Every year, the second Sunday of June is World Pet Memorial Day. It’s the perfect opportunity to celebrate our best friend while preserving their memory.
As devoted pet parents, we are devastated by the death of a pet. We grieve just as much as we would, had it been the death of a dear human friend or family member. And just as we would find meaningful ways to honor our human loved ones, we can also take measures to honor our dog or cat.
Write a Letter for Pet Memorial Day
This is one of the most highly recommended therapies for coping with grief made by professionals, worldwide. It can be a soothing and rewarding process. We can take the time to journal our feelings and memories. Or we can write a single loving memory. Either way, expressing our loss in words while remembering the joy they brought us is a beautiful and very personal way to recognize the importance their presence had and still has had on our minds, our hearts, and our futures.
Create a Digital Memorial
Some people prefer to share a post on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or some other social networking platform. When we do this, we are not only creating a digital memory; we also create an opportunity for friends and family to share in the memories and joy they have of our pets. And it creates a simple space for people to offer sympathy and support. It’s not customary to hold funerals for pets, so this form of memorial can fill the gap where our friends, who know how important our furry loved ones were, can offer their condolences. If we want to offer more than a single post, we can create an entire album dedicated to our precious pet or a Pinterest board dedicated to his or her memory.
Plant a Living Memorial in a Special Place
Planting a living memorial is a beautiful way to remember our pets. By replacing a death with a life, we can feel like we are balancing the natural order of things and can soothe our grief. We can plant a tree, a special patch of flowers, or preserve their memory with a houseplant placed in a favorite napping spot. A little catnip on a windowsill can give us a lovely, relevant, living memorial for a feline friend. Anyone with a green thumb might consider a pet topiary in the yard or a miniature topiary in the home. Even a blooming perennial planted where the dog house used to be can serve as a place marker for the deceased. Pet memorial day is a great time to break out the spade and do something special.
Wear a Special Memory
There are a plethora of ways to create a special piece that memorializes a loved one, including our pets. We can put a picture of our canine or feline friend in a locket that we wear everyday or every year on pet memorial day. We can add their image to a keychain. There are breed specific charms that can be added to a keychain, necklace, bracelet, or even as a zipper pull for a purse or backpack. There are even pet-specific jewelry items available such as nose imprint necklaces. If jewelry and keychains aren’t enough, a tattoo can be the perfect way to always keep our pet’s memory with us. Some opt for a recreation of their pet’s image from a photo. Others just get a tiny heart or paw print in a discreet place.
Craft a Memorial Piece
For those of us who are crafty, we can create something that will help us express our best memories of our pet. Create a ScrapBook with our best memories and photos. Draw our cat’s or dog’s likeness on a stone along with their name and a favorite quote to place in the yard. Make a paw print shaped stepping stone for the yard or as an ornament for the house or rearview mirror. Whatever we choose, crafting can be one of the most satisfying ways to memorialize our fur babies because we create it ourselves and can personalize it in ways that will be the most meaningful for us.
Make a Donation
There are so many dogs and cats in need out there. We may not want to jump into adopting another pet. Grief isn’t the best reason to adopt, and it can be hard on the new pet to carry the responsibility of filling that void. However, donating to the humane society or a shelter in our dog’s or cat’s name is a wonderful way to make sure a special animal will still benefit from the love we have to give. We can donate money or goods. Shelters are often looking for food donations, in particular. At Vet Organics, one small bag of EcoEats dehydrated food can result in several pounds of nutritious meals for homeless dogs.
Volunteer in Their Name
One of the best ways to get through our grief can be to keep busy and even distract ourselves during the times we would normally walk our dogs or cuddle with our cats. Putting that time to great use by volunteering for a local shelter or similar organization can be a wonderful way to spend that time in a meaningful way. And it means we’ll be celebrating their memory often, rather than just on pet memorial day. We can help animals find their forever homes, share time and company while they cope with being homeless, or fundraise to help adoptions along.
Display a Picture
One of the most classic ways to remember a pet, just like any loved one, can be to give their likeness a special place in our homes. Whether it’s on the mantle, on the wall with the other family photos, or in our wallets, reflecting on an image as we pass by everyday is a great way to keep our loved ones in our hearts. We can make sure it’s placed in a special frame and even adorned with a favorite quote, paw prints, or any other fitting symbols. In some homes, a painted likeness is even commissioned and given a special place on the wall.
Whatever we do to celebrate our pet on World Pet Memorial Day, the happy memories are the ones we should set aside and cherish. Every time we find ourselves dwelling on the time we would be spending on a walk with our dog, snuggling on the couch, or playing catch-the-red-dot with our cat, we can replace that with positive thoughts and memories of the joy our pet brought us. Memorials and time spent honoring their memory will help us remember and will keep those precious paw prints embedded in our hearts.