Devastating. Heart-breaking. Deeply, deeply sad.
Nearly 50% of respondents in an American Pet Products Association survey said that “sadness when they die” is the top drawback of pet ownership. But is that reason enough to forgo the life-changing inspiration and love that comes along with sharing your life with a pet – even if it ends much, much too soon?
I think not.
I can’t give you the precise remedy for the grief that will come – or has come – to you when you’ve seen your beloved dog, cat or pet through to the end of a life blessed with mutual companionship, love and happiness. When you realize you will have to go on, without him or her, despite the hole in your heart.
There’s no way through the grief, but through it.
Only recently has there been an awakening in our culture that acknowledges and validates the dimension of this loss. So at least the burden of having to justify or hide this sorrow has been diminished in the grieving process. And now there are resources and communities available, dedicated to helping grieving pet parents negotiate a path forward into acceptance and healing.
There is a consequence to the grieving process. If you have lost a pet, no doubt, you have experienced it…but perhaps you keep it to yourself…
It’s the lesson that comes from surviving grief: once you resolve grief into a deeper understanding of life, you know the loving energy you shared with your pet is there for you, always.
You may call this residual loving energy the evidence of a spiritual bond. Yes, I agree with the American Association of Human-Animal Bond Veterinarians when they call the relationship we share with our pets a spiritual bond. And that means our life with our pets is rooted in a special spiritual bandwidth that perpetuates the love and connection far beyond the physical experience.
Regardless of what you chose to call it – loving energy, spiritual bond - just how does your heart connect with it after your pet is gone?
Which Pet Memorial Resonates with Your Heart?
There are different ways to keep the loving memory of your pet with you. Reliquaries, or urns to hold ashes are popular and many offer personalization with photos. The urn necklaces are popular too – as is the jewelry created from your pet’s DNA. For those who find solace in nature, there are pet memorial garden plaques or stones. And some pet crematoriums include a paw print or nose print plaque as a gesture of sympathy.
I don’t know about you, but when I was presented with the remains of my beloved Maine Coon Cat, Miss Trixie the Queen, I wasn’t expecting the nose print plaque. For some reason, it actually made me sadder. Maybe that’s just me.
The most controversial type of pet memorial is cloning – replicating your pet using his or her DNA. Cells scraped from inside your pet’s cheek provide the DNA that’s implanted into a surrogate’s eggs, nurtured to term and then birthed in a litter, producing more than one duplicate pet (or, genetic twin). There are two major companies that offer these services: ViaGen Pets and Myfriendagain.com, the U.S. presence of Sooam Biotech Research Foundation from Seoul, South Korea.
If you are onboard with this, you are convinced that your beloved pet has been reclaimed from time, witnessed by the similarity in mannerisms and somewhat, appearance. It resonates true in your heart, and your $100,000 dollar investment is minimal when compared to indescribable joy of having your pet with you again.
Critics however, dispute the claim that a cloned pet is the same pet as the original. It’s true that the cloned pet is genetically the same – but that doesn’t guarantee he or she will act the same way, or even look the same way. The science aside, there is a legitimate argument for spending $100,000 on taking care of sick or abandoned pets that are here currently, in shelters.
I dunno. I would love to think I could have one of my dogs or cats back with me – even so many years after they’ve gone.
I still miss the goofiness of my dear Newfoundland, Molly (though, not the mud baths), gone for over 20 years. I still miss the blockheadedness of my first Bernese Mountain Dog, Casey, and his vigilance in being my defender. Or, my Berner Zelda, and her love of traveling the world with me, in the backseat of my SUV.
And I certainly wouldn’t forgo the opportunity to resume a staff position to my “fe-lions”, Sasha Kitty and Miss Trixie the Queen.
But that’s the point. Even if I could have a genuine facsimile in the flesh, how could we possibly pick up the storyline?
Keep the Story Alive with Photo Jewelry
It’s exactly that – the story of a shared life – that lives on in your heart, for as long as you live.
And while the depths of your memory and heart are the keepers and weavers of the words, reminders that you can see and touch help preserve the details so that nothing is lost to time.
Like, your dog’s first squeaky-toy or puppy collar. Or, a Christmas stocking, embroidered with his or her name. The box lid in the back of your closet that came to be lined with a forgotten sweater, fallen from its hanger, which the cat appropriated for her hide-away bed.
The story is in the details.
Photos or video work best in preserving those details. Much more than capturing the physical likeness of your pet, these memory-keepers snatch away a moment from time – a moment compounded with equal parts of you and your pet – and gift it the potential to last as long as you do.
That’s the power of pictures. That’s what resonates with the heart, now – and forever.
5 Reasons Why Photo Jewelry is a Pet Memorial to Cherish
So, here’s why a photo jewelry piece, customized with your pet’s photo, name and even charms that tell the unique story of your pet, is a remembrance to be cherished – now and forever.
1. Keep the Memory with You, Always.
Photo jewelry of your pet goes with you – no matter where you go. A peek down at your wrist or a quick glance at your photo necklace so see that little, furry face, is all it takes to rekindle instantly a flame of happiness that warms your heart.
What could be better when you find yourself away from your pet, caught up in a world so foreign to that happiness?
Our designs aren’t fussy. They are meant to go the distance with you and your pet, wherever that leads. So we make sure they are as durable and comfortable as they are meaningful. And of a level of quality befitting your memory. That’s why all of our pieces are manufactured and handcrafted here in America.
2. You Can Make Dog Years Last Forever
Or any pet years. Mesmerized by the rush of every day life, or in enjoying the moment of living life with your pet, we don’t want to remember that this journey we share will have an end point some day.
What needs to be done is to make a commitment to capture the milestones along the journey, in pictures and in photo charms that will serve your loving connection for many years to come.
3. Celebrate Your Pet’s Unique Personality
Of course, each pet has his or her own personality – and individual quirks or mannerisms. The mental images of them and your reaction are etched forever on your heart. For me, it’s laughing every time I see Heidi parade around with my lime-green Croc in her mouth, luring me into play.
Photo charms capturing these moments celebrate the specialness of each pet. Especially if you are lucky to have had more than one pet, it’s important to honor the way in which each of them has enriched your life in very different ways.
Engraving for names – especially nic-names or “pet” names enhances the meaningfulness of the photo bracelet or photo necklace. Add a charm depicting that special toy or object that your dog is nuts about – and you have your special forever story about a dog or pet who was very special to you.
4. Share Your Love and Pride for Your Pet
Certainly you’ve heard people complain about pet parents who can’t seem to stop talking about their pet.
Like that’s a bad thing.
No longer do involved dog and pet parents need to capitulate to cultural biases and hide the pet’s prominence in their home, emotional and spiritual life. ‘Cuz it’s not a bad thing.
A custom photo jewelry bracelet or photo jewelry necklace with your pet shows that you get this. And others who believe as you do get that – immediately – when they see it. It’s an emblem – a call to action for others fighting the cultural biases that seek to diminish the contribution of our pets to our lives.
Plus, nothing beats the camaraderie of sharing pet pictures and stories with other “crazy pet” people.
5. Soothe a Broken Heart
Ohhh…back to grief.
Yes, everyone must find his or her own way through the grief that penetrates us at the passing of a beloved pet. And I wish I could promise that a photo jewelry piece will immediately resolve the pain and make it go away. I can’t.
But, I have had many customers tell me that it helps to soothe a broken heart.
And if we can help do that, it’s enough to keep us doing this for a very long time.