The death of a pet can be emotionally difficult. Sadness and tears are to be expected, even from the most stoic of adults. To keep the sadness from turning into emptiness, however, pet owners should consider planning ahead. Mental health and pet care experts offer many ideas for how to deal with the emotional strain of simply leaving a pet behind for, say, a family vacation. And we have adapted some of these ideas to help those struggling with the death of a pet. In general, the ideas are for ways to create on-the-spot celebrations of a pet’s life. The experts aim is for travelers who sometimes find them selves feeling blue because their pet is not nearby to have a way to almost instantly celebrate their pet’s life either privately or, perhaps, with their fellow travelers. This same overall approach works well as a pet memorial for those whose pets have passed away.
But, that said, the approach does require some planning and foresight. One of the suggestions, for example, is to create a simple photo album with touching photos of your pet. One expert tells of a case in which a man who secretly prepared an album of photos of his wife’s beloved dog, and he presented the book to her on the morning her two-month business trip began. The photos in the book ranged from the time in which the dog was a cute, cuddly puppy up to the family’s most recent journey to the beach with the dog, just a few days before the woman’s trip. The woman was, most certainly, very sad to be leaving her special friend behind for two months, but the photo album, she reports, made the parting much easier than it had been for previous trips.
With attention to planning and a devoting to updating, photo books like the one the man made for his wife can make excellent pet memorials, experts say. The catch is that, to be most effective, those who make the albums must be a bit of a shutterbug, always snapping new pictures of the pet and always preparing them for the album. This can be a fun experience for the life of the pet, however, and, certainly, it will result in a fitting, beautiful memorial after the pet has died. Photo books and albums are just the start of the kinds of pet memorials that can be created from the very beginning of a pet’s life. Many people today build websites devoted to their pets or make home videos of the most special moments with their furry friends. These make perfect pet memorials.
To some, it may seem macabre or strange to begin preparing a pet’s memorial while the animal is still alive. Experts say, don’t think of these projects as memorials. If you think of them as what they are, simple-but-pure celebrations of the animal’s life, they then have the capacity to function as a pet memorial for the days in which the pet will be gone, and as a fun project that will help the whole family enjoy the animal to the fullest extent while it is alive.