In searching for sources of solace, Joan came across this poem which helped us feel better and accurately describes what we hoped for Heidi. I hope you don't mind my posting it here for others who are losing a loved pet.
DO DOGS GO TO HEAVEN?
My little bully passed away, no more to breathe a sound.
I held him for the last time, then entombed him in the ground.
Day and night I wept so much, in tears I thought I'd drown.
I searched my soul for comfort, but no peace therein was found.
In great despair, I hit my knees and then began to pray.
"Father will I ever see, my dog again someday?"
I raised my eyes and saw an angel standing near a gate.
I sensed an inner peace I'd never felt before that day.
The angel smiled and said to me, "Oh man of little faith!
God sees every bird that falls; He knows your bully's fate.
I have met your little dog, I saw him pass my way.
Your precious dog is still alive; he just walked through this gate.
Paradise is lovelier than you can comprehend.
No pain or grief, no tears or fears, and life will have no end.
God gave to man His only Son, to cover all his sins.
So why would God withhold from you, your pure and loving friend?”
The angel took me by the hand and said, "Now come with me.
A glimpse of paradise I'll give, to you so you can see."
Through the gate and o'er the Rainbow Bridge we did proceed.
Through green valleys filled with flowers, rolling hills and trees.
“Wow, so this is paradise!” The place was filled with joy.
I saw my bully playing there, with dogs and cats and toys.
He also had some doggie treats, and food that he enjoyed.
He'd made a lot of new friends there, including girls and boys.
Then I saw a child come near, and hug my little mate.
She said to him, "I love you so," and kissed him on the face.
The angel said, "The child just crossed the Rainbow Bridge today.
Now she needs a little friend, to love and help her play.
God’s love for her would be enough, in that make no mistake.
But in His love, He knew full well, the child would want a mate.
This is why God called your dog unto this splendid place.
God’s entrusted her with him, ‘til you pass through the gate."
I pleaded, “May I hug them both?!” The angel answered, “No!
You’d violate a sacred site, and now it’s time to go.”
He led me back across the Bridge and through the gate to home.
He left me there with new-found hope and peace within my soul.
If someone ever asks what happens to a dog that dies,
Just give a gentle smile of joy and look them in the eye.
Take their hand and comfort them and tell them not to cry.
For dogs don’t die, they simply cross a bridge to paradise.
By Dan Atcheson (5/2/00)
I also found that by writing down a few words in the general format of of special poem for us it has helped a lot. No need to post that here but do take the time to write down your thoughts when you lose a special friend, be it a pet, friend or family member.