Losing a pet is never fun. When a beloved animal dies of old age, sickness, or by any other means, it feels as though part of the world of the owner has been lost because pets are part of their family. With all of the love and care that has been exchanged between pet and owner, it seems only fitting that a pet is laid to rest with the utmost respect and reverence.
Growing up in a family that loves dogs, I have been through the loss of a few of our beloved canines. Whether or not the loss you experience comes in the form of losing a beloved pet, these ideas can help make the funeral service you hold at home meaningful and uplifting.
1. Provide a Casket
I remember the night when my family and I discovered that our first dog had passed away. We stopped what we were doing, mourned, and got to work digging his grave. I remember my father grabbing a garbage bag and wanting to see if the body would fit inside. My mother said that she did not want to place our first pet in something so flimsy and demeaning. Therefore, we found an old shoebox that was roughly his size and placed him inside of it.
I do not think that we ended up burying him while he was in the box, but I did agree with my mother. If our dog was to be laid to rest, I would not want him to lay in some ugly, suffocating plastic bag.
I am not saying that your pet needs to be preserved in the finest mahogany or decorated in the most expensive of flowers or ribbons. If all you have is an old shoebox like we did, then that should be perfectly fine. You could even decorate the box to make it somewhat more presentable and meaningful.
2. Prepare a Slideshow
I remember spending most of my free time creating a video in iMovie after our first dog died. It contained a number of photos that I had taken of him. I did not end up sharing the video with anyone, but it definitely helped me cope.
If you wish to do the same while reminding everyone of the joy that your pet brought you, then you can do something similar and actually share it with others. Whatever medium you choose, whether it be a slideshow or a short movie, you will always have it to look back on and revisit whenever you are missing your old friend.
3. Saying Some Kind Words
If you have ever attended a funeral for a deceased loved one or friend, you know that there is often a time when people take the time to share a few stories about the person who died and say a few words that are meant to pay respects to the dead.
Well, the same thing can be done at any other kind of funeral, including one being held for a deceased pet. You could tell a few funny stories to provide some levity given the situation, but still, keep your reverence about you out of respect for your beloved pet.
4. Making Art
A more creative way of preserving the memory of your pet would be to capture the likeness of your pet in an artistic manner. Whether it be using acrylics, chalk, ink, pencil, or any other artistic medium, you and others can retain the memory of your pet in a healthy way that reminds you of what your pet was like when it was alive.
You do not even have to be very skilled as an artist. Even the most simplistic of crayon drawings can serve as an enduring reminder of what life was like with that special friend. If you wish to have a piece of higher quality to remember your pet by, you can always hire an artist.
5. Writing a Poem
If you would rather put your creative drive into words rather than visuals, then you could always write a poem or even a short story that encapsulates the feelings you have or reminds you of your pet. The poem does not even have to rhyme– it can be free verse or just be a series of words that only make sense to you at the given moment.
Whatever you feel is necessary to write so you can honor your pet and let others know how much you miss him or her, I am sure that it will be appreciated.
6. Sharing a Song
This may be somewhat similar to the previous idea, but different methods can also be utilized in execution. If you wish to write a musical piece that transforms the poem from earlier into lyrics for a song, then you can definitely do that. If you only wish to honor your pet musically and without words, then you can do that too.
If you wish to share a song that had already been written that reminds you of your pet, then you can do that, too. Heck, if your pet happened to have a favorite song, you could definitely play it for the service. Whether it be the original recording of the song or your very own rendition that you would like to perform live, it would make the service that much more special.
7. Taking a Plaster
I was not with the rest of my family when our second dog passed away. I do know, however, that before she was buried, my parents had someone make a plaster of her paw so they would have something to remember her by.
You can do this as well. Once the plaster dries, it can be made into an ornament or decoration that will remind you of your beloved pet.
If you would like to make a plaster that shows your beloved pet’s pawprint, you can do it yourself. Sometimes, vet offices will offer to do it for you, especially if you had your pet euthanized at their office.