“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”– Will Rogers
It has been 18 days now since Tilda left us and the rainbow reports just keep coming in. It rained at Tilda’s old house all day Tuesday, September 6th and all day Wednesday, September 7th. Donna and I were sure there would be no rainbows on these days as the cloud cover was so thick, the sun couldn’t possibly get through. However, at 6:30pm on Wednesday we noticed while eating dinner that the sun was trying to peek through the clouds in the west over the mountains. We quickly ran to Tilda’s deck on the upper level east side and watched with anticipation. Within a couple minutes, the clouds began to lift towards the southeast and a faint rainbow appeared. I tried to take a picture of it as I had camera in hand and ready, but it was so faint it was difficult to see as the sky was still hazy with thin clouds. The good news it indeed was there and I can send you the large original picture if you would like to see it more clearly. Within 30 seconds or less of taking this picture, the rainbow disappeared again. In summary, there have been 3 rainbows seen by Donna and I from our house. Tilda died on August 24th. The first rainbow was on August 30th, the second rainbow was on September 2nd and this last rainbow was on September 7th. Thank You, Tilda!
In the previous blog we talked about Tilda being on stage at the old Boulder Theater for a Cabaret Event connected with Boulder Community Hospital. Since I wrote that blog, Jan Fincher of BCH and I have been communicating and she found a picture someone took of Tilda and a couple other dogs on stage with the master of ceremonies. It was so cute with Tilda that evening as she was walking through the crowd previous to that stage event
wanting to meet everyone and doing tricks, etc. With Tilda, the more people the better and that was a consistent fact with her no matter where I took her. We walked up the stairs to get on the stage that evening and Tilda was immediately in “7th Heaven” without a doubt. I could tell by her demeanor and her “vibes” that she thought this experience was way too cool and she was taking it all in with total concentration. The master of ceremonies with the loud microphone (speakers were directly in front of us on stage) intrigued her a great deal as she could hear the MC talking and yet his voice was booming out in front of us through the speakers. Her tail was wagging like a willow branch in the breeze as she had the biggest smile just enjoying the moment. I tried to get her to sit by tapping on her butt a couple times, but she was way too involved in what was going on. She would turn to look forward at the crowd and it was like “Wow, I want to meet all those people” followed immediately by a thought “sure is a good view from up here, this must be special”.
When Tilda first came to live with us, we took her lots of places where thick crowds were the normal happening. In my opinion, it is a real test of a dog’s stress tolerance and “dog to people” social abilities to walk the dog on a short and snug leash going slowly through heavy crowds. That is a perfect opportunity to practice bonded control and get the dog and human used to how each maneuvers back and forth in tight situations. It necessitates using all the basic commands and the dog almost has to obey them or there could be a disaster. That is a stressful situation on the part of both the handler and the dog, but with practice it really gets to be fun for both and solidifies the relationship quickly if done correctly. It can also be far from desirable if the dog or handler is not having a good day for some reason. So Tilda and I would practice at summer festivals such as in Estes Park and other small towns in Northern Colorado. It was also a good practice session teaching Tilda that other people’s food was to be ignored unless she is invited to partake. Tilda and I went to Berthoud Days in Berthoud, Colorado every June and we started a tradition with Tilda
the first year we attended which was not too long after Tilda came to live with us. The tradition was to first lay in the park on the cool green grass and watch the late-morning parade. Then we would head from the food park a couple blocks south and Tilda would search for AND FIND the smoked Turkey Leg stand. The first year (just by chance) I bought a Turkey Leg and Tilda and I sat in the grass and shared it. Wow! That was a home run hit with Tilda. We continued that tradition every year. This last June, 2011, I already knew that Tilda has cancer so Berthoud Day celebration was going to be special. When we were walking about a block from the food park heading in that direction, Tilda’s nose went in the air and she began to track the Turkey Leg stand. She smelled and tracked, smelled and tracked and took me right to the stand front and center. She stood with me while I order one Turkey Leg and a glass of water for us. We found a shade tree in the cool green grass and laid down and this time I fed her the entire leg for herself. Oh my, those eyes were as big a saucers, she was so excited. I asked her if she wanted some more and she shook her skin meaning “YES”. We bought a second leg and repeated the process again. I held the empty bone in my hands and she took her front teeth and ever-so-gently nibbled every last bit of meat off the bone. I looked at Tilda and said “You know what, Tilda? We may not be able to ever do this together again so how about we spring for a 3rd Turkey Leg and go out in style.” Her tail was wagging so hard with the best of the best smile on her face. I got up and we went over and got a 3rd Turkey Leg and did it all over again. I thought I had better stop with that one as I didn’t want to cause her to get sick, but she was fine through all 3 legs and we had a great time doing it. At $5 per leg I was about out of cash anyway, so time to call it quits. However, the memory of that $15 dog lunch of Turkey Legs at Berthoud Days was one of the best memories ever. Tilda’s cancer was affecting her right front leg that day and it was beginning to swell and caused her to limp a bit going back to the truck so we took our time and met people on the way and periodically stopped and to take a break now and then.
