Preparing for the Death of Your Animal Companion

preparing-for-deathLiving with sick young animal companion or an aging pet is a challenging and very emotional time for all involved. I remember watching Boomer as he lost weight and moved slower. I am forever grateful for my animal communication and Tellington TTouch® skills that helped us face his aging. I could ask him how he was doing and did he want to try another food or continue taking medicine. With TTouch® I made him comfortable. I still cherish the handwritten notes from our conversation when he said he was ready for the vet to come to our house. I am so grateful I knew when he was ready to leave. At the time, I wish I knew more and had more options. I’ve made it my mission to help others as they face this difficult decision.

Since Boomer’s passing in 2006, I’ve learned so much about the ill or aging animal companion and how to help both the person and the pet. This past year, I used Healing Touch for Animals® to help Rosie have a beautiful week before her crossing over. I also helped Cuddles, an Umbrella Cockatoo, recover faster from seizures and was present for his euthanasia. These are a few of the animals I was honored to help live their best life until they crossed Rainbow Bridge.

Loss of any animal companion is devastating and leaves a hole in our hearts. It is hard to say goodbye when they lived a long life and is so difficult when their lives are cut short. No matter their age, they leave invisible strings around that we must break – looking at their favorite spot, grabbing their leash to go for a walk, or reaching for their food dish only to remember they are gone.

I hope following ideas may help you on this journey of saying goodbye and grieving your animal companion.

The Final Days Suggestions

  • Good Grief: Finding Peace After Pet Loss by Sid Korpi helps a human companion face the tough decision of helping their best friend cross the Rainbow Bridge. She explains why pet loss is so difficult, how to emotionally prepare for a pet’s euthanasia, the grieving process, memorializing ideas, and more information with heartfelt stories. I highly recommend this book for anyone facing the end of their pet companion’s life or grieving. Her website contains lots of information and a place to make a memorial for your pet.
  • A photo session with your pet during their final weeks is a wonderful way to share your memories. Several photographers in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area provide this service. Sarah Beth Photography was voted the Best Pet Photographer in the Twin Cities Metro Area. She provides a beautiful service call “Joy Session®” when the pet is near the end of their lives. The photos are works of arts and beautiful memorials of your beloved companion. I saw a book she created for my client and it is beautiful.
  • A painting is another way to remember your pet. Peggy J. Krizak creates original oil paintings after she meets your pet in person or from a photograph.
  • Several Twin Cities vets provide at home euthanasia services. I know Dr. Rebecca McComas of Minnesota Pets and several clients used her gentle at home service. She provides hospice care and home euthanasia services.
  • Pets Remembered Cremation Service provides a private cremation service including pick up, pet’s ashes returned in 24 hours,  and a selection of urns and other container options. My clients are speak very highly of the service the received at such a difficult time.

Memorial Suggestions

  • Steve Claypatch of Ascension Art creates beautiful pet memorial paperweights with a very small amount of your pet’s ashes. As I have a small collection of glass paperweights, I was impressed with the beauty of his work. He is also making urns for holding the remains of your companion.
  • Nelli Designs creates pet memorial candles.
  • Several years ago I saw a friend’s Cremulet made of fused glass and her precious dog’s ashes. Each Cremulet in individually handcrafted. The Cremulets are designed as pendants or as a keepsake to keep in a special place.
  • Memory Pendants are beautiful handmade silver and dichroic glass cremation jewelry or keepsakes. These one-of-a-kind memorials are made with your pet’s ashes or hair.
  • Pet-R-Loved makes custom embroidered memorial pillows.

When Boomer, the Wheaten Terrier who guided me to this wonderful career, crossed Rainbow Bridge I didn’t know of all these options. I hope these ideas give you peace as you take this journey.

Please remember Animal Bridges is here to help you though your pet’s illness, aging years, and then their death and journey across Rainbow Bridge.

·Dr. Karen M. Randall of Solace Veterinary Hospice provides a wonderful service of hospice for pets including pain management, managing issues of mobility and hygiene, and home euthanasia.


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