Somewhere Over The Rainbow…
Over the holidays we lost some dear pets who will be forever close to us in our hearts. My niece lost her guinea pig “Nibbles” to old age and our close friends lost “Tucker” their 12 year old English Yellow Labrador abruptly to Cancer.
No matter how our loved ones pass, it is hard for everyone…even tougher to share the news with our children. When we lost our cat “Walter” to a coyote attack- I was in shock. Walter was adopted when he was 8 weeks old from the local shelter.
Our animals become part of our family, they are our children, our babies.
We had adopted our first Tabby “Sterling” the year before from the same shelter-he was older and abandoned. He is now 14 years old.
Walter was an indoor cat and got out one night and I found him the next morning. I was devastated. Nothing can quite comfort you the way your lil friend did when they were around. I searched for outlets of comfort and direction…I was so saddened I even called up the states Pet Loss Support Line, to only have a message stating that the government cut this program earlier in the year due to lack of funds. It was tough…and then I found Rainbow Bridge.
Rainbow Bridge is a wonderful website with an amazing online community helping those suffering from the death of a pet. Personal grief support, memorial sites, Monday virtual candle lightings…does this all sound too much? I can honestly say….NO…it is not. It was so wonderful to have a place of solace. It was a helpful guide that taught me how to talk with our children about losing pets. Until you are in the thick of it…I can’t really ask you to understand, but luckily you are now aware of the healing process.
Other ways to memorialize your pets is through a photo album. In his younger years we imprinted Walter’s paw prints in ink on a page of the pet album. Then we added photos throughout the years. My niece inked Nibbles pawprints on her snowboard.
A memory table can be created for your loved one in their special spot in the house. This is Tucker’s corner.
We had Walter cremated and put in a beautiful cedar box. My husband was my pillar of strength that day – he went out front and cradled Walter in his arms all the way to the hospital. He had him properly put down. Some hospitals offer to spread ashes in reserved spaces by oceans or mountain tops, others can have the ashes kept close to you and prepared in a variety of ways.
When my niece came back from Christmas break she was informed that Nibbles passed away a few days before Christmas. She was just crushed.
The hospital was so wonderful and offered her to come down and bring Nibbles favorite toys to go with her on her journey. My niece brought Nibbles her best looking pink tutu and her favorite carrot toy and friends. When she arrived, the hospital staff surprised her and presented her with Nibbles beautiful pawprints stone. What a gift.
For those of you who have lost a pet, take a moment and remember them. Click on this special Rainbow Bridge video – it will feel like it was just yesterday that the two of you were together.