“My Heart Will Always Wear the Pawprints Left By You”: Memorializing Pets
To many people, pets are important members of the family. Like when any other family member has passed on, it is important to memorialize your companion. It reminds us of all of the precious moments that we had the honor to share with these four-legged friends and assures that they will never be forgotten.
Pet memorials are not a modern concept. Current estimates place dog domestication back 15,000 years ago and dog burial sites have been found dating back as far. In fact, many of these dogs were laid to rest by their human’s own grave, signifying the profundity of their companionship. Native American dog cemeteries have been uncovered in parts of the United States, showing us that even ancient peoples understood the impact that a canine companion can have on our lives.
Cats were domesticated later, around 10,000 years ago, from a species of wildcats in the Middle East. These felines soon convinced everyone that they were royalty, which is not surprising to any cat owner. In Egypt, cats who passed were mourned so deeply by their owners that those left behind would shave their eyebrows off as a sign of their grief. Egyptian cats were often mummified and laid to rest with their family.
This all goes to say that you are not alone in grieving your loss. Pets have been family members for generations upon generations. There is no better way to remember their lives and the joy that they brought than memorializing them after they have passed. There are so many options and creative choices that every family can find something that truly reflects the love that you shared with your pet.