You would be an unusual person indeed if, snuggling your soft new puppy, you thought about ways to remember your pet after it has passed on. The thought of death rarely crosses a fashionstype mind at such a wriggling, full-of-life moment. We usually live as though our pets possess immortality, but our hearts know they may very well pass on before we do.
I remember so well the day our adult daughter’s dog, Daisy passed on. The two had accompanied each other constantly for twelve years. Our daughter provided warm, handmade clothing for her 40-pound Daisy. She socialized Daisy and trained her in the niceties of everyday life. She nursed Daisy through many illnesses, including the cancer to which her pet finally succumbed. As the end neared, she arranged with a local veterinarian for immediate pickup and final assistance through the closing hours of her pet’s life. No one suspected, however, that Daisy’s death would occur in the wee small hours of the morning. Daisy passed on with nothing more than the tender comforts and copious tears of her lifelong human companion.
Our daughter sank into the depths of grief. With morning, she contacted the veterinarian. Daisy’s body made the trip to the vet’s office for cremation, and our daughter held only her memories. She soon realized that she wanted a concrete, visible way to remember her pet. We wanted to give her some kind of memorial gift, and began looking for ways to remember her pet.
WAYS TO REMEMBER YOUR PET AFTER IT HAS PASSED ON
The number of ideas astounded us. Some people suggested burying the pet’s cremated ashes in a pet cemetery and erecting an outdoor memorial. Some felt that a memorial service provided a good way to remember your pet. Others listed self-involvement such as sharing the love you felt for your pet with other animals, volunteering at an animal shelter, or helping the elderly with their pets. There appeared to be many ways to remember your pet after it has passed on, but none of them fulfilled what we wanted – a “memorial” as constant as Daisy had been.
Some ideas were right for a goldfish. Some were suited to either cat or dog. There were even ways to remember your pet pony or horse after it has passed on. I imagine that if you looked long enough, you might even find ways to remember a deceased elephant.
Let me give you five other ideas we found.
– Create a memory garden if you own your own property. Make it as simple or elaborate as you wish. Choose a quiet spot away from foot traffic and plant a few flowers. Add an attractive flat stone on which you’ve painted your pet’s name. You might also add a stone or metal statue of your pet’s breed. As you maintain the garden, you will remember your beloved pet.