How to keep your pet’s memory alive

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The death of a beloved pet can be as emotionally tough as losing a loved one, as found in a study published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior. This statement may be powerful, yet it probably isn’t very surprising to anyone who has truly seen their pet as a member of their family. For many, their pet is the first being that greets them when they arrive home after a long work day. They are also the warm little friend that cuddles up against them on cold winter evenings. If you have lost a pet and you’d like to find a way keep your pet’s memory alive and commemorate how much they have changed your life for the better, the following are just a few ideas you can consider. Better yet, dream up your own personal way to keep your pet alive in mind and heart.

Pets in Art

Pets are a revered subject for many artists the world over — renowned Sydney-based photographer captures the beauty of birds in her dramatic photos, visionary Korean artist Yong Ho Ji sculpts ‘mutants’ (hybrid animals), and self-taught painter Charming Baker represents the role that pets play in daily family life to perfection. There are many ways you can remember your dog or cat through art. You might decide to create a digital work with a photograph you love, paint your pet, or complete a black-and-white sketch. Once you are happy with your creation, find a beautiful frame and place your art in a meritorious place in your home.

Together Always

If you love tattoos, take note of how others have tattooed images of their dogs onto their bodies. Body art is a magnificent way to always feel connected to your pet. There are so many styles available that even those into small and subtle pet tattoos will find plenty of inspiration online. Designs range from small caricatures to a paw, a face, or even a full face-and-body tattoo. If you don’t feel like sharing your pet’s story with others, something abstract can be the special reminder that means something only to you.

Life in Movement

keep your pet's memory alive

Ubiquitous connectivity and the immense popularity of mobile phones mean that the average person has a vast store of wonderful video material of their pets. Many people feel that when their pet passes away, society almost expects them to ‘get over it’ quickly. Losing a pet (more often than not) involves making your way through the various stages of grief. When you are at the stage in which you are ready to celebrate your life, why not edit a film with some of the most meaningful moments you have enjoyed with your pet? You can then share it with everyone who understands the strength of the human-canine bond, especially those who loved your pets almost as much as you did.

Losing a pet can be traumatic and life-shattering. Don’t allow others to interfere with your right to grieve. If you feel that you need to have a visual representation of your pet to symbolize his or her meaning to your life, there are so many ways to do so. From creating an artwork to creating a video you can look back on at times in which you need to feel close to your pet, remembering your pet is something they earned by being the best friends you could ever have.

* PIN ME – Keep your pet’s memory alive *

8 responses to “How to keep your pet’s memory alive”

  1. catewarren says:

    I had to say goodbye to my cat Mildred on June 21st. We are all totally bereft but for me, well she was my shadow.
    Mildred was given to me at the worst time of my life by a nurse who brought her in to hospital one night, as a tiny kitten. She popped her on to my bed and said, “there, she’s yours if you want her”. Mildred aided my recovery and as a result was never far from my side, quite literally.
    She loved snuggling on our beds, night time play fighting, eating far too many cat treats, chasing off the foxes and birds, and being in the garden.
    I’ll miss her not being around when I cut my flowers this year, she loved doing that with me.
    We are all a little consoled by the fact that we were with her 24/7 these past few months and able to give her all the care, love and attention she needed.
    Sleep well my angel, we love you so much ❤

    • Jon says:

      Hi Cate, thank you for sharing your story. It’s true that pets often come into our lives when we need them the most.

  2. Treffle Jolly says:

    We are creating a Memory Book dedicated to our boy SEABASS(Manx kitty). It is a scrapbook filled with poems: (If It Should Be)and (Rainbow Bridge), many 5×7 captioned photos, Farewell Letter, and some of his favorite toys, etc.

  3. Diana says:

    I have sadly lost a great number of animal friends over the years, many far too young to leave this life already again. The last one was Emma this year, a cat aged 13, who has survived cancer in 2016, after extensive treatment. It felt so wrong to lose her so soon after she’d gone through such a lot (a dog bite in the belly a few years before also) and bore it all with quiet fortitude. But, as with the many before her, all of whom I consider brothers and sisters, whom I am convinced I shall see again, we do not chose the time and place, and in the end must accept the end when it comes. The end of the physical life at least. Not having a garden any more to bury them, I have, in the years since 2016, had them cremated, and by now four urns stand on an IKEA shelf, much like the Romans had them in “Columbaria”, in my bedroom. Every night four candles burn next to them. It gives me comfort to know them close – their physical remains at least. We also, here, which is Germany, have a lovely pet crematorium (that sounds odd, I know) in this area – not like the (Human) crematoria I remember with a shudder from my youth, when (Humans) family died – dark, sad places that were hard to bear. This one is light, friendly, and while certainly not a place of joy, it is a place where one can say goodbye in peace, and the staff are very understanding, being animal guardians themselves (there is often a dog there), and there is never a rush to get through “it”. I was pleasantly surprised when I first wrntz there and had a completely different picture in mind. Sadly, I have been there three times already, and there may be more to come yet. But at least this is a respectful and loving way to say goodbye, for the time-being, to my best friends, and afford them a fitting remembrance.

    • Jon says:

      Hi Diana, I am sorry to hear about the difficult time you went through with Emma. It does sound that you have made a fitting tribute to her and the rest of your departed pets.

  4. Diana says:

    Thank you, Jon, for your kind words. Yes, it never gets any easier, nor should it.
    I am left with 4 cats now, and my horse. All animal welfare-sourced, where I am, losely, involved in (that is, not member of an organisation – I prefer to work alone).
    Despite the losses and the grief involved I guess I will always have animals around me. I cannot live without, in a human world that is all too often cold and where honest friendship and unconditional love are hard to come by.

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