6 Ways to Memorialize Your Pet

Do you want to find the perfect way to remember your pet? Not sure what to do with your pet's ashes? Here are some ideas to get you started.

1) Create a medallion: Theresa Smith Murray, of Portland, Maine, created a large medallion from stone, moss, pinecones, flowers, and sticks outsider her home after her beloved cat passed away. There is a ring for each 19 years of the cat's life. The results are both stunning and moving. She says of the process "It was a very healing thing to do. It took me many hours over 4 or 5 days so was a helpful focus in that first week after his death. Then in those first few weeks it brought a smile to my face when I would see it. It has been an interesting process to watch it decline or 'disappear'. Thinking about how time moves on and having this physical marker of that." 

2) Memorial stepping stones: If you lack the yard space for a large medallion, consider a smaller, but no less meaningful, stepping stone. These can be crafted from concrete for outdoor use, or modeling clay for indoor display. They are decorated with stones, gems, or paint. You can even incorporate some of your pet's ashes if you wish. Detailed instructions for this special project.

3) Set up a memorial altar in your home: It's natural to feel like your house is too empty and quiet after a pet has died and some people rush to remove any objects that reminds them of their pet in an effort to stop the pain they are feeling. While it's certainly fine to remove dish bowls and toys, consider if having a dedicated area for remembrance would be helpful in the weeks and months that follow your loss. Something as simple as a shelf with a few toys, a picture, and a clay paw or locket of hair can be a nice reminder of the memories you shared. One benefit of this memorial, is that it can change over time. Children can write poems or draw pictures to add, objects can be removed, a food bowl may eventually be passed down to a new furry family member. 

4) Commission a professional portrait of your pet: Talented artists can create a special drawing or painting to display in your home, either alone or as part of an alter. Pets Pictured and Signedkw Artwork are two great options for commissioned pet art.

5) Make a photobook of you pet's life: The process of sorting through and pulling together all your favorite pictures of your pet can have the same cathartic effect as the memorial medallion featured above. A photobook can be printed in many sizes with wide uses ranging from to gifting to children to displaying prominently in your home. 

6) Use ashes to create a paperweight: A skilled glass blower can make a custom art piece in your pet's honor and incorporate a small amount of your pet's ashes in to the structure of the globe. If you know ahead of time that you would like to use ashes for this, or other similar artwork, the crematorium can separate a small amount of the cremains for you to ship to the artist. From Spirit Pieces, a company specializing in these handmade treasures: "Each of these lovely creations for celebrating and memorializing the life of your loved one contains a small amount of cremains (under half a teaspoon) from your loved one within."

However you memorialize your beloved pet, take some time to mark this significant change in your life. It may a while to determine how you want to remember their life. Do you have a different memorial idea? Comment below to share.

If you find yourself needing additional grief support or ideas for memorializing a pet, don't hesitate to reach out at 202-559-9329 or dr.rathjens@tranquilityvetservices.com

 Natural Pet Memorial Medallion by Theresa Smith Murray, Portland Maine. Source: Vet at Your Door:  Veterinary Housecall Services goo.gl/PJU7pZ

Natural Pet Memorial Medallion by Theresa Smith Murray, Portland Maine. Source: Vet at Your Door:  Veterinary Housecall Services goo.gl/PJU7pZ

 Memorial Stepping Stone by Bambi Watson. Source: https://goo.gl/5kxAmT

Memorial Stepping Stone by Bambi Watson. Source: https://goo.gl/5kxAmT

 Copyright: SignedKW Artwork

Copyright: SignedKW Artwork

 Bubble Twist Paperweight with Cremation Ash by Spirit Pieces. Source: https://goo.gl/vmorrW

Bubble Twist Paperweight with Cremation Ash by Spirit Pieces. Source: https://goo.gl/vmorrW

Clare Rathjens