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Patti Wigington

Dealing with Death - Saying Goodbye to a Pet

By October 27, 2007

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Well, last weekend I was called upon to officiate at my first official burial. It was time to say goodbye to a small, rather plump fish named Calico. My daughter, who took the whole thing very matter-of-factly, asked if we could bury Calico in the yard, under the willow tree near the play set. Sounded like a good enough idea to me, and she asked me to say a few words, because, she said, that's what you do when you bury someone.

When my cats passed on -- one this Spring and one a few years ago -- we had a small family memorial service for them as well, and I believe it helped my kids move on and deal with the process. But what, exactly, do you say when you bury a fish?

I figured it out, and did a commendable job, as far as my kids were concerned. Feel free to use or adapt these for your own family's pets, if you find yourself having to say goodbye to one of them: Prayers for Deceased Pets.
November 2, 2007 at 12:32 pm
(1) Lenny says:


Thank you SO much for your listing of prayers! I feel just as you do re: the loss of a pet, as they ARE family! About 9 months ago, We had to bury one of our guinea pigs, Ozzy (yes, as in Ozbourne! :D ), and we literally cried for days. I even had my son on speakerphone so he could say goodbye, as he couldn’t be with us at the time. Sorry, but I’m actually tearing up thinking about it, so again I’ll say thank you, and may all good blessings shine upon you!

November 4, 2007 at 11:57 pm
(2) La'aura says:

My beloved cat passed over on Samhain. He had a major stroke the night before and I had to have hime euthanized. My pagan group had many nice,comforting things to say, but I still appreciate the pet prayers on your site. They are beautifully worded. Thank you.

April 7, 2009 at 11:03 am
(3) Mrs. B. says:

We are putting our dog down this Saturday. It was such a hard decision to make, but he’s a big guy and aged 11 – old for a big dog. He’s starting to suffer. My daughter asked if we can do a pet blessing before he goes. This is going to be so hard on the family. I’m so glad I found the prayer for a euthanized pet here. I’m sure it will help.

September 3, 2009 at 12:34 am
(4) kerry says:

our staffy keisha died on the 23rd of janurary of this year due to being hit by a car. Last saturday we had friends over for a bbq and we took photos during the night. in a couple of photos there were a couple of orbs with what looked like keisha’s face in the orbs.The camera was aimed in the direction of keisha’s grave in the back corner of our yard.

April 8, 2011 at 10:45 pm
(5) Jennifer says:


I lost my cat Illy yesterday afternoon. It has been extremely hard for me and I am taking it really hard. I decided to google something about how pagans deal with pet loss – I was going to light a candle for her, at the very least, and then I came across your prayers. They actually helped, just even reading them.

She was an amazing animal. I know everyone says that about theirs, but Illy was something special. She actually lovingly stroked my face in the mornings, with one gentle little paw- just as an example. I had a bond with Illy that I dont think I’m going to get with any other animal.

I just wanted to thank you earnestly for posting these. They are really helping me right now.

March 15, 2013 at 7:22 am
(6) Lavender Silvercat says:

My familiar, Dusty, will probably not make it through the day. He almost made it to his 14th birthday on March 19th, but he gave a good hard fight. My husband is home with him, but I had to come in to work. I wanted someone to be w/him when he crossed over. I lit a candle at my shrine to Bast, and some sage incense to clear away all negativity. We lost his sister a couple years ago, and although I had asked Bast to show me a sign when he was ready to cross over (and she did), it still doesn’t get any easier. I was searching through the Net to find a rite for the passing of a witches familiar, and came across this page – of course, I should have known. I can find almost anything I need here. Thank you so much for the wonderfully worded prayers – I will definitely be incorporating them into his burial rite. Many blessings.

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