The Rainbow Passage - Pet Loss Support and Bereavement Center and Other Related Pet Loss Sites

Pet Loss Support and Grief Counseling:
Pet Loss Resources:
Pet Loss Grief Support Website and Candle Ceremony:
Pet Loss - When Your Animal Dies:
The Virtual Pet Cemetery:
More Rainbow Passage Material - Pet Loss Resources - Books:
More Rainbow Passage Material - Coping With Pet Loss and Grief:
Pet Loss Information:
Grieving is Part of Pet Ownership: Article from The Rainbow Passage
If I Only Had a Sign...: Article from The Rainbow Passage


The grief experienced by human companions who loose their animal companions is very real and can often times be very painful. Charlene Douglas, through The Rainbow Passage - Pet Loss Support and Bereavement Center, provides support for people whose animals are chronically or terminally ill, people who have to make a decision regarding euthanasia, and people who's animal companion has already died. In addition, The Rainbow Passage provides a Pet Loss Information Packet for people who wish to better understand the grieving/mourning process.

The Rainbow Passage is directed by Charlene Douglas. Charlene has a Masters Degree in Counseling from Oklahoma State University and is a Ph.D. Candidate in Psychology at Washington State University. For the last seven years she has served as Assistant Director of People-Pet Partnership of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University and as a Pet Loss and Bereavement Counselor for the College of Veterinary Medicine. She has assisted over 3000 clients all over the world. Her work as an Internet Pet Loss Support and Bereavement Counselor has been featured in numerous AP wire releases, magazine articles, books and nationally syndicated TV shows. She also conducts seminars/workshops on dealing with the topic of pet loss and bereavement. Charlene has written a booklet on "How to Start a Pet Loss Support Group".

The telephone number for The Rainbow Passage is 414.376.0340 (please leave a message on the voice mail and your call will be returned as soon as possible).

To purchase either The Pet Loss Information Packet ($5.00) or the booklet on "How to Start a Pet Loss Support Group" ($5.00), please send a check or money order to the address below.

Charlene Douglas
1528 E. River Rd.
Grafton, WI 53024
United States


The terminal diagnosis or death of the family pet can be one of the most traumatic experiences that a family has to face. This animal is not just the household pet but a very important family member, often times a best friend.

Unfortunatey, not all of society has this special relationship with animals, and, therefore, sometimes provides little support during the grieving process. Grieving for a loved animal is natural and normal and must be allowed - both the private grieving and the public mourning. The manner and intensity with which a person grieves will vary. Reactions will depend on many factors ranging from the attachment to the animal to the person's personal experience with grief and their mental state when the loss occurs.

During this time of loss it is very important to acknowledge feelings. It is normal to feel confused about your feelings but give yourself permission to express and talk about these feelings and permission to talk about the pet that has just died. As with any loss, pet owners will experiences various stages of grief. These stages will include shock and denial, anger and guilt, sorrow and depression, and finally, hopefully, resolution of the grief. Sometimes stages are skipped and many times the stages have to revisited and revisited until resolution occurs. The bereaved will eventually learn how to cope with their grief and public mourning and will place that grief where it needs to be in their lives. One never truly gets over grief - one simply learns how to be a survivor!

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