Special Ways You Can Honor Your Pet After They Cross Over the Rainbow Bridge
No doubt about it, losing a pet can be a traumatic and very sad experience. I know first-hand the pain and sadness that comes with saying goodbye. Losing a pet is absolutely heart-breaking, however, the love and joy that they bring to our lives while they are with us is, in my opinion, second to none. There are many ways in which you can honor and pay respect to your pet once they have crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. For many, honoring their lost pet brings not only comfort and closure it also brings the ability to move forward in peace.
There are MANY different ways to honor your pet once they are gone. From saying a simple prayer to inviting family and friends over for a remembrance ceremony…choose what is best and most comforting for you. Below are a few ideas that you may wish to consider.
A great book to use when explaining the death of a pet to a child.
- Make a Donation or Better Yet, Sponsor a Homeless Dog!
When my Beagle (Bunny Roo) died, I made a donation to the rescue group from which I adopted her. I made the donation in memory of Bunny and other members of my family followed suit. I also "sponsored" a homeless dog in Bunny's memory. This made me feel wonderful! Not only did the rescue group create a special post on their website for Bunny Roo, I was able to help the wonderful group that saved her in the first place. Personally, I could not think of a better way to honor my hound. Though I missed my Beagle terribly, knowing that I was helping another homeless dog eased my pain.
- Spread Their Ashes
Many people choose to have their pets cremated. If you do, why not set aside a special afternoon and spread their ashes in one of your pets favorite places. Many years ago I had a Golden Retriever named Fred. Fred LOVED to run, play and swim! Fred and I spent many an afternoon at a local lake…swimming, hiking and just having fun! When Fred died…I knew what I had to do…return him to his favorite place and set him free…forever. On a beautiful autumn day I went to the lake where Fred and I had spent so much of our time together. I sat quietly for a while…thinking of Fred and all the wonderful things we had done together. I thanked him for being the best dog in the world and then gently placed his ashes into the water. I felt at peace…Fred was in a better place…happy and of course, swimming and chasing ducks! Please note: You may wish to check the laws pertaining to the spreading of ashes. Different areas have different laws…and you don't want to get into any trouble during this sad and sensitive time!
- Create Something Special
I am very lucky. I am some-what website savvy, therefore, was able to create a website honoring my Beagle, Bunny Roo. I created Bunny's website in her honor…with the intention of educating the public about the plight of homeless animals. Bunny's website also provides fun dog information, homemade dog treat recipes and so much more! After Bunny died, it was extremely difficult to maintain the site and keep it going. However, knowing that I was helping other animals enabled me to move forward. Bunny is now known around the world and when she died, I received an out-pouring of love and support from numerous people (it was truly amazing!). If you are able to create a memory blog (or website) about your beloved pet…wonderful! If not, why not put together a scrapbook using all of your favorite photos! Websites such as Shutter-Fly and Snap-Fish enable you to create a scrapbook online and it is extremely easy (and not very expensive!). If scrapbooks aren't your cup of tea, then why not purchase a memory frame and put a picture of your pet in it. Place the frame in a special spot and when you look at it…think of all the special times you had together. Though this may be difficult to do at first….soon, you will be able to look at the memory frame and smile.
- Special Boxes and Plot Markers
If you choose to keep your pet's ashes once it has been cremated there are many special boxes and urns in which you can purchase. If you choose to keep just a small portion of your friend's ashes, you may wish to purchase a pet urn keepsake. These special urns are smaller than full-sized urns and are designed to hold just a small portion of your pet. There are MANY different types of urns available (choose one that you feel connected to and makes you think fondly of your pet!). You can also have the urn that you choose engraved with your pet's name and if you wish…a sweet saying of remembrance! If you are able to bury your pet in your back yard (again, check the laws as you must own a certain amount of land in order to do so) then you should consider purchasing a plot marker or memory stone. If you are crafty, you may wish to go to a local craft store and purchase a Memory Stone Kit. These kits enable you to create your own memory marker…just the way you want it! If you aren't crafty…or simply don't have the time, there are many types of plot and memory markers available to purchase. Again, choose one that you connect with and is special to you.
- Other Ideas
Many people often wear jewelry that has special meaning or symbolizes something of importance in their life. When my Beagle died, I had a special bracelet made. Though I don't wear the bracelet everyday…when I do wear it, I often catch myself staring at it...which of course, makes me think of my beloved hound. I will keep my special Beagle bracelet forever and when I am old…will look at it…and fondly think of Bunny Roo! If you enjoy wearing jewelry, why not purchase a piece that makes you think of your beloved friend. Whether it be a locket (in which you can put a picture or lock of dog hair), a charm bracelet that features your dog's breed or even a ring engraved with your dog's name on the inside…jewelry is lovely to wear…even more so if it is special to you!
As you can see, there are many different ways in which you can honor your beloved pet once they have crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. Losing a pet is very difficult and it is very important that you take the time you need in order to grieve. Trust me, over time, you will feel better and will only look back with fond memories and great joy. Every time I think of a pet that I have lost, I smile. Yes, I might experience a ping of sadness…but soon that sadness is replaced with happy memories. If, for some reason, you cannot get over the loss of your pet, do not hesitate to reach out for help. There is no shame in talking to a professional or calling a pet loss support line! People care…and they want to help you! Though I have suggested several different ways to honor and memorialize your pet…honestly, the best things in life are free. Carry your pet's memory in your heart…for there…he will live forever! Woof!
More by this Author
How long do kittens' eyes stay blue? Get answers to some common questions about kittens from an SPCA foster parent!
What to do if your dog is electrocuted.
How to give your cat a bath without getting clawed to death! Tips and tricks on how to bathe your kitty.