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Rainbow Bridge




Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.  The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together . . .

~Author Unknown

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It is oh so hard to write about Natalie. She was such a sweet happy little girl and here for such a short time. I see her whenever I look at her mom Sara or her sister Nicole. Natalie came to us from a puppy mill. Her start may have not been all that good, but she didn't show it. We brought her home and she charmed all of us. She loved to play and have little scuffles with her sister. She loved to be around her mom, but mostly she loved to play and play and snuggle. I don't yet know what happened to make Natalie ill, but the sadness is overwhelming. We will love her forever and we will keep her memory alive by trying to help as many as we can. Love you forever Natalie. 11/30/2009


I adopted my very first dog in 2006—a 9-year-old Pekinese named Scooter (also known with great affectionately as Beastie Boy).  I purposefully looked for a senior dog because I could see how many of them weren’t adopted.  I couldn’t bear to think of a senior dog ending up alone in a shelter after being a faithful companion to someone for so many years.  Scooter was the light of my life!  He quickly captured the hearts of everyone he met.  He had such a spunky little personality.  He never tired of chasing squeaky balls and going to the dog park.  I learned to read his mind—although that came with time.  I suspect he actually played me like a harp and that he was much smarter than I was.  But he let me think I was in charge.  But all dogs should be treated like a king—and Scooter certainly was.  I had Scooter for six wonderful years.  He brought me much joy and taught me so much about unconditional love.

After Scooter passed away, I soon found the house way too quiet and missed the companionship I had come to cherish with Scooter.  My cousin had always talked about how wonderful their beloved little dachshund, Artie, was.  So I looked for a local rescue group, found Dakota Dachshund, and looked for another senior.  I was immediately drawn to 12-year-old Sparks.  I knew I had found my next companion.  Let me tell you, dachshunds are SO funny and sweet!  He is very affectionate and loves to cuddle.  He is always ready to “g-o” in the “c-a-r” and leaves little nose prints on my car windows.  He has selected the center of my bed as “his spot” so we often need to have a little talk about that.  He cocks his head, wags his tail, and briefly moves over a bit.  However, soon he is back where he started and I’m on the edge of the bed.  Our little beasts ask for so little.  It’s hard not to give them whatever they want.

Having acquired mind-reading abilities with my first dog, Scooter, I soon knew that Sparks wanted a companion.  Back to Dakota Dachshund I went where I found 12-year-old Nigel on their website.  In fact, Nigel and Sparks had been fostered together.  A perfect pairing!  However, when I picked Nigel up from his foster mom, he was not what I had expected.  He moved very slowly—clearly suffering from arthritis.  I came to find that Nigel was deaf and the vet confirmed that he had very limited vision due to cataracts.  I had simply assumed that all 12-year-old dogs would be quite spry like Sparks. 

Well, Nigel wasn’t spry but he was the most loving dog I had ever seen.  He was just a complete love bug.  And how he loved being held!  That was our routine every day.  After he went outside, he would come back in and wait patiently until I picked him up.  As we rocked, he would rest his head against my shoulder and watch me talk to him.  And, he was quite a talker in his own way, too.  He didn’t bark but he made noises in his throat—much like a human does when stretching or shifting positions.  When he was restless at night, I had only to put my hand on him and he settled right down.  He was such a happy and content little guy despite his physical condition. 

Nigel passed away less than three months later.  It was devastating to lose him, but I had known from the beginning that his body had suffered from age.  He needed me and it was an honor to take care of him and love him and make his days happy.  My bond with this extraordinary little dog was very deep.  Nigel filled me with so much love, that my heart grew even larger than I realized was possible. 

Nigel was not what I expected, but he was exactly what I needed.  We will all remember him forever.  Rest in peace, sweet Nigel.

Nitzel or as we would call her our Nitzypop was a loving dog who would greet you everyday with a wag and a lick and once you settled in she would cuddle or take over any chair she deemed hers. We fell in love with her quirky personality and those ears would just make you laugh how she could stand them up and I do mean straight up. She had the biggest eyes that always said she loved her owners and her roommate. She started having health issues a few weeks back and was not living to her fullest we did all we could do to keep her happy, we had taken her to the vet to have her tested when her neck swelled up to only be told that she had cancer in her lymph nodes. We are sad to say that the vet did everything he could but he felt it beat to let her gain her angel wings and set her free from the pain. RIP baby girl and run free.

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7505 Mystic Drive •  Sioux Falls, SD 57110  •  (605) 310-8443 •  dakotadachshund [ at ] hotmail.com