Pet Loss

"When one door closes, another opens. But we often look so regretfully upon the closed door that we don't see the one that has opened for us."
- Alexander Graham Bell -

Animated dove

Rainbow Bridge
Author Unknown

There is a bridge connecting Heaven and Earth. It is called the Rainbow Bridge because of its many colors. Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge, there is a land of meadows, hills and valleys with lush green grass. When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this place. There is always food and water and warm Spring weather. Those old and frail animals are young again. Those who have been maimed are made whole again. They play all day with each other.

Some of them here by the Bridge are different. These pets were beaten, starved, tortured, and unloved. They watch wistfully as their friends leave one by one, to cross the bridge with their special person. For them there is no one, no special one. Their time on earth did not give them one.

But one day, as they run and play, they notice a child standing by the road to the bridge. This child wistfully watches the reunions of friends, for during life, this child had no pet. This child was beaten, starved, tortured, and unloved.

Standing there alone, one of the unloved pets approaches, curious as to why this one is alone. And as the unloved pet and the unloved child get nearer to each other, a miracle occurs, for these are the ones who were meant to be together, the special child and the beloved pet who never had the chance to meet while on Earth. Finally, now, at the edge of the Rainbow Bridge, their souls meet, the pain and the sorrow disappears, and two friends are together.

They cross the Rainbow Bridge together, never again to be separated.



Heaven's Gate

Heaven's Gate
Author Unknown

An old man and his dog were walking down this dirt road with fences on both sides. They came to a gate, in the fence, looked in, it was a nice grassy areas, just what a dog and a man would like, but, it had a sign saying 'no trespassing' so they walked on. They came to a beautiful gate with a person in white robes there. "Welcome to Heaven," he said. The old man was happy and started in with his dog following him, The gatekeeper stopped him. "Dogs aren't allowed, I'm sorry but he can't come in with you." "What kind of Heaven won't allow dogs? If he can't come in, then I will stay out with him. He's been my faithful companion all his life, I can't desert him now." "Suit yourself, but I have to warn you, the Devil's on this road and he'll try to sweet talk you into his area, he'll promise you anything, but, the dog can't go there either. If you won't leave the dog, You'll spend Eternity on this road."

So the old man and dog went on down the road. They came to a rundown fence with a gap in it, no gate, just a hole. Another man was inside. "Excuse me sir, my dog and I are getting mighty tired, mind if we come in and sit in the shade for awhile?" "Of course, there's some cold water under that tree over there. Make yourself comfortable." You're sure my dog can come in? The man down the road said dogs weren't allowed anywhere." "Would you come in if you had to leave the dog?" "No sir, that's why I didn't go to Heaven, the gatekeeper said the dog couldn't come in. We'll be spending Eternity on this road, and a glass of cold water and some shade would be mighty fine right about now. But, I couldn't come in if my buddy here can't come too, and that's final."

The man smiled a big grin and said, "Welcome to Heaven." "You mean this is Heaven? Dogs ARE allowed? How come the fellow down the road said they weren't?" That was the Devil and he gets all the people who are willing to give up a life long companion for a comfortable place to stay. They soon find out their mistake but, then its too late. The dogs come here the fickle people stay there. GOD wouldn't allow dogs to be banned from Heaven. After all, HE created them to be man's companions in life, why would he separate them in death?"


Heaven's Doggy Door

- Author Unknown -

My best friend closed his eyes last night,
As his head lay in my hand.
The doctors said he was in pain,
And it was hard for him to stand.
The thoughts that scurried through my head,
As I cradled him in my arms,
Were of his younger puppy years,
And Oh... his many charms.
Today there was no gentle nudge,
With an intense "I love you" gaze.
Only a heart that's filled with tears,
Remembering our joy-filled days.
But an Angel just appeared to me,
And said, "You should cry no more,
God also loves our canine friends,
He's installed a doggy door!"


Waiting at Heaven's Gate

- Author Unknown -

I got to the gates of Heaven yesterday,
After we said good-bye.
I began to miss you terribly,
Because I heard you cry.
Suddenly there was an Angel and she asked me
to enter Heaven's gate.
I asked her if I could stay outside
for someone who'd be late.
I wouldn't make much noise you see,
I wouldn't bark or howl.
I'll only wait here patiently
and play with my tennis ball.
The Angel said I could stay right here
and wait for you to come.
Because Heaven just wouldn't be Heaven
if I went in alone.


Dear Master

- Author Unknown -

I explained to St. Peter,
I'd rather stay here,
Outside the pearly gate.
I won't be a nuisance,
I won't even bark,
I'll be very patient and wait.
I'll be here, chewing on a celestial bone,
No matter how long you may be,
I'd miss you so much ,
If I went in alone,
It wouldn't be heaven for me.

Beautiful Angel

In Loving Memory …

- Author Unknown -

God saw you were getting tired,
And a cure was not to be,
So he put his arms around you
And whispered, "Come to me."

With tearful eyes we watched you,
And saw you pass away.
Although we loved you dearly,
We could not make you stay.

A golden heart stopped beating,
Hard working hands at rest.
God broke our hearts to prove to us,
He only takes the best.

This poem was read at the service of Audrey Jean Johnson on Dec. 10th, 1999. We asked Forrest Johnson's son
for a copy of this poem. The last part reminded us of


A Living Love
by Martin Scot Kosins

If you ever love an animal, there are three days in your life you will always remember...
The first is a day, blessed with happiness, when you bring home your young new friend. You may have spent weeks deciding on a breed. You may have asked numerous opinions of many vets, or done long research in finding a breeder.

