ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

When Pets Cross the Rainbow Bridge

Updated on February 9, 2012

When pets cross the "rainbow bridge" their souls depart this earth and await for us on the other side. Are there pets in heaven? How could it be heaven without them? I find it difficult to believe that God (or whatever higher power you believe in) would give us these wonderful creatures only to keep us from them in the afterlife. Pets teach us so many things about being a better human, that humans form such close bonds with their pets is no great surprise.

When pets cross the rainbow bridge, it is a difficult thing to bear, and for some it's even more difficult than the loss of a human friend or family member. I know I've certainly been accused of being more fond of my dog than I am of some people, and I won't deny it. Good pets are awesome, in the fact that they love unconditionally, listen to us without judgement, and live to please. But what happens to the remains left behind when pets cross the rainbow bridge, temporarily leaving us for a higher plane of existence?

Backyard Funerals

The most popular way to care for the remains left behind when pets cross the rainbow bridge is to bury it in the back yard. Former neighbors installed a series of half a dozen or so stepping stones alongside the lovely rose garden in their back yard, each one memorializing a beloved furry friend. A job transfer left the family with the decision of digging up the remains to be reburied at their new home, or leaving them behind. They chose the latter, despite facing emotions associated with saying goodbye to the critters all over again. Fortunately the new owner, a single fellow with a couple of cats of his own, was a major animal lover and blessed with a green thumb to boot. His own personal experiences of having to cope when pets cross the rainbow bridge made him the perfect person to reside in the home, and care for the very special rose garden. With each new season he took a picture of the plot, many timed at either sunrise or sunset in a way that the natural light turned the standard photograph into a lovely work of art. He printed a copy, jotted a short note, and sent both off to the other family. It was a touching tribute that the other family cherished and it made their move to a new home easier than it would have been otherwise.

Animal Cremation

Pet cremation services are available to veterinary clinics and private owners alike when pets cross the rainbow bridge. Pet cremation is not only a safe and ethical choice, but many find it to be a more ethical way to handle the remains of their beloved animals. Some establishments offer more options, right up to the full funeral service package. This is not as odd or wacky as it sounds. A family member who works in a funeral home often tells us of inquiries they receive about pricing for pet funerals, including visitation services, pet coffins, and even urns in which to place their pet's ashes. Some companies even offer cremation jewelry, rings and necklaces that hold a bit of the pet's ashes. When pets cross the rainbow bridge, cremation ensures that wherever we go, our pet will not be far away.

Pet Cemetery

Quite different than Stephen King's Pet Sematary, when pets cross the rainbow bridge and are buried in these grassy hillsides they won't be coming back to haunt their owners. The term pet cemetery brings to mind acres of manicured landscape stretching out to create a prestigious final resting place for our beloved animals. These memorial grounds are in some cases visited more often than ones with human remains. A former co-worker and her dog traveled to the local pet cemetery on every major holiday without fail. The two spent hours visiting the dog's deceased parents while ignoring other cemeteries they passed on the way there, even though those held the remains of her parents, grandparents, and a few other assorted family members.

When pets cross the rainbow bridge, it leaves behind terrible feelings of grief that is unique for each person. No matter what choice someone makes regarding the remains when pets cross the rainbow bridge, there are other factors to consider. What happens to the plot in the back yard if the owner has to move? What happens to the ashes of the pet if the owner passes away? The choice of what to do when pets cross the rainbow bridge is difficult, and those who simply cannot cope should seek support from family and friends, or even their pastor or a grief counselor.

Rest assured that whatever decision we humans make when it comes time for our pets to cross the rainbow bridge, they are likely too busy frolicking in the green, grassy field with others critters who went before them to worry about it.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)