Brandy Noel Bryant

Beyond the Rainbow Bridge: Dogs Who Communicate

For those of you who have loved and lost a beloved pet, a furry family member, I have been there, done that, and can empathize and sympathize with your array of emotions and intense grief. For me, it doesn’t get easier. As my friend Arlene writes, “Time acts as sandpaper to smooth out the rough edges.” The pain, however, is there. That hollow gut-wrenching realization.

It’s a dog’s only fault: their short lifespan.

As I’ve written many a time, the greatest miracles in life often come in a form, shape, and a time we least expect them.

On the day my little cocker, Brandy Noel, was taken away from her illness-laden body and crossed to the Rainbow Bridge, I sat waiting with her in the backyard for what I knew in my heart would be her last moments in the grass, sun shining down on this precious dog. Our vet is about a 2 hour ride from our home, so knowing the road ahead and what lay at its end caused me understandable apprehension and grief.

Suddenly a small white butterfly flew across us and back across again. I knew it was God here to take my baby. I knew the road ahead meant I’d come home without her in my arms. Well, to this day, almost 2 years later, a white butterfly frequently makes its presence known to me – it will cross my path when I least expect it – and often times right in the spot where one flew over us on that last day of her life. I get chills every time. Just one white butterfly.


Have you ever lost a pet and had what you believe to be a “sign” from them? If so, would love to hear your stories and comments.

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  1. I recently lost my beautiful girl Sheltie.
    I don’t think I can get over it. I cry a lot.
    A pet psychic helped some, but I still have such feelings of loss and sorrow. I want to recognize a sign from her. I so wish I could feel her here somehow. I cannot let her go.

    1. You never have to let her go. Don’t. I have learned that love never ends, Joyce. No one can take that, not even physical death. I had to seek the help of a grief counselor. I have also learned you don’t get over it. They live in you every single day. My heart is with you.

      1. Three nights ago, I had to take my 15 year and two months old Dog Lorenzo Diego a brindle Boston terrier on his last car ride. Up until that night, he had never been so comfortable on my lap like when he was a puppy. He knew. We talked about it. I was ready of course but to know how is story ended in here on this plane, we did together with dignity and grace. I have no regrets, just in tears because of the joy and beauty he brought, and for all the times we went through not once did he ever complain. Quite the opposite. His enthusiasm for each beat(s) mine. Now, his sister Clementine and Must look and see the amazing things each day brings and be well for each other. If I drink water she will drink water, eat well, get outside even when all we want to do is curl up and cry, which is ok too, but Ren wants us to be happy. Thank you for your post, I appreciate you and your stories. Here’s to life and four paws good.

      2. I lost my sweet little chihuahua rat terrier mix right before Christmas, 2018. I am still grieving. I had adopted a Jack Russell and still have my chihuahua basenji mix. I love them dearly but I still miss the one that died. His name was Zippy. I used to call him Zippity Do Da.

        Before he died he had a habit of talking in his sleep. The one sentence I could recognize was “I love you sooo much!” Maybe he knew he wanted me to know that.

        I love you sooo much, too, my little Zippy. You live in my heart.

  2. I had to let my baby girl Tasha go over rainbow bridge on Fri 13th April 2018, my heart is broke, I am broke and feel I will never recover, constant tears are falling ….my baby girl came into our life’s when she was 10 weeks old, she was 10 and had a heart problem, arthritis & was very unpredictable with her behaviour but I loved her, she was my dog, my baby… can life ever be the same again, I feel so lost without her.
    We buried her yesterday in our garden, my husband could hardly come to cover her body with the soil as he too is broken hearted but does not seem to be taking as bad as I am.
    We have 2 other dogs in blue house which are both rescues and one been my sons but still I feel this way.
    I just hope it gets easier soon.
    I’ve not been up and dressed since it happened.

    1. I feel your pain. I am literally balling my eyes out right now as I lost my baby 2 days ago. Her name was Jemma and she was my best friend. Sept. 15. 2017 she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma at the age of 6. I struggled to comprehend how this could be. She was so young. We amputated her front right leg to take away the pain. It worked and we got to enjoy 9 more months of joy with her. She never lost her smile, always by my side day in and day out. In the end the cancer spread, and I knew what I had to do. Taking that last car ride, seeing her face right before the end just ripped my heart out. We took her home and buried her under her favorite tree. It’s been 2 days and I wake up crying. I look for her laying down all over the house unintentionally. A part of me has died with her. I would give anything just to see her smile and to give her a big hug.

