Friday, September 11, 2015

National Pet Memorial Day all about honoring animal family members

When someone loses a companion animal to age or illness, their friends and family members want to be able to say the right thing, and to do the right thing.

Everyone wants to honor and acknowledge the loss in a way that recognizes grief while ensuring remembrance. 

National Pet Memorial Day, held this year on Sun., Sept. 13, is one opportunity for Americans across the country to join together in remembrance of their beloved pets. 

But there are many ways to memorialize a pet any time of the year, to bring joy out from grief, and happy memories from loss.

The Morris Animal Foundation suggests: 

--Pictures: Pictures are a great and easy way to memorialize a pet. You can frame individual photos, make a scrapbook, or create an online album to capture wonderful times. Small photo books make a thoughtful gift to a friend or family member who is grieving the loss of a pet.

--Plant a tree: Many of us have rich memories of walking our dogs through parks and forests, and can bring to life in our minds the pure delight our dogs (or our cats) took in being outdoors. Planting a tree in honor of a lost companion animal leaves a living legacy to the memory of your pet.

--Create a memory box: A memory box may hold your pet’s special toys, collar, leash, water bowl, or any other item your pet coveted. You also can create a shadow box to hang on the wall with your pet’s collar, photos, training certificates and other small keepsakes. This is a great project for kids, too.

--Painting: Many artists will create paintings of your companion animal from a photo. These beautiful, artistic creations can capture your pet’s personality in a different way.

--Videos: Edit down a few minutes of video to create a lively tribute to your pet. It’s a fun way to capture their “voice,” how they move, and their play with others.

--Contribute to a charitable organization: Morris Animal Foundation has a memorial card program that provides an easy and thoughtful way to memorialize a beloved pet while supporting science that advances animal health. It’s another way to create a living legacy in your pet’s name. A memorial card also is a heartfelt way to reach out to a friend or family member who has lost a pet. Until Sept. 13, the foundation also is providing its pet online memorial wall at no charge for people to post photos and memories of their pets that have passed.

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