They leave hair on the sofa, paw prints in the concrete, toys in the yard, and when they pass away, empty places in our hearts. Since the dawn of time, pets have meant more to us than their roles as defenders-of-the-yard and catchers-of-mice might suggest. They are friends, family, deserving of being remembered.
It’s true that ancient peoples mummified the remains of pets to be sent along with a deceased loved one, especially cats, often even dogs or baboons. But many of these creatures were provided tombs for themselves alone. Even in ancient Rome and Greece a few well loved companion creatures received burials and headstones.
There are many ways to keep a beloved best friend close to your heart and memorializing a pet in your home. Did your pet go everywhere with you? If you long to maintain this simple connection, you might want to consider engraved memorial keychains or jewelry. These items can often hold your pets cremains or a small handwritten note or letter.
It’s not uncommon for our pets to pick a favorite spot in the house or yard, somewhere you know they could always be found, just snoozing or keeping watch. Garden urns and other ceramic and stone urns can guard these places in their stead, providing a place for your eyes to rest when the urge to peek at a beloved pet gets the best of you. These reminders can be lighthearted, like the Fire Hydrant or Ball of Yarn urn, drawing smiles out of the tears and acting as conversations starters, ensuring that your pet is never forgotten.
If your pet was well known, maybe a service dog, or a therapy animal, it can be difficult to imagine making the necessary phone calls to all the people who cared. For letting others know of your pets passing, try memorial cards. These are available in all sorts of nature designs and contain a picture of your pet and a short epitaph. These make heartfelt keepsakes for all the people your pet’s life touched.
There are also many classic types of pet urns which lovingly embrace your pet’s cremains for all time. These come in classic marble, soft wood, gleaming brass, moonlit glass, even biodegradable palm frond baskets or pillow urns. If you are burying your pet, there are pet caskets and pet headstones specifically designed for our animal companions. Many of these options offer personalized engraving and photo placement.
Whatever your plans for memorializing your pet, it should be a move toward healing your heart, a way to remember the good, maybe even the glorious, life of your pet.