When my beloved dog passed away last year, my sister made a donation to the Richmond SPCA in her honor. Recently, we visited the SPCA. It was warm and inviting… the pets were happy and well cared for. I felt a certain satisfaction in that my dog’s passing helped to make it possible for these homeless pets to have a wonderful place to stay while waiting for their forever home. My dog had been adopted from the SPCA, and this way of memorializing her was so fitting.
A contribution to the shelter of your choosing is only one way to commemorate the love that you shared with your pet for so many years. There are lots of different ways to memorialize a cherished pet who has passed on. You’ll find many online sites with great ideas, but here are a few of our favorites:
- Put together an album or scrapbook of all of his/her photos. Make notes about her life, from puppyhood to adult. Record her favorite activities, cute things she did, favorite treats. When complete, place it in a prominent place in your home… like on the coffee table in your family room… and remember her fondly as you leaf through the pages.
- Add a leather band or beautiful chain to your dog’s tags and wear them as a bracelet or necklace. Better yet, use his collar as the band. Kick up your creativity a notch with this project. Ask your “artsy” friend for input. Perhaps add some meaningful charms to the mix to make that one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry.
- Plant a tree in his memory. If your pet is buried in your yard, construct a flower garden around his grave with beautiful plantings, potted flowers, and ornamental trees. Add a garden stone with his name engraved on it. This lasting memorial will live on in years to come as a continual reminder of your sweet little guy.
- Take a favorite photo of your pet to a local artist and have a professional painting made. Add a beautiful frame and position it in a place of honor in your home.
- Very popular these days is getting a tattoo in her honor. Paw-prints, her name, the dates of her life, hearts, even a full picture or face of your dog.
- You might consider taking your pet’s belongings… toys, bedding, etc., to a shelter so that other animals who are not as fortunate as yours can benefit. Add in some new bags of pet food. Make it a family affair to teach your children how sharing the love of your pet can make a difference for a pet in need.
- Place a lock of hair in a pendant, add a chain, and wear it as a beautiful necklace. People have been wearing pictures of their loved ones in a locket for many years. You could do the same with your pet’s picture.
- Fill a shadow box with things to remember him by: His collar and tags, favorite toy, special pictures, etc.. Use a decorative, dog-themed background. Paint the frame, and hang near the door where you and he traveled when going on walks.
- Purchase a tiny gold or silver paw-print earring. Have a second piercing higher up on your ear and forever wear the paw-print earring as your very own memorial, regardless of whatever changeable fashion earrings you may be wearing.
Losing a pet is one of the most difficult things to go through. We sympathize with your pain and understand your heartbreak. Somehow doing something to remember your pet and focusing on the beautiful moments of your time together helps to manage the pain of your loss. Attempting to turn a negative into something more positive will be healing to you and your family. You’ll shed a few tears, but you’ll feel a type of closure in that his/her life was worthwhile and befitting of a remembrance.