Monday, 16 January 2012

Pet Bereavement Book Review - Bill at Rainbow Bridge by Dan Carrison

Bill at Rainbow Bridge by Dan Carrison

A Review by Kevin Spurgeon, partner at award winning Dignity Pet Crematorium based in Hampshire (UK).

Having read countless pet bereavement publications over the years it isn’t very often that I’ve encountered a book dealing with pet loss that comes at you from a completely different direction. “Bill at Rainbow Bridge” does exactly that. 

Before I started reading the book I had a couple of reservations and some preconceived ideas about what to expect - mainly because it was written by an American author who I’d not heard of before and because, to be perfectly honest, the illustrations weren’t exactly my cup of tea.

When I finally got round to reading the book I wished that; firstly, I had picked it up a lot sooner and secondly, that I hadn’t been naïve enough to have any preconceptions! 

The book, although fictional, is based on the author’s own experience of pet loss and tells the stories of “Bill” (a deceased bulldog) and his former owner David.  It starts with Bill’s arrival at Rainbow Bridge then switches back to David who, six weeks on from the death of his much loved dog is struggling to come to terms with his loss.

The story touches on many of the emotions that we experience when grieving for our much loved family pets and I found the concept of the reader coming to understand their own feelings by exploring the grief David was going through worked really well. 

The book also offers great comfort through the message that hopefully, when we die, we don’t just disappear but our soul (the spark of life that makes us who we are – be it dog or human) lives on in another form.  I caught myself welling up at various points during the book as it brought back memories of how I felt when I lost my own pets.  I do hope there is a Rainbow Bridge where we all go to when the time comes.

For people struggling to come to terms with their loss I would suggest they read “Bill at Rainbow Bridge” alongside a pet bereavement help book like “Losing a Pet” by Jane Matthews.  In addition it is also really beneficial to talk through your feelings with someone from the PBSS (Pet Bereavement Support Service - UK) or you can contact a pet bereavement counsellor like David does in “Bill at Rainbow Bridge”.

Either way I would wholeheartedly recommend reading this book if you are.  It is available in the UK on kindle as an e-book and can be purchased at or you can buy a hard copy for £9.50 (including first-class postage) via the UK distributor (tel. Caroline on 01406 331421 or email her at

More information on Bill at Rainbow Bridge is available at or via the author’s Facebook page 

For more help with pet loss & pet bereavement support please contact:

PBSS free telephone befriender service 0800 096 6606

I hope you found my review helpful. 
You can also visit the Dignity Pet Crematorium Facebook page for help, advice & information on pet cremation services.

Click here to visit our Facebook page!
All the best


Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
The Rainbow Bridge is a very well know poem that has helped countless pet lovers over the years.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....
Author unknown


  1. Nice review Kevin, my wife Dawn just bought a copy off of Amazon, Best Wishes Terry Tozer (Reading)

  2. It's a bundle of joy to us. Thanks!


  3. This is a nice book and explain in a better way about pet loss. so keep it up for your good work.
    pet cremation oklahoma city

  4. Thanks for the review, Kevin! It sounds like a really sweet story dealing with some tough issues. I've lost a few pets over the course of my life, and it never seems to get easier. We cremate our pets, but lately we've been wanting to get pet memorial plaques or something so we'll have the reminder. Then again, as you pointed out, pets do seem to live on if only in memory. Really great review. Thanks, again.

  5. Thanks for all your comments. We are just about to order some more copies of the book as it has been very popular with clients. We are also looking forward to the opening of our Remembrance Walkway as it will enable us to offer niches for ashes and some new pet memorial wall plaques.

  6. Seeking information about your search is not a difficult task but getting your search is difficult one now a days. cremation tucson az

  7. Hello, thanks for sharing. We decide a pet cremation to our beloved Tagger because we believed that if you really love your pet and you treasure your memories with them, you give what they deserved. My beloved Tagger is my life, we've been for 18 years and he deserve to have a Pet cremation, and her ashes (Jar) is in my room.