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It’s safe to say I’m “in my feelings.” Yesterday was three months since one of my little fluff balls, Teddy, passed away. 

It feels more like three years than three months. She was a firecracker; wild, loving, and so quick when she ran. Sometimes it feels like she isn’t truly dead. She couldn’t have died. Sometimes I swear I see her bushy tortoise shell tail wisp by the corner of my eye. 

I only came to realize it had been three months since she passed when I heard the name “Teddy” on a TV show. It made me think of her and I couldn’t help but think it was her way of saying “Hey, Mom!” 

Then I began to wonder how she is doing, wherever she is. Does she miss us? Is she getting enough treats? Is she scared?

I was raised to understand pets are never truly gone. Growing up, when a pet died, my mom and dad would comfort me with stories of “The Rainbow Bridge” and all its magic of eternal happiness and reunion — how our pets wait for us there and have nothing but the time of their lives doing so. I have thought of The Rainbow Bridge many times before whenever we lost a furry member of our family, but thinking of Teddy the other day really got me painting a picture of what it might be like. 

For a second, I was there. 

For me, it’s the most vibrant and scenic place I’ll ever see. The bridge itself is a colorful cobblestone with mixes of blue, yellow, and purple hues. It bends over a creek of crystal-clear water that churns lightly, moving slowly enough for little pets to take a gentle sip, and full enough for bigger animals to chug in between sprints. I imagined our old cocker spaniel Eddie lapping up at least a half pint of water before going back to playing with his brother, Chance. 

A cerulean blue hue paints the sky, with the brightest yellow sun suspended on the horizon. There is always a sky full of stars at nighttime, keeping watch over all our beloved pets. 

Just over the bridge is tall, lush green grass that floods the ground and sways softly with a breeze that is just right. 

In between the waves of flowing meadow, tails of all kinds can be seen. There are big and small, long and short, fluffy and scruffy tails everywhere, bouncing through the grass. Some of the tails belong to cats, some to dogs, others to horses. Some belong to those too small to be seen like rabbits, guinea pigs, and hamsters. 

Birds of all kinds soar in the sky, feeling the warmth of the sun on their wings. 

Any pet who was once tired, in pain, or sick will never be any of those things again. There is no grief, there is no aging, and there is no discomfort. Your old pup you miss dearly runs around The Rainbow Bridge, young and playful. Your childhood cat is as energetic and mischievous as ever, batting around toys and drinking the most delicious milk she’s ever had. 

There is no concept of time. A pet that has been gone for 10 years has only been gone for 10 minutes in their eyes. There is no time for them to be sad about being away from you.

The real celebration happens when someone’s human comes to get them at The Rainbow Bridge. What does that look like for you? I hope when I get there I have a car, or better yet, a van (and maybe a trailer), to pick up everyone because there are many. I will see them all run toward me with bright eyes and wagging tails that I’ve missed so much. 

While I’m here I’ll continue to find comfort in The Rainbow Bridge, the pet paradise of dreams. Until then, whether it’s been three months, years, or decades, they wait for us.