When it’s Time for Your Pet to Cross the Rainbow Bridge

South San Francisco, CA  October 24, 2021


Pets, it turns out, also have last wishes before they die, but only known by veterinarians who put old and sick animals to sleep.


Twitter user Jesse Dietrich asked a vet what was the most difficult part of his job. The specialist answered without hesitation that it was the hardest for him to see how old or sick animals look for their owners with the eyes of their owners before going to sleep.


The fact is that 90 % of owners don’t want to be in a room with a dying animal. People leave so they don’t see their pet leave. But they don’t realize that it’s in these last moments of life that their pet really needs them.


And Hillcrest Veterinary Clinic in South Africa has posted on their Facebook page for all people with pets. Veterinarians ask the owners to be close to the animals until the very end.


′′ It’s inevitable that they die before you. Don’t forget that you were the center of their life. Maybe they were just a part of you. But they are also your family. No matter how hard it is, don’t leave them. Don’t let them die in a room with a stranger in a place they don’t like. Vets are very painful to watch this. On how pets cannot find their owner in the last minutes of their life. They don’t understand why he left them. After all, they needed his consolation.


Veterinarians do everything possible to ensure that animals are not so scared. But they are completely strangers to them. Don’t be a coward who thinks it’s too painful for you. Think about the pet. Endure this pain for the sake of your pets. Be with them until the end “.



What has been your experience when it came to the end of your pet’s life? How did you handle it? What advice do you have to offer others?



Thank you to those who have shared their experience of their furbaby and/or other pets who have crossed the rainbow bridge. It is such an emotional experience – below are some expressions from those who responded on our social media:


Mary Ward

When our cat crossed over Rainbow Bridge, we were fortunate to have Dr. Griffin @ Spruce. He was a wonderful Vet. He was a WONDERFUL Dr who passed


Stephanie Nicole

Mary Ward —- completely agree — he was a totally awesome Vet!!!! I cried when my mom told me he had died it wasn’t too long after Timber died because we got a new puppy and he had already passed … so he never met Briley


Sean Byrd

In home hospice and euthanasia is the most loving gift you can give to your pet and your family. Letting my Merlin go was so much easier for him and me in the home he lived in for sixteen years.


Nikki Ortiz

Sean Byrd us too Sean. When it was time for my Tita, we chose at home Euthanasia as well. Much less stressful for her.


Heidie Butcher Heath

I have had to put cats, dogs and even birds to sleep. I cannot imagine not being with them. I spoke with them the entire time. Let them hear your voice. I am in tears now as I write this.


Michelle Lindstrom

I have been with all 3 of my girls – the first two were at the vet and the most recent was here at home. It is the absolute hardest thing I’ve been through but I do it for them, not me. I miss them all but I will be with them again when it is my time. I have 2 young ones now so I’m hoping I don’t have to go through this again for a long time…but when it is their turn I will be there for them as well.


Christine Zagar

When it was time for our 19yo Cat, Jeff, to leave us (he had cancer), we called Golden Gate Hospice & Euthanasia Vet in San Francisco (Dr. Brian VanHorn), who came to our house, examined our Cat, counseled us, and then gave us the most beautiful experience, at home, in our loving arms. ?

I would recommend this to anyone.


Mike Bruno

Agreed. It’s your job to see them out when it’s their time.


Nancy Mascioli

Mike Bruno it’s a responsibility you should know before you bring them into your life. You’re committed until the last breath. I know I am.


Mike Bruno

Nancy Mascioli same. You’re job isn’t done just because the fun is over


Nancy Mascioli

Mike Bruno the heart wrenching is painful but their suffering can be even more so


Courtney Tetreault

It’s better to euthanize a day too early than a day too late. Don’t let them suffer


Dolores Ruiz

I have my 1st house dog and OMG. THIS IS MY BABY. I just cried reading this. I will never leave my Suge


Stephanie Nicole

Dr. Griffen (bless his soul) allowed me to stay in the room next to my baby when he had to put him down.. he let me take him for one last night of bonding with us. He gave him the equivalent of morphine to keep him comfortable on his last day and night.  In the morning, we went for a ride to all his favorite places before going into the Vet. The last moments as you watch your baby take his last breath and close his eyes is heart wrenching but they need you by their side ….


Leah Restauro

Hardest experience ever with my first dog – may 2020. So glad I was able to have all medical options available and see her out.


Renee Gomes

It’s so hard when an animal passes. You never forget that animal


Michelle Schumacher

Always there with them



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Linda Marsh
11 months ago

Thank you for this informative article. I am not ready to let my 15 year old fur baby with kidney disease go—-when the time comes, I will be with her.

Mary Friend
Mary Friend
1 year ago

I did not realize this. I am so glad I read it before my little Matty had to leave. It was very heartbreaking but being with her to the end holding and comforting her and feeling her let me know it was okay because it was time gave me peace. I always told her when it was time it was okay she just needed to let me know and she did. I always prayer that God would let me know and give me the courage to do what was best for my
Sweet Little Matty.

Cory Alan David
Cory Alan David
2 years ago

I resisted getting my first dog, a giveaway runt female Smooth Fox Terrier, not because I don’t love animals but because I love them too much. I didn’t want to deal with the eventual loss. My stepdaughter hounded me but I only gave in after my stepmother made one simple statement, “Think how much Love you’ll miss.” How do you argue with that? Getting my Jewel was the best decision I could have made. My stepdaughter grew older, discovered boys got her driver’s license and a brand new Mustang convertible from her Father and while she still loved our Jewel, her attention was divided. Jewel was now my welcomed responsibility. Fast forward many joy filled years and now my little pup was over sixteen years old and I spent a small fortune to keep her alive as she had kept me alive after a number of life’s “pitfalls.” It was apparent she was blind and deaf, could barely walk and could no longer control her body as she was always careful to do. The end was near. After the tragic untimely loss of a saint of a vet, I was fortunate enough to find another saint to escort us to the end. Though it frightened me, I learned from that same stepmother that I needed to be with my pup at the end. My stepmother had lost her first husband to cancer, my Father to cancer, her daughter at fifty to cancer and was to lose their beloved eight year old Schnauzer to cancer. After so much loss, my stepsister and I beckoned her not to witness her pup’s last moments but she simply said “But I have to.” She had him beautifully groomed and stayed with him to say goodbye. I knew, when the time came, I would have to do the same. Seeing my Jewel lying there close to the end was difficult but I stroked her head until the medications took effect and she drew her last breath. I have suffered the loss of many loved ones but this remains the saddest day of my life. Still I would do it again.

To this day I can’t think let alone re-read the “Rainbow Bridge” without sobbing but the thought of reuniting with my Jewel someday is beyond wonderful. Until then, I now share my life with a rescued chihuahua/rat terrier mix that is a little love in his own right. Either he or I will be with the other at the “end.”

Ava Marie Romero
2 years ago

I lost angel my beloved black lab mix in 2010 while I was in college. My mom was sitting with angel on the day she cross the rainbow ? Bridge (heaven) and took my family 3 years to grieve over angel then in 2013 I was ready for a new dog and I said to mom no more labs please and it came true I was gifted a Queensland heeler named Bellatrix in 2013 from the peninsula humane society and my dad was in love with her. She is the smartest dog I ever met and the sweetest and I couldn’t ask for more. The only thing she often does is bark 5 times and I had to tell her stop barking and she listens to commands. She is loyal and awesome