Pets have been part of our lives since the days of the cave men. We domesticated wolves which then evolved into our current day dogs. In cave man days, wolves assisted man in hunting, helped get rid of rid of the scraps left over from meals, alerted man to dangers, and defended him from predators. These jobs carried on down through the years as did this part in keeping man company. Can't you just seeing a cave man and his wolf sharing a cave and keeping each other warm. Unfortunately, just like us, wolves and now dogs, cats and all our other pets die. Even though their role in our lives has not changed over the years, how we honor them in death has.
In ancient Egypt, family pets were mummified (if the family could afford it) and buried in the temples,
Anubis for the dogs and Bast for cats. And of course, everyone has heard the stories of the burials of pets with the pharaohs. This tradition also carried over to other cultures though maybe not as elaborate.
Fast forward to America. We have our own traditions for burial of our beloved pets. Who of us didn't have a pet funeral in our backyard as kids with the whole family in attendance? To many this was a necessary part of growing up – facing death and honoring our love for another being. It provided closure and made it all right for us to grieve.
Today, as fewer and fewer of live our whole lives in one dwelling, our customs have changed along with it. We want to be able to visit that special friend, just as we visit our family members graves after they pass. To share special events in our lives or to show them we still think about them. If you no longer live in the same house or in the case of a childhood loss, your parents have moved, it is difficult if not impossible for you to visit.
The pet cemeteries of today offer a variety of services. If you prefer a traditional form of burial, they can provide both the place and the casket. Many have a custom-made service where you can pick the materials used for the casket and design just as you would for any loved one. They care for the plot, keeping the grounds mowed and grass free from weeds. Many offer free services for military service animals. They can also provide grave markers. All treat your furry friend with the respect that they deserve.
If you prefer something that many feel is more environmentally friendly, cremation is also an option. Pets are cremated individually and their ashes returned to you. You have the choice of purchasing an urn from many locations or most crematoria offer these as well. You can then sprinkle their ashes in their favorite park or keep them on your mantle.
What ever you choose, keep in mind that pets play a large part in our lives. Grieving is a natural thing and needs to take place in order for us to heal. Today it is not uncommon to send a card or flowers when someone in your life has lost their pet.
Written by Charlie