While no one quite remembers the day that Tonka was born, those who loved her will remember the day that she passed away. On April 8th, 1996 - Easter Monday - Tonka went to the Rainbow Bridge, where we hope to see her again. Tonka lived a long and full life - being into her mid-to-late Thirties (an exceptionally long lifetime for a horse) when a painful leg injury required that she be put to sleep. It had been hoped that the injury was not so severe, but things took a turn for the worse on Monday, and it was realized that though she bore it well and bravely, she was in a lot of pain. Not so much pain as to stop her near-endless appetite, and she had still been munching lightly on her favorite hay before the Vet arrived.
When the Vet arrived, he gave Tonka a tranquilizer to help numb the pain, and she was moved to a sunny area near the barn which had been her home for much of her life. A second injection was the humane euthanasia drug, and Tonka lay down peacefully, and passed on. There was no kicking, no thrashing - none of the heart-wrenching scenes of the days of older, less humane methods. This makes her passing no easier for those who loved her, but we may take heart that she did pass in such a peaceful manner, and that we will be able to see her again at the Rainbow Bridge.
Farewell, Dear Tonka... You are gone, but you are never forgotten. We shall meet again.
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body begins to quiver. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
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