Pet Loss Resources
The Rainbow Bridge
Just this side of heaven is a place called The Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to The 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 quivers. 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.
Then you cross The Rainbow Bridge together. . .
Coping with Pet Loss
All too often, when someone experiences the loss of a beloved animal, family, friends and outsiders do not understand the unconditional love, comfort and companionship that you and your pet shared. Intense grief over the loss of a pet is normal and you will experience the same emotions that you would feel at the loss of any loved one.
- First and formost, allow yourself to grieve. During the years that you and your pet were together, you formed a very special bond. You were constant companions and you shared times of joy and sadness, each a comfort to the other. It is only natural that you will grieve the loss of your special friend and you have a right to feel the emotions that come with your loss. Grieving is a healthy part of the healing process and it also allows you to remember the good times and cherish those memories.
- Don't be afraid to express your feelings or accept help from others. Although some people may say that "It was only an animal", people who have animals will completely understand what you are going through. Keep these people around you and draw comfort from them and their pets. Talking about your feelings is very important and you may be surprised to find that others have gone through the same loss and have experienced the same grief.
- If you have children, you are the best judge of how much information they can handle about death and the loss of their pet. You may find that by being honest with them about your pet's loss, you may be able to address some fears and misconceptions they may have about death. Do not use phrases like "Missy has gone to sleep", this can confuse children and give them the impression that you can go to sleep and not wake up.
- Sometimes it is helpful to create a memorial for your pet. A memorial is a way of honoring your pet and remembering them in a special way. If you choose to do this, choose a memorial that feels right for you.
- Everyone heals in a different way and some take more time than others. However, healing is within all of us and eventually you will be able to remember your pet with a smile as you cherish the good times and the warm memories.
- Do not hurry to replace your pet with another. You will know when the time is right to start looking for another friend. Do not try to find an animal "just like the one you lost"--no two animals are just alike. They all have their own personalities and come with characteristics that make each one so special. Here at CAP we believe that the animals often find us, so be open to that as you look through our website and visit our shelter. When you least expect it, that funny, furry, precious creature will appear--one look into those eyes and you will hear "Here I am...take me home".
Memorials to CAP
One of many ways that you can help the animals at CAP is to make a donation in memory of a loved one. CAP will send an acknowledgment of your contribution to the family. With a two-hundred dollar contribution, you can request a plaque to be placed on the Wishing Well in front of our shelter.