Home Feedback Training Services Favorite Sites About Dr. Fetko Search Tips Toxics Bereavement Books News Page Presentations Training Products




A Dog's Plea
Pet Bereavement
Rainbow Bridge
Sept. 11th, Rainbow Bridge



I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I, and you are you,
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.

Call me by the old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.

Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed
At the little jokes that we enjoyed together.

Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.

Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without an effort,
Without the ghost of a shadow upon it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was.
There is absolute and unbroken continuity.

What is this death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval,
Somewhere very near,
Just round the corner.

All is well.

 -- Henry Scott Holland


"Man's best friend" you hear them say.
An understatement, that has to be.
I just hope I was there for her
As much as she was there for me.

Good-bye, Daddy's Girl

Joe B.



"Do Dogs Go To Heaven?"
Eternal Answers for Animal Lovers
M. Jean Holmes

Ms. Holmes, a practicing attorney, spent several years researching and writing this book to answer the question her mother asked her and many clergymen. Based upon intense study of Scripture and Christian, Hebrew and Greek documents, her conclusion is well documented and seems virtually bullet proof!

This is a GREAT read! Buy it locally or order it from JoiPax Publishing,, 918-499-1897,
It also makes a fabulous gift, especially to one who recently lost a beloved pet. Enjoy this one!

903di25.gif (1616 bytes)

Love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation. 
- Kahlil Gibran

I still miss those I loved who are no longer with me, but I find I'm grateful I loved them. The gratitude has finally conquered the loss. 
- Rita Mae Brown

Whoever has loved knows all that life contains of sorrow & of joy. 
- George Sand

903di25.gif (1616 bytes)

How I Deal With A Departed Dog

Like many of you, I know how devastating the loss of a beloved dog can be.  I still mourn the loss of Mugger, whose cancer mandated euthanasia last year, and I rarely think of his loss without a sob.  He was so very, very special.

I've come up with what for me is the best way to deal with a beloved dog's death.  I have the dog cremated and get the cremains back.  Then I go to my favorite plant nursery and buy a new large bush or tree.  After I dig the hole in just the right place in my yard, I mix the dog's ashes in with the fertilizer and amendments for the plant.  Then I plant the new bush or tree.

This gives me two major benefits.  First, with his or her very last act on Earth, the dog I so loved contributed to LIFE.  Second, in a way they're still with me.  As I walk around my yard, at the jacaranda I say: "Hi, Bimbo!"  At an orange tree it's: "Hey, Shadia!"  Baron gets greeted when I see the Liquid Amber.  So they're all still with me because they helped bring life to the plants in my - their - yard.

This is especially beneficial if the plant bears fruit.  No orange ever tasted as sweet as an orange from the tree Shadia helped to grow.  Wherever you live, there are trees that will do well that bear some sort or fruit, nut or flower.  How good if that beloved departed dog can be thanked with every lime, avocado, or grapefruit that you enjoy from now on! 

Do it this way, and you'll get to love them forever - just as I do.

903di25.gif (1616 bytes)


They say memories are golden,
 Well, maybe that is true.
I never wanted memories,
I only wanted you.
A million times I needed you,
a million times I cried.
If love alone could have saved you,
you never would have died.
In life I loved you dearly,
in death I love you still.
In my heart you hold a place
no one can ever fill.
If tears could build a stairway
and heartache make a lane,
I'd walk that path to heaven
and bring you back again.
Our family chain is broken,
and nothing seems the same.
But as God calls us, one by one,
the chain will link again.

"ASHLEY" (Tara Ashlynd Rowe)
February 28, 1991 - September 8, 2000

Written by Cathy Rowe 

903di25.gif (1616 bytes)

"…for if the dog be well remembered, if sometimes she leaps through your dreams actual as in life, eyes kindling, laughing, begging, it matters not where that dog sleeps.

On a hill where the wind is unrebuked and the trees are roaring, or beside a stream she knew in puppyhood, or somewhere in the flatness of a pastureland where most exhilarating cattle graze. It is one to a dog, and all one to you, and nothing is gained and nothing lost - if memory lives. But there is one best place to bury a dog.

If you bury her in this spot, she will come to you when you call - come to you over the grim, dim frontiers of death, and down the well-remembered path and to your side again. And though you may call a dozen living dogs to heel, they shall not growl at her nor resent her coming, for she belongs there.

People may scoff at you, who see no lightest blade of grass bent by her footfall, who hear no whimper, people who have never really had a dog. Smile at them, for you shall know something that is hidden from them.

The one best place to bury a good dog is in the heart of her master…" author unknown

903di25.gif (1616 bytes)

 A Dog's Plea

Treat me kindly, my beloved friend, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me. Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I should lick your hand between blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me learn.

Speak to me often, for your voice is the world's sweetest music, as you know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footstep falls upon my waiting ear. Please take me inside when it is cold and wet, for I am a domesticated animal no longer accustomed to bitter elements. I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth. Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst. Feed me clean food that I may stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life, should your life be in danger.

And, my friend, when I am very old and I no longer enjoy good health, hearing and sight, do not make heroic efforts to keep me going. I am not having any fun. Please see that my trusting life is taken gently. I shall leave this earth knowing that my fate was always safest in your hands.

