During my adult life, I have always been a proud Dog Mom. The heartbreaking part of being a Dog Mom is mourning their passing. Each time was very difficult for me. In the April Blog, we discussed why it is so difficult to lose a dog, but how do you get through it? Obviously everyone is going to experience grief differently. Therefore going through the process of mourning is also going to be different for everyone.
Personally what I have found to help me is to create a memory quilt. Favorite photos can be transferred onto fabric and there is a wide selection of cute dog related prints to chose from. You can notate the number of years of their life using cute buttons or beads, small flowers, rhinestones, or anything else. Their ID tag can even be used on the quilt. Pictured below are a couple of different memory quilts I made. As you can see they are both very different, due to the personalities of the dogs. The one on the left is for Angus. He was very fun and had a silly personality. The other is for Lacy. She was such a princess, and of course I had to use a lace fabric due to her name!
You can ask your Veterinarian to make a plaster-of-paris paw print of your dogs paw. A small keepsake that is sooo personal and means so very much. If the opportunity exists, it is very easy to create a stepping stone using your dogs paw prints. Just get a stepping stone kit from a craft store. There are beautiful statues that you can have your dogs name engraved on. Keeping it in a special place in your home or garden can bring you peace every time you see it. Placing it in your dogs favorite napping spot could very well bring you smiles.
A lot of people turn to their religion for comfort during the mourning period. This beautiful prayer was written for the passing of a dog by a friend of mine.
“If the last is first, and peacemakers are blessed, then your place is at the foot of whatever angel meets us all when we climb the stairs to where you’ll be.
Cherubims aside, there is no heaven without friends whose four legs have walked the rocky roads that we have known and stumbled on.
Let the saints do their work as well as you have done yours.”
~ Jody Serey
Another friend of mine created a mourning wreath (very common during the Victorian Era) and placed it on the front door of the house when her dog passed.
It doesn’t matter what you do or don’t do. Whatever it is that will help you through the grieving process is the right thing to do. The most important part is to not let others dictate to you what is right or wrong. Whatever feels right to you, is the best.