In my life I have been blessed to know unconditional
love, complete acceptance, unwavering friendship and absolute trust -- all because I've had the good fortune to be loved
by a dog.
Losing a pet can be one of the most difficult emotional experiences to go
through. Pets provide us with unconditional love, acceptance and friendship unlike anything humans can hope to offer.
They are our constants in an unpredictable and sometimes overwhelming world. And so often, they make us want to
play, and be silly and appreciate simple joys in life. It's no wonder that when they die, we are left with a huge
void in our life, and in our heart. Knowing when to say goodbye is the first part of the battle. Sometimes we
have no say in the matter, and we lose our friends suddenly. But often, we are faced with a very difficult choice
to help them end their pain and suffering, and let them go in a peaceful and dignified way. It is a final act of love.
No matter how we lose our companions though, the grief can feel overwhelming and is often hard for others to relate
to or discuss, especially if they have never experienced that same strong bond with an animal. But, the grief of losing
a pet is very real, and it takes time to begin to heal. If you are experiencing the pain of losing a companion,
know that there are resources to help. The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement's website is one of the best places to begin on your journey toward healing. There you'll find pet loss chat
rooms led by trained counselors, recommended books on pet loss for you or your children, a list of local pet loss
and bereavement counselors available to help, e-cards to send to friends experiencing this type of loss and so much more.
Georgia's Legacy can also provide pet loss counseling and support via email. If you have recently lost
a canine companion and are in need of personalized grief counseling, email email@example.com.
To add your pup to our Memorial Wall, email a picture of your dog, along with their name and the type of cancer they had to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read Kerry's Pet Loss Blog on the
Riedel & Cody Fund Website
Additional Pet Loss & Grief Support Resources
The Argus Institute at Colorado State University — The Mission of the Argus Institute is to strengthen veterinarian-client-patient
communication and support relationships between people and their companion animals. Their site includes grief resources,
hospice care information and a client resource guide.
Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement — An organization dedicated to helping pet owners
deal with their grief after the loss of a beloved pet. Moderated chat rooms are offered several times a week and open
to anyone, at no charge. Site also includes important resources, books and other links to information to help pet owners
before and after the death of their animal companion.
Rainbows Bridge—Providing a virtual memorial home for your beloved companion, and resources
and information to help you through the loss of your four-legged family member.
Pet Loss Support Page—Pet loss
resource site created by Moira Anderson Allen, M.Ed., author of "Coping with Sorrow on the Loss of Your Pet."
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....