After my 16-year-old Labrador mix, Shiloh, died in 2009, I searched the internet, shopping malls and local dog groups looking for a suitable way to keep the memories of my beloved friend alive a little longer. I found a massive range of products, services, charities, activities and other ideas to memorialize the best friend I’ve ever had or ever will have.

Memorializing your pet dog

After my 16-year-old Labrador mix, Shiloh, died in 2009, I searched the internet, shopping malls and local dog groups looking for a suitable way to keep the memories of my beloved friend alive a little longer. I found a massive range of products, services, charities, activities and other ideas to memorialize the best friend I’ve ever had or ever will have.

Honoring the remains

The first decision the owner of a deceased pet faces is what to do with the remains. Most people choose to have their deceased pets cremated. There are a wide variety of urns and other keepsakes to hold the remains of departed pets forever. An option that is growing in popularity is to have some of the pet’s remains placed inside of jewelry such as a gold heart locket. One company has developed a unique idea called, Memory Vessels™ (http://memoryvessels.com/).These are jewelry pieces, which not only contain a portion of your departed pet’s ashes but a USB Flash drive onto which can be placed pictures, video or audio records of your pet when they were alive. They come in a number of styles, types and colors.

Online resources

There are thousands of websites to join, usually free or inexpensively, and upload text memorials, pictures, poems as well as many other interesting ways to praise the memory of your departed pet. At many of these, you can order photos, fine art, novelties, jewelry and many other fantastic products as keepsakes of your pet. I have a personal favorite, of course (http://www.faithfulfriends.com) and you can read the memorial I wrote to Shiloh there (http://www.faithfulfriends.com/memorial.view/memorial_id/14).

There you can create a free website tribute for your living or departed pet, upload pictures, read memorial and photo tributes other people left for their pets and write a message in their guestbook. You can put your pet’s image on almost anything from a coffee cup or t-shirt to the highest quality fine art prints on canvas. It’s a great place to interact with others who’ve lost pets and pet lovers in general.

It’s a matter of personal style and specific desires as to which of the many sites available suit you and your family pet best. It will be helpful if you have an idea of what you want before you start searching.

Other Ideas

We’ve only begun to scratch the surface of the things one can do to memorialize a departed pet. Some other popular ideas are:

  • Purchase a memorial tree, plant, marker stone or bench for your garden. Many cities also permit people to purchase benches, trees and other facilities in public parks and beaches to honor lost loved ones, including pets.
  • Donate to a local or national pet related charity such as The Humane Society (http://www.humanesociety.org) or, The ASPCA (http://www.aspca.org). Many other national and local organizations will accept donations of money, time or items in your deceased pet’s name.
  • If your pet died of a particular disease like cancer or feline leukemia, consider donating to organizations trying to cure that disease.
  • Write a story or create a photo-montage of your pet. You can bind the story and give it to your friends and family with illustrations or pictures of your pet. You might frame a photo-montage and hang it in your home or publish it in an online memorial. The more creative may want to try their hand at creating the frame for the montage as well.

Today the only real limits to how we can choose to remember our pets that have passed on are imagination and budget. When Shiloh died, I chose to have some of his remains placed into jewelry, I donated to a local animal rescue and I was fortunate to receive from a family member, a beautiful portrait of him, which is displayed with pride in my home.

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