Or perhaps in a fleeting moment, you may have just chosen that silly looking mutt in a shelter - simply because something in its eyes reached your heart.
But when you bring that chosen pet home, and watch it explore, and claim its special place in your hall or front room - and when you feel it brush against you for the first time - it instills a felling of pure love you will carry with you through the many years to come.

The second day will occur eight or nine ot ten years later. It will be a day like any other. Routine and unexceptional. But, for a surpising instant, you will look at you longtime friend and see age where you once say youth.

You will see slow deliberate steps where you once saw energy. And you will see sleep when you once saw activity. So you will begin to adjust your friend's diet - and you may add a pill or two to her food. And you may feel a growing uneasy feeling on and offuntil the third day finally arrives.
On this day - if your friend and whatever higher being you believe in have not decided for you, then you will be faced with making a decision of your own - on the behalf of your lifelong friend, and with the guidance of your own deepest Spirit. But whichever way your friend eventually leasves you - you will feel as alone as a single star in the dark night.

If you are wise, you will let the tears flow as freely and as often as they must. And if you are typical, you will find that not many in your circle of family or friends will be able to understand your grief, or comfort you.

But if you are true to the love of the pet you cherished through the many joy - filled years, you may find that a soul - a bit smaller in size than your own - seems to walk with you, at times, during the lonely days to come.

And at moments when you least expect anything out of the ordinary to happen, you may feel something brush against you leg -- very, very lightly.

And looking down at the place where your dear, perhaps dearest, friend used to lie - you will remember those three significant days. The memory will most likely to be painful, and leave an ache in your heart. As time passes the ache will come and go as if it has a life of its own. You will both reject it and embrace it, and it may confuse you. If you reject it, it will depress you. If you embrace it, it will deepen you. Either way, it will still be an ache.

But there will be, I assure you, a fourth day when - along with the memory of your pet - and piercing through the heaviness in your heart - there will comea realization that belongs only to you.
It will be as unique and strong as our relationship with each animal we haveloved and lost. This realization takes the form of a Living Love - like the heavenly scent of a rose that remains after the petals have wilted, this Love will remain and grow - and be there for us to remember. It is a love we have earned. It is the legacy our pets leave us when they go.

And it is a gift we may keep with us as long as we live. It is a Love which is ours alone. And until we ourselves leave, perhaps to join our Beloved Pets - it is a Love we will always possess.



Lend Me A Pup
-author unknown-

I will lend to you for awhile, a pup, God said,
For you to love him while he lives and mourn him when he's dead.

Maybe twelve or fourteen years, or maybe two or three.
But will you, 'till I call him back, take care of him for me?

He'll bring his charms to gladden you and (should his stay be brief)
you'll always have his memories as solace for your grief.

I cannot promise he will stay, since all from earth return
But there are lessons taught below I want this pup to learn.

I've looked the whole world over in search of teachers true,
And from the folk that crowd life's land I have chosen you.

Now will you give him all your love. Nor think the labour vain,
Nor hate me when I come to take my sweet Pup back again?

I fancied that I heard them say "Dear Lord Thy Will be Done,"
For all the joys this Pup will bring, the risk of grief we'll run.

We'll shelter him with tenderness, we'll love him while we may,
And for the happiness we've known forever grateful stay

But should you call him back much sooner than we've planned,
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes, and try to understand.

If, by our love, we've managed, your wishes to achieve
In memory of him we loved, to help us while we grieve,

When our faithful bundle departs this world of strife,
We'll have yet another Pup and love him all his life.

Pet Death

A Dog's Prayer
A Dog Is Always By Your Side
Help in Healing the Hurt
In Memory of Pets
Memorial or Living Tribute to Honor Your Beloved Domestic Pet
My Cemetary. com (Virtual Pet Cemetary)
Pet Loss & Grieving Resources - Good links for loss and grieving
Pet Loss Support
Pet Loss Support Page
Pet Memorial Web Ring
The Alliance of Healing Hearts
The Pet Loss Grief Support Website & Candle Ceremony
The Association For Pet Loss and Bereavement
When a Pet Dies: Coping with Loss


Helpful Books about Pet Loss & Grief

When Your Pet Dies: How to Cope With Your Feelings. Jamie Quackenbush and Denise Graveline (1985)
Special Place For Charlie - A Child's Companion Through Pet Loss. Debbie Morehead, AAHA (1996)

A Final Act of Caring: Ending the Life of an Animal Friend. Mary & Herb Montgomery (1994) - A helpful booklet for those dealing with the difficult euthanasia decision.
Good-bye My Friend. Mary & Herb Montgomery (1991).
The Tenth Good Thing About Barney. Judith Viorst (1975).
The above five books are available directly from the American Animal Hosptial Association. Order by calling 800-252-2242.

Links for Euthanasia, Grief, Loss

Coping With the Loss of a Pet - Grieving, mourning, explaining pet loss to your child, etc.
Euthanasia...What To Expect
Facing Pet Euthanasia
Of Course You Can Cry

Virtual Pet Cemetery - Memorials & Tributes

Lost & Stolen Pets (Pet Theft Awareness Day - Feb.14)

Finding Lost and Stolen Pets - Dedicated to Dulcie, Lisa's lost Dalmatian. Lots of good information check it out.
- The largest nonprofit lost and found service in the United States and Canada
Sherlock Bones - Tracer of Missing Pets



"Beauty without vanity, strength without insolence, courage without vanity,
and all the virtues of man without his vices."

- Inscription on Lord Byron's dog's grave -

"If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs
I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons."
- James Thurber -


"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's
soul remains unawakened."

- Anatole France -



Red Fire Hydrant


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