Pet Sympathy Cards are a huge part of our practice.
We are a family-oriented practice, focusing on pets who are not “just a dog” or “just a cat” but truly part of the family. So, when a pet is lost to age, disease or injury the entire family feels the loss.
And, as health care providers for the family pet, we feel the loss, too, right along with the rest of the family.
We feel that the grieving family can be comforted by a note from us in a sympathy card, letting them know that we understand.
That we share their grief.
That we feel the loss, too.
We follow up with another card about six weeks later, reassuring the pet owner that we also understand grief isn’t necessarily gone by a set amount of time, and if they are still grieving, that’s completely normal.
We all grieve differently.
I once had a client who eased her grief by making a scrapbook of her pet’s milestones and accomplishments. She had pictures and Examination Report Forms and even a copy of Missy’s medical record in the scrapbook.
When my wife and I lost our precious Sally in 1992, I wrote Sally’s story for the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Veterinarians from all over the world found our address and sent condolences, even roses.
Some pet lovers like to keep their pets’ ashes after cremation. We are blessed to have a loving family in our city who operates a pet crematory.
Over the years I’ve seen talented pet owners build pet caskets for their deceased pets or order caskets over the Internet.
I’ve seen photos of just about every kind of backyard pet shrine you can imagine, each one personally and lovingly designed.
My wife, Brenda, and I favor the crematory approach for pets we’ve lost. My desk is nearly covered with jars and urns of ashes.
Each one contains its own collection of millions of memories.
See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.