Penny Palace

Penny Palace

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Rainbow Bridge

When we moved into the Penny Palace two years ago, I had the Grand Idea to create a mailbox display each month for the neighbors to enjoy as they drove past.  There have been displays for Christmas, 4th of July, Fall foliage, spring flowers, etc.  For the past three months, however, there has been no display.  I just didn’t have any ideas for it.

Sparky and I were taking one of his final walks when we passed some foam pool noodles.  His heart “spoke” to mine with the idea for a Rainbow Bridge.

For those of you who have pets, you most likely have read the poem “Rainbow Bridge”.  It’s worth reading again…


By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill,
Is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.
Where the friends of man and woman do run,
When their time on earth is over and done.
For here, between this world and the next,
Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.
On this golden land, they wait and they play,
Till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.
No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness,
For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.
Their limbs are restored, their health renewed,
Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.
They romp through the grass, without even a care,
Until one day they start, and sniff at the air.
All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back,
Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.
For just at that instant, their eyes have met;
Together again, both person and pet.
So they run to each other, these friends from long past,
The time of their parting is over at last.
The sadness they felt while they were apart,
Has turned into joy once more in each heart.
They embrace with a love that will last forever,

And then, side-by-side, they cross over… together.


Memories with Sparky

New Year’s Day 2007
Exercise = repetitive lifting of coffee mug with workout graphics on it, cheering football players, periodically stretching legs and paws, yawning to relieve facial stress, then raiding the kitchen cupboard for treats.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

72 Hours

If you knew one of your best friends had 72  hours to live and the clock was ticking, what would you do?

Would you go to your job?  Would you watch TV?  Would you go for a walk?  Pray for a miracle?  How would you maximize those precious hours?

In the past 3 days Doc and I have experienced such a deadline.  It was a heartbreaking, yet very special time.


Tonight our little Chihuahua and faithful friend Sparky went to heaven.  He was a furry manifestation of unconditional love.

Adoption Day Jan 2003

We adopted Sparky (and Dachshund Norman) from a Chihuahua Rescue Shelter eleven years ago.  He had been given up because he had a back injury and his owners did not want to deal with it.  At the rescue shelter he jumped up and down in his cage and begged us to take him home.  He promised to be the bestest  little guy if we would just take him home and love him.  He kept his promise.

Friday night on Valentine’s, Sparky went into some sort of spasms.  We rushed him to emergency where he spent the night.  Doc was beside himself in having to leave his buddy with strangers in a cage overnight.  The next evening Doc went to retrieve Sparky insisting that his final days would be at home, not in a hospital.

Several Starbucks Visits

Taking Time to Smell the Irises

Just "BE" with Me

Sparky made the most of his final three days.  He could not use his limbs, eat or drink, but his smile and his heart were as loving as ever.  Doc took Sparky for their usual Starbucks runs, they went for “walks” (even though Sparky was being carried), and they enjoyed time laying in the grass by the pond.   
"Ride" in the 38 Chevy

At one point Doc realized Sparky had never gone for a drive in the restored 38 Chevy, so they sat together in the front seat as Doc simulated a drive. 

Doc rented the video Beverly Hills Chihuahua which we laughed through as a family.  Doc prepared a bed for us on the floor so we could sleep with Sparky.  The first night Sparky slept next to us, the second night he slept between us, and the third night he spent much of the time sleeping on my chest so we were heart to heart.

Over the past decade Sparky has shown so much love and friendship.   I think these past 72 hours took that to an even higher level.  I truly believe that he CHOSE not to pass last Friday night in order to help us through the grieving process.  In these past 3 days we have had so many friends and family drop by, text, email or call to send their love.  Even total strangers stopped to give Sparky love as we carried him on “walks”. 

Hold Me and Love Me

Sparky did not seem to be in any pain, yet each time we set him down, he whimpered. He did not want any food, water or anything else - he just wanted to be held and to give and receive love.   So essentially for 72 hours, our lives revolved around the little guy and around this concept.

My Job is Done, I'm Ready to Go

Thought:  How different the world would be if our actions were based purely upon the exchange of love.

THANK YOU SPARKY for setting an example for us all.