By LuAnn McLain
Anyone who has ever lost a beloved pet knows how difficult it can be to find a special way to memorialize that pet. Burial or cremation can even be difficult to achieve in some weather or due to distances involved. Great Falls is the closest location of which I am aware for either a pet cemetery or cremation.
Although some may opt to bury smaller pets in the backyard, bereaved owners may still search for a way to share the dear memories of their pet. Changing laws can interfere with burial of dead animals, too.
Now there is a new place for pets to be seen, read about and remembered. The Rainbow Bridge Memorial Page has just been established as one of the Montana Pets on the Net features. This week was the premiere introduction of the page.
These words greet those entering the Memorial Page: There is a bridge connecting Heaven and Earth. It is called the Rainbow Bridge because of its many colors.
Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge, there is a land of meadows, hills and valleys with lush green grass. When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this place. There is always food and water, and warm Spring weather. Those old and frail animals are young again. Those who have been maimed are made whole again. They play all day with each other.
But there is only one thing missing. They are not with their special person who loved them on earth. So, each day they run and play until the day comes when one suddenly stops playing and looks up. The nose twitches, the ears are up, and the eyes are staring, and this one suddenly runs from the group. You have been seen, and when you and your special friend meet, you take him or her into your arms and embrace. Your face is kissed again and again and you look once more into the eyes of your trusting pet.
Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together, never to be separated.
A person who would like to share memories of a pet that has gone to the Rainbow Bridge can send a picture with the name and dates of the pets life along with whatever tribute they would like to share with others. The only fee involved is a required donation to one of the shelters, rescue groups, or animal welfare agencies participating in the program.
The minimum donation is $10. Participating groups in the Havre area include Kitty Keepers, PAWS of Chinook, the Sands Foundation, and Dedman Foundation of Fort Benton. All participating groups are listed on the instruction portion of the Memorial Page.
The story about the beloved pet will all be published on the page for one year. The nice thing about this page is that there are several ways a person can send in the information and pictures. The nearest participating shelter or organization can assist with submission of the information. Information can be mailed, too, so that even those who dont have a computer can share their memories of their pets with others all over the world. Those with Internet connections are free to enter the information online.
To find the page, go to montanapets.org and when the map of Montana appears a list of options will be available. In the list on the far left of the page is Pet Memorials. Simply click on that and you will arrive at the Rainbow Bridge Memorial Page.
At the bottom of the page are several choices, one of which is Add a Memorial for your pet. By clicking that choice, you will be provided with instructions for entering a memorial for a particular pet.
Maybe you have a special pet or pets in mind right now that you would like to share on the memorial page. Maybe you know someone who is grieving a pet and might like to here about the opportunity to participate in this page. Share this information with them.
Have you ever had a friend lose a pet and you wondered how you might comfort them? A gift donation could be made, allowing that person to then put the information on the memorial page. As a relative or friend you might have enough information available that you would be able to set up the memorial yourself.
Pet lovers will want to visit this page but be sure to bring plenty of tissues! It is not likely you will get through very many without bringing tears to your eyes!
Have a safe and happy week with your companion critters. If you would like to write to Pawsitively Pets, please send your letter to P.O. Box 1731, Havre, MT 59501.