Why even do pet memorials?
As written before, pets become a part of the family. Young children get especially attached and get hit the hardest when the animal passes away. Animals are more than someone they play with; adolescents confide in them and younger children might not understand their beloved pet isn’t coming back, causing distress. Having a permanent totem of some kind can help the family process the grief easier. We list a few below:
This method is common and is usually taken care of by a special service the vet has in their books. Owners cremate their pets so they can be close to them even after the animal is gone. Pet cremation services have a variety of options of storing the ashes, from placing them in a wooden box to a scatter tube. The family can scatter the ashes, keep them when they move house or do any number of things to help bring closure.
When an animal is ingrained into public identity, a whole community experiences a loss along with the owners. Hachiko is one of the best examples. Hachiko was a Shiba inu so loyal to his master that he’d wait at the train station every day when he went to work. Hachi’s owner, Professor Ueno, died at Tokyo University in 1925. Hachi, though, kept waiting at the station until his own death in 1935. After he passed, there was a public mourning period and a (new) statue in his image was erected outside Shibuya station. In 2015, another statue was unveiled where both dog and master were reunited once more.
Pet memorials are personal, and some owners keep their deceased companions close to their hearts. Literally. If someone chooses to cremate their pet, they sometimes take a portion of the ashes and place it in a locket. Other times they use a clipping of their pet’s fur.