowledges the depth of our relationship with our pets and makes very real the extent of “human animal bond.”

The Rainbow Bridge

Harley & Me

The ‘Tapestry of Life’ is a blending and weaving of the many elements and facets we experience during our journey in life. Not only does this tapestry reveal how we have lived with each other but how our beloved pets have had a major role in “shaping” us. Sometimes it takes a pet to open up the inner-self of a person which allows them to become a fully self-actualized being. My four Samoyeds have helped me live life with an abundance of intangible joy and happiness. However, when they depart this space and span of time with me my broken heart is torn apart and I miss them terribly…much too much.

‘It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them and every new dog that comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog and I will be as generous and loving as they are.’ – ANONYMOUS. Thank you, Cynthia, for sharing this with me.

I remember how strangers would stop us in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Toronto, Stratford, Cape Cod, Pittsburgh and our local towns to compliment Harley on being so handsome and beautiful. He’d give out his famous kisses and sit so very nicely, loving every minute of attention…he was just a sweet, sweet gentle guy. Of course, I’d beam so proudly as if I had a role in his genetic background and wanted to take full credit. Of all of our Samoyeds, Harley was the most vocal and communicative. Aside from a wide range of “doggie” commands he had a way of telling us when, where, and what he wanted. In his later years I was so surprised when he displayed an “understanding” of regular human sentences. Whenever I was feeling a little down it seemed as if he felt it was his job to cheer me up. On happy occasions he’d bark and jump around and get right in on the action, cheered for the same football team I cheered for, danced along with the music as I danced but mostly just being wherever I happened to be…he was my little white shadow.

Harley’s cremation was held at 5:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, November 8, 2011. It was just me, Joe and Dr. John Simon. A solemn, quiet and respectful ending for a dog whose life was filled with many wonderful experiences. The local crematory is certainly NOT an elegant facility like the one I took our 3rd Samoyed to during a family wedding in New Jersey. I’ve often told my husband, Joe, I’d like to do a pet cemetery as a business, with lush gardens, monuments, trails, water fountains, streams with bridges, benches for sitting and reflecting on the wonders of nature and have a state-of-the-art crematory. He doesn’t buy into my idea, however, if I ever win the lottery, that’s what I’m going to do!!!!! And I know exactly which piece of property would be perfect.

Harley, who was never allowed to jump up on furniture nor sleep on our bed, does so now. Currently he’s sitting on my lap and waiting patiently, as he always did. We are going jogging together tonight and no leash will be necessary as I’ll hold him next to my heart and remember how we jogged together every night during the last 15.5 years. The same route, same pace, same time…just the two of us…sharing, connecting and having a good time.

At this stage in my grieving, the hardest part is not to cry because NONE of my dogs liked cry-babies, they’d get annoyed and walk away. So I try to blot the quiet tears immediately. I’m holding onto the images from the Rainbow Bridge Poem, which we’ve received for each dog, and pray it’s true. What a joyous moment it will be when we all meet again, but for now I have to go and cry.

Thank you Harley for filling our lives with love and joy.

— Barbra


We said goodbye to Reuben today. He had a stroke this morning and could not stand or walk without tilting to the left. We were both there with him when he took his last breath.

I miss him already.

In the end, he left our lives the same way he came into them: snuggled in our arms.

  • Always the lover, Reuben preferred being pet above being fed.
  • Being held, above sleeping beside us on the bed or the couch.
  • He would sigh with contentment when we touched his face, his cheeks, his chest.
  • We only had 6 years with him, but they were 6 good years (thanks to rescuer and dog angel, Mike Timpa.)
  • They were years filled with romps in the meadow at Lighthouse State Park, hikes in the snow covered woods and rides on the Boston Whaler.
  • He adored our little cocker spaniel, Sophie — and eventually, she decided she loved him, too.
  • As she got older and hard of hearing, he would take me to her when I got home and nuzzle her awake to go outside.
  • And when she died, he came out, sniffed her muzzle and layed down beside her.
  • And we knew he knew — she was gone.
  • Always a gentleman.
  • A sweet and tender soul.
  • Loyal till the end.
  • Sophie is waiting for you, Reuben Man.
  • And someday, we will see you both again at The Rainbow Bridge.
  • Where you can walk without a limp, your ears can hear, your eyes can see and your neck doesn’t hurt anymore.

And we will snuggle once again.

‘I breathe, but I cannot catch my breath.’