post off: how do you say goodbye to a pet?

burgerboy
memorialize

Our dog Buster recently passed away after nearly 17 years as the star of our family. My dad named his home brew after him, my mom shared an omelet with him every morning, and I even took him to college with me once for a wild weekend where a piece of pizza literally fell from the sky onto the street right in front of him (which I thought was a pretty good canine equivalent of what college can be like). I know that somewhere in dog heaven, Mr. B is smiling down on us with his neverending bowl of tomato sauce (his favorite food), but it’s still hard to adjust to the new everyday without him here. Our vet wrote a kind note and a family friend has even offered to immortalize the B Boy in a painting like the one shown of her own beloved dog. We greatly appreciated these gestures and are looking for more creative and meaningful ways to remember him. So tell me: how do you say goodbye to a beloved pet? — Sarah C.

From our partners
Hannah

There are places that make jewelry out of their hair, its very tasteful and you can’t even tell its hair, but its integrated into a piece of jewelry. We have done this with horse hair, (a little easier) but pups should be able to be done. I always wanted a tattoo of my little beagle’s footprint, but I never did but he lives on in my email address bagelpower and he was Bagel the Beagle.

I’m so sorry to hear about Buster. I was never a “dog person” and never quite understood the connection between human and pet… until I finally got a dog this past summer! Now it brings tears to my eyes at the very thought. I don’t have any first hand experience to share with you in terms of saying goodbye, just my condolences!

Adeleno5

I’m sorry for your loss. I had a silhouette made of my rat terrier and it helped a little to be able to remember her the way she looked in happier days. (http://cutarts.com/)

Kacey

Sarah, I feel your pain.

When I was younger, I had sea monkeys that meant the world to me. I would bring them (in their small water tank of course) everywhere with me. We were inseparable.

One day when I was playing video games with my trusty friends set on the carpet right next to me, my sister came in and “accidentally” kicked the tank right over. They spilled all over the carpet and were sent to an immediate death. It was traumatic to say the least. I don’t think we did anything to immortalize them, however we did throw out the carpet in their honor.

Saying goodbye is hard to do.

A donation in your pet’s name to a local shelter, humane society or other non-profit organization is a great way to remember a pet in a way that will continue to give. Another creative way to remember a pet is to make a shadow box with some of their favorite toys. You could paint all the squeaky toys/balls one solid color then permanently place them in a decorative box with a nice name plate. Our lives are amazingly enriched by animals.

Hi Sarah,

I am so sorry for your loss. My friend Lauri’s cat P.K. died recently, and she gave all of us who knew and loved P.K. a photo of her sitting in her favorite spot on the bed enjoying the sun. I was touched that Lauri, who was so heartbroken, would be thinking about the rest of us and wanting to give us a nice picture so we could remember how much P.K. enjoyed life. It was really sweet, and I think it helped Lauri to know we’d all have something special to remember her wonderful cat by.

Mary T

Kacey, I know you’re trying to be funny, but in this context it’s inappropriate. Respect, please.

Steven

I’m sorry for your loss. I’ve had several pets -best friends, really- over the years, and death is never easy. Allow yourself to cry. Give yourself those quiet moments. But most importantly, smile and think about the great life you gave Buster and what a lucky dog he was to have you!

I am sooo sorry for your loss. I lost my dog, Sadie about a year ago and it was emotionally draining and painful. I told everyone that it was it, I didn’t want another dog, (I have another one name Picasso and he was going to be it) and on the day of my birthday, My brother surprised me with Odie, a Wild Boar Dachshund. Apparently he didn’t get the memo that I didn’t want anymore dogs. I get too emotionally attached with them but I’m learning that it is a part of life. They are not just pets, but family! You can see some recent photos here and some great quotes on why we love our animals:
http://shareworldlove.blogspot.com/seplace/label/sweet%20pets

– Julia

Mary T

Julia, your dog is adoooorrrable! It is, however, not really advisable to get someone a new dog when they’re still mourning their departed one, but it sounds like it’s working out. : ) Readers, looks like Julia has some other nice stuff at her site as well — love the dog art.

I’m so sorry for your loss. Looking at the sweet picture of Buster, you can see the complete joy on his face. So sweet. And the Burger Boy Ale! I love hearing how he inspired everyone in your family. His spirit will always be with you, which is truly beautiful. When I lost my Siamese cat of 15 years, it was like losing a family member. I still cry when I think about her. I keep her collar, favorite toy, and picture on a special shelf in my room. I also planted a tree in her honor in our garden.

I love the silhouette idea that Adeleno5 suggests. Sounds like a beautiful idea.

Much love to you and your family. My thoughts are with you. Buster is definitely looking down upon you all with his bowl of tomato sauce. xoxo

My condolences to you and your family.

