Welcome to Nelson's Rainbow Bridge Memorial Residency
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Memories of Nelson
Our dear Nelson. Like a lot of the best things in life, you came into our lives by 'accident' when we were on holidays in Canberra. Remember on the way home in the car, you were not happy unless you were sitting on Mum's lap. You travelled all the way sitting there, either looking out of the window or asleep. We knew then we had a special boy in our lives. You grew into the most loving friend a person could wish for. Remember how you would chase the balls from one side of the back yard to the other, as we would throw them until we were worn out. I'm sure you would have continued if you had your way. You loved your walks with Mum, & at the slightest indication of her reaching for her jogger shoes, you would go into your excited frenzy to let us know no-one was leaving the house without you. Even when you had to be left home because of our work commitments, your excitement when we returned home left us in no doubt as to your love for us. Unfortunately, you developed that dreaded Mitral Valve disease that has afflicted so many Cavs & we knew from that time, that every future moment with you would be precious. To ease your pain (& ours I guess) Oliver came into our lives. You greeted him with the love & friendship we knew you would & you became best friends. Oliver loved his big 'brother' & wherever you were he was never far away. Remember how when you were sleeping he would curl up & lie on your tail so that if you moved before him, you would wake him up so that he didn't miss out on anything. You both loved to walk together even though he could travel so much faster than you, but there's no substitute for age & experience in some cases, & if the pace was too fast you would just dig your heels in to slow him down. As time progressed & your health started to fail, you were so strong notwithstanding what you were going through. Your tail still wagged as much as it ever did, & your love & affection for Mum, I & Oliver never waned. After a horrible evening on the 2nd (when you had that terrible turn) we had to call the vet immediately, & after a heart wrenching talk with her, we could see you suffer no more. We sincerely trust the right decision was made. We miss you old friend & will never forget you. When Oliver comes in from his walk now he runs around the house looking for his best mate. I'm sure you have made new friends at the Rainbow Bridge. By the way, if you see two other Cavs there that look like you & their names are Byron & Jake they are your older brothers. Make yourself known to them. You'll all get on well together. They were just like you in every way. We will all catch up one day & cross the Bridge together. Bye for now - will talk to you later.

Wednesday 10th Apr '13 : G'day old mate. Well the first week without you has passed but I still see images of you wherever I look. We light a candle for you everyday & it sits next to your picture. You know the one when you were young & you were lying on the lawn with the ball in your mouth. Just a quick note to see how you are settling in. I trust you've found Byron & Jake. There's a couple of others you could meet. I've been talking to some other lonely 'parents' & they've told me for you to find Millie (she's from South Australia too), Katy & Pedro. I hope you'll like the music I've selected, it's called 'Remember When'. I loved it when you were with us, but I love it even more now, 'cause it means more now. I'm going to have a game of golf tomorrow, it will be the first time I've been out since you left. Wish me luck & you'll be riding with me in the cart all the way. Don't worry, Oliver won't be left alone, Mum will be with him all day. I'll get back to you later. Always remember we love you, think about you constantly & wish you were here.

Fri. 12th April '13 : How are you sweetheart? I hope you've settled in. It doesn't get any easier without you. We think about you constantly. I didn't go too bad at golf-I'm convinced you were looking down on me. Remember how I always told you that you would always be the King and Oliver was your Prince. Well, is it okay to anoint him as your successor? Don't worry, we'll make sure he never forgets you. He misses you tremendously, still does his walks around the yard trying to pick up your scent & comes back to either Mum or I for a comforting reassuring pat & cuddle. He has taken up your position on the hearth in front of the fire to sleep where you used to for so many years. I look at him lying there & can see you. I'm sure he wouldn't mind. Only three more days till your birthday ol' fella. Will talk to you then darling & always remember we love you.

Mon. 15th April '13 : Hello old mate. Happy birthday from Mum, Oliver & me. I have placed a photo in the album of you & Mum when you had your first birthday. It doesn't seem that long ago so I guess that's a good sign of the wonderful times we all spent together. Oliver has accepted the promotion of 'King of the House', but I can tell you he would still prefer to be your deputy & have you with him. He wanders around a bit at night and I suspect he's looking for you. You could send him a sign that you're okay, but don't sound too happy, we don't want him to join you any earlier than necessary. I know that sounds selfish, but we have to have something tangible to remember you by. Your candle still burns every day. I look at it & think how I still wish you were here, but I have to convince myself that you are in a place now where there is no pain or discomfort. A place where you can meet & mix with others. I have also placed a photo of Byron & Jake in the photo album for you. Have a great day darling and never doubt how much we love you

Fri. 19th April '13 : Our dearest Nelson. Just a quick note to let you know we are still thinking of you & love you dearly. The candle still burns daily next to your picture & when we receive the urn with your ashes it will rightfully take its correct position on the mantle piece. We can tell Oliver still thinks about you as we can see him look for you in the certain places where you both used to go. I have placed the words of the chorus of a song called "Angel". They are beautiful & I think of you every time I play the song :

"In the arms of the angel
fly away from here
from this dark cold hotel room
and the endlessness that you fear
you are pulled from the wreckage
of your silent reverie
you're in the arms of the angel
may you find some comfort here"

Till we chat again - all our love.

