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Lauren Webber is a former HR manager and lover of psychology who now runs Dainty Mom among her other pursuits. Her interests range from the corporate world to health and self-care to home improvement and parenting. Now if only someone came up with a way to extend the day by about 20 more hours, she could dedicate herself to all of these equally and constantly.
While we all love our pets, the sad reality is that even the best companion won’t be around forever.
The oldest known house cats in the world only lived into their late thirties, although you can generally expect a cat to live around fifteen or sixteen years.
Dogs live even shorter lives; they tend to be around ten to fifteen years, depending on the breed’s size. If you get one that actually lives a healthy life all 15 years, that’s an old dog indeed. Hamsters? You’ll be lucky to spend five years together. Regardless of what kind of animal you have decided to share your life with, there is one thing you can be sure of: human beings tend to outlive pets.
Birds are a bit of a different story. There are parrots that’ll be around for many decades, and the same is true of turtles. But those are different sorts of pets. Certainly, they have their own kind of affection, and they have their own way of showing their owners love.
And if these are the critters with whom you form a bond, you want to commemorate them as well—why not? That’s the point of this article. Because nothing is forever, finding ways of remembering the animals who have played such an important part in your life is quite important.
We’re going to explore four ways to help you remember and honor your pet.
1. Pictures And Videos
This one’s very obvious, but that doesn’t reduce its validity. Pictures, videos, slide shows, little movies you put together with your family—these are invaluable means of commemorating the life of your four-footed family. So take some pictures of your critters, put a few in frames. Upload a few videos online to remember them. You’ll be glad you did!
2. A Quality Painting Of Your Animal Family Member
If you’re a bit more artistic, you might look into options like those available through Instapainting. Essentially, you send a few good pictures to the business, and they use those as a basis from which to produce an excellent painting.
The likeness of your animal is perfectly captured, and you can treasure that painting forever—even passing it down to subsequent generations.
3. Journaling, Poems, And Fiction
Many people memorialize their pets by journaling about them in their normal diaries. This is a great habit to get into, and you can keep many fond memories of your pet alive for many decades. Something else that might work are poems—a little verse here and there can really capture the soul of the living in an astonishing way.
Lastly, don’t neglect a bit of therapeutic fiction here or there. Remember Calvin and Hobbes, by Bill Watterson? Well, part of the character of “Hobbes” was based on the family cat, Sprite.
If you ever read the Calvin and Hobbes 10th Anniversary Book, Watterson provides a heartbreaking little paragraph beneath one of the cartoons which was written to commemorate Sprite, the family pet of him and his wife.
4. Anecdotes And Stories Passed On Via Word Of Mouth
Perhaps one of the most entertaining means of memorializing a pet is telling all those funny stories; like how the cat would chase your niece and nephew, or how the dog would bring your hat to you whenever he wanted to go for a walk—because he knew you always wore your hat.
Those kinds of heart-melting tales have real value. Your kids will remember them, and so will friends as well as extended family. You can also write these anecdotes down, but that kind of falls under the “journalism” heading explored earlier in this writing. At any rate, keeping the memory of your favorite kitty, pup, bird, or turtle alive through storytelling is a good move.
The Best Pets Aren’t Forever—Memorialize Them Right
Just when we didn’t think anything could be worse than watching an animal die in a movie, Hachi went and proved that a dog outliving its owner is definitely worse. But that doesn’t stop us from wishing our pets lived forever. Animal bonds have a different kind of purity, and when they pass on, it’s heart-wrenching.
When the time does come, you’ll always have those fond memories. And you can relive them with pictures, videos, quality paintings, journaling, poems, fictional stories, and those hilarious anecdotes of your pet’s unique behavior. So don’t spare any expense! And take the photos now!
You’ll be so glad you did.
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