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Honoring Your Pet's Memory

  AT A GLANCE
More than just a pet, she was your playmate and trusted confidante. He was your child and faithful pal. That's why, in addition to handling the necessary arrangements following your pet's death, you may want to offer a lasting tribute to such a special friend. Gestures of remembrance, large or small, provide comfort by celebrating a pet's life and the incredible power of the bond between humans and animals.

The death of an animal friend can be one of life's most difficult experiences. Although Western cultures have few traditions for paying last respects to departed companion animals, there are many meaningful ways to memorialize your beloved pet.

How can I honor the memory of my pet?

  • Hold a memorial service at a pet cemetery, in your backyard, or in a place that was special to your animal companion.
  • Add an inscription to your pet's gravestone.
  • Find a special urn for your pet's ashes.
  • Create a living memorial by planting a tree, bush, or flower bed in your yard.
  • Contact a pet cemetery or community park to see if you can sponsor a bench or tree affixed with an acknowledgment plaque memorializing your pet.
  • Frame a photo of your pet and put it in a special place.
  • Keep your pet's favorite toy, collar, blanket, or bowl as a symbol of your pet.
  • Create a scrapbook or collage with photos and other reminders of your pet.
  • Volunteer at an animal shelter to help other pets.
  • Participate in on-line memorials and candle-lighting ceremonies.
  • Write a poem or story about your pet or write a letter to him.
  • When the time is right, adopt another pet from your local animal shelter or humane society.

What is National Pet Memorial Day?

Recognizing the importance of remembering our cherished pets, the International Association of Pet Cemeteries (IAPC) has designated the second Sunday in September as National Pet Memorial Day. Most pet cemeteries observe this day with special ceremonies, open houses, and other events. You can reach IAPC at 13 Cemetery Lane, Box 163, Ellenburg Depot, NY 12935; 800-952-5541.

Source: The Humane Society of the United States