The loss of your pet
River City Pet Hospital
phone 740-374-7387

Dr. McHenry volunteered on a Pet Loss Hotline while a vet student at OSU CVM . 

Dr. McHenry has experienced pet loss grief, having shared her life with over 30 personal pets so far.  

"If tears could build a stairway and heartache make a lane, I'd walk the path to heaven and bring you back again."


What happens during a euthanasia?    
The word  "euthanasia"   translates  to "a good death."  This means a death without lingering pain and suffering.  A pet is given a drug that causes unconsciousness and slows the heart until its beat stops.  It is performed usually by injection into a vein or other appropriate site.  The time it takes varies from pet to pet, but is usually a matter of minutes.  Some pet owners choose to say goodbye and step out before the injection, and some choose to stay.  Either way, the pet is hugged and loved and spoken softly to by the staff attending to the pet until the last breath is taken.

What are the options of caring for my pet's body after it dies?  Burial at home or a pet cemetary, or cremation, are common choices.  Cremation produces grey dry crumbly remains that can be stored or dispersed as wished.  

Pets are really family members with fur or scales.  They may not speak our verbal language, but they speak the language of our hearts.  It is extremely distressing to lose a beloved pet, no matter how long that pet was in our lives.  Grief is different for every individual, though it usually follows a  pattern.  This pattern of grief involves feelings of denial, anger, sadness and acceptance. 

If you or someone close to you is experiencing grief over the loss of a pet, you can get help.  Be assured, that your memories of your pet will not "go away," but they will become less painful and more sweet in time. (grief hotline at OSU)

Explaining pet death to children


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