  3. My sweetee racha died on 19 th Dec 2017 of heart attack brought about by metastasized cancer. She saved me trouble of seeing her die by passing away just as I was not near her for a few minutes.that was her parting gift. A sweeter dog never lived.can there be a reunion in an afterlife?

    1. I lost my boy Dakota to liver disease on April 30,2018 and it’s the hardest thing ever me and my daughter can’t stop crying but I know realisticly he is not suffering but it’s really hard. My heart is so heavy. I’m sorry for everyone that has lost there special one.

      1. My Maxpuppy passed away on April 30, 2018. He battled metastatic cancer. I’m devastated. His loss has left a gaping hole in my life.

  4. We just lost our Doberman Jack of a heart attack on May 2,2018. Our hearts are broken and don’t know what to do with all these feelings. He was our everything, he was there to help us when things weren’t going well and to share our joy when things where great, I swear I will never get another dog the pain is just unbearable

  5. Thank you so much for sharing your feelings. It has helped me to know that I’m not alone in my unimaginable grief. My baby boy was 14 and the absolute joy of my life. He wasn’t sick long. And although I knew he wouldn’t live forever, I somehow thought I’d be able to appreciate the years we did have when the time came for him to go. That helped a little bit, but not much. My heart still breaks when I think of all of his wonderful personality traits and how much fun and love we shared. I work at home and never traveled without him. I can’t wait until we are reunited again…

  6. I am so broken I can barely write this out. My Lucie, my beautiful girl passed on 9/7/18 at 1:15 am. She had never been sick a day in her 11.5 years. She started vomiting Labor Day took her to the vet on 9/5 and she had perked up a bit. She seemed completely normal 9/6 and then very quickly went downhill. I got home from work on 9/7 Thursday ready to take her out for a car ride or walk or do something with her and she wouldn’t even get up. I called the vet to bring her in for blood work the next day. I just laid there with her, petting her and telling her how much I loved her from 5pm till 1:15 when her body gave out. She had tried to get up and was like Bambi trying to find her legs until she would just fall down. So exhausted…I took some videos of her so I could show the vet and we could figure out what was going on and make her better. She finally got up and stumbled outside where we both layed till she went. She kept looking me in the eyes like she always does. This girl loved eye contact. I am broken. It was literally just me and her in our own little bubble. Now she’s in a beautiful little box next to me on the table and I can’t handle it. What do I do without her as she was my whole world? I’m so lost. 4 days! She was sick 4 called on the day she passed and told me matastatic cancer. The silent creeper of a killer. Never even had an idea she was battling. I don’t believe Lucie knew either

    She was a rescue dog and she definitely rescued me

    1. Your Lucie would want you to carry her legacy on. I have been down this road and will be again and again and I know how broken you are. It is the worst feeling on earth. Her life can be your legacy. Please trust me on this. Our dogs love us that much that they would want us to live our best life and carry their love with them. I firmly believe this. My heart is with you, and please take care of you.

  7. I just lost my Dusty very unexpectedly on Friday January 18. He just turned 12 in December and was a terrier mix. He had just gone outside to potty with the other dogs. When he came in he looked so cute with snow on him… I commented he looked frosted. He then fell over and had a seizure and within a few minutes died, in my arms. He was such a spry little guy that this was so shocking. The vet thinks he had a stroke. I am so grief stricken I can hardly function. He was my dog, one of our rescued pack. I found him as a puppy wandering the streets by LAX. Every time I sit on the couch I’m looking where he sat next to me. On the bed at night I look at his empty spot next to me. The pain is almost unbearable and the tears don’t stop…I miss him so much….

