Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to 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 Rainbow Bridge together….
Coping With the Death of your Dog
If you’ve shared your heart and home with a dog, you will no doubt feel a great sense of loss and sorrow when you lose him/her. No matter how old your dog was, how many years you had together, or how expected their death, the grief can be overwhelming.
- The first step to living through this time is simply to wait. Take some time to breathe, to calm yourself, Dogs are family members, and it’s entirely appropriate and expected that you would grieve the loss deeply.
- You will feel the entire spectrum of emotions. It is reasonable to expect that you will feel angry and betrayed, that you’ll be overwhelmed by sadness, or even that you’ll laugh when you have a funny memory of your pet. Whatever the feeling you’re having, accept it. Use a journal to write down your feelings
- Once you’ve started to work through and accept your feelings, it’s time to remember your dog. First write about your pet: What memories do you have? Collect any pictures you have and think about the life you had with your dog.This celebration of your dog will help to remind you that above all he/she wanted you to be happy and that his/her happiest moments were spent being with and living with you. Respect your dog’s life by continuing to live yourself.
- One way to work through your grief is to arrange for some kind of memorial. Whether that means a headstone or planting a rose bush in your garden, a task that relates to your grief will make you feel better.
- Know that your dog is at peace and does not blame you for his/her death.
- Living through the death of a dog is not something that happens overnight. Know that you are not alone; your canine companion is always in your heart and always wants the best for you.
Dogs grieving another dog
Sometimes the other dog or dogs in the household grieve so deeply that they stop eating, jeopardizing their own health. This is more likely to happen if the dogs had never been separated. If any of your dogs react to a loss so strongly they become ill, take them to the veterinarian. The pack has undergone a major transition, and it will take some time to adjust. Some dogs will perk up when a new companion arrives, while others acclimate just fine to their singleton status. Either way, take care to spend plenty of time with your remaining dog.
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