Pet Loss



About Pet Loss

Pet Loss
Losing our most treasured friends can be devastating. All people handle loss differently, but for most of us the loss of our pet is the loss of part our family. After all, we've shared our lives and our love with these special friends and they gave us unconditional love and friendship in return. My name is Julie Alvarez, and as an artist and designer and with a great love for animals, I have a passion in helping others comfort and acknowledge that loss.

While any expression of sympathy at a time of sorrow may seem difficult, it helps those who suffered the loss to acknowledge their feelings and begin to move forward, and that ultimately helps them on their way to healing. I remember getting memorial plaques in the mail one day from my vet, one each for both my dogs as they passed away within three weeks of each other, and they definitely brought tears. Even though, I am glad I received them, I have put them in a special place and I look and read those lovely words and remember my beautiful dogs.

The story below is a beautiful tribute to a dog's character so truthfully stated by a six-year-old.
A Dog's Purpose According to a Six-Year-Old
Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife, Lisa, and their little boy, Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home. As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker’s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away. The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.

Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, “I know why.” Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation. He said, “People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life – like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The six-year-old continued, “Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”
Dogs and Heaven
A great deal has been written about animals in heaven. God cares for all his creatures great and small, and since he has provided these wonderful loving companions to share our life with, why wouldn't they be in heaven?



"Are not five sparrows sold for two pence? and not
one of them is forgotten in the sight of God."
-Luke 12:6

"The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies
are over all his works."
-Psalms 145:9

"For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth
beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth,
so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so
that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. "
-Ecclesiastes 3:19

"For those who love dogs, it would be the worst
form of a lie to call any place where dogs were
banned "Paradise." Certainly no loving God would
separate people from their canine friends
for eternity."
-Stanley Coren

"If there is no God for thee Then there is no God for me."
-Anna Hempstead Branch


Rainbow Bridge
Inspired by a Norse legend, a poem by Steve and Diane Bodofsky

By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill,
Is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.
Where the friends of man and woman do run,
When their time on earth is over and done.
For here, between this world and the next,
Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.
On this golden land, they wait and they play,
Till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.
No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness,
For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.
Their limbs are restored, their health renewed,
Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.
They romp through the grass, without even a care,
Until one day they start, and sniff at the air.
All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back,
Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.
For just at that instant, their eyes have met;
Together again, both person and pet.
So they run to each other, these friends from long past,
The time of their parting is over at last.
The sadness they felt while they were apart,
Has turned into joy once more in each heart.
They embrace with a love that will last forever,
And then, side-by-side, they cross over… together.

Getting a New Pet

It takes time to get over a loss and everyone heals in their own time. At some point, those who love animals will get another companion. Even though the pain of loss we experience is great, I know I would not have traded one day of having my beautiful animals by my side. Love is always the greatest gift we can experience. I hope when the time is right, that everyone considers adopting a pet from a shelter or rescue, as there are so many that need the love and homes we are ready to provide. If you are ready to find a new best friend, please visit PetFinder.com.  One of the greatest joys in life is being able to share the love our animals give us unconditionally in our everyday lives. My current dogs were adopted from a shelter, (below) and are truly wonderful dogs.


Jake & Maggie

To Love Again
Oh what unhappy twist of fate
Has brought you homeless to my gate,
To beg for shelter warmth and food?
For from that day I ceased to be
The master of my destiny,
While he, with bark and velvet paw
Became within my house the law.
He chewed my shoes and shed
And claimed the middle of my bed,
He ruled in arrogance and pride
And broke my heart the day he died. 
So if you really think, oh dog
I'd willingly relive all that,
Because you come forlorn and thin
Well don't just stand there - come on in!