Honoring the Memory

The Gazebo at Wayside Waifs

The Gazebo at Wayside Waifs

Have you ever thought about what you will do when your pet passes away?  If you haven’t, don’t feel bad.  It’s not something most people like to think about.  Our pets are members of our family, giving us constant unconditional love.  Whether they are ill or old it can be a heartbreaking experience, whether you know its coming or not.

Last week I received a call from a woman who was completely devastated at the loss of her beloved pet of 17 years.  He had died at home in her arms.  The traumatic experience and crushing grief was making it difficult for her to even think clearly.  She had no idea what to do or where to go.  She just knew to call Wayside Waifs.  I spoke with her about the options that Wayside Waifs Pet Memorial Services offered, and explained to her that that it’s completely normal to grieve the loss of her best friend.  A couple of hours later she brought her dog in.  We walked through the cemeteries for a bit while she shared funny stories about her loyal best friend.  The thought of burial was appealing to her, but she couldn’t bear the thought of not having him with her.  She decided an individual cremation was more suited for what she wanted.  She decided to do a paw print impression of her dog, took a clipping of his hair, and created a beautiful shadow box to honor his memory in her home. 

The same woman called again the other day, just to say thanks for all the care and compassion she received from every member of the Wayside staff.  She is still having a hard time dealing with her loss, especially when he’s not at the front door to greet her.  But having somewhere to go that understood her grief and shared her love of animals made the process seem easier. 

Wayside’s Pet Memorial Services handles these situations on a daily basis.  Our staff realizes that every family is different.  That is why we offer a variety of services to customize for every situation.  No matter how simple or extravagant, all the animals that come to us are treated with extreme compassion, dignity and respect.

Being able to to help people when they are grieving is probably the most rewarding part of my job.  We strongly encourage families to visit us or go to our website to learn more about the options available to them.  We understand these decisions are difficult, so knowing what options are available to you and pre-planning before tragedy strikes can make all the difference in the world.

Written by Jackie Gabbert, Wayside Waifs Pet Memorial Services

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