The Rainbow Bridge
There are a number of stories written about the Rainbow Bridge, a beautiful meadow where pets that pass before their owners wait until they can re-unite on the other side, and enter Heaven together.
But would pets get the same treatment? Too many pets survive their human partners, only to spend the end of their days in foster homes or worse yet, shelters. I’m not saying that fosters or shelters are bad things, they provide vital housing for animals in need, and we are a better society for their existence, and the people that put time, care and love into running them. But every animal deserves a loving home, especially the loyal companions who have been left behind through no fault of their own.
When a family member passes, it can be a terrible strain on relationships. Some families come together, in support of each other, and the survivors are stronger for the relationship the lost member has given them. Pets in these groups are not the ones I am concerned about, as they are cherished reminders of our lost loved one. They are treated with the love and respect they earned by giving companionship through our loved ones final days.
It is the furry friends of people that lack strong family ties that I worry about. Some elderly people have only a dog or cat as companion in their final days, and when they pass, these animals are often just packed up and sent to a shelter, just another piece of property to be disposed of.
Many local rescues look for these animals, to take them from the shelter and find them loving furever homes for their remaining days. Many of these pets may have special needs, being older and not having had the care they may have needed.
Most of these animals can be wonderful pets, and with a little time and effort become loving members of the family that chooses to give them a new home. Many adopting families have existing pets that adopt the new member of the pack. Others may be seniors themselves, giving the older pet a quiet environment that is more akin to what they are used to.
Everybody loves a new puppy. It’s hard to imagine anyone not being excited over adding a frisky little ball of fur to the family. But it takes a special family to accept an older dog into their lives. And sometimes, these senior pets are a perfect match for a family that can’t handle the exuberance and energy of an untrained puppy.
So, when you are considering adding a “new” member to the family, please consider all the options, including the proven, loyal, but senior adoption. They can be the most wonderful pet, and still have a lot of love to give.