When we lose a pet we experience the same five stages of grief one experiences with any loss.
One of the ways to help ease that grief is to perform positive acts that help us keep good memories alive.
A memorial for a deceased pet is a healthy way to do just that. It is a positive act because we are not behaving from the desperation of our sadness, rather we are instituting a process that will keep our pet’s memory alive and do good for others at the same time.
There are an unlimited number of forms a memorial can take. One of the most common begins with a local or regional humane shelter. Depending on the amount of the contribution one might obtain a listing in the monthly newsletter, the dedication of a cage to the memory of a pet or even the building of a new wing.
Our regional shelter, The Humane Society of South Mississippi, www.hssm.org, longs to build a dog park. In these difficult economic times contributions are arriving slowly, but a big contribution could even make the park eponymous.
Our hospital frequently makes memorial contributions to my alma mater, Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. It is not unusual for pet owners to honor caregivers and pets in that way. Portions of the Large Animal Clinic and Small Animal Clinic are funded, furnished and equipped by dedicated pet owners who want their companion animals remembered forever.
The possibilities are limited only by one’s imagination.
The love of a pet is special, and different from any other kind of love we share here on earth.
There is no wonder that we long to keep their memories alive.