Solid, the Rainbow Bridge is a very well known and loved idea, among dog owners, who find it a comfort at what is often a difficult time. You will often see reference to a dog "going to the bridge" in the same way as we would say "passed away" about a human. People will often also talk about or write about their "bridge babies" referring to dogs who are no longer with us. It's not for everyone - some find it a bit icky - but pet bereavement is undoubtedly a huge loss for people and is an area which is still surprisingly under-ritualised (if that's a phrase that makes sense). Many pet owners (and I'd include myself in this) feel appalling grief at the loss of an animal and what compounds this is that except among other animal lovers this grief is rarely publicly acknowledged or accepted as being legitimate.
There is apparently a version for cats and a non-animal-specific version as well. Though I would have to say I like the concept a lot better than the actual prose myself. In the case of friends' dog I might well work in a reference to the 'other' Rainbow Bridge which leads to Asgard/Valhalla, where you spend your days feasting and shagging, as that would be kind of appropriate to specific dog. I am ever so slightly speculating as to, if I make a good job of this dog's funeral, it might be worth offering my services more widely (am a trained humanist wedding celebrant but couldn't complete the training for human funerals...) Because it seems to me that people who have lost a beloved pet are every bit as much in need of a 'send-off' ritual as people who have lost a beloved human.
I think there may well be a market for that service, SolidGold, albeit niche. As Scuttlebutter so rightly said, there are loads of us out here that grieve our pets in the same way we would another close family member. I am happy to bury my own pets and do my own tributes, but if your friend's pet funeral goes well then I would suggest that a really good place to market such a service would be your surrounding counties pet crems. It's possible some people would appreciate the service, if they have that kind of money. You would need to bear in mind that often, pets die due to medical conditions which may have been costly and PTS in itself has a cost, so you would need to aim it appropriately as a lot of people are wiped out financially at the time.
Anyway - as previous - hope it all goes well.
PS Scuttle - you should have something in the post soon but I have a sneaking feeling I left my tags on. Sorry :-S
Our dog Buster died last week and the boys and their cousins have been asking if we can have some sort of ceremony and bury his ashes. Have to say I'm at a loss as to how to conduct it, so think the idea of someone who is experienced coming to conduct a service is a lovely one.
I'm thinking that we will take his ashes out into the garden, light a few candles for him, and encourage everyone to say a few words about memories they have of him, then do the burial. TBH I cant really think about it without getting upset at the minute though, and am keeping his ashes in my bedroom (is that weird?)...
I say go for it SGB, I'm sure there will be interest in this type of service.