|As I read the following
article I was struck by a few contradictory and very strong emotions. |
I am an avid animal lover, supporter, and welfare advocate, through and through. If it has anything to do with animals (dogs, cats and any other we equally), I want to know about it, study it, and comprehend it. We are living in a time that is pivotal in the history of our pets and the role they play in humans lives. We are understanding they are not so unlike us. We treat them for pain, emotional stability, behavioral issues, and they have almost all of the same biology, diseases, and illnesses that we do. They also posses some that we humans lack. Animals possess incredibly acute perception, undying loyalty, and the intertwining of our lives is unparalleled for any time on our past.
There isn't a day that someone's pet isn't making news saving their owners lives. Whether it be from drowning, alerting their guardian about impending seizures, or from house fires, finding and rescuing after being trapped under snow, rubble, or even from being lost in the great outdoors. To understand their talent, love, and generous care for us is to be bound to their life as much as we are bound to our own family. In many cases, many of us view our pets as a part of our family.
It is because of this that this story struck such a poignant chord with me.
I am still perplexed by my response to it. If I feel as I do, then why would I be so shocked and repulsed by the idea of freeze drying my pet so that they could remain with me forever? If I feel so strongly about the bond we have with our companions why is it that I am not condoning and supporting this practice?
The loss of ones pet is a painful heart breaking event. After their passing we make a personal choice to have our departed pet buried, cremated with their ashes kept safely contained by our side on a mantle, or preserved permanently frozen in expression to sit by our feet until we to move from this life. But would the lifeless shell of our pet be an adequate reminder, or a respectful way to eulogize them? Does the constant reminder of a pet who has passed away help us to heal, to move forward, and the love again? I don't know. But I do know that everyone handles grief differently, and everyone needs something to hold onto. I get that. But I can't help but to feel a little creeped out by a stuffed dead dog in a living room. There is a picture accompanying this article of the showroom of the taxidermists office with like 20 dogs all frozen and stuffed in an office. It's to disturbing for me to cut and paste into this blog.
I am asked often how I handle the passing of a pet, and the pain of that. The answer is that I have to understand that death is a part of life, and that life must always go on, and that we must never forget how fleeting, precious, and beautiful that life is. Being reminded of what we have lost, and clinging to that shell of a time with a loved one will never replace the warmth of their fur, the consoling of their purr, or the faithful cuddle of a wet nose on our cheek.
When I am assisting someone to help their pet pass on and I am asked what I do, I tell them the truth. I miss the pets that I have lost very much. I tell them that I love them as I say goodbye, I feel grateful for the time we had, and I know in my heart that I did everything that I could every day of their lives to make their lives as happy as they made mine. After they are gone I take a small clipping of hair and they are buried in the cemetery of my home. They each have a headstone and they each have a plot of flowers planted at their grave site. That's how I keep them with me.
What do you think?
Let me know.
Here's the article on pet taxidermy that has me asking myself what is to far when we lose something that we love and how do we let go of something we are grieving?
Owners pay thousands, wait months for taxidermist to preserve their departed petsGrowing up on the family farm, Anthony Eddy learned early on not to get too attached to animals, including household pets. His devoted customers are a different story.
Taxidermy helps owners deal with death of pets
|Some people who cannot bear parting with their dogs, cats, turtles and guinea pigs are turning to taxidermists to preserve their pets' bodies. Few taxidermists are willing to preserve pets because owners are quick to spot small imperfections, according to the National Taxidermists Association. Those that do often have long waiting lists and charge upwards of $1,000 for the task. Psychology professor Allen McConnell sees the trend as an extension of humans' close ties to their animals. Duluth News Tribune (Minn.)/The Associated Press (3/3)|