Friday, June 06, 2008

On a very personal note ...

We landed in Boston at 2:30 this morning to the sad news in a message from home that our faithful friend & companion Harvey died Thursday night.

Casting about the internet for a prayer for the occasion, I came across this one by Rudyard Kipling. (Who knew?)

A Dog for Jesus
(Where dogs go when they die)
I wish someone had given Jesus a dog.

As loyal and loving as mine.
To sleep by His manger and gaze in His eyes
And adore Him for being divine.

As our Lord grew to manhood His faithful dog,
Would have followed Him all through the day.
While He preached to the crowds and made the sick well
And knelt in the garden to pray.

It is sad to remember that Christ went away.
To face death alone and apart.
With no tender dog following close behind,
To comfort its Master's Heart.
And when Jesus rose on that Easter morn,
How happy He would have been,
As His dog kissed His hand and barked it's delight,
For The One who died for all men.

Well, the Lord has a dog now,
I just sent Him mine,
The old pal so dear to me.
And I smile through my tears on this first day alone,
Knowing they're in eternity.
Day after day, the whole day through,
Wherever my road inclined,
Four feet said, "Wait, I'm coming with you!"
And trotted along behind.

Rudyard Kipling


So give thanks with us for the life of Harvey -- and for all the faithful animal friends who show us unconditional love in their too-short-on-earth-lives. And may we be given the grace to love each other as they have loved us -- knowing that even the greatest love we know here on earth is only a glimpse of the love that the One who created us in love and is the source of love offers to us and to all creation.

R.I.P. Harvey Emerson Brooks
1994 - 2008



Added June 7, 2008: Harvey Slideshow


Dave said...

Louise & Susan:

I'm so very sorry about the loss of your beloved Harvey, and especially its untimeliness, especially during what was supposed to be a weekend of joy.

Thank you for sharing the wonderful poem.

Healing prayers directed your way,

-- Dave F. (ASC-Pas)

David@Montreal said...

Susan+ wrote
'And may we be given the grace to love each other as they have loved us -- knowing that even the greatest love we know here on earth is only a glimpse of the love that the One who created us in love and is the source of love offers to us and to all creation.'

And may God's people say Amen

Susan, as one continually blessed with the unconditional love as an enthusiastic daschund (Willie) and a very regal orange tabby ( Georges) I feel your loss.

I hope your week-end 'back east' will be absolutely memorable!


Brother David said...

Friend Harvey, may flights of doggy-angels bark thee to thy rest.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

May Harvey Emerson rest in peace and rise in glory.

June Butler said...

Susan, what a lovely tribute to Harvey. May he rest in peace. I offer you my prayers and sympathy. I know that you will miss him.

Fran said...

I am so deeply sorry for your loss. What a beautiful dog.

And that poem- very lovely.

Peace, healing and consolation to all.

Unknown said...

clumber sends his best, and hopes all are strong and remember the wonderful times with your dog... in the pictures he looks like a great dog!

susankay said...

Oh, Susan -- I am crying (probably with you). I never had (or had been had by) a dog (severe allergies) until I could finally afford a standard poodle. Molly the WonderDog is often quite ill and I cannot imagine life without her. Thanks for the Kipling -- yes, who knew.

Lapinbizarre said...

I'm sorry to hear about your loss - I know from experience that this can be as traumatic as the loss of a close human attachment. Clever of you to find the Kipling poem, which I did not know. He was by no means the "jingo" he is often believed to have been. Incidentally, he married an American and lived in Vermont for much of the 1890's. Not a bad choice and no doubt it moderated the "imperial" side of his character.

Sympathy in your grief.

Unknown said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time. I thought you might find some comfort in this poem...

Beyond The Rainbow

As much as I loved the life we had and all the times we played,
I was so very tired and knew my time on earth would fade.
I saw a wondrous image then of a place that's trouble-free
Where all of us can meet again to spend eternity.

I saw the most beautiful Rainbow, and on the other side
Were meadows rich and beautiful -- lush and green and wide!
And running through the meadows as far as the eye could see
Were animals of every sort as healthy as could be!
My own tired, failing body was fresh and healed and new
And I wanted to go run with them, but I had something left to do.

I needed to reach out to you, to tell you I'm alright
That this place is truly wonderful, then a bright Glow pierced the night.
'Twas the Glow of many Candles shining bright and strong and bold
And I knew then that it held your love in its brilliant shades of gold.

For although we may not be together in the way we used to be,
We are still connected by a cord no eye can see.
So whenever you need to find me, we're never far apart
If you look beyond the Rainbow and listen with your heart.

cg - 1995

Anonymous said...

I would like to sing him a song, and it's a nice song:

Birth to death
Death to rebirth
Eternal child of Mother Earth
What e'er thy spirit's path may be
Our love and prayers shall go with thee...


My kitty, exactly the same age as this beautiful pooch, has cancer and is in her last days too.

:wipes tear:

Why do we have to fall in love with them so hard??

Unknown said...

I am very sorry, Susan, to hear of Harvey's passing. What joy a puppy brings no matter what age they become, when they see you their puppy eyes always flash with happiness. I think it's amazing that the heart cannot tell that it's pet for from the heart's of view Harvey was loved.

God's peace and comfort be with you and your family.


Caminante said...

That news is heartbreaking to hear on the occasion of a weekend that should be totally happy. May Harvey rest in peace and find all the wonderful bones and toys... and know that he will be waiting for you, tail wagging, at the Rainbow Bridge.

