Friday, January 2, 2009

Where to Turn When a Beloved Pet Passes

When Buttons passed away the week before her 19th birthday, I was hard-pressed to find comfort. Then I googled "pet-loss" and was blessed to find this helpful, empathetic site.

"Chance's Spot was created in the fall of 1998 as a personal tribute to a beloved English Setter, Chance. In February of 1998 Chance was diagnosed with lymphosarcoma and on June 28 he died. The Web site has grown over the years and is now a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that assists grieving pet owners.

At Chance's Spot, we believe that pets are an important and engaging member of the family whose loss results in the same grieving process as would losing anyone close to us. We understand that the feelings generated when a pet dies are real and deserve the same respect as if it were any other family member. Our mission is to advance this notion to the general public and to support an increase in the respect and reverence that is given to the topic of pet loss. Through education, support and information, Chance's Spot assists the public in understanding that the grief suffered when a dearly loved pet is lost is a heartfelt example of how genuine the human - animal bond can be.

Chance's Spot provides an online support group, publications on pet loss, hotline numbers, referrals and an online tributes page where pet caregivers can post tributes to their departed pets. Locally, Chance's Spot provides educational presentations on the topic of pet loss o pet caregivers, pet care professionals and rescue and shelter workers. Area shelters, veterinarians and rescue groups also receive support and information about compassion fatigue - the stress resulting from caring for and helping traumatized animals on a daily basis.

Our yearly fundraisers help educate and support pet caregivers to understand the grief associated with losing a pet. It is our intention for Chance's Spot to be the first organization in the country to provide a memorial garden, pet loss education center and trained staff available to veterinarians and their patients." (VIEW VIDEO HERE)


Laurie Luck, CPDT said...

We're able to bury our pets at the homestead, which I find to be very comforting. The dogs never leave us -- whether they are euthanized or they go naturally, we're by their side the entire time. Which is ridiculously comforting to me.

We place a marker as well as a plant to mark their resting spot.

Just lost my 15-year old Aussie less than a month ago...

Anonymous said...

When my cat "Shohola" passed, I was just 17. I rummaged for pictures of him and made a little collage, to look at while I wrote in a journal about my feelings. He was different kind of cat, but we loved him dearly.

Anne Good said...

I dread the first time I will experience this but my dogs are both young and have many years ahead of them. However, when that time comes I will appreciate resources like this. Thank you.

Nadine M. Rosin-"The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood" said...

Feb. will be 6 years since Buttons passed. I have found a way to live with the pain, but like I say in the book, there will never be a time when I don't long to hold her. Thank you for sharing your heartfelt feelings here, my fellow pet parents!