No matter how long your dog is a part of your family, when they pass away it’s utterly heartbreaking. You’ve not just lost your canine companion, but a member or your family who adored and loved you unconditionally, and you them.
There isn’t an antidote to the grief and healing process, but something that many owners have found helpful is finding a way to honour and remember their pet, in a way that represents that special bond.
To help you find the right idea for you, here are 10 amazing ways to remember your deceased dog:
1. Have a memorial service
Take the time to have a proper memorial service or funeral. Most people opt to do this in their garden, where they’ll bury their dog or spread their ashes. Invite family members and friends who loved your dog and take time to share memories, stories and tributes.
2. Commission a pet portrait
There are many talented artists who can take a photo of your dog and turn them into lifelike portrait which you can hang on your wall. Find an artist who’s work you admire, and would like in your own home, and supply them with your favourite photo of your dog.
3. Mark their place in your garden or along their favourite walk
Having a special quiet place in your garden or along your dog’s favourite walk as a place to go to when you miss them and want to think about them will help you when you’re grieving. In time, it will also help as a reminder of them and your happy memories when you sit or walk by your chosen spot.
4. Journal your memories
Although you might be looking for ways to put your sadness aside and get on with day to day activities, it can be hard to ignore the grief. Instead, acknowledging it and opening up to it can help. Expressing how you feel through writing memories you have of your dog and times you spent together in a journal can be cathartic but also will give you a lasting document of your love and companionship you can read time and again.
5. Donate time, food or money to a local dog charity in their honour
Focusing your grief into purpose can be useful for some people. If you’ve time, why not try volunteering a few hours with a local dog charity in honour of your dog? Or, if it’s too difficult to be around other pups, give food or money and let the charity know it’s in honour of your pet.
6. Turn their ashes into a diamond
An expensive option, but beautiful if you have the money, is to have your pet’s ashes turned into a diamond. There are a few companies who can do this, and you then have a stone that can be used in a piece of memorial jewellery and can keep your pet close.
7. Collate your photos and memories
Buy yourself a beautiful memory box and fill it with your pet’s belongings – their collar, favourite chew toy and leash, along with photos of your dog that you love. You can pull out the box anytime you want to feel close to your dog and remember them.
8. Launch their ashes into space, or as a firework
There are companies out there who can help you give your dog a spectacular send off – either scattering their cremation ashes as a firework or taking them in a rocket into space. This can be a magical way to celebrate the life of a loved one or friend.
9. Keep going on your favourite walk
Something that many pet owner’s stop doing when their dog dies, is they stop going for a walk. Especially if they don’t have other dogs. But, continuing with your daily walk that you would have done with your dog can help you stay connected and give you time and space to grieve. It might be hard, especially at first, but it might also give you purpose and routine which can be so helpful.
Whichever way you chose to remember your deceased dog will be the perfect way for you and them. Go with your heart and choose the option that feels just right for you.
And finally, if your dog is by your side today, we just want to take a moment to hug your dog a little harder today. And, if your dog is not by your side, we’re sending those huge hugs your way.
Contributor – Jen Smith Social Media