Losing a pet can be one of the hardest things that life can throw at you, especially if you loved your pet as much as a family member. While others may not have viewed your dog as being a family member, moving on from the death can be a bit difficult. So how do you cope with it? About a year ago, my family suffered from the loss of our dog that we had had for about 12 years. I definitely viewed him as being part of the family and I didn’t take his death very well. With the help of my family I was able to move on while still cherishing his memory. While our pets may only have a short time on Earth with us, they will always be in our hearts.
By going the crematation route, it can give you several options. You can keep your pet’s ashes in a vase in your house; you can also bury the ashes. Another option is to scatter the ashes, which is what my family did. There is a bike path by our house that we would use for taking our dog on walks. We chose an afternoon to go on a walk and spread his ashes in his “favorite” spots along the trail. We also spread his ashes in our backyard.
Depending on where you live, there might be a place where you can bury your dog in a pet cemetery. This would allow you to be able to visit your deceased pet whenever you would want to. Another option would be to bury your dog in your backyard, or another place that is special to the both of you.
My sister and I both have old tags from his collar that we keep on our keychain as a reminder of him. To me, this is a simple way of keeping his memory alive. Pictures are another great way of keeping a deceased pet’s memory alive. You don’t need to place the picture in a prominent place. Places where you could do this include a nightstand, the refrigerator, or even as a screensaver on your phone/computer works just as well. One thing that you could do is make a shadow box with pictures of you and your dog, or make a scrapbook that memorializes your dog.
If you adopted your dog from a shelter, consider making a donation to the shelter in remembrance of your dog. The shelter will more than likely make sure your dog’s memory will live on forever by posting his name.
There is no correct answer as to when it’s the right time to get another dog. Some families are more inclined to getting a new dog almost right away. In this aspect, they are able to transfer their grieving into love for their new dog. Other families may choose to wait a few months, for grieving, before getting a new dog. Some may wait longer in getting a new dog, if they choose to get a new dog in the first place. Regardless, the decision to get a new dog should be a family decision and everyone needs to be on board with the idea.