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Saying Goodbye to Two Beloved BrightHaven Beauties

BrightHaven’s President & Co-Founder Gail Pope recently wrote loving tributes to these two magnificent souls, Chelsea and Talya.

Farewell to Chelsea the Beautiful:
A New Butterfly Soars  

Chelsea the beautiful
Our beautiful girl.

“I am writing to you all today to share the news of our dear Chelsea’s passing on Friday 28th July shortly before 5am – a time you may recall that many of our residents have decided to make their transitions, after being told that I will shortly have to leave them to prepare for the day ahead.

Chelsea & Tarka
With her brother Tarka on Gail’s lap.

Chelsea’s brother Tarka died in May 2016 –shown with me as Tarka was nearing the end of his own life. We wondered if or how she would be affected, but already in her twenties, Chelsea astonished us with her tenacity at life as well as her joyful spirit and capacity to enjoy every day.

Chelsea lost her sight completely towards the end of last year and, after mutiple seizures, we worried for her health, but with the aid of her amazing volunteer veterinarian and classical veterinary homeopath, Dr. Michele Yasson, Chelsea surprised everyone. [Note:

Chelsea relaxing in a chair
Chelsea relaxing in one of her prized chairs.
7-4-15 Chelsea lovelyIMG_2049.JPG
Chelsea posing for the camera.

Although her world was diminished by blindness and difficulty hearing, Chelsea positively glowed with happiness during the last months of her life. She began to enjoy her raw diet again and her fur and eyes gleamed. Seizures came randomly and with the right choice of remedy, were soon diminishing and no longer to appear in her last weeks of life.

[You may wish to note that seizures present in chronic illness and hospice care may well not be present in death. In fact for BrightHaven animals seizures are rarely seen during the dying process.]

Chelsea ate her last bites and drank on her own in the evening before her death, a time when her physical self had become too weak to even sit, let alone stand. She exhibited a determination to do things her way and settled into a peaceful night “holding paws” with me as I lay beside her on my makeshift bed on the floor.

Chelsea died easily and peacefully and with such dignity and now looks more beautiful than ever in death – as though only resting.

Chelsea lying in state
Chelsea lying in state.

I invite you to join us in sending prayers, love and Reiki for her journey on the path to the afterlife, where she undoubtedly will find Tarka and many more BrightHaven animals joyfully welcoming her!”

The Queen Is Dead — Long Live The Queen  

“I am writing to let everyone know that Talya passed away on Friday the 4th August at 1130pm — in my arms and in bed.

How she held onto her physical paraplegic self for so long is a mystery and a testament to who she was, those who loved her and especially the excellent work and dedication for so many years of her volunteer veterinarian, classical veterinary homeopath Adriana Sagrera.

Queen Talya looking purr-fectly regal.

Tally, or Tally-two-shoes – just two of my affectionate nicknames for her, was rescued and brought to America, after breaking her back when very young, by wonderful BrightHaven friend Seda Beca. She had a charmed life — surviving the broken back and subsequent and severe UTI’s for most of her eleven years. The odds were against her, although that never stopped Talya!

Talya was the reigning Queen of BrightHaven — one tough (but lovable, damn it!) cookie who did everything in her own time and her own terms and never hesitated to bite in order to make her point — as the many scars on my arms can attest to! She lived and loved with a fierce passion and I adored her.

talya crystals gail talya
Talya & crystals; Talya & Gail sharing a tender moment.

Talya lies in state looking very much the beautiful royal she was, and for now I struggle to really accept she has gone. She was a huge part of my life for so long and I cannot begin to explain or understand what she means, or meant, to me. My heart is hurting and the tears flow but I know deep down that it was her time and she is now running free and leaping on all fours again.

talya in state-2 photos
Talya in state.
Ellie contemplating life as a future queen.

It seems that our golden girl Ellie may soon be acting as her gentle regent, according to the wonderful animal intuitive July Berrin of The Temple Cat ( We will see. For now though, Ellie is quaking in her shoes at the mere thought!

May I invite you to join me in sending love, prayers and Reiki to Talya as she treads the path to the afterlife, surrounded, I’m sure by the many BrightHaven animals who have trodden the path before her.

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