If you are reading this, chances are you love animals as much as we do, and because of your love of animals you have probably said goodbye to many in your lifetime. Anyone who has said goodbye to a companion animal has most likely been faced with the many options when choosing the most appropriate way to honor their pet in the afterlife. And as times have changed and people’s creativity has exploded in the death-care industry, we wanted to try to bring together some usual and unusual choices for you to peruse, so when the time comes again, you might be more equipped to make a choice that quite nicely celebrates the life, the love and the unique bond you had with your beloved pet.
Pet Cremation – Finding a pet cremation company that does fire cremation should be easy in your town. They offer standard wooden urns and scatter tubes. Fire cremation has long since been the standard; however that is now changing for pets and for people and that is a good thing.
Pet Water/Green/Aqua Cremation – With so many names for the greener option for aftercare, water cremation in and of itself can be a living legacy to your pet while honoring Mother Nature and the planet. It leaves no carbon footprint and your pet’s ashes will be whiter and brighter with twenty percent more than fire cremation.
Pet Communal Cremation – Whether you choose fire or water cremation, you don’t have to receive the ashes back. They can be taken eventually out to sea, which is where most reputable pet cremation companies eventually send their communal cremains. You can still ask for clay paw print and a fur-lock even without getting the ashes back.
Pet Home Burial – This has long since been a valid choice for many people, with a history that aligns with human burial. Many people choose it due to cost and also the ritual attached to it and accessibility to the pet to continue the grieving process. Digging a hole can be cathartic as family and friends can help as you tell stories, have tea, cry and laugh at the antics and joy your pet has given you over the course of their life.
Pet Body Decomposing – Much like burial, this option gives people the opportunity to send their animal back to the earth with minimal disruption to the earth itself. The process is easy to learn and understand and gives the family time to grieve organically. Like home burial, one must own their property and then know what the town/city laws are in regards to choosing this type of aftercare. One who rents their property would do best to choose the next option.
Pet Cemetery – Much like pet cremation companies, most towns have a few pet cemeteries that offer cremation and burial. It is a good choice for people who want a place to visit and sit as they go through their own, unique bereavement. Some pet cemeteries also offer a communal cremation area, where if you have chosen communal cremation can come and sit and visit.
Scattering of Pet Ashes – This may sound simple, but a lot of thought generally goes into the scattering of ashes, (which generally come in a scatter tube) which can be infused into a memorial celebration. Such things as the location, the day and time, who will be in attendance, the weather, music, poems and prayers and a spot for a mini-get-together afterwards, might all come into consideration. Either way, the scatting of ashes can be a beautiful tribute to a pet and the family who loved them.
Pet Skull and Skeletal Cleaning – Perhaps not as well known, this process is also a nice choice for many pet parents who want a more unique way to remember their beloved animal. Performed by a skilled taxidermist, you can choose the skull or an entire skeletal cleaning. This process takes several months with consultations with the taxidermist.
Pet Taxidermy – The ancient art of taxidermy is alive and well and pet parents do and can opt for this choice to preserve their pet. Via mounting or stuffing, the skin is preserved and a life-like replica, which does degrade over the years, can be returned after many months of careful preparation.
Paw/Nose Castings – Taking a casting of your pet’s paws or cute nose can be a wonderful way to create something lasting and unique. They can be framed in a memory box and placed in the home or a talented artist can create a lovely memorial necklace or keychain with the mold.
Tattooing with Pet Ashes/DNA/Hair – Many people are choosing to remember their beloved pets with a tattoo using their ashes, DNA or hair. Such a living memorial can be a heartwarming way to create a living legacy and tell stories to friends and family when they notice your new art.
Pet Memorial Jewelry/Glass – There is a myriad of choices today of incredible artists who are infusing ash into art pieces for wear or for show. The choices vary from glorious paperweights, to designer jewelry pieces and ornaments. It’s a definite way to continue to sparkle in the afterlife.
Pet Living Reef Memorial – For all those pets who loved the ocean you can chose an eternal reef, or a reef ball infused with your pet’s ashes. This can then be placed it in the ocean or a pond as a wonderful living memorial.
Pet Ashes Into Space – We have left this one till last as it probably won’t be in many people’s budget, yet it still remains an option. Two companies – Celestis and Beyond Burials offer the ability to send your pet’s ashes into outer space. So when you look up at night, you are literally looking at them in the stars.
Pet Coffin Choices – There are many choices from traditional to eco-coffins or hand-sewn burial shrouds or no coffin at all. And let’s not forget about infinity mushroom suits which can be ordered to size for pets – a wonderful choice to allow the body to decompose naturally using the power of mushrooms.
Pet Urn Choices – One can choose a wooden urn, cedar or mahogany, an eco-pod or a bio-urn where your pet’s ashes and urn can be placed into the ground as the urn decomposes naturally over time. One can also plant a tree in some bio-urns, literally turning your pet’s ashes into a tree in the afterlife. It also offers a wonderful opportunity to create a sacred space to come and sit and chat with your beloved, deceased friend as a way to maintain a continuing bond and aid in the healing process.
Whether you choose to keep or to scatter, to create a living memorial, send your pet out into the stars or keep a simple pet memorial paw print – the choices are many. There is a way to honor your pet that suits your desires, your unique bond and your pocketbook and choices are a wonderful thing, especially when it comes to the unique journey and art of healing from the loss of a pet.