The loss of a four-legged friend invokes a multitude of feelings. Guilt and sorrow seem to be the most common and often go hand in hand. But pet loss can invoke other feelings as well; feelings of loss, anger, and/or helplessness. Losing a pet usually leaves one with feelings of extreme sadness for long periods of time. So, when a pet’s death occurs we often find ourselves wondering, “Did I do enough? Might I have done more? Did I put him/her down too soon? If only I had noticed my pet’s illness sooner. Why don’t I make more money because perhaps then I could have gone to the vet sooner or afforded the treatment he/she needed? If only….”
These feelings are a normal part of the grieving process. But too often when it is a pet we grieve for, it feels like no one understands. We might even think we should “get over it sooner” … Others may say, “It was just a dog… just a cat... (or horse, or bird, or rabbit, or snake) Why are you so sad?” Perhaps we ask ourselves the same thing. But our feelings are real; our loss is real, and so too is our need to work through the grieving process. Remember, our furry and feathered friends are family too. And it is normal if we occasionally worry about what we did or didn’t do. Losing a pet can in many ways be like losing a human family member. We should remember and respect that to some their pet may have been the only family they had. Perhaps you had to face the decision of euthanasia. Perhaps your pet simply passed of old age. Our first lesson in unconditional love. Our first children, or they’ve grown up or grown old with us. Perhaps your pet passed after an extended illness or sudden accident. Losing a pet is never easy, regardless of the circumstance. Never.
So, we should take time to remember our pets who have crossed the rainbow bridge. And if we know someone coping with the recent loss of their pet, take time to let them know they’re not alone, that you understand and you care.
Death happens and we cannot turn back the clock and change the outcome. When a pet passes we must begin the healing process by accepting that we did what we thought was right at the time, and made choices based on facts and feelings present to that moment. We acted with good intentions. We acted and chose treatments, or no treatments out of love. We may have chosen to end our pet’s suffering; a choice made from love.
At Pet Perennials, our staff recognizes that your pets are your family. We understand your sorrow over their loss. We even understand the guilt. We’ve been there. We know. We care.
Our mission is to help people heal hearts and our land, one product at a time. Pet Perennials was founded because of our own experience with pet loss. Recognizing that after our own loss we’d been left with a feeling of, “Is this all there is?” We recognized that regardless of our beliefs, or lack thereof, we all shared a similar wish: for one more walk in the park… one more ride through a pasture… one more sound of purring in our ear... and one last chance to say, “I love you. You taught me unconditional love. I will carry you in my heart forever.”
Pet Perennials was born from a simple concept: Love, seeds, life. And we introduced our newest product, the Healing Hearts candle earlier this month. The only memorial candle containing both a keepsake and message from across the rainbow bridge. The candles make the perfect sympathy gift, and provide a wonderful way to remember a pet on an anniversary of their birthday, adoption or passing. Who wouldn't like one more chance to feel the love from a beloved and much missed pet?
So, remember to take time to talk about your feelings with a trusted friend or family member. Or perhaps you might chat with a friend about their feelings. There are many support groups available on social media to help you through your loss. Consider joining an online community; where they offer a place for you to share your thoughts with others experiencing similar feelings. Remember the good times. Share them. Share why you felt your pet was so special. Post a picture.
Know there are places to turn to and if your grief becomes too much, reach out to a professional such as your veterinarian, or to a grief counselor. They are there to help you. Many of the humane societies provide grief counseling. A wonderful example of this is the SPCA of Texas and a program developed by Dr. Diane Pomerance. If you would like to start a program in your area this would be a great model to follow and provides a much needed service to the pet community.
The essential point is that we love our pets deeply, and we experience from our pets a capacity for love that many are not lucky enough to ever experience. We share an incredible bond with our beloved pet, and we love and care for them each day. We pet, talk to them, play catch, and walk with them, rain, or shine. We also played with them during the day then snuggled with them at night; and in contrast probably put in sleepless and difficult nights when they were little or sick or when they were dying. We care. We continue to care. We did everything we knew to do at the time. So, believe what you saw in their eyes; they knew that we loved them, and without a doubt know that they loved us.
Remember… love them still… they are forever in your heart…
Co-founder and COO Cherished Ones, LLC ~makers of Pet Perennials & Healing Hearts Candles
Are you a business dealing with pet services? We offer a Bereavement Package Service providing a creative, convenient, and compassionate way to remember a client's pet when they cross the rainbow bridge.
Pet Perennials offers a Make it Yourself Pet Perennials Kit that provides a healing activity for families to do with their children when pet loss occurs. Create a memorial garden to your pet or mark a favorite walking path with a rainbow of wildflowers. And our newest offering, the Healing Hearts candle is the only memorial candle containing a keepsake and message from across the rainbow bridge.