This Sunday marks Pet Memorial Day, a day to remember and celebrate all the pets we’ve held in our hearts. Pets bring joy, laughter, and unconditional love to our lives. They become members of our family that we can always depend on when we need them. They share our beds (even when they’re not supposed to), wait for us to come home at the end of the day, and lick away our tears when we’ve had a bad day.
As with every living thing however, there comes a time, when despite all the advances in veterinary medicine, it’s time to say goodbye. It can be overwhelming when a pet dies and leaves a family. But there are many ways to pay tribute to pets we have lost. Take the time to honor the memories you have with your pet, because your pet will always have a special place in your heart.
Take a day to remember your pet. Losing a pet can be just as difficult, if not more so, as losing a person we love. Take the time to properly grieve the loss. Spend time looking at photographs of your pet. Spend the day with your family creating a scrapbook or collage with your favorite pictures, and your pet’s ID tags – laugh about the silly things your pet did! Or choose a favorite picture and frame it for display in your home.
Living Memorial. Plant a tree or shrub in your yard. Memorial plantings are available in some city parks or public spots where citizens can purchase a tree in memory of a loved one. A living memorial can be a special tribute for a special pet.
Keep a memento in a special spot. A shadow box can hold your pet’s collar, ID tags, and photos of your pet. Some people find comfort in keeping a favorite toy or blanket in a special keepsake box. Touching the item can bring back fond memories of the fun you and your pet had playing with the toy or memories of your pet snuggled up on their blanket.
Visit your pet’s burial site. Don’t be afraid to visit your pet’s burial site. People visit their deceased family members in cemeteries all the time – it’s no different for your pet. Make the site special by adding a grave marker or an engraved tombstone. Many people find comfort knowing that their pet is resting nearby, and being able to visit brings them peace.
Contribute to a cause. Make a donation in your pet’s name to a charitable organization that works with animals.
Volunteer. A great way to remember a pet that has passed away is through your actions with pets that are still with us. Volunteer at your local animal shelter or consider fostering a pet that is waiting for a new home.
There are lots of ways to pay tribute to a pet that has passed. Just because your pet is gone, doesn’t mean it’s forgotten. Pets we have lost will always have a special place in our hearts.