We grieve over the death of a pet. This reaction is only natural. Our feelings towards pets are so special that experts have a term for the relationship, the human-companion animal bond. When this bond is severed, the sense of loss can be overwhelming.

Society does not offer a grieving pet owner a great deal of sympathy. Even a close friend may comment: it’s only a dog or a cat, you can always get another. Such a reaction would be heartless given the loss of a human friend or family member, and it’s generally recognized that a person who has experienced such a loss needs the support of friends and relatives. Psychologists now acknowledge that we need as much support (but get far less) with the loss of a companion animal. 

Be sure to read the post: Ten Tips On Coping With Pet Loss by by Moira Anderson Allen, M.Ed.

Encouraging Words

Throughout our years of serving people we have gathered the following collection of poems and quotes that may help you through this difficult time in your life.  

The Rainbow Bridge

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 leaves us, it goes to this place. There is always food and water, and warm spring days. Those old and frail animals are young again. Those who have been maimed are made whole again. They play all day with each other.

But there is only one thing missing. They are not with their special person who loved them on Earth. So, each day they run and play until the day comes when one suddenly stops playing and looks into the distance. The nose twitches, the ears prick, the eyes are intent, the body eager and quivering. Suddenly it runs from the group, flying over the green grass, its legs carrying it faster and faster.

You have come, and your special friend leaps to greet you. Happy kisses rain upon your face and hands. You look once again into the trusting eyes, hands caressing the beloved head, stroking the silken ears so long gone from your life, but not from your heart.

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

Now, I Lay Me Down To Sleep

Now I lay me down to sleep,
The king sized bed is soft and deep.
I sleep right in the center groove.
My human beings can hardly move.
I’ve trapped their legs, they’re tucked in tight,
And here is where I pass the night.

No one disturbs me or dares intrude
Til morning comes and “I want food!”
I sneak up slowly to begin,
And nibble on my human’s chin.
For morning’s here, it’s time to play,
I always seem to get my way.

So thank you Lord for giving me,
These human people that I see.
The ones who hug and hold me tight,
And share their bed with me at night.

Quotes On Cats

You have learned enough to see that cats are much like you and me.  – T.S. Elliot

You can’t own a cat. The best you can do is be partners.  – Sir Harry Swanson

To gain the friendship of a cat is a difficult thing. The cat is a philosophical, methodical, quiet animal,
tenacious of its own habits, fond of order and cleanliness, and it does not lightly confer its friendship. If you are worthy of its affection, a cat will be your friend, but never your slave. He keeps his free will, though he loves, and he will not do for you what he thinks is unreasonable. But if he once gives himself to you it is with absolute confidence and affection.  – Theophile Gautier (1850)

A walking, prancing, pouncing, sun-soaking, sleeping machine.  – Thomas Gato

Time spent with a cat is never wasted.  – Colette

Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm to ask for what you want.  – Jospeh Wood Krutch

Dogs come when they are called; cats take a message and get back to you.  – Mary Bly

Dogs teach you how to love. Cats teach you how to live.  – Merrit Malloy

I love my little kitty
Her coat is so warm.
And if I don’t hurt her
She’ll do me no harm.
I won’t pull her tail,
Or drive her away
And kitty and I
Very gently will play.
 – Mother Goose 

Ten Commandments for Pet Ownership

    1. My life is likely to last 10 to 15 years. Any separation from you will be painful.
    2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.
    3. Place your trust in me; it is crucial for my well-being.
    4. Don’t be angry with me for long, and don’t lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment. I have only you.
    5. Talk to me. Even if I don’t understand your words, I understand your voice.
    6. Be aware that however you treat me, I’ll never forget it.
    7. Before you hit me, remember that I have teeth that could easily crush the bones in your hand, but I choose not to bite you.
    8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself whether something might be bothering me. Perhaps I am not getting the right food, I’ve been out in the sun too long, or my heart may be getting old and weak.
    9. Take care of me when I get old. You too will grow old.
    10. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say, “I can’t bare to watch it,” or “Let it happen in my absence.” Everything is easier for me if you are there. Remember, I LOVE YOU.

    A Dog’s Plea

    Treat me kindly, my beloved friend, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart that beats inside of me.

    Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I should lick your hand between blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me learn.

    Speak to me often, for your voice is the world’s sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footsteps fall upon my waiting ear.

    Please take me inside with you when it is cold and wet, for I am a domesticated animal, no longer accustomed to the bitter elements. I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth.

    Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst.

    Feed me clean food that I may stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding; to walk by your side and protect you with my life should your life be in danger.

    And, my friend, when I am very old, very sick or badly injured, and will no longer be able to enjoy good health, hearing, and sight, do not make heroic efforts to keep me with you. I am not having any fun. Please see that my trusting life is taken gently, I shall leave this earth knowing with the last breath I draw that my fate was always safest in your hands.