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 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 have 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 begins to quiver. Suddenly, he begins to run
from the group flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and
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 the Rainbow Bridge together……..
- Pre-Planning for your Pet’s Aftercare
- When It’s Time to Say Goodbye
- The Euthanasia Process
- Seniors and Pet Loss
- Children and the Death of a Pet
If you would like more information on the services we offer or
if you have any questions, please call our clinic at 416-752-6048 or click here.
Pre-planning your pet’s aftercare allows you to know that everything will be
taken care of when the time comes. It also means that when the time arrives, you
won’t have to make these dicisions while your grieving.
When pre-planning for this, you may find it is easier to discuss the details
with your family members as well. If your pet is a senior now, it makes it a
little easier for a child to understand that death is coming than to have to
explain if their pet died unexpectedly. Discuss with all family members whether
they feel that burial or cremation is right for your pet.
several pet crematoriums in Ontario, that can have your pet cremated
individually. Their ashes would be returned to you, in an urn of your choosing.
This allows you to spread your pet’s ashes if you wish. There are collumbariums
located in Ontario where you can purchase a niche in a wall as a final resting
place for your pet’s urn.
There are also several Pet Cemeteries in Ontario. Private burials and
funerals are performed and, according to your wishes, arrangments can be made to
add a spritual aspect to the service in respect to your beliefs. Caskets,
plaques and head stones are also available.
Your pet will be treated with dignity and respect whether or not you choose
to have your pets remains returned to you. If you decide on a communal
cremation, your pet will be taken to Ancaster Pet Cemetery where your pet’s
final resting place will be marked by a Memorial.
cremations include your choice of three urns, or you may select an urn of your
choosing from a large selection provided by Gateway Pet
Memorial. Candle urns, photo urns and etching are also available.
Peartree Studio Pawprints
Peartree Studio makes beautiful keepsakes of your pet. We take an impression
of your pets paw send it to the studio, where it is fired and hand- painted by
Artisans in the colour of your choice. A small surcharge applies for custom
colour and designs.
A lock of hair
is lovingly removed from your pet and placed in a tasteful card as a keepsake
for you and your family. This complimentary service is done by request only.
We are never quite prepared for the loss of a pet. Whether death is swift and
unexpected or whether it comes at the end of a slow decline, few of us are fully
aware of what a pet means to our lives until out companion is gone.
Our involvement with the final outcome may be passive. We may simply decide
not to pursue medical or surgical treatment for an aging pet. Perhaps the
ailment is incurable and the best we can do is to alleviate some of the
suffering so that the remainder of the pet’s days are spent in relative comfort.
At the other extreme, an illness or accident may take a pet suddenly.
Everyone privately hopes their pet will have a peaceful passing when their
time arrives. However, the impact of a pet’s death is significantly increased
when we face the most difficult decision a pet owner can make: to have a
Veterinarians do not exercise this option lightly. Their medical training and
professional lives are dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of disease. And
they are keenly aware of the balance between extending an animal’s life
and prolonging its suffering. We need to understand that euthanasia is the
ultimate tool to mercifully end a pet’s suffering.
When you are ready, the doctor will administer the injection of the
Euthanasia solution which results in a rapid and painless termination of nerve
impulses and complete muscle relaxation. On occasion, when the muscles relax,
the bowels and/or bladder may void.
Usually within seconds after the solution is injected, the pet will take a
slightly deeper breath, then grow weak and finally lapse into what looks like a
The pet, although completely unconscious, may continue to take a few more
breaths, may twitch or gasp. These effects are common. The Pet’s eyes also
usually remain open.
If you would like, a hair lock can be collected for you as a keepsake.
As pet lovers and owners we understand how devastating it is when we have to
To help you prepare for the decision to euthanize your pet, consider the
following questions. They are intended only as a guide. Only you can decide what
the best solution is for you and your pet. Take your time as these are not easy
questions to face. Please feel free to discuss this with any of our team
- What is the current quality of my pet’s life?
- Is my pet eating well? Are they playful and affectionate towards
- Does my pet seem tired and withdrawn mostof the time?
- Is my pet in apparent pain? Is there anything I can do to make them more
- Can my pet perform toiletry habits with dignity?
- Are there other treatment options available?
- Is allowing my pet to die at home with the appropritate medications for
comfort an option?
- If a behavioural problem has led me to this decision, have I sought the
expertise of a veterinary behavioural consultant?