My bf’s cat, George, died very suddenly this year and the bf was heartbroken. We have a funny picture of George with his nose about an inch away from the camera in the kitchen. It makes us smile every time we look at it and the kitchen was George’s favorite room. We also have a small patchwork wood box that a good friend made to hold George’s ashes. That sits next to photos of us and a small can of cat food. I know some people think its weird to mourn your pets but how can you help it when they’re part of your family?

Clare

Quite simply, you don’t

we lost our dog of fifteen years on Tuesday.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/clare-bears/3284784231/

She always wore those scarves and I plan to make something for everyone with the multitude that she had.

You just have to remember them everyday and remind yourself of the fun and enjoyment they brought to you.

I can only hope for you that Mr B was as much fun as Toyah. I can only hope that you’re not hurting as much as me.

Best wishes

Pookie

I don’t recommend that anyone else do what I did, but when my beloved cat died, I made a poster. I’m a graphic artist and a writer, so it was almost like a project I would have done for a client. I photocopied the flyer on 8.5 x 11 paper and sent a hundred or so each to Montreal, San Francisco, and my hometown. Friends who live in those cities handed them out – just like a band’s flyer – at public art events.

My hope in doing this was not just as a memorial for my cat, but as a chance for everybody who saw the flyer to reflect on their own grief, no matter what the source. My friends who passed them out said that lots of people who took them talked with their friends about loved ones who had passed away and it started lots of conversations.

gwendolyn

My cat Little Shoe dies a couple days ago. She was 14. She had to be in the basement apartment with linoleum because she couldnt get in he litter box and she would sleep her head on her water dish. And she would stumble and shake like she had parkinson’s disease. So I knew it was coming but am still in shock. I’ve had her since I was 17 so it just isnt normal that she isnt around anymore.

I just keep picturing her in the grave we dug for her. She looked like she was cuddling. I have another cat that is very confused about her missing friend and my dogs keep sniffing where I found her dead.

So yeah, Im not over it. At all. No advice from me!

Susan

I am so sorry! I lost my sweet greyhound, Molly, earlier this year. She was almost 13 years old.

My mom gave us a small tree to plant in our yard in her memory. It’s a flowering tree and every time I see it, I think of her. I intend to make a little plaque with her name (mosaic?) to put by the tree.

Hopefully you’re enjoying all the good times you had with him! I feel for you.

Kelly Sheerins

There are many places that you can get Christmas ornaments made of your bet by submitting a picture. We also received a note from the vet in Ho-Ho-Kus with our beloved pup Champ’s paw prints. It’s sweet to have but sorta hard to look at without tearing up!

Mr. B was a great dog- and you will always miss him but it gets better with time ;)

We’ve lost a cat and a dog in the last few years, and one of the ways we memorialized them was to turn their tags into Christmas ornaments, just using ribbon. Honestly, I also keep Gracie (my sweet greyhound)’s collar in the car with me every day.

I’m so sorry for your loss – Mr. B sounds very special. :)

I just had another thought. I don’t know if you are into tattoos, but a girl I know had a tattoo of her beloved cat placed on her lower back after the kitty died. It was the first tattoo she ever got, and it was beautifully done.

My sweet boy Sterling died in August, tearing up just typing this. I plan on getting a tattoo to look like a kind of doggie cameo. I also did a painting a while ago that hangs in my bedroom.

alph.etsy.com

elizabeth

Sarah, you never say goodby. For awhile, you will wallow in grief because you miss him. Then you will make new memories without him. When grieving is done, only you will know, but grief will be supplanted with happiness that you shared so much of your life with him. He was so much of who you are today as a person. When all is said and done, you will realize you dont want to say goodby and soon you will just smile at the memory. I promise……….

Caitlin B

Oh, Sarah, I’m so sorry to hear about your Buster.
This is a timely post for me as well – we’ll be putting down our Reilly this week. He has bone cancer, a tumor the size of a cantaloupe, and recently broke a bone. He’s a 10 year old chocolate Lab, and I will miss him so much! I don’t know what our 2 year old mutt, Mona, will do without him…

http://www.flickr.com/photos/beahive/505342379/in/set-72157600032699077/

Sarah C.

THANK YOU all so much for these thoughtful comments and suggestions! Simply being able to talk about Buster and the experience with others who know how it feels is very cathartic. I really appreciate the kind words and the array of creative ideas here and all the photos of the pets who light up your lives. Animals are a true blessing and offer companionship, one of the greatest gifts in life, which is worth experiencing, even if it is very difficult to let it go when the time comes. Hopefully all of these amazing suggestions will help others as they’ve helped me. Thanks again!

Beth

I just lost my baby in July and havn’t even come close to getting over it… I keep pictures of her up every where so I can see her happy face, it makes it a little easier when I see her in pictures where she’s “smiling”, I don’t think you ever get over losing them though, just my opinion. Ever since I lost my Daisy I fell a complete void in my life that nothing can fill. (Including another dog as everyone around me suggested) I have found memorial plaques online and plan on getting one when I feel like I’m strong enough. Just a suggestion…

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