  8. I lost my boy on January 18, 2019. I can hardly see what I’m typing because my eyes are filled with tears, This is about my dog Freddy, my Maltichon, a very intelligent and great love of my life. His Birthday was yesterday’s February 2 and he would have been 12. Up until a little over a week before his death, he showed no signs of illness. His only signs that he didn’t feel well were that he wanted to lay in front of the fireplace and not on me and that he didn’t want to eat, but he did eat after I coaxed him. So I didn’t realize he was sick at that time. About three days before he died, I realized that something was wrong and took him to a new vet that was close by. He was still acting pretty normal and the staff fell in love with him. The vet did x rays and gave me a couple of ideas of what might be wrong. She didn’t feel like he would die for a very long time., and so I felt reassured that he would be ok. Within 3 days from there he was dead. The night before his death he didn’t want to get up and I decided that although it was bitter cold that I would take him to the emergency clinic, which was about 15 miles and it was the middle of the night. The vet there was so knowledgeable and asked me if I wanted him euthanized and I was shocked. He explained that my boy was dying from auto immune disease, That there was a battle going on inside of his body and he would not survive, I told the vet that he didn’t seem himself the very next day after he received annual shots at a Spay and Neuter Clinic that I had taken him to. According to first vet, she believed that the shots contributed to his death and the second vet said the shots given all at the same time and not spread out had killed my baby. So not only am I grieving and can’t stop crying, I’m also very angry at the vet who gave him the shots without a blood test before hand considering that he was almost 12 years old. Now I’’ve neen reading about the dangers of giving older dogs shots, and I’m afraid to have my other small dog vacinnated. So I’m grieving and ANGRY at the vet who innolulate him without discussing the dangers and/alternatives to me. His life was a gift to me, and it was taken away!

    1. Don’t vaccinate. I don’t care who disagrees. If you can get away with it just don’t do it, period. I won’t do it. Even just one vaccine. I won’t unless I’m forced. There are thousands of stories like this.

  9. My two 11 year old dogs passed away last night. They were out for a potty break and ran off and both got hit by a car. They were from the same litter and I picked them out when they were just 1 month old. I have been crying non stop, I can’t eat and I can’t sleep. They took a piece of my heart with them. I keep looking at their favorite spot on the sofa wishing they were there and this is all just a bad dream. I don’t know how I am going to move on. Both my babies are gone. ??? I will always love you Vivi & Gir. 12/6/2008 – 3-16-2019.

  10. Last week we had to say goodbye to our rescue dog Misty. A Chihuahua/Rat Terrier rescue that incredibly found her way into our lives. She made a dog person out of me as it was my wife who wanted her for our family. Nine and a half years we were lucky to have her. It was no coincidence that the day she crossed over we had a group of neighborhood kids ring our doorbell selling their drawings to collect money for a dog in need of surgery. What are the chances for that? Thank you Misty for all the good memories. Forever in my heart.

  11. I am reading this blog with the hope it will ease even a little bit of the pain, or give me some kind of understanding. I lost my year and half husky two days ago. He was hit by a car on the highway. That day I was taking to my son to the dr and went out the back door which i normally don’t do. As I was leaving in my head I said there’s not way tito will get out it’s fine. As I drive down the road to the dr I noticed for the first time in 20 years living at this residence a fence that blocked the highway and said to myself I’m so glad that fence is there if god forbid Tito ever gets out. Not even 2 hours later tito was out and somehow found a hole in the fence and was killed. I didn’t know until I searched for hours and contacted the police who informed me he was killed two hours prior. I lost it. My body and heart and mind couldn’t even process it. I felt I couldn’t cry or feel the way I wanted to because my body wouldn’t allow it yet. I sit here and think please god or Tito show me a sign he knows I loved him. I loved him for than anything. He was mine, my best friend the love of my life and I couldn’t protect him. I want to kiss his face and hug him as I did everyday as much as possible. He was loved by so many I just don’t know how to get over this. My baby, he was a baby….

  12. My sweet old girl Roxy, a beaglelab mix, went to Heaven 3 days ago. I had to make the decision after she had a debilitating seizure and was told even if they did more tests she would most likely not live another couple months at best. Her heart rate was very low, she had signs of brain swelling (possible tumor), was so tired she could not open her eyes or stand anymore. She was just shy of her 19th birthday.
    I found her when she was about 6 months old on the side of a road- but I like to think that she found me. She was part of our family for almost half of my adult life, years longer than I have had one of my kids. I truly feel like I lost a child.
    She was my battle buddy, saw me through a terrible breakup, horrific family and health issues and more. And now she is just gone. I dont feel her anymore but I am desperate to. I cant stop crying. I feel like my heart will never heal. I am a shell of a human.
    I love you so much Foxy Roxy. Rest in peace my Smooshface puppydog. 1-11-2021

