This section is devoted to our beloved dogs who are waiting at the Rainbow Bridge. If you would like to include a tribute to your B.O.N.E.S. beagle(s) that crossed to Rainbow Bridge, please send your story and/or photo(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read all of the tributes by paging through them below or click on a name to go to a specific article.
When Fitch came to me in 2010, I was his third B.O.N.E.S. adopter in approximately 8-1/2 years. His first adopters returned him when he was about 4, saying their teenagers had grown "bored" with him; his second adopter returned him after another four years, insisting he was "mean, stupid, vicious, and untrainable." A week in foster care with an experienced family made it clear that Fitch was none of those unhappy things, though he pulled powerfully enough on leash that his foster mom injured her knee trying to control him.
When he came to me, he joined B.O.N.E.S. alum Lyle and rescued cats Oscar WildeCat and Tyler. From the start, Fitch bonded with Lyle and Oscar and respected Tyler, who delighted in scrambling up to the ceiling beams in my kitchen and den, and peering down at the dogs like a black panther.
Months of sessions with a wonderful trainer helped Fitch to trust and to be confidently affectionate, and to respond happily to commands like "with me" that didn't call up the fears he showed when asked to "come." As Fitch grew to understand that he was at last truly home, he made friends with the dogs on his walk routes and special friends with an elderly couple who each morning watched for him out their window and came to their front door to offer the Charlee Bear treats he loved. This "vicious" dog played gently with neighborhood children, eagerly greeted the neighbors and shopkeepers who came to know him, and counted on his nightly cuddles on the sofa. He loved licking peanut butter from his "good night bone" and on claiming his place on the human bed each night.
When Lyle died in 2012, Fitch welcomed senior B.O.N.E.S. returnee Pinta as Lyle's successor, and he accepted and "mentored" a series of foster dogs, particularly Flash, Buddy, and Sophie. He somehow sensed that they needed his kindness, and calmly shared his home, his yard, his walks, and his favorite resting places. He visibly "missed" Flash and Buddy when they were adopted.
Fitch's deep-throated bark and bay greetings were easily recognizable wherever he went. He retained his quirks, among them intractable carsickness that meant he couldn't do home visits or attend the Bash events he would have loved... but he eagerly welcomed any and all who came his way.
At the end, when an overwhelming infection defied even the strongest antibiotics, he signaled unmistakably that it was his time. Another B.O.N.E.S. volunteer has written of telling her vet that she wasn't ready to say good bye to her beloved senior dog, but that she knew her dog was ready. Selfishly, I wanted to give Fitch more of the happy and secure life for which he waited far too long. Instead, my housecall vet and I cradled him as he lay on the dog bed he loved in front of the fireplace, and gave him the last, best, gift he couldn't give himself.
Run free at the Bridge, my wonderfully kind, smart, sweet, and trainable boy – know that you were indeed all those good things, know how much we'll miss the trusting, happy, loving companion you've been, and know what a privilege it was to help you enjoy the good times you so richly deserved.