Wednesday, January 5, 2011

When A Pet Dies

This is a photo of our late hairless rat, Pinky. He passed away in October 2010, admidst many tears from my husband and me.

Pinky lived longer than a hairless rat is supposed to. He was two years old, as opposed to the expected 18 months. Still, it was very hard to let him go.

Today, I learned that an art friend lost her beloved pet cat. Then, I read a sad post by Katherine at Apifera Farm about the passing of Gertie, one of her pygmy goats. Not long ago, Katherine lost Georgie, another pygmy goat. Both posts brought tears to my eyes. Whenever I read about someone losing a pet, I cry. I guess I am just a softie at heart.

To my husband and me, animals are not just animals--they are family members. Since I was a child, I have believed animals go to heaven, where they are looked after by St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. As an adult, I learned about the Rainbow Bridge. I believe someday we will be reunited with our animal companions, as well as those people whom we were privileged to know in life.

Blessings and comfort to those who have lost beloved animal family members.

Peace to you all.

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had 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. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. 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 Rainbow Bridge together.... 
Author unknown...


  1. Pinky was *so* beautiful- look at that little face and those little whiskers. You know how I feel about my pets...

    I always think about my family in heaven (both human and otherwise) and I imagine any time one of my pets pass over, my human family (who I imagine live in a little cottage up there) get a knock on the door, and there, on the doorstep is my beloved fur-baby. My grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles and cousins take great care of all my little babies until I can get there to pick them up and bring them to *my* little "over the rainbow" cottage. I know it sounds silly, but it helps me to imagine them waiting for me, happy and warm and safe with some of my family who have left this earth.

  2. -^*^- sandra
    I never know what to say through tears.

    I'd make it hurt less if I could.

    I understand. About "family" with four legs, two legs, feathers or fur. It's all the same. When they must leave, it hurts. A lot.

    When it hurts it means we were guardians. Of an angel perhaps?

    It has been said that angels, while on earth, aren't allowed to show their wings, but nothing was ever said about not showing their whiskers.

    Guarding over my sweet animals (having past) I have a beautiful yet simple St. Francis statue in the garden (He's missing a hand so was tossed away in someone's trash --don't you think that's perfect symbolism?) I placed him there to be near them, just because it gave ME comfort for some reason. I truly "get" what it means to miss the little ones...

    You and your husband are among the special of the earth.
    Luck us ... that know you. XX love zU

  3. Chel, that's not silly at all! That's very beautiful! I miss my dad's mother, who died in 1983, every day of my life. I lost a lot of people in 2010, including the first friend I ever had that died (she had an auto accident last January), and two pets. I hope 2011 brings fewer losses.
    Thank you for your sweet words. Pinky was indeed a very special little fellow.

  4. zUzU, You are so sweet and kind! Thank you! I'm glad to have "met" you. St. Francis is my favorite saint, and I always wanted a statue of him in my garden. Perhaps it's time I got one.
    Now who would throw a statue out for missing a hand? Think "Venus de Milo"! :)
    Bless you!

  5. Found your blog through Apifera. Pinky was beautiful...what a soulful face he had. I can tell he was special. It is so hard sometimes, loving these animals that have such a shorter lifespan than ours, but so very worth it.

  6. Tai, thanks for visiting. And thanks for your kind words about Pinky. Rats make terrific pets, but they just don't have a long lifespan. Our hearts break every time we lose one of the little guys. But you're right, it is worth it--every day is more fun because of them!

  7. Oh I'm so sorry to hear about Pinky....I agree that our pets are not just animals, they are definately family and leave a hole in your heart when they pass on. I am confident you will get to see him in heaven though. ((hugs))

  8. I am so sorry for your loss. It is so hard to lose a pet. I hope you can embrace the happy memories you shared. Pinky looks like a snuggle bug!

  9. Didi, Thank you for the hugs (always accepted here!) and for visiting me. I just dropped by your blog, too. Wow, you're in Germany! How cool!

  10. Nancy, Pinky was a dear little soul and very cuddly indeed!
    We do think of him fondly--he was such a funny little fellow. He was a maniac--used to climb around everywhere like Philippe Petit!

    Thanks for visiting here. I am so glad to see you!

  11. Sorry about Pinky...hope you are feeling better now. Thank you for sharing the Rainbow Bridge. I would love to see all my animals there:)

  12. euthymic, my husband and I were just talking about Pinky today and how special he was. I'm glad you liked the Rainbow Bridge poem.
    Thanks for stopping by. I'm off to visit you now!

  13. Thank you, Sandra. Eep. Tears. ♥

  14. Jeannine, You are welcome. Always.