To My Beloved Reggie, the Magnificent Sheltie

by Carolyn Dorsey Gates
(Indianapolis, Indiana)

Before I knew about the Rainbow Bridge, I knew a place in my heart where angels with Sheltie faces went.

I knew a place where the bark of the sheltie was the trumpet of angels calling lonely hearts to a place of tranquility. I knew a place where the eyes of a sheltie were deep and beautiful like the soul of God. I knew a place where the echoes of discontent are quieted by the soft sweet heartbeat of a majestic sheltie whose earthly name was Reggie.

And out of it all spun the images of a dog who stood patiently as I wandered through the mistakes of my life... of my foibles trying to sort it out.

It was a sad rainy day on a Sunday when I drove onto the winding driveway of a sheltie breeder. My border collie had died that Friday and the tears were still streaming in my heart. After dragging myself reluctantly from the car, I knew I'd never stop crying about my other dog and there was no way a new dog would take her place.

Through the window, I saw the breeder carrying a bundle of sable and white fur. Before I had time to speak, she dropped the bundle in my arms. Suddenly two white paws were around my neck, and I stared down into dark brown eyes that were swimming souls of love. The head was resting where my heart was. And he looked at me and made a sound of recognition. From that moment, we were bonded.

The bond lasted for fourteen years as we dealt with life's valleys. I could come in from a harsh lashing of the world and his eyes would tell me it will be all right. If my eyes were full of tears, his would be as well. My sighs of discontent were absorbed by his magnificent heart that took in every bit of the sorrow of this world.

And then a day came of rain and darkness. The magnificent heart slowed and the eyes became a silent pool of death. I held him near my heart again to feel the love one last time. My face went deep into the mass of sable and white sheltie magnificence and he slipped quietly away from me. And the tears came like an ocean flooding my soul.

I thought he was gone. It was not true. A tide of love wafted in and around me for months that was my magnificent sheltie. Before I knew about the Rainbow Bridge, I knew a place where angels with sheltie faces went. They go into your heart and stay there forever.

Carolyn Dorsey Gates

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