  13. My Wookie died last night, a beautiful gray and black long-haired Yorkie she was with us for 14 years -The loss is so much that it takes my breath away, the want to have her next to me where she always is I feel will drive me insane it makes me tense up and I want to scream. I want to hold her and smell her and see that sweet face. I know it’s crazy but I love her with everything in me. She was a perfect friend and gave me so much comfort and SO SO much joy. This morning was so hard the house is quiet and I could hear the tapping of her small feet on the floor. I even called out her name as I looked at the back door I could almost see her running in the yard and following me to the bathroom all I wanted was to see her nudge the door open. Oh, what am I going to do with all this sorrow?

  14. On the morning of August 5, 2021, my “princess” Dakota (a yellow lab that ironically was on sale at a local pet store 14 1/2 years ago) passed away. We thought we were going to loose her two years ago when she had surgery to remove osteosarcoma and was given a small chance of making it though the operation but miraculously she did and we were given two more years with her. I am grateful for having this time but still utterly heart broken that she is now gone. She was the sweetest kindest dog I have ever known and truly y best friend. She passed early in the morning after being very ill for a the previous few days. I had scheduled an in home vet visit the day before she passed and was planning to put her down that day (even though this was the hardest decision of my life, I knew I could not let her suffer). I sat with her the night before and told her she did not have to fight to hold on anymore and that I would love her forever. The next morning when I woke up the power flickered, I walked over to her and shortly after she took her last breath on her own. I know she gave the the best gift of all, passing on her own but I am heartbroken and miss her and filled with doubt about whether I did let her suffer unnecessarily in those final days. Now the house just feels empty and sad and something is always missing and always will be.

    I love you forever Dakota…you will always be with me and I with you.

    1. AJ, I am so sorry to hear of your Dakota’s passing. May Dakota’s light of love remain in your heart forever. My deepest condolences.

  15. My Beautiful 9 1/2 year old German Shorthaired Pointer, Gunner, may he RIP on Friday, October 8, 2021. I do not have the words to describe what he meant to me and I know I do not have to after reading comments and this life saving blog. I was lucky in my adventure with Gunner, he was diagnosed with a Splenic Stromal Sarcoma and had surgery in May. It was a rare form of Cancer. There was no spread other than his spleen so I elected to have Surgery and we took our chances. No chemo. His follow up visit his tests were negative. He beat his Cancer. The next 5 months, unbeknownst to me, we lived life to the fullest and made everyday count. Unfortunately he succumbed to internal bleeding, his liver rupturing and I made the decision to have him euthanized. I could not in my right mind put him through another surgery, He was on blood thinners and I knew he would not survive a surgery. He suffered from separation anxiety and if he was going to go, I wanted him to be with me and not strangers on a cold operating table. I dread waking up and I dread going to sleep. Those are the hardest times for me. If there is any good part of his passing, for me we got to do it on our own time and Funner lived his best life in those 5 months.

    The local chapter of the German shorthaired pointer rescue contacted me and they are in need of help with puppies. I was torn with the fact that I couldn’t, I would compare a new dog to Gunner, guilt of taking in a new dog so soon blah blah blah. I ran across this blog and started reading. Thank you so very much. You truly helped me in my grief and realization that I can give unconditional love for another dog in need as Gunner did for me his entire life. I secretly think he had a hand in me finding your words of strength…… Rest in Peace my beautiful boy. Gunner, January 16 2012 – October 8, 2021.

  16. I just lost my Gizmo he was a 13 uear old Shih txu. Your never prepared for it. I have cried till i dont think i can cry anymore… But then a day passes and the crying starts all over again. I absolutely lived for this dog. He was my most anticapated hello and has been my worse goodbye. Just when i feel better it starts all over again. I want to believe hes in heaven waiting on me. I told him the night he died to please give me a sign that when he crosses over hes ok. I feel him lying beside me at times. But its not enough I’m heartbroken..

    1. I just went through the same thing, Teresa. It is devastating. I lost my 13-years-young Cocker Spaniel to a tragic sudden tumor called hemangiosarcoma. This was 2 months ago. I wrote this piece for things you can do when your beloved dog dies. Gizmo will always be a part of you. I am sending you my deepest condolences and offer you this article I wrote to help day by day:

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