Poetry and Books
We have listed some poems that have helped us cope with the loss of our pets over the years. We stock the poem books: “Weep Not for me, in Memory of a Beloved Cat (Constance Jenkins)”, I Cannot Lie by your Fire, In Loving Memory of Man’s Best Friend (Robison Jeffers), Do not Stand at my Grave and Weep (Anon) and Conversations with my Old Dog (Robert Patrick).
Please contact us if you are interested in purchasing any of the above titles.
Pet loss books for children
The following books can help children to cope with pet bereavement. The Pet Bereavement Support Service also do a useful leaflet on children and pet loss.
Missing My Pet
Missing my Pet was written by Alex Lambert, aged 6, after the sudden loss of his pet dog called star. It deals with the initial illness of a pet, the death of a pet and the emotions that we all go through afterwards. It also helps children understand cremation, how to remember their pet and tackles the question of getting another pet. The book is superb and also comes with a supporting booklet that has helpful advice for parents.
Up in Heaven by Emma Chichester Clark
Elderly Daisy can’t keep up with Arthur any more, and then one day she wakes up to find herself in heaven! How marvellous – now she no longer feels tired or ill, and she can run as fast as she used to! But she worries about Arthur because he is so miserable, and so she sends him dreams to show him where she is, and how happy she is now. One of the questions children regularly ask is: ‘Do dogs go to heaven?’ This unusual book provides the dog’s answer, with the sure lightness of touch and deft storytelling that we have come to expect from this author: it may well move you to tears.
Goodbye Mog by Judith Kerr
‘A lovely book for all Mog-fanciers’ The Observer ‘Kerr’s warmth, humour and honesty make this an engaging introduction to a difficult topic’ Financial Times ‘Believable, amusing and moving’ Nursery World ‘A supremely sensitive story’ The Times ‘The best, most consoling book for children on the subject of bereavement…a joy to read’
General pet loss books
Bill at Rainbow Bridge
By Dan Carrison
The book, although fictional, is based on the author’s own experience of pet loss and tells the stories of “Bill” (a deceased bulldog) and his former owner David. A touching look at the emotions we go through following the loss of a pet. In my opinion it offers great comfort to pet owners and is definitely worth reading.
Losing a Pet
by Jane Matthews
One of the most helpful books that I have seen so far. It offers practical guidance, emotional support and reassurance to grieving pet owners in a clear and concise manner.
Goodbye Dear Friend
by Virginia Ironside
Robson Books Ltd, Bolsover House, 5-6 Clipstone Street,
London, W1P 7EB
Pet Loss and Support for Bereaved Owners
by Jill Nicholson
The Society for Companion Animal Studies, 10B Leny Road,
Callander, FK17 8BA
The Loss of a Pet
by Wallace Sife, Ph.D.
Hovell Book House, Macmillian, USA
Coping with Sorrow on the loss of your pet
by Maria Anderson, M.ED.
Alpine Publications, PO Box 7027, Lordard, CO 80537, USA
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
The Rainbow Bridge is a very well know poem that has helped countless pet lovers over the years. The drawing that accompanies it was done by Jamie Gould aged 7 1/2 to help cheer up his mum and is in memory of his staffordshire bull terrier named “Podge” who was looked after at Dignity in May 2006.
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….
