By Kacey Mya:
Dogs are often called man’s best friend, and your pooch more than earned the title. As such, saying goodbye to your four-legged companion is difficult, to say the least. But you can ease a heavy heart by honoring your pet in the way that they deserve and in a way that will make you pause and remember what a great pooch you had. Here are ten ways to do it:
1. Garden Stone
Most dogs love being outside, whether they’re chasing squirrels, digging up dirt or relaxing in the sun. You know your pet’s favorite spot in the front or backyard, so place a commemorative stone in the area. You can paint a rock yourself or purchase an engraved one — you might even consider planting flowers or another plant to further spruce up the spot where your beloved dog used to spend their days.
2. Write an Obituary
An obituary is a beautiful way to recount a person’s life and share their greatest triumphs with the world. Even though you might not publish your pup’s story, writing it down can help remind you of all the beautiful times you shared. Be sure to cover the essential details— birthday, adoption day, etc. — as well as their favorite activities, personality notes and your most cherished memories.
3. Create a Photo Album
You probably have tons of pictures of your beloved pup on your phone and camera. Rather than swiping through them on a screen, print them out and turn them into a photo album. The process of putting together pictures of them as a puppy, young dog and senior pooch will be sweetly sentimental, and you’ll be able to recall the journey you shared every time you flip open the pages.
4. Commission a Memorial Plaque
Your pup’s countenance would look great on a memorial plaque that you could place inside or outside of your home. Just make sure you select a plaque maker who uses high-quality materials — bronze and aluminum retain their color and quality in spite of the elements, thus ensuring you’ll have a way to honor your pooch for years to come.
5. Plant a Tree
We already touched on the possibility of placing a stone and planting flowers in an outdoor spot your pet loved. You might also want to make the place where you buried your four-legged friend. If so, consider placing a tree in the same area. As you look out and see the tree growing, you’ll remember the love you will always have for your pet who rests there now.
6. Make a Donation
A donation in your dog’s memory could go on to help other pooches, which is a great way to honor such a special pet. Perhaps you can give back to the organization or shelter from which you adopted your dog. Of course, any charity or group that works to save and protect animals is a fitting choice.
Similarly, you can share the love you gave to your dog with other canines in need. It might be hard to be around other pups at first, so wait until you’re ready. But once you are, you’ll find it so rewarding to give back to pets without homes. Plus, it will be good for you, too, since you’re used to spending time with a dog and soaking up their unadulterated joy — dogs in need can offer you plenty of smiles.
8. Dog Tag Jewelry
Your pet probably wore a collar that sported a charm with their name on it. You can remove the nametag and turn that into a bracelet, necklace or keychain for you to wear. Or, you can transform the entire collar into a sweet bracelet for yourself, complete with the nametag at its center. Either way, you’ll be able to wear something to remind you of your dog every single day.
9. Share with Other Dogs
Some pet owners have eased the pain of losing their pooch by giving to other four-legged friends. So, let’s say your dog loved playing catch with tennis balls. Fill a box with new tennis balls and bring them to your local dog park. Affix a sign to the container that says you lost your dog but want to share their favorite toy with other pooches. You’ll feel great about imparting others with the same joy your dog brought to you.
10. Adopt a New Pet
You shouldn’t jump into adopting a new dog, but don’t let your heartbreak stop you from having a pet ever again. Bringing home another pet is a great way to honor the one you’ve lost. You’ll find new quirks and lovable traits with every pooch you add to your family over the years. So, wait until you’re emotionally ready, then try finding a new companion, and honor your beloved pooch by sharing your love with another dog in need.
Say Goodbye Beautifully
Your dog gave you so much, and these ten ideas only honor the bond you shared. You can never replace the dog you lost, but you can and should reflect on the glorious time you had together. So, look back and smile — you gave your dog a great life, and now you have the memories for the rest of yours.