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Preparing yourself in advance for the death of your pet, while emotionally taxing, is a wise and thoughtful thing to do. Certainly
none of us likes to think of that day, the day our heart will be broken into a million pieces. Thinking about this ahead of time will
give you and your family the opportunity to discuss how you would like to memorialize your beloved pet and to celebrate the life
that you all shared together.
There are numerous elements to think about regarding the death of your pet and your final wishes. Take this time to reflect upon
what your pet will need in respectful death care treatment, as well as the support you will need as a grieving pet parent. Making
sure that your beloved pet is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve will be of the utmost importance at this time.
Knowing your various options will relieve much of the stress you may have in ensuring what you do is appropriate to not only
honor the life of your pet but to ensure that they are receiving the care and treatment in death that was important to you for them
The final arrangement wishes for my pet's body is:
Burial / Cremation
Influences to help shape your decision for burial or cremation are:
If burial, where?
If cremation and you want the ashes returned, there are many different options of urns to choose from.
Deciding if you want a special urn ahead of time may help you feel more prepared when the time comes.
Home / Friend's Home/ Local Pet Cemetery
Areas of consideration with this decision are:
~ Will this town/county/development allow pet burials?
~Will you always live in this area or have access to this burial ground?
~Do your religious preferences guide you in one way or another?
~Did your pet like the outside or the inside? Will that influence your pet's final resting place?
For burial, will you want a casket to protect the pet's body?
If cremation, will you want the ashes returned?
If this answer is no, you need to ask your pet death care provider for a "group" cremation or "communal" cremation. Your pet
will be cremated with other pets, their ashes scattered in a designated area.
For cremation, is it important to you to have your pet's body cremated alone in the crematory?
If this answer is yes, many death care providers will have the option of a "private" cremation. Your pet's body will be solo in the
crematory, ensuring that the returned ashes are only your pet.
Many death care providers will provide a tracking system through the cremation process, a "tag" with a unique number that will
accompany the pet's body. To ensure the safety, security and authentication of the cremation process, inquiring on this part of
your pet death care provider's policy will give you the peace of mind in knowing about the care of your pet's mortal remains.
Many families will also want to have that one last time to visit their pet after death, a visitation or wake, if you will. While
this may seem like a trivial thing - or possibly something that you consider morbid and odd, this one last time with your pet is
valuable time spent. A time to see your pet at peace. A time for your children to pay tribute by bringing in items that were special
to your pet. A time to begin the grief journey and to say that final good-bye.
Many times, other friends, family members, and other pets in the household will want to have their final good-bye with your pet
too. Pets touch so many people during their short lives with us. Allow those around you the opportunity to come together, pay
their respects, and support each other.
My family and I will want a Final Good-Bye Time with our pet:
Occassionally families will take this Final Good-Bye Time to incorporate their important family/religious rituals. Rituals may look like:
~Special readings or the planting of a tree/flower/bush
~Rituals you and your pet did to say "I love you" or scripture readings
~A candle lighting tribute or a donation drive for a local shelter in memory of your pet
~Reading of special poems and remembrances or playing audio tapes of their meow/bark/chirp
~Sharing videos of the pet and your family or reading a eulogy to remember your pet's life with your family
The following rituals are important and will be included in our Final Good-Bye Time together:
Making a decision on memorialization products is a personal process. This will be reflective of the life shared with your pet,
your life style, your personal style, and those items that are reflective of your pet's personality. It's also important to take into
consideration where your memorialization pieces will go in your home, or in your yard, and how you want the item to look,
either blending in with your decor or making an individual statement. In addition, if you have a large pet family, consider a
memorialization piece where all of the pets can be together. There are various memorialization products:
*Rocks/Garden Flagstones * Jewelry that would have the pet's own paw print or nose print on it
*An urn that is reflective of your decorating style * An eco-friendly urn for burial in a special location
*An urn with paw prints to show your love of animals * A piece of art done to depict the pet's personality
*A personalized urn made to look like the pet * A frame to hold a cast of your pet's paw print, nose print, and locket of hair
*Locket jewelry to hold a bit of the pet's ashes or hair * Memorial Note Cards
The desired memorialization items to remember our pet are:
When you think about your pet - what makes you smile?
~"He was our little Buddy-Wuddy", "Sweetie Pie" "Pookie" "Boo-Boo"
~"Hiding socks in heaven", "Always Chasing Frisbees and Hearts", "Daddy's little girl"
~Birth date/adoption date to death date
~Personal paw print or nose print
~A way to show your pet's love of their favorite - a bone, slice of pizza, or a cookie
The personalization of your memorial pieces will truly make them as unique as your relationship with your pet was.
From an inscription on an urn or jewelry piece to the saying on a rock or marker, your sentimental words will create a
true reflection of the love that you have for your special pet. Having other friends and family member's stories is certainly
a wonderful way to reflectively pay tribute to your pet and get everyone involved in honoring their life.