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10 Pet Loss Quotes that Don’t Suck

Pet Loss Quotes: Man and Dog

Pet loss quotes are tricky.

A friend’s dog passed away recently. He was a small, toothless, cranky, cute-as-hell, 13-year-old. She rescued him a year ago, after he was found abused, neglected, and on his last legs. She gave him a final year of dignity, sunbeam naps, love, and more love.

She’s so noble to have taken this little guy in, to have seen potential in him, up to his last moments. We should all be so lucky.

Of course, it does not occur to me to say any of that. And she, like everyone who has ever had a pet die on them, was wishing she could have done more. As soon as you hear about a friend’s beloved pet dying, your urge is to ease their pain right away. Now.

Because pets give us a kind of love and purpose that is so different from anything we’re capable of giving back. We do our best and in that effort, they make us better people.

I think of none of this in the moment. And I don’t want to sound patronizing, or insensitive, or insincere. I want to honor their bond. To me that means staying away from things like “It was his time,” or “It’s for the best.”

A pet owner might feel that way in a year, or never, but certainly not in the first minutes, hours, and days they are spending without their constant companion.

One option, then, is to keep it simple. Fewer words = less chance of making it worse.

Short pet loss quotes:

  • “I’m so sorry.”
  • “In honor of your beloved pet.”
  • “I’ll miss him too.”

But sometimes you want to add a nugget of wisdom, or inspiration. When emotions are so high, it’s best left to the experts.

10 pet loss quotes that don’t suck:

Pet Loss

  • “Sometimes losing a pet is more painful than losing a human because in the case of the pet, you were not pretending to love it.” – Amy Sedaris, American author
  • “If there is a heaven, it’s certain our animals are to be there. Their lives become so interwoven with our own, it would take more than an archangel to detangle them.” – Pam Brown, Australian author and poet
  • “It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.” – John Grogan, author of “Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World’s Worst Dog
  • “His ears were often the first thing to catch my tears.” –Elizabeth Barrett Browning, poet
  • “Sorrow is how we learn to love. Your heart isn’t breaking. It hurts because it’s getting larger. The larger it gets, the more love it holds.” –Rita Mae Brown, Author of the “Mrs. Murphy” cat book series
  • “People who really appreciated animals always asked their names.” –Lilian Jackson Braun,  author of “The Cat Who” book  series

Dog Loss

  • “The dog is the most faithful of animals and would be much esteemed were it not so common. Our Lord God has made his greatest gift the commonest.” –Martin Luther, German monk and author
  • “Dogs are the leaders of the planet. If you see two life forms, one of them’s making a poop, the other one’s carrying it for him, who would you assume is in charge?” – Jerry Seinfeld, American comedian

Cat Loss

  • “I would like to see anyone, prophet, king or God, convince a thousand cats to do the same thing at the same time.” – Neil Gaiman, English author
  • “A home without a cat — and a well fed, well petted and properly revered cat — may be a home, perhaps, but how can it prove title?” –Mark Twain, American author

Additional Resources

  • Don’t forget about The Rainbow Bridge poem, plus chats and forums. It’s a sincere place, and a lot of people I know have been comforted by it – kind of like a pet.
  • This second Rainbow’s Bridge site has forums broken out into groups, like teens, and is also popular and comforting.
  • The ASPCA runs a pet loss hotline  for help with everything from the decision to euthanize, to help with grieving for humans and pets.
    • (877) GRIEF-10

Please suggest any quotes I missed in the comments.


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Never be Afraid to Manifest, Jimmy Fallon Does It

Hug a Dragonfly, or Sit Near One Appreciatively


Image via Flickr User grakki

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. It’s hard to know what to say. My friend always simply says “Love never ends.” Which is kinda all you need to say, I guess. Love the Amy Sedaris quote.

    August 2, 2013
    • “Love never ends” is perfect. Simple, sincere, un-robot-like.

      August 3, 2013
  2. Thanks for sharing these – I know that there are totally terrible pet loss quotes out there. Pain is pain, having been through it. Love never ends, as Jackie shared, is etched on a locket I wear with my last dog’s locket of hair in it.

    August 3, 2013
    • What a fantastic idea! I placed a bit of my childhood dog’s fur in a picture frame when he passed. I was only 19, so it felt a little Victorian era to me at the time, but it is such a nice reminder.

      August 3, 2013
  3. It is always hard to know what to say, whether it’s the loss of a beloved pet or of a friend or family member.

    I really like “Love never ends” – that’s beautiful.

    August 5, 2013

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