By Amber Polo
Pets’ lives are shorter than our human ones. All life-long pet lovers have experienced the sorrow and grieving for many pets who have shared their life. Every pet enhances our life in meaningful and often surprising ways. The loss of a pet companion can feel like your heart is breaking. The bond that meant so much is too soon broken. Their deaths force us to face the impermanence of all life.
The end of each pet’s life deserves to be honored and respected. Whether as a result of a surprise passing or a difficult decision, veterinarians are making your final minutes with a pet easier. Some will come to your house to provide in-home euthanasia. Others have quiet comfort rooms in their clinics, often with a private entrance, where you can spend final end of life time in privacy. These services cannot take away the pain but do show deep respect for your feelings and your loss.
Saving Memories through Cremation
During this stressful time the decision of the remains must be quickly made. If cremation is chosen, and if you request, the ashes will be returned to you. If burial is chosen, you need to research state and local laws.
You can choose to receive the ashes in a simple scatter tube type urn which can be used to scatter ashes in a pet’s favorite place. Or you may choose from a variety of wood, bronze, steel urns, picture frames, or decorative objects.
Mingus Cremation for Pets’ Benjamin Staples in Cottonwood and Ponderosa Pet Cremation’s Russell Mann in Flagstaff provide local personalized services for transporting your pet with dignity and respect and assuring you the ashes you receive are truly your pets. Both services offer pickups from homes, veterinary clinics, and humane societies. Pets are not limited to dogs and cats. Ferrets, hamsters, snakes, and other small pets can be cremated. Choices include communal or individual cremation and also offer the pet parent the option of being present during the process. Ashes are returned in a few days in the chosen urn.
The Melting Point’s Glass Memorials
The Melting Point, Sedona’s art glass studio and gallery, creates glass memorials for both pets and people. A glass artisan adds a tiny amount of ash to molten glass to create a truly unique piece infused with memory essence. Choices include a medallion or orb to view, a small piece to hold, or a pendant to wear. A paw print etching, customized artwork, or text can be incorporated into the design. Multiple pieces can be created for sharing with the pet’s friends.
Ways to Grieve
At this difficult time, when feelings of sadness, shock, and loneliness become overwhelming, consider the ways to support your grieving time.
- Hold a memorial service
- Talk to others about your loss
- Share your loss with online friends
- Call a Pet Loss hotline
- Collect favorite photos to display
- Create or commission a painting from a favorite photo
- Create a photo book or video
- Write or journal your memories
- Write a poem
- Spend time with animals if it feels comforting
More Ways to Honor Your Pet
- Donate in your pet’s name to your favorite animal welfare group to help other animals.
- Submit a story & photo as a “Rainbow Bridge” page story to The Flagstaff-Sedona Dog to share with other animal lovers who understand the sadness of loss. (send to: Elaine@FlagstaffSedonaDog.com)
Mingus Cremation for Pets
741 Airpark Way #1
Ponderosa Pet Cremation
1519 N. Main St. #109
The Melting Point
1449 West 89A, Suite 1
Sedona Thursday – Monday 10 -6