A lifeline to our furry friends!
BY MARTIE EMORY
Losing a four-legged companion is tough in so many ways, and as pets begin to age, we long for their younger, energetic days, secretly hoping once they cross that beloved Rainbow Bridge, they feel healthy and whole again. We dream that in this magical land, they are running with renewed spirit until they can again join with their humans, and in your heart, you know they are happy.
Now, thanks to the passion and creativity of Todd and Stephanie Belcher and their good friend and wordsmith, Julie A. Palm, you can receive heartfelt updates on how your pets are adjusting to their new surroundings! Via Todd and Stephanie’s business, The Jimmydog Design Group, and the wisdom of their own departed pup and company namesake, Jimmy, they felt inspired to launch FromtheRainbow.com.
So, let’s meet Jimmy! Rescued by Todd and Stephanie after being abandoned as a puppy, he was a fluffy white poodle-terrier mix with plenty of personality. When Jimmy crossed the Rainbow Bridge in 2003, he left a hole in Todd and Stephanie’s hearts, yet his legacy lived on in their business. While pursuing their passion for graphic design, the couple also nurtured their love for animals with the start of Todd’s custom pet portraits business, and they also added rescue pups Freddie and Joey to their family.
When Joey passed away, Stephanie shared an idea with her close friend Julie who wrote occasional blogs for the business, often in the “voices” of their beloved dogs. “We decided that Jimmy, the company’s namesake, could write a blog called From the Rainbow, where he welcomed Joey over to the new world and reassured Todd and Stephanie he had arrived safely,” says Julie. Not only was the blog post an emotional comfort to Stephanie, but it was extremely well-received on the company’s social media, and in a sense, brought Jimmy back to life for all those who knew him!
“It’s like this ‘letter’ also connected us to our sweet Jimmy in a whole new way,” says Stephanie. “We began seeing him as the ambassador of the ‘newcomers club’ at the Rainbow Bridge. Julie has created this most wonderful world through her writing, that we realized was a comfort when we were sad our pups were no longer with us.”
From the Rainbow invites folks to share as much personal information about their former pet as possible – name, breed, age when they crossed the bridge, favorite toys, treats, and activities, and every detail that made their pet so special! Families are also asked to send photos of their pet so that Jimmy can ‘check up’ on them and see how they are adjusting to life over the bridge. Todd then adds a beautiful illustration to adorn the letter.
“Julie’s writing is so full of detail it’s easy to see something pop out that I should illustrate,” says Todd. “The more details, the better,” says Julie, stressing these are not fill-in-the-blank form letters, but personalized notes sprinkled with comforting details of what your pet is up to now. (Hint: Jimmy explains how the new arrivals are welcomed and how “magical” TVs let the animals keep watch over the families they left behind!)
These beloved letters of healing are offered in several packages and make sweet gifts for friends or family mourning the loss of a furry friend. Packages include an illustrated personalized letter in a Rainbow Bridge envelope ($59.95), an illustrated letter in a Rainbow Bridge envelope with a custom 5″ x 7″ memorial Rainbow Bridge portrait painted by Todd ($159.95), or a custom memorial fine art portrait painted by Todd with a personalized letter in a Rainbow Bridge envelope. Custom portraits start at $175.00 for an 8″ x 10″ rendering.
You can reach From the Rainbow at 336-201-7475, or begin your journey with Jimmy at FromTheRainbow.com. You’ll find a complete price list under the Personalized Letters tab, and to start your own very special order, send Stephanie a note under Contact Us, and she will be back in touch on how to begin the process. You also can follow Jimmy and his Rainbow Bridge pals on Facebook (Jimmy Belcher) and Instagram (jimmy.rainbow).
(Sample letter below that has accompanying pictures)
Dear Jimmy, Joey, and Freddie,
Thank you so much for the update on our beloved Vito Corleone Rostron. He went to the bridge over three years ago and we have been anxious to know how he’s doing. My kids have been writing him letters, and finally we got our answer – although he misses us as much as we miss him, we’re comforted to know how well he is doing. My daughter said receiving the letter and rainbow portrait was better than Christmas! Thank you again.
RR, St. James, NY