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Dealing With Pet Loss

In loving memory of my cat Emily, 11/8/1990 – 10/5/2006.

It was really hard to see her leave us.

I am writing this article in part as a healing process for me, and in part to make you aware that there is help out there for dealing with pet loss, or dealing with the fact that you may have to make a¬†decision about your pet’s life.

Our cat Emily passed over to the Rainbow Bridge on Thursday, October 5. She was nearly 17, so she had a good long life. We knew that morning that we were taking her in to have her euthanized. Somtimes you just know. She had been having some problems, and she had lost a lot of weight. We had her on medication, and she was actually doing well. She loved getting the canned food with her pill.

We got her to the vet, the staff made her more comfortable in a quiet area and put her on oxygen. We were able to sit by her side and comfort her, and touch and speak to her. She actually passed away on her own while we were there before she could be euthanized. If you would like to see her picture, go to our home page. She is the cat at the top of the page on the right.


She used to love to come lay in my lap when I was sitting on the couch, or come lay on my stomach if I was laying on the couch. She would just purr and purr.

The first part of my routine whenever I walked into the door was to say hello to my “kitty kitty.” She was usually in her favorite spot on top of the couch. I would find her in other areas too. My Emily was “my girl.”

I want to give my thanks to the Mission Valley Vet Clinic for their support and understanding. They felt our loss too, and they even sent us a potted plant with their condolences. We really appreciated that. We had Emily cremated, and we will receive her ashes back. We will be putting her on our mantle, with a photo of her next to it.

Since this issue is so close to me, I don’t think I can write about it right now. I do want to give you some good resources about dealing with pet loss. The ASPCA has some good information on their website about dealing with pet loss, or dealing with the decision. They even have a psycologist you can send an inquiry to if your animal is sick and you need advice. You can go to the following page.


You can check out the many websites regarding the Rainbow Bridge which deal with your pet loss. You can also post a message for your pet that has passed on. You can place your pets in virtual memorials as well.

Here are some sites you may want to consider.


Here are a few books that may help deal with pet loss.

  • Coping with the Loss of a Pet: A Gentle Guide for All Who Love a Pet, Christina M. Lemieux, Ph.D.; Wallace R. Clark & Co.; 1988.
  • Pet Loss: A Thoughtful Guide for Adults and Children, Herbert A. Nieburg, Ph.D. & Arlene Fischer; Harper Perennial; 1996.
  • Dog Gone, Howard Bronson; Bestsell Publications, 6 Samba Circle, Sandwich, MA 02563; 1994.
  • Legacies of Love: A Gentle Guide to Healing from the Loss of Your Animal, Loved One audiobook, Teresa Wagner, Upper Access Books.

Here are a few tips on dealing with euthanasia and your pets.

  • Are you financially able to pay for all that is necessary to keep your pet alive?
  • What is the prognosis? Will your pet be better off if they are kept alive longer, or not?
  • What is your pet’s quality of life? Are they in constant pain, are they suffering?

Remember, although it is a very hard decision, sometimes the greatest act of love and caring could be to euthanize your pet and end their suffering. Let it be your final act of love and caring for your furry friend who has brought you so much love and joy.

That’s what Emily did. Every time I saw her, she put a smile on my face and always made me happy. I miss her very much.

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