Not to be confused with the Rainbow Road from Mario Kart, the Rainbow Bridge is a more solemn goal path. Created by author Deborah Barnes in 2015, Rainbow Bridge Memorial Day is a day to honor the memory of cherished pets who have passed away, according to a Newswire statement.
Since its launch, Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day has become a nationally recognized holiday. Celebrated each year on August 28, the day Barnes’ cat Mr. Jazz died, people fondly remember their deceased pets.
“(Today is) a time to remember those pets we have lost with love and happiness,” Barnes said in the press release.
This intention was not in vain. Although August 28 has come and gone, the memory of a lost loved one lives on forever. Kitty Crino, a sophomore studying fashion retail and merchandising, keeps the memory of her dog Vito alive with a large oil painting of him above her fireplace.
“It’s like his little altar,” she says. “He is the best.”
Crino grew up with two Jack Russell terriers, Vito and Carmela, who were both successful – technically. About five years after Vito died, his family got another dog, Leonardo, and they went to see a pet psychic.
“[The pet psychic] told us Leonardo was Vito reincarnated, and when I first heard that, I burst into tears,” Crino said. “I feel like I have a special connection with my new dog, Leonardo, because I heard and believed this.”
In addition to Vito’s portrait, Crino’s family exhibits photos of Vito and Carmela and keeps their ashes in handmade urns. Her dad also has a keychain with Carmela’s necklace and name on it.
Carmela was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, and while her passing wasn’t a surprise, it still impacted Crino’s family.
“I knew she was going to a better place; she was going to be able to race again with Vito,” Crino said. “It was more just sad for my father, to be [she was] like his best friend.
A study published in the National Library of Medicine, titled “Pet Humanization and Related Grief,” said the loss of a pet can produce effects in people similar to those caused by losses like that of a spouse. , a child, health or employment.
Eileen Marsal Koch, LPCC-S, staff counselor for Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS), wrote in an email that she could relate to the study results “as a professional and a person who loves animals”.
Marsal Koch’s family lost three rescue dogs to natural causes.
“My family and I have truly mourned the loss of [those] dogs, as we considered them part of our family,” she wrote in the email. “Dogs can provide us with unconditional love – which can sometimes be hard to find in people.
The Humane Society of the United States echoes Marsal Koch’s sentiment, stating that “animals provide companionship, acceptance, emotional support, and unconditional love. … He is [OK] cry when [one’s] the animal dies.
Coping with the death of a pet is different for everyone, as is the grieving process. However, the Humane Society said finding ways to cope can “bring closer the day when memories bring smiles instead of tears.”
Kate Dennis, a second-year sports management student, had two growing schipperke dogs named Sam and Lex.
“[Sam passing away] was really hard for me, just because he was there my whole life,” Dennis said. “The house was really quiet once we lost him, but he really brought our family together.”
Dennis has many favorite memories with Sam, such as hanging out in the snow and getting “puppy mugs” from Dairy Queen. His family commemorates Sam with photos and custody of his ashes. They also have a new schipperke named Joy.
“Every event in my childhood life, I think of him,” she said.
The families of Crino and Dennis made the decision to have new dogs after their passing.•
“It can help alleviate the loss of a beloved pet,” Marsal Koch wrote in an email. “For others, it may not be the solution.”
The Human Society’s advice is not to rush into the decision. Take the time to grieve and ask yourself if the time has come.
According to Marsal Koch, students who have lost a pet can contact CPS at (740) 593-1616 to discuss the loss of a pet with a professional. Although there is no dedicated animal loss support group at Ohio University, she has provided this website with hotlines and online resources.
“I can’t believe I didn’t know [Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day]”Crino said. “I’m so glad I’m doing it now.”