A disturbing question for anyone who has ever been a pet parent, dealing with such topics is never easy. The thought alone can leave you depressed and looking for tissues. However, no matter just how hurtful it might be, at least once or twice the thought may have occurred to us.
Although many claim dogs pass the rainbow bridge when their spirit leaves this world, it can only be defined as the human desire to see our beloved pets in a better place. The only thing we do know for sure is the bodies are either cremated or buried when these little furry partners pass away. So, in short their physical bodies return to mother Earth while their spirits travel into a good place waiting for our arrival.
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What is a Rainbow Bridge?
Rainbow bridge – a mythical place coinciding between heaven and the Earth and consisting of a sunny green meadow with a beautiful rainbow bridge where the animals’ health is restored and they wait for their human companion to attain nirvana together.
This term has been quite popular amongst pet owners for decades. However, reports state that the concept was originally derived from a poem of unknown origin. In the late 20th century, a series of poems were circulated meant to relieve grieving pet parents from their dear loss. One of these includes the Beautiful Joe’s Paradise by Margaret Marshall Saunders.
The idea was to help people cope with the depressed feelings in a much better way and hence be hopeful of meeting their fur baby once again. Losing a pet is similar to losing a family member and sometimes even more. Thus, while some are able to cope and move on with the loss, others might not be so emotionally and psychologically strong. Therefore, presenting them with such an idea often helped them stay hopeful and not give up on their life after their pet’s death.
Do dogs have souls?
According to numerous studies in Spiritual Psychology, it has been proven that dogs, similar to other animals, indeed have souls. Thus, when we bring a dog into our life, we are not just bringing a being that barks, eats, runs, and sleep but a body with a living soul. The soul quickly bonds it to ours, following us everywhere we go, much like a physical human-dog relationship. And this has been reported by many pet parents whose dogs had previously passed away in many instances all over the world.
What should I do when my dog dies?
First of all, call someone. SOMEONE, ANYONE!!! It may be a family member, a relative, a friend, or even your lover. Bidding goodbye to your pupper is an excruciatingly painful situation and hence you will need someone to help you out. From lending you a shoulder to planning out their proper funeral, there’s many things where you will need another person’s help.
Next, contact your local vet and inform them about your pooch’s death, if they passed away at your home. The vet will then be placed with a responsibility to help with your pet’s burial or cremation, and other necessary tasks. This is because they know the proper ways of dealing with dead animals and are actually doing you a favour by keeping you far from the most painful of tasks.
Do dogs prefer to die alone?
NO!!! I don’t know from where you get this absolutely wrong idea, but no dog or animal wants to die alone. Dogs are pack animals. They live, feed, mate, and play in packs so why would they ever want to die alone from the family or the parents they so love and adore.
While there have been certain instances where the woofer ran away a few hours or days before their death, the underlying reasons are completely different. As canines tend to lose their orientation and sense of smell as the time of passing comes closer, they may end up forgetting the way to come back home once they go outside the property. On top of that when outside their anxiety and restlessness peaks in even more, causing them to pass away abruptly and in the owner’s absence.
Just like us, human beings, dogs also fear death. They can feel the sudden changes to their body that freaks them and hence they look for their human companion’s support even more. Therefore, no matter how much the thought is tearing your sanity internally, never leave your dying pet alone or unattended. You won’t want the same, when your time comes.
How do I know when my dog is dying?
While the thought may not occur instantly, pets often show telltale signs when their time comes close. The signs may be too sudden or too subtle to even notice properly, and the next thing you know is that you are alone. Therefore, the only thing you can do is understand the changes that happen commonly and be on a lookout for them. These include:
- Prolonged lethargy or disinterest in their once-favourite things
- Stops eating and drinking
- Loss of coordination
- Laboured breathing
- Seek constant comfort
- Severely deteriorating health
- Muscle twitching
- Frequent episodes of unconsciousness
- Dull eyes
- Unexplainable weight loss
- Gastrointestinal changes
- A change in their normal body smell, etc
The signs of a dying dog can vary from one to another. While one may seek comfort in the arms of their human, another may want to be left alone, away from any noise or sudden touch.
How do I comfort my dying dog?
To comfort your dying pooch:
- Spend as much quality time with them as possible. Pet them, say nice things to them, use soft voices, cuddle with them. Your dog needs you in its final stages, and while you can’t just prevent their demise, you can surely fill them with good memories.
- Don’t introduce them to a new dog or new people. The feeling of death is not a happy thing and hence introducing them to newer circumstances will only end up making them more panicked and restless. Just keep it limited to your family or anyone that they know and love.
- Try to maintain the usual activities of your dog as long as possible. When the time comes, their bodies go weak and hence forcing them to be active or else adding on to their lethargy by confining them indoors is never a good option. Let them walk, run, play as much they want, so they have no regrets during their final moments.
- Continue any medications they are on. Growing old and dying is a slow process, and hence if your dog has been taking medications for certain health issues, stopping them abruptly is not a good idea. While you may always consult with the vet to discuss the dosage, never dismiss their medications without seeking professional advice.
Will I be able to meet my pet in heaven?
According to the Bible and beliefs of pet lovers, Yes, we do have a chance of meeting our pets in heaven. Isaiah 11:6 describes, “several types living in peace with one another”. So, although the Bible doesn’t give us a direct answer, it surely does help ignite the hope to meet our beloved pets that we once lost in the journey of life.
Apart from Christianity, many other religions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Jainism, Sikhism, and others also believe in the same notion. Even though the proper redressal to the after-death meetings may vary from one religion to another, they all believe that the ‘forever happiness’ with lost pets is possible.
Because although dogs might not speak human language, their actions do mean, “You’ll meet me in the light.”
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