The practice of memorializing pets dates back thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians entombed cats alongside people in the pyramids. Ancient cultures in South America had special tombs for their dogs. Evidence goes back as far as ten thousand years to support pet burials and memorials.
These days, we don’t necessarily have access to pyramids and fancy tombs for our friends at the Rainbow Bridge. That doesn’t mean you can’t memorialize your pet! A recent survey by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association found that one in ten dog and cat owners would buy an urn for their pet — that adds up to almost twenty million urns every year. Urns and headstones for lost pets are a fast-growing industry.
Eternal Image makes customized caskets and urns from burnished copper, bronze, and wood. These memorials resemble a trophy that a dog or cat might win at a show and retail for $149.
Backyard burials may not be possible for apartment or urban dwellers. An urn is a tasteful option. The selection hasn’t been very wide until recently. But the smaller, novelty urns of the past are making way for classier, tasteful displays.
When my Miko passed away in September 2003, he was cremated and his ashes were returned to me. They are in a simple, tasteful tin that I keep on my bookshelf along with a pawprint in clay and some of my favorite pictures. The company that took care of Miko’s remains also sent the pawprint, a candle with his name on it, and a copy of the Rainbow Bridge poem. It was a lovely and touching display.
If you aren’t comfortable with the idea of keeping your pet’s ashes in the house, there are many other ways to memorialize your pet. Perhaps you could plant a tree in your pet’s honor, or make a donation to your local animal shelter. Need more ideas for memorializing your beloved pet? Look here.
Read more about saying goodbye to your four-legged friend.