Lisa Fox said...

Susan, I am so very, very sad to hear this. How difficult it must be to come home to such news as this.

I lost my beloved companion of 15 years recently. My heart groans with yours.

Peace be with you and all your family.

Ellie Finlay said...

Oh, Susan. I'm so, so sorry. This does bring tears to my eyes. I know what it's like to love a dog and be loved by a dog. There is nothing else quite like it.

May you be comforted.

Kirkepiscatoid said...

Susan, when you get a chance, go out and get a copy of the children's book "Dog Heaven." I don't know how many copies of that book I've given to friends who've lost a dog.

I don't think it's an accident that "dog" is God spelled backwards. When I think about the unconditional love shown by Mr. Boomer and Little Eddie, it's the closest I can understand what the love of God is all about.

Janis Bland said...

{{Love to you all}}

PseudoPiskie said...

Special condolences to Luna. Tough for the humans, perhaps even Birdie. But dogs have feelings too. Peace to all.

Rev. David Justin Lynch said...

O God, whose mercies cannot be numbered: Accept our prayers on behalf of your servant Harvey and grant him an entrance into the land of light and joy, in the fellowship of your saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for
ever. Amen.

+ May his soul, and the souls of all the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace, and light perpertual shine upon him.

Catherine said...

Susan and Louise,

My heart goes out to you both for your loss. Four months ago, I lost my Dragon to cancer. The poem is wonderful in so many ways and acts as a balm for my broken heart. I am glad that you will have Luna to go home to and to comfort you, and you, her.



Wormwood's Doxy said...

I'm so sorry, my friend. Harvey was a beautiful friend, and he was lucky to spend his days with such a loving family.

I will say a prayer for you, Louise, Luna, and Birdie today. May God comfort you all in your loss.


uffda51 said...

Louise and Susan, our condolences to you both. Losing a beloved animal is always such a terribly painful loss. Thanks for sharing the slide show.

Suzer said...

Susan and Louise -- I am so sorry to hear about Harvey. Please accept my sincere condolences. We are fostering a pup right now who is going to a new family in her "forever" home tomorrow. Though we adore our kitties, doggie love is something special.

May Harvey rest in peace, and romp through the fields of Heaven with the other dogs until you can all be reunited again (as I'm quite certain we are!). (I'm sure someone will disagree with my "theology" on that one, but I don't care!)

Lindy said...

Also from Kipling:

“You've given your heart for a dog to tear.”
–Rudyard Kipling, The Power of The Dog

And what power these dogs of ours have... to comfort, to make laugh. We are better because of them.

I am sorry for your loss. May you and your family be comforted.


PS - I like this from Martin Luther. The story is that at one of his famous "table talk" sessions one of those gathered asked Martin about pets in the afterlife. He looked at his little dog Topol and said,

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

May you find golden tails wagging for you in Heaven!

Frair John said...

I am so sorry.
May you all know grace and peace.

RonF said...

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. I've got a few graves I've dug in my backyard where loyal companions rest. I'm glad to see you finding comfort in that poem. Hopefully there will be room later on in your life for another such.

Jim of L-Town said...

Dear Rev. Russell:

I once got in a debate over whether dogs went to heaven. I finally said, I don't know if they go or not, but I do know I don't really want to go anyplace where dogs are not.
My wife and I recently had to put to sleep our third and last dog. My heart and prayer goes out to you.
My new rule is that I'm not getting another dog until I know I am old enough that it will bury me. I just can't take that grief anymore.
Best wishes.

A sinner saved by God's Grace

Jim of Michigan

Unknown said...

Reverend Russell,

My heart aches for you this day at the loss of your special friend and companion, Harvey. Our God is merciful and his love is steadfast. I have no doubt whatsoever that God has a very special place in heaven for the blessed pets that he has given to us and who bring so much love and joy to those of us made in his image. All who have known the special love of a pet like your Harvey, reach out to you today, and in love.

Joe Roberts, Monroe, Louisiana

Unknown said...

I am so sorry Susan. May God give you, Louise, and the rest of your family peace and welcome Harvey into his arms.


janinsanfran said...

Such sad news. I'm sorry.

Susie Erdey said...

Oh my goodness, Susan. We are so sorry to read of Harvey's death. We know all too well how this feels. Know that you're in our prayers, and that Tobi sends soft woos to you, Louise, and Luna.

Susie, Jan, and Tobi the Alaskan Malamute

Sonja Streuber, PMP(R), SSBB said...

Sending you lots of healing thoughts as you put your lives back together. Harvey sounds and looks like he was a really wonderful companion--and those memories will live on, even if his body has moved to another life (and gotten a little golden tail).

Anonymous said...

My husband and I offer our deepest sympathies on the death of your precious Harvey. We do know pretty much how you feel (one can never know exactly how another person feels) see we lost our beloved Ridge very unexpectedly and quickly on June 7 2008. We have spent little time NOT breaking down with tears as we grieve our loss. Harvey, I am sure, meant just as much to you. The poem is just what we needed to see. We both steadfastly believe when we cross into eternity we will see Ridge again. As devout Catholics, we will always believe God gave us Ridge and his spirit is with us now. I feel sorry for those who have never known the love and joy our beloved dogs give us....totally and unconditionally.

God's Peace Always,

David and Patty Gross
Penobscot, Maine