It’s never easy to say goodbye to a beloved dog or cat. These special creatures spend their lives showering us with unconditional love. It can be absolutely devastating when they leave us to cross the Rainbow Bridge.
To help you get through the difficult period that follows the loss of a beloved animal, make sure to allow yourself plenty of time to grieve. Your pet wasn’t just a dog or a cat, it was a member of your family and one of your best friends. You may also want to find a way to honor your pet’s life and the special bond the two of you shared. If so, the following are seven of the best ways to do that.
1. Have a Memorial Service
Holding a simple memorial service for your pet can provide closure for your grieving family, especially for children. In fact, it’s not unusual for kids to need a goodbye ritual, such as a memorial service. For some children, it’s a way to let their beloved pets know that while they may be gone, they won’t be forgotten. A memorial ceremony does not need to be elaborate. Just saying a few simple words by your pet’s final resting spot can bring some much-needed peace to everyone’s broken hearts.
2. Dedicate a Space in Your Home to Your Pet’s Memory
Does your house feel empty without your constant companion by your side? Then, set aside a space in your home where you can display something that will remind you of your fur child. Some people, for example, will have a beautiful painting commissioned of their pet and hang it in a place of prominence. Other owners will use their pet’s collar to create a tribute to their beloved dog or cat.
One popular idea? Placing the collar around a pet’s water bowl and repurposing the set as a planter/memorial. Other owners prefer to use the collar to frame a small picture of their pet, which they can hang on a wall.
3. Volunteer or Foster a Pet
If you miss your pet, but are not quite ready to get another dog or cat, consider volunteering in a shelter or fostering a rescue animal. Not only will you be helping a homeless soul in need, but you’ll also be able to enjoy the love of an animal once more.
4. Plant a Living Memorial
Pay tribute to your pet’s memory by planting a lovely tree in its honor. This is an especially fitting memorial if you will be burying your pet or its ashes on your property. The tree can serve as a living grave marker and will grow into a beautiful reminder of the bond you once shared with your pet.
5. Create a Memory Book
You probably have plenty of pictures of your pet on your phone or maybe online, but do you have many printed copies? If not, consider creating a beautiful photo book dedicated to the memory of your pet.
6. Keep Your Pet Close to Your Heart
Before your pet passes away, clip a bit of its fur to remember it. You can then place that fur in a locket that you can wear close to your heart.
7. Honor Your Pet With a Public Memorial
Did your dog love to play with tennis balls or was a regular at the local dog park? Then consider donating something that will honor that special side of your pet. For example, if your canine loved to take wild romps at the dog park, leave a water bowl with your pet’s name on it for others to use in the park.
Or you can do what one lady in Scotland did. She left boxes of tennis balls and tug-of-war ropes at several locations around her home. The woman also left a picture of her beloved dog who had passed away, with a note that read, “Please take a treat for your own furry pal, and treasure every minute you have with them. There are never enough.”
Preserving Our Love
When a pet dies, its body may be gone, but the love that you shared will always be in your heart. These seven tribute acts will also help to preserve the memory of your shared love.
Author bio: Stephanie N. Blahut is Director of Digital Marketing and Technology for Figo Pet Insurance. Figo is committed to helping pets and their families enjoy their lives together by fusing innovative technology — the first-of-its-kind Figo Pet Cloud — and the industry’s best pet insurance plans.