A dear friend of mine once said, "If you are willing to love that much, you must be willing to hurt that much".


I have often thought of that comment whenever I have grieved the loss of a loved one...and of course a loved one can be one of your pets. It came to mind as my wife and I were headed to the veterinary hospital the other night with our beloved 17 year old feline member of our family named "Katie". Katie has been steadily going down hill over the last several months despite doing all we could to help her combat her kidney disease. We both knew that that the vet was going to "suggest" that it was time. As we prepared ourselves (of course, you are never really prepared), we began thinking about all the joy and love she brought us over the years. It also hit me that when we adopt, rescue or purchase our furry (or feathered) friends, or they simply show up on our doorstep, we only give a fleeting thought to the day when we would have to say goodbye. With mixed emotions, we let her go. On one hand, sad for obvious reasons, relieved on the other that she was no longer in pain. Family and friends who heard the news were quick to offer their sympathy. For me it was time to re-read "RAINBOW BRIDGE". A lot of folks are familiar with this story of comfort, but in the event you've never read it, I am sharing it with you. Perhaps it may help you if you are grieving the loss of a pet. Or share it with someone you know who has experienced this heart breaking event. Rest in peace Katie.  

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