Now back to more rainbow stories that apparently are Tilda’s connections with other people. Some of these stories are fascinating. Is it a coincidence……….not for me to judge for you so you be the judge.
The T POT Continues (The Power Of Tilda)
BCH Canine Corps Newsletter rainbow experience
This last week I had a need to look back at the newsletter to find a date and time for the upcoming therapy dog summer party at the lake. While I was scrolling through the newsletter, I happened to read again the wonderful writing about Tilda that Jan Fincher wrote………….and THEN, I couldn’t believe what I saw and don’t know how I missed it before. Jan had put a cute rainbow by Tilda’s story. This is the same newsletter I sent to all
of Tilda’s Friends on August 27th, 2011 so everyone could see Jan’s writing. I then became curious as to how Jan picked a rainbow icon to put by Tilda when she also wrote about 2 other dogs that has passed this last year and didn’t put a rainbow by them. I wrote Jan to find out if she already knew our discussions of Tilda’s sign possibly being the rainbow. I asked her which came first……..her knowledge of our discussions and that explains the reason she put a rainbow beside Tilda’s writing or if it was an unconscious thing happening before our discussions. She responded that the discussions about Tilda’s rainbow on the Tilda’s Friends list and her putting that rainbow by Tilda sort of came about at the same time, but not sure now. I then went to check the dates of all the events as it was traceable. Here is how it went:
August 24th, Tilda passed away
August 27th, Jan wrote and sent the BCH Newsletter with the rainbow by Tilda
August 28th, I sent a link to Tilda’s Friends about Jan’s Newsletter tribute to Tilda
August 30th, the first double rainbow appeared from Tilda.
August 31st, I wrote blog saying the first rainbow appeared to be Tilda’s sign.
So Jan had no idea at the time of her writings about the rainbow possibly being connected with Tilda. Quite possibly, Jan’s little rainbow icon for Tilda is the first rainbow coming through from Tilda via Jan. Tilda liked Jan a lot……..especially since the day she allowed Tilda to be the “demo dog” for a new therapy dog class at BCH last May. Tilda loved that day and I think all of the students in class that day will not forget it soon either. She would go by herself from person to person collecting pets or just to say hello……..she did that most all day long in between naps. The Veterinarian that day also used Tilda to demo what she would be doing to the students dogs on their Vet Behavioral Exam. I suspect Tilda had something to do with the little rainbow by Jan’s story in the newletter, but again, you be the judge.
Tilda’s Friends sharing experiences by email
A friend of Tilda’s named Linda writes:
“Hi Daryl — I love that T POT – the Power of Tilda! I read what you wrote about Tilda in front of the honking truck — who knows, maybe Tilda knew something that day, like that truck driver needed to slow down!!!
On Saturday I went into Boulder to walk along the creek at that Boulder hometown fair where they hold the annual Zuchini Races! Every year I find Brother Sage who sets up to give massages. I reclined on his chair ready for my annual foot massage when a chilly morning breeze kicked up. I asked if he had a blanket or a jacket. He whipped the brightly colored sheet off his display and said “Ah, wrap yourself in this wonderful warm rainbow!” I immediately thought of Tilda and told him about her! I can go for weeks, months without mention of rainbows. Tilda continues to touch all her friends!
A friend of Tilda’s named, Bonijean, writes:
I saw the rainbow too at 5:05pm! I took a picture of it, but because we have houses behind our house, I couldn’t get the entire rainbow picture. Here is what I could get without any houses or power lines behind it.
One of Tilda’s Friends named Linda from Utah writes:
“I’m so terribly sad for you. I know that Tilda wasn’t well and it was her choice to go, but I also know first hand that this doesn’t make it any easier or less painful for you and Donna. That it doesn’t fill the empty space that she filled so beautifully and graciously. I’ll miss her terribly even without having ever met her. She was special to so many people. Because she was a very special, caring girl. I’m so terribly sorry for the loss of Tilda and so terribly glad that she got to share her life with you.”
There are more reports of TEAPOT experiences, but this is probably enough for this time. It is wonderful to hear about all the situations surrounding these events. Thanks to everyone for sharing those moments and also many thanks to some of you who have shared your touching experiences from your past with animals and others.
In addition, Donna and I also want to shout out a special THANK YOU for more cards, letters, books and flowers received from Tilda’s Friends. Something arrives every day and the outpouring is an amazing tribute to Tilda’s life of love and affection for other people. Another big “thank you” goes to the Friends of Tilda that made contributions to the Longmont Humane Society and to the Longmont United Hospital Foundation on Tilda’s behalf. Tilda certainly was an “Ambassador of the Heart” to all her friends and Donna and I stand in awe of how many lives were touched by her character and personality. Good things begat more good things! Thank You, Tilda!
Until next time……………