Pets

Family Pet Funerals – Time to Update the Lesson

In the past, when a pet had passed away, the family would normally hold some sort of garden memorial burial ceremony for the sake of teaching children about what happens after something or someone passes away. With the exception of some parrots, animals are not meant to be with us throughout our lives. These types of pet memorials are ritualistically similar to that of human funerals. They teach children that death is a part of life.

In some low-lying areas, communities place their dead in crypts above ground, just as the ancient Egyptians did. In other areas, for centuries, the deceased have been buried in graves. The most economical way to dispose of a body was to bury it in the ground. Coffins were created of plain wood in a rectangular type shape. At one end, the coffin was just a bit wider to accommodate the person’s shoulders. Bodies were laid in coffins, lowered into a hole of similar size and covered up with dirt. Usually away from the main population, there was a designated area for coffins. These were called graveyards. Funerals for the dead were held in the graveyards.

Family pet funerals are similar. For a small pet, a shoe box may serve as a make-shift coffin. For larger animals, a comparable size hole was dug in the backyard, and the body, often in a large plastic bag or covered with a tarpaulin, was lowered down into the hole. Dirt would be back-filled into the hole, covering the deceased pet. A pet gravemarker usually consisted of a cross made of twigs, a flower or wreath, and a personal pet item.

In times past, many people were buried with no gravemarker. Unmarked graves could be unearthed years later. In present day, gravestones or headstones (named from the placement of the stone over the “head” of the body) are used to mark the burial site. They are engraved with names and the dates that span the life of the family member.

Eventually, pet lovers decided their pets deserved to be honored with more than sticks and flowers. People are not the only ones deserving of headstones. Pets deserved them as well. Today, there are hundreds of different pet memorials and urns for pets. Both are available with engraved sentiments, poems, names and dates. Many can be used for burial, but some are meant to be displayed. Some of the pet memorial urns are so beautiful, one might think them treasured antique pieces of art.

Times have changed over the centuries. What we are teaching our children about death through the loss of pets needs to be brought into modern times. Exquisite marble pet memorials and pet urns should now be part of these lessons. Perhaps the new tokens of honor will bring families comfort and beauty into pet grieving ceremonies.… Read More

Considering the Many Exotic Pets

Exotic pets has that certain wild allure to pet owners that they would want to have them as household members. As you know, getting these types of animals is not an easy thing to attain as certain breeds of animals have different needs compared to the common list of domesticated pets. They can be more expensive compared to your usual bat or dog budget. Exotic pets are those that are not commonly taken care of in domestic settings like rodents, reptiles, birds, fishes, and similar special animal categories.

You should carefully keep this in mind as you are browsing the exotic animals aisle in the pet shop. If you must, you should research about you choices online so that you can know how to properly take care of them. This is much more resources consuming compared to any other kind of pet but the fulfillment is unparalleled. That feeling of taking care of a creature that requires greater attention and care can be an accomplishment in itself. Just make sure that you are buying them from an accredited pet shop and your probable pet has the right and legitimate papers upon purchase. There are certain states and territories that does not allow certain animals to be sold as pets. Also, you must consider your abode in choosing these pets as some have to have certain special cages or structures built for them to live comfortably.

So what are the top choices in this exotic animals department? Turtles are some of the most lovable exotic pets around. They can start out as very small reptiles in wither aquatic or land environments and can grow into huge reptiles in about five years or so. They are rarely hard to feed with the feeds you can get from the local pet store. Some people also identify their pets as snake, iguanas, or other reptile that they can connect with. Most people find this daunting with the bad connotation of cold-blooded creatures which are exaggerated only. Reptiles do not bite or snap at you unless provoked or threatened.

Second would be the rodent family. This can be the guinea pigs, hamsters, ferrets, and other furry animals that are rodent like in behavior and even in appearance. They are also low maintenance as they require crude hutches, a warm place location, water, and food that can be consumed in the kitchen.

Third would be the birds and other winged creatures. Parrots, love birds, chickadees, peacock and other birds kept as pets can be colorful. They have relaxing chirping or natural communication sounds that are soothing to anyone listening to them. They usually come in pairs and have shown intelligent understanding and comprehension as well.

Exotic pets can require much of your time, money, and patience so better think twice about getting one when your hands are tied. Do not impulsively walk in the pet shop and buy something that you might regret later. Consult your online resource, your family and friends to find … Read More

How to Cope With the Grief of Pet Loss

Grieving the loss of a loved one can be very difficult because your pet was a constant presence in your life and your home. Grieving is hard because you had a routine with your pet: feedings, walks, sitting in the lap time, favourite treats, funny faces and tricks. Pet loss is especially painful because your loss / bond is unique: your pet loved you unconditionally, unreservedly and was always waiting at home, excited and happy to see you.

This loss can hurt worse than losing a friend.

This wasn’t just a dog or just a cat. Grieving a pet death is painful because they were part of your family.

How to Cope With Pet Loss:

– Acknowledge that this is a huge, sad event. Don’t downplay it, or shrug it off. Grieving is a process that can take months.

