Losing a pet is one of the most challenging experiences a pet owner can go through. Regardless of whether it was a sudden loss or was expected, the grief of losing a pet is intense. It is very similar to how we feel when losing a friend or family member. This could go without being said because pets are family for so many people. They leave an indelible paw print on our hearts. The best way to honor a pet that has crossed the Rainbow Bridge is to celebrate their spirit and memory. Here are five great ways to remember your pet.
Have a Memorial Service
A memorial service is a great way to gather people who meant a lot to your pet (and are the people closest to you) to talk about what made them so special. You could hold the service at your home or your pet’s favorite park. Ask people to share their favorite memory of your pet and what made them so special. Make sure you take a moment to talk about them and what makes them so special to you. Taking some time to gather and honor your pet can bring you many comforts.
Make a Donation to an Animal Organization
Your pet brought you so much joy, so why not consider donating in their memory so that another animal can give the same pleasure to someone else? You could contribute to the shelter or rescue you adopted them from or to an animal cause that resonates with you, such as Paws with a Cause. Many shelters will allow you to sponsor one of their residents. You could do this by paying for their adoption fee or covering their monthly expenses for food, toys, and medical care. By reallocating the money you would have spent on your pet and putting it towards pets in need, you help to turn your loss into more love.
Plant a Garden
Gardens are a symbol of life and growth; plant a tree or some flowers in honor of your pet. You could make or purchase a garden stone with its name inscribed on it and place it in an existing garden. You could even use your pet’s food or water dish as a planter. You’ll be gently reminded of your pet each time you see your garden by doing any of these. This is a great way to remember the love that you shared.
Create a Photo Album
Chances are, you have a lot of pictures of your pet. Why not put some of your favorites into an album that you can look at whenever you want to? You can design and order an album online or go the old-school route and create your own. You could even add more than images to the album. Consider including stories about your time together or quotes that bring you peace. No matter what, over time, looking at these pictures should conjure up happy memories and bring a smile to your face.
Adopt Another Animal
Sometimes the best way to honor a pet that you’ve lost is to allow another animal to experience the love that they did. Adopting a pet is not replacing the one you lost but rather a way to bring joy back into your life. Another advantage to adopting is that there is nothing better than knowing that you’ve saved a life.
If you’re not ready, don’t rush. Instead, maybe consider volunteering at a local shelter or rescue. You can still get all the cuddles and kisses you’re missing without committing.
There is no right or wrong way to mourn the loss of a pet. Give yourself time to grieve in whatever way you need. Try to take steps to not only remember them but to celebrate them and the time you spent together. While they may be irreplaceable, they will live forever in your memory.