 903di25.gif (1616 bytes)

Pet Bereavement

The psychological community has finally learned what we’ve known for years: The loss of a companion animal can be as devastating as the loss of an immediate family member. I’ve known people who lost parents, brothers or sisters years ago, and for the past several years their main - or only - source of companionship, comfort and protection has been their dog. Its death was more upsetting to them because it was now their total support system; it may have helped them get through the other losses. I know people whose dog saved their lives or the lives of their children. Losing such a pet can be crushing.

If you have multiple pets strongly bonded with each other, losing one can affect them as much as it does you. If one dies, either naturally or with veterinary assistance, always let the survivors see the body before final separation. If death occurs with veterinary assistance they should not witness the terminal event, but as soon as it’s gone they should see the body. Their common response is to sniff it and perhaps tap it with a paw a few times, but then they’ll look at you as if to say: "He’s gone. Let’s go home." They’ll still mourn the loss of a buddy, but if they don’t get closure by seeing the body they undergo much stress wondering what’s happening to their pal, where is he, who’s next, and what’s going to happen to them when it’s their turn. Closure is a loving gift.

I’m often asked when a new dog should be gotten after a loss. Some advise getting another right away to help you through the loss; others say wait a few weeks. Some advise getting a very similar new dog; others suggest a very different type. Here are my thoughts, experiences and conclusions: After a loss we tend to remember the dead pet as we last saw it - sick, injured, whatever. When your memories of the dead pet are all positive - how she used to tilt her head when you called her, how he’d watch television or ride in the car, how he played with kids - then it’s time to get another. That might take two days or two months; that varies with each of us and with each pet. But when all your recollections are positive and make you smile, it’s time to get another. And because the lost one will automatically assume huge and sterling memories, I suggest a different type. Otherwise the new one will be constantly measured against the standards the old one left, and there’s no way to live up to them as we’ll remember them. Forget reality; we’ll remember only the good! All the chewed shoes, soiled carpets and holes dug will be forgotten; we’ll remember that silly grin or floppy ear forever! Give the new one a fresh start. Don’t make it live up to false psychological standards of perfection.

If you miss the old one, you’re exactly the type of owner that provides a good home to your companion animals. Please consider getting another one. Ten years of devoted companionship surely outweigh a few months of grief. Shelters are full of candidates to fill that hole in your heart. You owe it to yourself and to them to give them the chance to do it. I’m in the process of doing just that right now. A few months ago I lost a very special animal, Mugger (in the first page photo). Yesterday I brought home a Samoyed mix from the pound. It’s time. I can’t give my love to Mugger any more, but I’ve still got lots to give - and Vixen needed another brother! There will never be another Mugger; I know I can’t replace him. But I’m looking for the next Muggs, not a copy of the last one. You’ll know when you’re ready for the next special partner, and, if you choose carefully, you’ll know when you’ve found it. By all means, do so. And, when you do, do what I do: Love their lips off and ENJOY!

"We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached. Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would have it no other way. We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary plan...."

from The Once Again Prince
by Irving Townsend

Go to top

903di25.gif (1616 bytes)


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 there so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine and our friends are warm, safe and comfortable.

All of the animals who have been ill, sick and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt, maimed or diseased 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 thing; they 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 ears are alert; 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. Happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands caress his beloved head and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never gone from your heart.

Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together, never to be separated.

Click here for Adobe Acrobat pdf version.

Go to top

anima_14.gif (57015 bytes)

September 11th, Rainbow Bridge

On the morning of September 11, 2001, there was an unprecedented amount of activity at the Rainbow Bridge. Decisions had to be made. They had to be made quickly. And, they were.

An issue, not often addressed here, is the fact that many residents really have no loved one for whom to wait. Think of the pups who lived and died in hideous puppy mills. No one on earth loved or protected them. What about the many who spent unhappy lives tied in backyards? And, the ones who were abused. Who are they to wait for?

We don't talk about that much up here. We share our loved ones as they arrive, happy to do so. But we all know there is nothing like having your very own person who thinks you are the most special pup in the Heavens.

Last Tuesday morning a request rang out for pups not waiting for specific persons to volunteer for special assignment. An eager, curious crowd surged excitedly forward, each pup wondering what the assignment would be.

They were told by a solemn voice that unexpectedly, all at once, over 4,000 loving people had left Earth long before they were ready. All the pups, as all pups do, felt the humans' pain deep in their own hearts. Without hearing more, there was a clamoring among them - "May I have one to comfort?" "I'll take two, I have a big heart." "I have been saving kisses forever."

One after another they came forward begging for assignment. One cozy-looking fluffy pup hesitantly asked, "Are there any children coming? I would be very comforting for a child 'cause I'm soft and squishy and I always wanted to be hugged." A group of Dalmatians came forward asking to meet the Firemen and be their friends. The larger working breeds offered to greet the Police Officers and make them feel at home. Little dogs volunteered to do what they do best, cuddle and kiss.

Dogs who on Earth had never had a kind word or a pat on the head, stepped forward and said, "I will love any human who needs love."

Then all the dogs, wherever on Earth they originally came from, rushed to the Rainbow Bridge and stood waiting, overflowing with love to share - each tail wagging an American Flag.

anima_14.gif (57015 bytes)

I explained to St. Peter I'd rather stay here,
Outside the Pearly Gate.
I won't be a nuisance, I won't even bark,
I'll be very patient and wait.
I'll be here, chewing on a celestial bone,
No matter how long you may be.
I'd miss you so much if I went in alone
It wouldn't be heaven for me.

anima_14.gif (57015 bytes)