– Accept that you may never totally get over your pet loss. You’ll always remember them. Having a funeral helps the grieving process. Light candles and recite a Poem or Loving Eulogy.

– Give yourself permission to grieve – it’s not “just a pet.” Coping involves the whole grieving process.

– Experience and express feelings of sadness, anger, or guilt. Grieving involves tears, anger, and sometimes even fear.

– Talk to others who can empathize – surround yourself with people who understand pet loss. Talk to your friends and family about why you feel this way ( even if they already know). Healthy grieving involves open communication.

– Be patient. Give yourself time to grieve. The grief process takes as long as necessary.

– Join support group, especially if you feel depressed or extremely angry. Grieving a pet may be easier with others who understand any sort of loss.

Remember you are not alone. All pet owners go through this – it is part of the joy and sadness that our beloved furry friends bring us. Understand that you gave your best. Enrich your soul with thoughts of the love you had for them. You kept them warm, well fed and with loving company.

When words are inadequate have a ceremony. A pet funeral is possibly the most important aspect of the grieving process. It gives you the time to say farewell, and provides a tribute for a much loved friend. Always remember you gave your pet a beautiful life.

Your love deserves a fitting tribute. You’ll find if you say goodbye that your pet’s physical presence will soon turn into a warm  that will remain on you until you meet again.… Read More

Travel RVing With Pets

If you own pets (or if they own you), taking an extended RV trip without them would be unthinkable. Being able to take our pets along with us was the number 2 reason we opted for getting an RV. (I’m not sure what the number 1 reason was).

Traveling with pets can make your RVing experience very gratifying. But, if you don’t plan well for it, it can make you c-r-a-z-y! So don’t throw your pets in the RV at the last minute without considering that they are people, too, and deserve special care and attention to their needs.

Most dogs take readily to RV travel and enjoy the trip as much as other family members. As long as you stop every couple of hours and take them out for some exercise and to take care of their personal business, they are good to go. But there are exceptions–some have problems adjusting to all the new surroundings and get stressed out. Typically quiet dogs might become incessant barkers and exhibit behavior you have never seen before. If you don’t know how your dog reacts to travel, you should consider taking him on some short trips before embarking on a journey. Another consideration is keeping your best friends clean. No matter how hard you try, you cannot keep a wet dog from smelling like a wet dog. Put that wet dog into a confined place, like a motorhome or camping trailer–and you are going to have some unhappy campers. Keep lots of old towels available for rainy days and swim meets. Dry them off before you let them inside.

Cats can make terrific traveling companions, but are definitely different from dogs. Most of them won’t take to a leash, so letting them outdoors can muster up a whole different set of problems.

Dogs and cats are by far the most common RV compatible animal companions, but certainly not the only ones. I have seen pot-bellied pigs (which are truly wonderful pets), miniature donkeys, birds of every feather (well, nearly every feather), lizards, geckos, goats, chickens, bunnies–and snakes. All seem to do well as RV travelers. An animal lover myself, I think they are all terrific–except for snakes. Snakes scare the bejeepers out of me. To each his own…

Planning and consideration are the most valuable tools to make sure you have an enjoyable trip with your best friend on your next RV excursion.… Read More

Grieving For and Commemorating Your Pet

After a decision has been made to euthanize your pet there are a few options open to you about handling his/her remains. You may feel it is easier on you to leave your pet at the clinic for disposal, and that is fine.

A popular option is to take your pet’s body home to bury in your garden. This is appropriate for those who own their own home. However check with council regulations because sometimes such pet burials are prohibited. If you are renting, or move house frequently this is not a good choice.

Pet cemeteries are another option. The surroundings are usually serene and the site is looked after. There is a sense of dignity, permanence and security with this option. Prices will vary depending on the services you want and the type of pet you have.

One decision that helps with what you want is whether you want your pet cremated. This option is less expensive and enables you to choose what you will do with your pet’s remains and how you want to, or where you want to, scatter them.

For many owners they will already know what their pet’s favourite spot is and it is relatively easy to scatter the remains. If scattering the remains is not a choice then it is possible to keep them in an urn. There are a wide variety of decorative urns, or possibly you could decorate it yourself.

Each of these options allows you to commemorate your pet in a personalized way. Preparing a little service where you can talk about your memories can be very therapeutic in the healing process. Regardless of which option you choose you may like to buy something, like a plant, that you can keep in the yard or in a pot if you move a lot. This may sound like a strange thing to do but as the plant flourishes it is a loving reminder of your baby.

Some people may want to buy another pet straight away but this is not always a good idea. Challenges that you will meet include building relationship with another pet while you are working through your own grief and loss – you may not feel you have the time or energy needed to help your new pet in his/her transition into a new home; comparisons made between the old and the new; if children are involved the feelings of disloyalty; and your heart just will not be in it. Each of these challenges makes it unfair to your new family member if your timing is not appropriate.

There will come a day when your heart, and you, are ready to adopt or buy a new pet. Give yourself time to heal and you will be able to enjoy your new pet without the pain. Your new pet will thank you for it, your previous pet would understand, and again you will find that your pet leaves paw prints on your heart.… Read More