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Pet Memorial World

Updated on April 5, 2014

The Day My Dog Died

A pet is more than an animal. It is a family member. Many pets live for a good number of years. Perhaps your pet is a 15 year old dog, or maybe it is a 30 year old horse. What ever your pet is, and no matter how old, the chances are you have developed a loving bond.

When faced with the loss of your loved pet, it is painful, sad, depressing, and will tear away a part of your heart. You will need to mourn in the same way that anyone mourns the loss of a loved one.

For children this loss can be one of the toughest challenges they face at their stage of life. Often the family pet is older than the child, so they have known them all their life. Growing up with their pet a child can spend more time playing with a dog or cat, than they do with two busy working parents.

A child will have many fond memories of a loved family pet. They have developed a significant bond. Animals are not judgemental, they do not have high expectations, and they love to PLAY.

The first time a child faces death it will often be that of a family pet. They may have no concept of death and it will be a confusing and possibly frightening time.

The day "Spud" died will forever be etched in my memory. I was only 6 and Spud was my life long companion. Until I had to go school we were inseparable. He was usually the first one to greet me in the morning and the last one to say good night.

On that fateful day when I arrived home from school and Spud did not greet me at the gate I knew something was wrong. He always waited for me to arrive home. When I raced inside to find him my younger sister was crying and my mother was also in tears trying to comfort her.

Spud was old (10 years) but not in poor health when he passed away. I spent many lonely afternoons and weekends thinking about my friend. Together we had "saved the world" on many occasions and now I was alone.

My parents were sympathetic but I don't think they really understood the whole that was created in my life. We did eventually get another puppy, but it was not my Spud. My friend and my confidante.

Helping a child recover from the loss of a pet, requires honesty foremost. Do not try and explain away the passing of an animal with euphemisms. To say the animal is has gone to sleep, for example, could lead to fear of sleeping in case they or another family member also disappears.

Do not immediately try and replace the pet without giving the child a chance to grieve. In stead celebrate the life of the pet, and create a special memorial to remember their friend. Create a special photo album or story book. If they have a close friend or relative that they can share the experience with that will also help. Make it a family time of remembrance and openly discuss the passing of your loved family member.

Pet Memorial Poems


Do not stand at my grave and weep.

I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow,

I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain,

I am the gentle autumn's rain.

When you awaken in the morning's hush,

I am the swift uplifting rush

of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,

I am not there, I did not die...


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 dies, the pet goes to this place. There is always food and water and warm spring weather. All the animals who have 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. Her bright eyes are intent; her eager body begins to quiver.

Suddenly she begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, her legs carrying her faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion. 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, never again to be separated.

Author Unknown

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Rainbow Bridge

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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      So nice to see a hub on the important role that animals play in so many lives. Those that aren't animal or pet lovers don't recognize that for many of us, they are members of the family, deeply loved as if they were our children. Well done!

    • PetMemorialWorld profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from New Zealand

      There is something special about the relationship of a dog. I guess that is why they are known as "man's best friend." As a society we should recognise the distress caused by the loss of a pet with more compassion. Thanks for your comment Sanssecret.

    • sanssecret profile image


      10 years ago from England

      It doesn't get any easier as you get older either. I lost my dog a few years ago, well into my 40's (sshh) and still cried like a baby. Still miss her and so do the kids.

      Never thought about the possibility of saying that the pet (or anyone) has gone to sleep might cause fears about sleeping being the cause of that loss. Good advice



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