- Do I still love my pet the way I used to, or am I angry and resentful of
the restrictions my pet’s condition has placed on my lifestyle?
Speak to all family members regarding this decision. As each family member
shares the caregiving responsibilites for your pet, should eachmember have a say
in the decision to have the pet euthanized. An honest approach is best when
dealing with a child, who also needs to know that his or her feelings and
opinions have been listened to before a pet is put down. Children need time to
We create an appointment for you and schedule as much time as you need. We
know that this is a personal experience for everyone and welcome as much or
little involvement as you would like.
We have a quiet, comfortable room that allows a family to spend time with
their pet before and after the euthanasia.
The Doctor will first give the pet a sedative to lessen any stress. We have
an assistant available to help the doctor by providing gentle restraint and
slight pressure on a vein, usually a foreleg, needed for the injection.
Although rare, some pets will vomit after the sedation is given.
Some people choose to bring a toy, blanket or written letter or poem to leave
with their pet. We ensure this is kept with your pet throughout the aftercare
The loss of a much loved companion animal can be especially difficult for
seniors. Often, they have already experienced multiple losses in their lives,
including the deaths of a spouse, relatives, neighbours and long-time friends.
Many seniors experience chronic illness of disabilities that decrease their
mobility, socialization and participation in customary activities. busy lives,
geographic separations and the inability to travel can prevent them from
spending time with family members and friends. All of this can contribute to
isolation, loneliness and a special dependence on the companionship of pets.
In many cases, pets are the most important companions for senior to talk
with, to care for, to get up with each day and to share unconditional love.
Their pets are their family members and best friends. The loss of a beloved pet
can be over whelming to them.
During the time of grieving, seniors can benefit from seeking out others who
are compassionate, sensitive and supportive to their very real and painful loss.
Such support can be critical to the person’s recovery from such a significant
They might consider the following as ways to honor their beloved animals:
- Preparation of a tribute such as a scrapbook of the pet’s life.
- Writing stories of shared experiences with their pet.
- Making a contribution to an animal organization in the pet’s memory.
- Fostering an animal that needs temporary care.
- Attending a pet loss support group.
For many children, the death of their pet is their first experience with
grief and loss. Losing a pet deserves very special attention and adults shouold
not try to hide their sorrow.Talking about the pet afterwards is also wise
because the pet deserves to be remembered as a part of the family and one of the
child’s most wonderful friends. A child is prone to certain misconceptions about
the subject of death and is often keenly aware that something is not right with
his or her pet.
When a child experinces the death of a beloved pet, he or she may experience
emotional reactions that can be painful and frightening. Here are several ways
to help children cope with these reactions in a healthy way.
- As parents, recongnize the 5 stages of grief – anger, denial, negotiation,
depression and acceptance.
- Find a quiet place where you can talk without interruption. Tell your child
in simple language that their pet has died and what caused the death. If
necessary, explain what the word “death” means. Avoid overloading your child
- Answer all questions truthfully in words chilfren can understand.
Inconsistant or incomplete answers may leave your child more unsettled and upset
than hearing the truth itself.
- Encourage the expression of feelings. Children will model their behaviour
after their parents.
- Try drawing, writing and talking together about the pet with your child.
- Share your beliefs, hopes and faith about the soul or spirit of pets.
Children younger than five years have difficulty understanding the finality
of death. They may need several explanations, long after the pet is gone, as to
why he or she does not come back. This age group also takes words literally, so
it is best not to use the phrase “put to sleep” with young children. From ages
five to nine, children tend to perceive death as a punishment. They must be
reassured that the pet did not die because of something the parents or they did
or did not do.After age nine, children have a more realistic concept of death
and can understand religious or philosophical ideas about it. participating in a
burial or memorial service for the pet, if possible, can make the child feel
better. As well, you might:
- Create a keepsake box or album with pictures, stories and mementos of the
- Light a candle, place fresh flowers and a special framed picture near it.
- Plant a tree or a garden inmemory of the pet.
- Donate money to a favourite charity in memory of the pet.
- Your veterinary staff can help by giving you a lock of their fur as a
- Have them take a clay impressionof your pet’s paw, painted to match their
Children process their thoughts and feelings by “doing”. By helping to guide
your children, you will be giving them an important life tool: a model for how
to say good-bye and a framework for dealing with death and other significant
changes or losses they will experience in the future.