There is a bridge connecting heaven and earth. It is called the Rainbow Bridge because of its colors. Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge there is a land of meadows, hills and valleys with lush green grass.

When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this place. There is always food and water and warm spring weather. The old and frail animals are young again. Those who are maimed are made whole. They play together all day.

There is only one thing missing: They are not with their special person who loved them on Earth. Each day they run and play until the day comes when one suddenly stops playing and looks up! The nose twitches! The ears are up! The eyes are staring! And this one suddenly runs from the group.

You have been seen, and when you and your special friend meet, you take him or her in your arms and embrace. Your face is kissed again and again, and you look once more into the eyes of your trusting friend.

Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together, never again to be separated.

This page is dedicated to our beloved therapy dogs who have crossed the rainbow bridge.


   Ella joined our family when she was just eight weeks old. Her mother was an avalanche rescue dog at Snowmass Mountain and Ella definitely inherited her mother’s athletic ability and strong work ethic. Ella had always wanted a job.
   Ella spent her early years as the family fitness coach.  Ella loved to hike and early on it became apparent that daily hikes would be necessary to keep Ella happy and well behaved. Every morning, Ella could be found leading part or all of her family up the trails on Red Mountain or Doc Holidays. Ella was the consummate coach, always wanting to go a little farther and push a little harder.
   Ella and I joined Heeling Partners; I was interested in HP because I love activities I could do with Ella and also because I had spent extended time in hospitals with ill family members and know what a difference it would have made for me to have the chance to connect with a dog while in the hospital setting. Ella and I thoroughly enjoyed both, being part of the Heeling Partners community and also our time at Valley View Hospital. Ella loved to walk through the busy halls and greet all who pass by. Ella had such a joyful spirit and it is wonderful to be able to share that joy with others.
   We said good-by to our dear friend Ella on June 2, 2012. She had been managing kidney failure for over a year and still hiked every day . . . until Saturday.  Both of the kids happened to be home for the weekend so she passed over while in the arms of her family . . . could hardly ask for more. As you all have experienced, the emptiness is huge. Her absence is present in all that I do, but with time I know the sharpness does soften. It is I believe the purest of love that we share with our fur friends.


    Kane was the beloved dog of Audrey and her family. All of their dogs have been rescue dogs and Kane was no exception. He was a German Shepard/Husky mix with gorgeous blue eyes and was the most loving and affectionate dog.
   If you sat on the floor, that was an open invitation for him to plant his rump in your lap. He practically purred when he was brushed and he loved to have his face rubbed right between his eyes. He loved to crawl in bed with our son for a good snooze, loved riding in cars with his head out the window, loved to play in water but hated to be bathed.
   Kane and Audrey visited  patients at Valley View Hospital where he enjoyed saying "hi" and getting his face rubbed!


   Lexxiss was born October, 1996 in Alaska to a Blue Merle Australian Shepherd mom and a Golden Retriever dad. Her nicknames were Lexi Bug and Merle Girl. She loved to eat and loved to be the boss of the household. She disliked being told what to do. Lexxiss made her own decisions and I learned to respect them. She loved her brother, Rudi, but she was very clear that she was the boss.
   Lexxiss’ favorite toy was her "baby," a stuffed mouse in a Christmas outfit. It was given to her by the shelter volunteer who nursed her to back to health. She had her baby for at least 10 years; she protected it and wouldn’t let anyone else near it.
   Lexxiss was the most independent dog I have ever had. When we lived in Alaska she would walk the property line every morning, then would lie in her "den" under the house and watch things all day. She used to stay out at night, but didn’t do that in Colorado - too many skunks!
   I would like others to know that it is possible for a timid, scared, starving young dog to become a Heeling Partner through patience and love (and Lexxiss might add FOOD).


   Maggie Mae and I were a part of the group with Laura & Duck, Sandi and Boomer and others that started Heeling Partners. Maggie Mae crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Monday, 12/14/2009. She'd been diagnosed with cancer in September and did pretty well until the last week. I had to make the difficult decision to put her down.....she went peacefully in my arms as we sat in the sunshine. At 8 1/2 years old, it was way too soon to have to say goodbye to such a loving friend.
   I was talking to Sandi the morning I put Maggie down and we realized that her dog Boomer is the only surviving member of our original group of Pet Partners. We have some incredible memories of those days and our wonderful dogs. I sat down with Maggie one day during her illness and looked at all the pictures and talked to her about them.
   Maggie Mae, like the other Heeling Partners, brought a lot of love and happiness not only to us, their caregivers; but to hospital patients, the elderly and children in her lifetime.  She was a very special girl and is loved and missed deeply.


Pete passed away on December 20 (2009). He had stopped eating the last few days and was telling me he was ready. It was very peaceful . . . in my arms. He was a cutie and a very good boy. We will miss him very much. They just don't live long enough . . .


Rudi was a rescue dog we adopted on December 24, 2004, hence his nickname of Rudolph. His other nicknames were Button Head and Rooter. We do not know his birth date, but estimate he was 10 or 11 when he passed. Rudi loved to sleep, roll in leaves and snow, and dig holes and lay in them. Rudi also adored his sister, Lexxiss. He didn't dislike anything and was a pretty agreeable guy. Rudi was such a slow poke and didn't rush for anything. I brought him to Heeling Partners because of his sensitivity to others. The only time he ever showed much excitement was when his HP collar went on and he got his final brushing to go be a "hospital boy." He perked right up and had such pride when he visited. He knew he was doing something important. If I could use one word to describe Rudi it would be "content".