This section is devoted to our beloved dogs who are waiting at the Rainbow Bridge. If you would like to include a tribute to your B.O.N.E.S. beagle(s) that crossed to Rainbow Bridge, please send your story and/or photo(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read all of the tributes by paging through them below or click on a name to go to a specific article.
Lyle came to me the first weekend in December, 2005 — a sweet, scared 9 year old refugee from pre-Katrina Louisiana, via a basset rescue there, then a shelter in Virginia, then one in Massachusetts, and finally, BONES. Relocated by BONES when his foster mom became ill, he came on my BONES home visit one weekend afternoon ten days after I'd lost my much-loved rescued beagle, Bo, to kidney failure. Lyle instantly hopped up on the sofa next to my wonderful overgrown yellow Lab, Bailey. My home visitor muttered something about being "supposed" to ask where I keep my dog food, and then quickly asked whether perhaps Lyle could stay when she left. He could, he did, and he never left.
Things were never easy for Lyle. For several weeks, his short stub of a tail was almost constantly tucked down as tightly as it could be. Three months of treatment for the heartworm infection he brought with him, and nearly-intractable separation anxiety, took their toll on him (and on a succession of dining room rugs). But with it all, this sweet beagle boy was instantly accepted by his new feline "brothers" and bonded tightly with Bailey, following Bailey nearly everywhere and when winter snowstorms struck, tucking himself under the makeshift "umbrella" of Bailey's huge body outdoors before scurrying from one end of the yard to another, clearly hoping against hope that snow didn't "happen" everywhere in his new universe.
Eventually, he grew more comfortable, seemingly understanding that his wanderings had ended. He and Bailey had five happy years of neighborhood walks and evening snoozes together in front of the fireplace before Bailey died at 14 in 2010. Lyle even learned to love snow and, on his daily walks, to appreciate neighbors whose yards featured thick, well-manicured grassy turf, on which he would invariably stop and roll and roll happily. The night Bailey died, Lyle left his customary place at the foot of my bed and took over Bailey's crib-sized mattress, and he never relinquished it.
He welcomed Bailey's successor, two-times BONES returnee Fitch, sharing toys and stuffed Kongs and the den sofa, and "teaching" Fitch the household routine. Slowed by arthritis and age, he none the less danced excitedly around the kitchen door each morning with Fitch, insisting on his neighborhood walks and "sitting up" on his ample hind end, waving his front paws in the air and sweetly seeking attention. As he passed 15 and his arthritis worsened, my wonderful housecall vet and I set some benchmarks: when Lyle could no longer enjoy even short walks, or carry his midday stuffed Kong to his favorite place to savor its contents, or hop up on the sofa, or sit up to give his trademark greeting, we might be able to control the pain of his arthritis and spinal deterioration, but we would not be able to preserve the quality of his life. And so, ironically on the seventh anniversary of the day he first joined the household, my vet and I cradled Lyle on the floor in front of the fireplace whose warmth he found so comforting, and the last needle slipped gently in.
Rest easy, sweet Lyle, roll and roll and roll in the thickest turf you can find, and know how much you've been loved by so many and how much you will be missed.
Elizabeth Studley Nathans