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Dealing With The Loss Of A Pet

Losing a pet is a terrible thing emotionally. Our dogs and cats are parts of our lives and our families. When they reach the ends of their lives, whether because of disease or simply old age, we suffer their absence. As most of you can appreciate, we in rescue go through this far, far too much. Over the years, Barbara and I have had to deal with the deaths of eight of our own dogs and cats, plus at least 17 rescues who were with us at the end.

Everybody deals with loss and grief in their own ways, and we’ve found an approach that works for us. Every pet who has died while in our care is cremated – individually, not in a group of several dogs and/or cats – and we keep their ashes on shelves in our home. We have a very nice wall unit built into one end of our family room and several of the shelves are fully occupied by Pet Urns.

For a while, we tried using Photo pet urns,  but they were too expensive and we realized that we didn’t actually use the photo slots anyway, so we reverted to simpler and less costly dog urns. We have settled on a particular font to use for some memorial text, including the dog’s (or cat’s) call name and usually a short phrase that will remind us of the pet’s personality. For example, Pixel was a wonderful, very senior girl who came to us in rescue and, as she went deaf, she was constantly, ummmmm, talking to us loudly. We wrote on her urn “Is this thing on?” because it always seemed like that’s what she was saying (about her own voice).

We’d love to hear from our readers (through comments on this post, perhaps) how they deal with this kind of loss and how they memorialize their beloved pets.

On this day..

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