Pet Portrait Artist Julie Palmer

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Pet Loss - Mourning and Memorializing


When a pet dies, the effect can be very traumatic. Although everyone mourns differently, there is always a sense of great loss. A person can feel guilty, enshrouded in pain and suffering. While every one works through the process of grief at a different rate, there are ways to cope with and break thorough. Some help the person work their way back towards "normality" while insuring the pet is never forgotten.

You can do so by gathering the visual impressions of your dog. Create a picture album of all the old and newer photos. Compile them in order. Include famous dog quotes. Add a narrative. If this is too old-fashioned, digitalize it. Place the photos on line so all can see and recognize the glory that was yours. If you have the money, you can also have a video presentation or have a portrait made. These are all great ways of coping with loss and remembering your pet.

A different way to accomplish this is through creating a personal ritual. This is a means of addressing and even defeating death as an enemy. You can involve the entire family. Friends, 4 and 2-footed can come to celebrate the life of your beloved dog.

The ritual can be immediately after the death. You can hold a graveside memorial service. Another option is to have it in your backyard or along a favorite place of your pet. This could be a local park. It could also be a walking trail, a field or a doggy park.

The ritual need not be complicated. You can simply have everyone family and friends say something about him or her. Talk about good times. Recite happy memories. Wherever your dog now is, he or she would be glad to hear you are remembering the good, the bad and the downright funny.

Another way to remember your favorite companion is to spend money in a beneficial way. Establish or contribute to a special dog-related cause. Raise money for the local animal shelter, rescue group or humane society. Contribute funds to a spaying-neutering program. Volunteer at a vet college, animal hospital or humane society. Help them by spreading the word. Show up at walkathons. Perhaps, you can even organize a fund-raiser for your favorite animal charity group. Make it an annual event. In this way, the memory of your beloved dog will carry on.

If you feel fully recovered, you can also honor your pet's memory by adopting a dog. You can also foster animals or give time to rescuing the many animals people neglect and forget. If you do not, find other ways. Give your money. Make a loud noise so the legislators can hear you. Make sure they know laws governing puppy mills and animal abuse must change.

On a simpler plane, plant a tree. Choose a favorite spot. Pick a tree your dog would have liked. You can arrange for it to be planted in a park around a city. If you want, you may be able to see a plaque is put in place. It is a gift your dog can understand and appreciate. This is especially true if your departed pet was a male.

You can fondly remember your pet in many different ways. Pick one you think is most suitable. Involve your family members and those close to the dog in selecting a good way to send him or her off. In whatever realm your dog now dwells, he or she is, will watch, understand and appreciate your sincere efforts.

Content written by Deb Smith of, the top ranked spot to purchase carriers for dogs online.


All images are copyright 2001 to 2018 Julie Palmer. Portrait images must not be reproduced in any form without the express permission of the copyright holder.

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