Thu. 2nd May '13 : Good morning our dear Nelson. It is one month since you left for the Bridge, the saddest day of my life. We hope you are travelling well & making new friends with the other residents. Rest assured we still miss you heaps & wish you were still with us. Everytime I go out & sit in the patio I only think of you & how you used to come & sit by my side so that I could pat your lovely head. Oliver now comes & sits where you used to as if to fill the void you left. You know he is a wonderful pal & is loved as much as you, but there will never by a replacement for you. If ever I mention your name, he looks around as if to find you somewhere in the house. I truly believe he misses you as much as we do. If I was granted one wish, it would be to still have you with us & free of any pain, but I guess that's two wishes. Thank you for coming into my dream the other night. We were playing out the back yard with your ball that you loved so much when you were young. Keep well sweetheart & I'll talk to you soon.

Wed. 8th May '13 : G'day old fella. We hope you have settled in. We received the urn with your ashes today - it is really nice. We have a picture of you on the top & a lovely engraved plaque on the front. Mum & I also got a key ring each which has a pewter urn attached. In the urn we have a small amount of your ashes, so that wherever we go, you will be with us. I think I might get another urn for Oliver & attach it to his collar so that when he goes for his walk, you will be with him too. Oliver sure misses you, & when I showed him some of your fur we kept, he smelt it and then got all excited trying to lick it, jumped about & looked at Mum & I as if to say: "Where's Nelson?". In a way it was funny, but in another quite sad & I shed some tears for both him & you. Your urn will remain on the shelf & as I have always told you & Mum, when I die your ashes will be spread with mine. You are very special & never forget how much we all love you.

Mon. 20th May '13 : Hi old mate, how are you? I just thought I'd drop you a line to thank you for sending me a beautiful sign this morning. We had rain during the night & when I woke up I looked out the bedroom window & there was a beautiful rainbow in the western sky. I immediately thought of you. Thanks for telling me you're okay & have settled in there. Tonight Oliver's getting the little urn with a small amount of your ashes in it. It will be attached to his collar so that you will always be with him. Autumn has set in & I've been busy raking up the fallen leaves on the back lawn. My mind constantly wanders back to the good times we had out there. We know you're without any pain or problems at the Bridge, but if I had one wish it would be to have you back with us. We love you mate & miss you.

Tue. 1st Oct '13 : Hi my darling Nelson. Well tomorrow it will be sixth months since you left us for the Rainbow Bridge. It is nothing to celebrate, but we want you to know how much you are missed. There is not one day that passes that we don't think of you & your lovely manner & how much we wish you were still here with us. We still light the candle next to your urn everyday. It's a reminder to us of you, not that we need it. We blow it out when we go to bed. Oliver has slowly come to grips that he has now taken over your position as 'King' of the house, but let me tell you he has never forgotten you, & if I mention your name, he looks at me inquisitively as if to say 'where is he'. He comes to the shop whenever we go down there so he is not left alone for any length of time. He doesn't mind being in the car for that short trip, but he is still a bit wary of it. I wish you could give him the message that it's all right, & nothings going to happen to him, so that he could be as comfortable as you were, although I do remember you were somewhat hesitant at first, but you soon got over that, with that long trip home from Canberra when we picked you up. You taught him well, when you showed him that he has to put on a performance whenever there is thunder about. He takes off just like you did, barking & running outside through the doggy door & then a lap around the backyard. I think maybe it is your way of letting him know you are still about. Never forget how special you are in our lives & how much we still love you even though we can't cuddle you. I always pat your urn when I either come into the lounge room first thing in the morning & last thing at night when we retire. Love you mate. Talk again soon

Tue. 2nd April '14 : Hi ol' fella. I'm writing this through teary eyes as today is the 1st anniversary of your trip to the Rainbow Bridge. You'd think I would have gotten over your leaving but no, you are still missed in every way & every day. Your candle still burns brightly every day. I'm sure you would have made new friends but they're not the same are they. Just the other day a wonderful rainbow appeared in the sky and both Mum & I took some time to have a good look at it & reminisce. Oliver hasn't changed & is healthy but I can tell he misses you as you were almost his 'security blanket' when meeting strangers & he is wary of others when approached. I found a little poem that epitomises you & I have written it below :

Only Wanted You

They say memories are golden well maybe that is true
I never wanted memories, I only wanted you

A million times I needed you, a million times I cried
If love alone could have saved you, you never would have died

In life I loved you dearly, in death I love you still
In my heart you hold a place no one could ever fill

If tears could build a stairway & heartache make a lane
I'd walk the path to heaven & bring you back again

Our family chain is broken & nothing seems the same
But as God calls us one by one, the chain will link again

I think those words sum our family bond & mateship up pretty well don't you? We all love you old mate and never forget we'll all be together one day. Love you mate

Thu 2nd Apr '15 Hi our dearest friend. It is hard to believe that it is two years since you had to leave us. They say one gets used to the loss of a loved one but I can tell you it hasn't got any easier for us. We still (& always will) light your candle next to you every day. We now have an enlarged photo of you above the candle & your urn. It really is quite beautiful. Oliver still misses you I'm sure & to keep him company we 'inherited' Clay's little dog D'Arcy. Poor little fella' is blind & Oliver has taken to him & loves & checks on him regularly by going to him, sniffing his face to make sure he is ok. He is a bit of a substitute for you but will never replace you. I still think of you daily & when I'm out the back I can still see you padding around the back yard. I hope you are enjoying the best possible time you can at the Bridge. With everyday that passes it is a day closer to us being reunited. Never forget (& I don't think you will) how much we love & miss you.

Fri 11th Mar '16 Hi old mate. I have to inform you of the sad news that little Oliver is on his way to the Rainbow Bridge. Mum and I are terribly upset as he had a bad heart turn a week ago & we were hopeful he would recover but it was not possible. You can now be together once more. It was unfair as he was only 7 years old. We still miss you and now when we think of you we will always remember Oliver. Look after him and take care of him. We love you both and things will never be the same.

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