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sympathyloss "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened. " (Anatole France).  If you have recently lost a beloved pet, please accept our condolences.  We understand this is not a great subject to read about.  In our desire to be helpful we know how hard it is to say goodbye. One way to help yourself focus on those positive memories is to develop a memorial to your pet. 

How creating a tribute can help you cope with grief.

Creating such a tribute can be an effective tool to help you cope with grief (though it may certainly produce a few tears in the process!), and it will also provide you with a loving reminder of that pet in the years to come.¹

Rituals and remembrances
Memorializing a beloved pet can take any number of forms: lighting a candle, framing a favorite photo, glass-pet-memorials-that-contain-that-ashes-of-your-pet-21357887planting a living memorial such as a tree or flowering plant, scattering cremated remains in your dog or cat’s favorite place, or saving a collar, tags and a favorite toy in a special box. Some people choose to bury their pets in special cemeteries.

 Some companies sell necklaces designed to hold a small amount of their pet's ashes. Another even turns pet cremains into a man-made jewel.


 "Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." (Roger Caras)

The two most popular ways we say our final goodbye to our departed pets is cremation or burial. Cremation offers a thoughtful and respectful way to make the love and memories you shared with yourdoggraveyard1 pet last forever. There are many sources for a variety of unique urns to select from. You may choose a burial service, whether it be a traditional burial service in a pet cemetery or a pet burial on private property. You can also find some very special pet caskets and even headstones with which to lay your best-friend to rest.



photogrief8If you photos you may decide to have your best photo framed and placed where it will bring you comfort.  Or put together a collection of your favorite photos in a matted collection in a nice frame to display on a wall.

 "Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim."(Vicki Harrison)Try to remember the good times: long games of fetch or evenings snuggling on the couch.

 I was amazed at the many choices you could have to honor your pets some of the wonderful ideas range from having a pet portrait artist paint from a good quality photo there are many on Facebook or have web pages. Some creative expressions coming from the heart include a poem or letter written to the pet. That would make a wonderful way for children to express their feelings and help make a memorial.  tumblr me00c3AcUx1rlnocvo1 500

"Death ends a life, not a relationship." (Jack Lemmon) People often feel that their pets have taught them life lessons.  Create a craft tribute. If you enjoy a particular type of art or craft, consider using that to memorialize stonegrief2your pet. For example, design or have designed for you needlepoint kits that resemble your dogs likeness as a tribute. You can also find services that will transfer your pet's photo onto a needlepoint canvas, or create a canvas from a photo. If you have a knack for painting ceramics or plaster, consider painting a statue that resembles your pet.

 A person who has never owned a dog has missed a wonderful part of life." (Bob Barker)
You can even have an actual bound book printed that includes both written tributes and photos. The easiest way to do this is to prepare the written tributes on a computer and print them off in the desired format (e.g., with your choice of fonts, formats, colors, etc.). Have your favorite photos scanned (or scan them yourself if you have a scanner). You can then create a simple layout of text and artwork using a basic word-processing program (such as MS Word), or print out the photos and text and assemble them by hand. Your book can then be reproduced and "bound" at your local print or copy shop. This will cost a few dollars, but is a nice way to make copies for family members. 



We believe:
The love of your animal companion will never die.
Only the physical body is gone.
The spirit lives on.
You’ll see your pet in heaven.


A word of warning about written tributes, however: While this is a wonderful way to work through your grief and memorialize your pet, don't expect anyone outside your family and friends to be interested in what you've written.  windchime grief

Post a tribute online. A number of sites offer this as a free service; you'll find some of those listings in our links section. Because so many sites do offer this service at no cost, unless you feel that the site is sponsored by a worthy organization and your fee will directly contribute to that organization. Many sites also let you post a picture of your pet.


 Plant a tree. Contact a park and offer to plant a tree in your pet's name, in the state of your choice.

 Elspeth Cross Pet Memorial 2Or, plant a tree or special plant in your own garden for "remembrance." One person planted a special catnip patch. Your city parks department might also allow you to plant a tree in a city park in memory of your pet. (Killen City park and Dilbert park, Florence in Alabama).

Obtain a special urn for your pet's ashes. If you have chosen cremation for your pet, you may wish to keep its ashes in a decorate urn. Today, you can find a marvelous array of urns on the market. They come in fine woods, stained glass, gleaming metal, or even as carvings of specific breeds. To find lists of urn manufacturers, check the classifieds and back-page ads of major pet magazines.
Contribute to an animal welfare organization. Often, animal shelters will provide a plaque or paving stone with your pet's name on it for a minimum donation. For example, when the humane society in Olympia, Washington, relocated, it offered brass plaques that were used to line the walls in the main lobby; for a donation, one could have one's pet's name and a message etched on the plaque.


Nor are you limited to pet organizations;  Many organization offer paving stones or plaques that could be etched with a message, and many tributes to beloved pets became a permanent part of the facility.

 Contribute to the cure. If your Boston Terrier died of a particular disease, there may be a research organization that is seeking a cure. A contribution to that organization may help other pets (and pet owners) in the future.

 Shop for a memorial item. Believe it or not, Some people have found shopping to be immensely therapeutic.

"With eye upraised his master's look to scan, The joy, the solace, and the aid of man: The rich man's guardian and the poor man's friend, The only creature faithful to the end." (George Crabbe)Pet-Memorial-Stepping-Stones


Suggested sanctuaries to contact if you want to contrubute in your pets memory:

The Pug Plantation is a 10 acre farm in rural west Tennessee created as a sanctuary for senior and handicapped pugs and pug friends to live out their lives. half way between Memphis and Nashville. We rescue and transport pugs of all ages and provide sanctuary for senior, hospice and special needs pugs and their pals.

Shoals Animal Advocates in Colbert, Lauderdale and Franklin counties Alabama. have programs to benefit shelters' animals such as daily pet care, sterilization prior to adoption, vetting, vaccination, re-homing, fundraising, offsite adoption, educate our community regarding firstly, how to be a responsible pet owner and secondly, to spay/neuter their pets to control the dogs and cats overpopulation in our area.


With heavy hearts; and a tear in our eyes
after all these years; we must say goodbye
Please understand; we've done all we could
if there was anything we could do; you know we would

I'm sitting right here; gently rub your ears
while I talk to you softly; trying to hold back the tears
The memories you gave us; we'll never forget
especially the ones; of the day we all met

One last hug; and one last kiss
you have no idea; how much you'll be missed
To look into your eyes; this one last time
you tell me it's ok; you know it's your time

Close your eyes now; and go to sleep
we'll pray to the Lord; you're soul he'll keep
Go in peace now; our good friend
we'll stay right here with you; until the end

Dream of that special day and time
when we'll meet at the Bridge; and all will be fine
We'll run and play; side by side
with a soft warm feeling; deep down inside

Your memory will live on; in each one of us
you'll always be number 1; to all of us
Have a safe journey; through the night
I promise when you awake; you'll be in God's light

So with heavy hearts; and tears in our eyes
just for now my friend; we say goodbye

John Quealy


¹ by Moira Anderson Allen, M.Ed.