In 1989, Butch Garza and his wife, "Sam", created Onion Creek Kennels. The kennel sat on several acres, south of Austin, in Buda, Texas. "Sam" so loved pampering the pets that she didn't consider the long hours as work, but her duty. She constantly strived to create an atmosphere where the pet's stay was an adventure stay, rather than a kennel stay. "Sam" considered herself the activity coordinator.
After many years of operating the kennel, many of the regular boarders were becoming geriatric and passing away.
When many of their own pets also became geriatric, and began to pass away, they realized that the care for a pet in life should continue with the same care, dignity, and respect after they passed on.
"Sam" could not stand the thought of one of her dogs or cats being in a hospital freezer for a length of time. Nor could she understand why a cremation service would wait a week to pick up her pet from a hospital freezer and then a week for her pet to be cremated and returned.
In those days, when the time came to pick up a dog or cat's remains at the hospital they experienced the emptiness of having their pets wood urn slid across the hospital counter with nothing more than a condolence.
It was from these experiences that Butch and "Sam" felt that they could perform the cremation services with care, respect, and dignity to special friends, with sensitivity toward the survivors.
The kennel was sold to a local family so that Butch and "Sam" could commence the creation of Rainbow Bridge Pet Crematory.
"Sam" first heard the story of the Rainbow Bridge at the funeral of a friend, Ginger Gotcher, who bred Golden Retrievers.
"Sam" so loved the story that it was decided that they would name the company for the story.
"Sam" experienced her own trip to the Rainbow Bridge when she was killed in an auto accident in October 2000. In fact, at her funeral service, urns containing previously passed on pets were buried with her.
"Sam" always told Butch that she wanted to be buried with her pets. He always thought it would happen in her 70s or 80s, not at the young age of 39.
Butch Garza has experienced firsthand the heartbreak of loss. He has lost many of his special friends and even his best friend, "Sam".
He understands the importance of what each pet meant to its owner. He understands the care, dignity, and the respect each pet deserves. He understands the sorrow and closure each pet owner must go through when they pass on.
As he states it, "Any cremation business can do the services for someone's pet.... I believe in doing the care."
And that is exactly what Edmund "Butch" Garza has been doing since 1999. He does "the care"... "the quality care" for many of the special friends who have gone on to “Rainbow Bridge”.