(Updated 06/25/13)

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) for Petloss.com
(Special thanks to Ginger-lyn Summer for putting this FAQ together.)

The Site Itself

When and how did this site begin?

It began in 1995 as a simple "Home page" to bring the Pet Loss Candle Ceremony to the Internet.

Who is the site owner?

Ed Williams is the site owner, and the man who began the site. He can be reached here:Click to Email

What is available on the site?

The site is very extensive, with a great deal of pet loss resources, from healing and inspirational poetry, to a safe, monitored message board and chatroom. Here are some other features found on the site:

Special Articles: "Grief and Pet Loss" by Margaret Muns, DVM; "Dealing with the Guilt" by Ginger-lyn Summer; "Grief Support Writing" by Harley King; a special song, "Precious Little Friend", by Jacki.

A list of recommended books

Online Support Groups

Support by Phone, local groups, newsgroups

Links to help for special needs pets

Pet loss sympathy cards

Biblical reference to animals & heaven

The Rainbow Bridge

What is the Rainbow Bridge?

The Rainbow Bridge is a special place where our beloved furchildren go to await an eventual joyous reunion with us. The text of the Rainbow Bridge story is here: http://www.Petloss.com/rainbowbridge.htm

The Bridgelist and Special Needs List

What is the Bridgelist and the Special Needs List?

The Bridgelist is a list of all the pets' names at the Rainbow Bridge who have been sent in by their loving humans in honor of them. The Special Needs List is for those pets who are ill and in need of extra care and caring.

How do I get my pet's name added to the Bridgelist or Special Needs list?

Go to the following page and fill in the information about your pet:

http://www.Petloss.com/newforms.htm

How many names are on the Bridgelist?

As of May 2014 there are over 249,000 names on the list.

When are the names posted to the Bridgelist?

The Bridgelist is updated each Monday. Usually, by late afternoon.

How do I post a tribute?

This is the page for adding a permanent Tribute: http://fs6.formsite.com/petloss/form189475281/index.html

How do I upload a photo?

Use the Photo Upload Page: http://fs6.formsite.com/petloss/form936437147/index.html

What are the requirements for uploading a photo?

JPG file format.

The Monday Night Candle Ceremony

The Monday Night Candle Ceremony is a very special and healing ceremony to honor our pets who have crossed over to the Rainbow Bridge, and to send prayers and healing energy to those furbabies who are ill.

When and how did it begin?

It began back on a message board on the Internet Service Provider Prodigy in early 1993. Several people felt the need for a ceremony to honor and recognize our pets who are no longer with us. For the full story of the Ceremony's origins, go here:

http://www.Petloss.com/candhist.htm

Where is the Ceremony?

The Ceremony is done personally for each of us. Although it is available online in the chatroom in real time, most participate offline. The information in this section addresses mostly questions about the Ceremony in the chatroom. The Ceremony is done in real time in the chatroom here at petloss.com: http://www.Petloss.com/newchat.htm.

The text of the Ceremony can be found on the Petloss.com site at http://MondayCandleCeremony.com

When is it?

It is held at 10:00 pm Eastern time on Monday nights.

Click HERE to see exactly how long until the next Online Candle Ceremony begins.

How do I know when it is about to begin online?

Ed will announce the beginning of the Ceremony online

Do I have to be present for the ceremony or can I do it offline?

You can do the ceremony yourself anytime.

What do I need for the Ceremony?

The Ceremony typically involves the lighting of three candles. A three-wick candle is also fine. And if you only have one candle, that is fine as well. If you are allergic to candles or have none, simply turning on an extra lamp is also fine. The idea is to send out light to our furbabies who have gone to the Bridge, and whatever is available to you is perfectly fine.

If you do have candles, you will want to gather those, as well as something to light them with. The Ceremony can be very emotional for many, so having tissues close at hand is also advisable.

When do I light the candles?

You can light them whenever you want to, although there are specific points in the Ceremony where you can light them as well. It is an individual preference.

Should I blow out the candles after the Ceremony?

You can, but you don't have to. Many people leave their candles burning for awhile after.

What else do I have to do during the Ceremony?

If you are in one of the chatrooms, all you need to do is read and follow the text on your screen. If you are doing it yourself, you may want to read the text to yourself, or out loud; whatever is comfortable for you is right.

How long does the Ceremony last?

It lasts approximately 20 minutes online. If you are doing it yourself, it can last as long or as short as you wish it to.

I missed the Ceremony online, and feel bad about it.

The Ceremony is something that is in your heart. It can be done anytime, anywhere. Please don't feel badly if you missed it in the chatroom; you were there in spirit.

Is the Ceremony from one particular religion?

No. It is very non-denominational and embraces all spiritual beliefs.

The Chat Room

The chat room allows us to come together to support each other as we grieve for our pets. It is a place for those of us grieving the loss of our pets to come together and support each other in our grief.

What if I have a problem with someone in the chat room?

If it is a personal disagreement, it is best to remember that you are both hurting and to be non-judgmental. If, however, someone is being blatantly abusive, click on the following to let Ed know of the problem:

http://www.Petloss.com/chatpage.htm

Do typos matter?

Nope - we all got 'em :

I am having trouble seeing the screen. What can I do?

You can enlarge the chat window by clicking on the middle button at the upper right of your screen.

On Monday nights, it moves too fast for me to keep track.

The Ceremony is held on Monday nights, so there are always more people there. If it is overwhelming for you, you may want to just be there for the Ceremony, and come back another night when it is quieter, or wait until a bit after the Ceremony when it gets quieter.

Do I have to participate if I am there?

No. It is perfectly fine to just listen if that is what will help you. No one will pressure you into talking.

Why do a lot of people have Wolf in their nicknames?

One of our regular chat room participants, Lobowolf, joined us in 2001. As he saw others helping those with hurting hearts, he began to offer wolf names to those who come, even while still hurting, to help others. It is not an exclusive club, and anybody is welcome. The Wolves have committed to be in the Chat Room as often as they can to give help and support to others who are hurting. They try to make sure that the room is never empty so that no one is ever alone here. Not all members of the Wolf Circle use their special wolf names, either. You are not excluded if you do not have a wolf name. The idea is to be a circle of caring people who are helping each other.

I came in here, and people were talking about silly things. Is that normal?

Everybody is here because they have lost a pet and felt the pain that you are feeling. Sometimes, laughter can be very healing. It does not mean that we are being callous or do not care. We do. Please jump in and tell us what you need. We will listen.

Different people are giving me different advice. I don't know what to do.

In any chat room, you will get different opinions. Listen to your own heart and your own wisdom.

Abbreviations you may see in the chat room and what they mean.

lol = laughing out loud rofl = rolling on the floor laughing roflmao = rolling on the floor laughing my a** off
brb = be right back ty = thank you yw = you're welcome IMHO = in my humble opinion

;-) = a wink : is a smile :_( = tears 9 is a frown, and denotes sadness

{{{{{}}}}}}} [[[[[[[]]]]]] (((((()))))

These signs, with a person's name between them, mean that you are receiving a cyber-hug, i.e.

{{{{Room}}}}

Miscellaneous Questions Often Asked in the Chat Room

How long does it take to heal?

That is a very individual thing. For some it can take a long time, and for others it will take less. Grief can be a rollercoaster of emotions and does not follow a specific timetable on a straight line. Be kind to yourself, and know that one day, you will be able to remember your furbaby with smiles instead of tears.

Should I adopt another pet?

That is also very individual. Many here feel it is a very good thing to do to give love to another who needs it. But you are the only one who will know when you are ready and if it is right for you.