Since then, a sort of amazing thing happened; Riley sent us a cloud.
This sighting occurred one evening as Kathy and I were sitting, sipping wine and watching the evening sky and the clouds as is our tradition. If it’s warm enough, we usually do this from the porch swing but in colder weather, we do it from our front guest room. Either way, it was one of Riley’s favorite things to do with us and he would become very excited around that time of day, barking and running to the front door or guest room to remind us that it was time, all accompanied by much vigorous tail wagging.
On the particular day of the sighting, it happened to be the anniversary of his passing several weeks prior, almost to the hour actually and Kathy and I were a bit melancholy as a result, sitting there and crying actually. But as we sat there and sniffled and talked about him and missed him, we all of a sudden noticed this little cloud bounding towards us. Initially, we saw the heart shape that you see in the image above. The cloud sort of bounded up to the sky over our house and dissipated, as clouds do.
But, while we didn’t realize it at the time, a friend of mine, when I shared the picture with him, pointed out that there was a second cloud with a shape involved. Specifically, if you look in the upper left hand corner, there is a little cloud that, at least to our eyes, looks just like a silhouette of Riley when he would get in his down dog position with is little tail wagging and his ears flapping. It truly felt to us like Riley had sent us a special message that day to let us know he was O.K. and we were very touched by the whole thing.
Kathy and I both are members of the Cloud Appreciation Society, which, when they are not otherwise occupied in assisting the World Meteorological Society with identifying a new cloud classifications, finds time to maintain a really cool photo gallery. Given that heart shaped clouds are highly prized observations and given the special nature of the one we were blessed with, we felt that we should share the our sighting with others with an appreciation for the things floating about over our heads.
So, we submitted Riley’s Cloud to the Cloud Appreciation Society gallery about a week or so ago, which included our sharing with the photo gallery editor the story behind the cloud, which you just read. In addition to having the submission accepted, we received a very touching reply regarding the loss of Riley because they too had experienced the loss of a beloved pet. In their reply, they shared a poem titled The Rainbow Bridge; if you have ever lost a pet, you should read it. And if you are struggling with euthanasia for a pet, you may also find a poem Kathy’s sister Nancy sent to us titled The Last Battle to be of comfort.
One of the things that you can do to support the Cloud Appreciation Society once you are a member is subscribe to the “Cloud A Day” e-mail. Much to our joy, surprise, and honor, we discovered that Riley’s cloud had been selected as Tuesday’s Cloud yesterday. So all in all, a silver lining for our special cloud.