by Anita Bailey
If it should be that I grow week
And pain should keep me from my sleep
Then you must do what must be done
For this last battle can’t be won
You will be sad, I understand
Don’t let your grief then stay your hand
For this day more than all the rest
Your love for me must stand the test
We’ve had so many happy years
What is to come can hold no fears
You’d not want me to suffer so
The time has come, please let me go
Take me where my needs they’ll tend
And stay with me until the end
Hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see
I know in time that you will see
The kindness that you did for me
Although my tail, its last has waved
From pain and suffering I’ve been saved
Please do not grieve, it must be you
Who has this painful thing to do
We’ve been so close throughout the years
Don’t let your heart hold back your tears
If tears could build a stairway
And memories a lane
I’d walk right up to heaven
And bring you home again
Title & Author Unknown
Not many people understand
Just how you feel today
And really it’s so difficult
To find the words to say
For you have lost a special friend
Who meant so much to you
And they will stay inside your heart
Whatever you may do
Such precious recollections
Of love you truly shared
And natural devotion
That can never be compared
So just remember happy moments
Smile if you can
Be thankful for time you had
And you will understand
Although it’s hard, there has to be
A time to say “Goodbye”
But memories which are dear to you
Will never ever die
The following two Poems are by Ann Blairman, a devoted pet lover that we have sadly had to help several times over the years.
by Ann Blairman
I see you grieve,
I feel you grieve
But I am with you.
And will stay, til you laugh
When remembering the fun
We had in all those years.
Thank you for the courage to let me go,
No more weary, no more pain,
I am with you, you will feel me
My cold nose, my waving tail.
You will see my smiling mouth and shining fur,
You will hear my happy voice.
I can run now, I can play now
With all my family and my friends.
But I will love you and I will watch you
Til we meet again.
A Woodland Place
by Ann Blairman
A woodland place full of dreams,
A mossed bank and bluebells,
Grey ashes floating down
Sinking into browned rich earth,
Spirit soft bodies,
Happy eyes waving tails
Cold noses pressed into our hands
There and all around, easing grief,
In soft warm, warm spring air.
Weep Not For Me
In Memory of a Beloved Cat
By Constance Jenkins
Weep not for me though I am gone
Into the gentle night.
Grieve if you will, but not for long,
Upon my soul’s sweet flight.
I am at peace, my soul’s at rest,
There is no need for tears;
For with your love I was so blessed
For all those many years.
There is no pain, I suffer not;
The fear now all is gone.
Put now these things out of your thoughts,
In your memory I live on.
Remember not my fight for breath,
Remember not the strife.
Please do not dwell upon my death,
But celebrate my life.
This poem is available to purchase through Souvenir Press as a small book that has lovely illustrations by Pat Schaverien interspersed with the poem.
Death is Nothing at All
By Canon Henry Scott Holland
Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away into the next room
I am I and you are you
whatever we were to each other
that we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone;
wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect,
without the ghost of a shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was;
there is absolutely unbroken continuity.
What is this death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am just waiting for you, for an interval,
somewhere very near, just around the corner.
All is well.
This poem is available to purchase through Souvenir Press
Till We Meet Again
By Robert Pasick
Sadly, Lu, today I write to you in your sweet hereafter.
I trust and pray that you had a safe and painless journey.
Lucy, you must have been surprised to have my dad join you so soon.
I bet he arrived with a lifetime supply of doggie cookies
He always loved dogs so much, yet, as far as I know,
He never had one of his own.
As usual, Lucy, you were wiser than we could ever have imagined.
Holding you as you died helped us prepare for
Dad’s passing, only one month later.
His body failed, but death itself was sudden.
Pat and I sat with him as he died.
Two days of struggle to leave his body,
and then a peaceful final passing.
At the moment of his death, a single bird flew into our view.
I pray that bird carried his soul to yours, Lu.
Now I pray Dad cares for you as his pet, and you watch over him
wherever you may be.
I feel comforted imagining you two playing together,
nurturing each other until, perhaps, some day
we may all meet again.
Taken from “Conversations With My Old Dog”, For Anyone Who Has Ever Loved & Lost a Pet by Robert Pasick, PH.D.
An uplifting (and often amusing) collection of poems for anyone whose life has been blessed by a special pet – although the book is from America, I managed to purchase it through an online book store.
The book is a collection of conversational poems to Lucy, the author’s beloved Yellow Labrador. The poems helped me think of all the happy times that we had with our dog Ben (a loveable black lab), and helped me greatly when he passed away last year.