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Remembering a pet when they die (AD)

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I want to share the ways we have been remembering a pet when they die as late last year my beautiful cat Izzy passed away. It was really unexpected, as she had been so healthy since we moved house and she had an operation. In the evening I noticed she seemed a little off colour and in the morning she went downhill very fast and sadly passed away. This is the first pet loss in our family for my husband and our 4 year old daughter, so I wanted to mark it in a few little special ways.

Izzy laying on a red rug looking into the camera with a blue toy in the background

Have your pets ashes returned to you

This was a service that came at a premium price point, but one that I am really pleased our local vet offered to us. Izzy passed away quickly, surrounded by Thomas and I, at home, and once she had passed away we rang the vet and they spoke with us about the different options that they offered. We made the decision to have Izzy privately cremated by the vets and then we decided to have her ashes returned back to us at home, as we wanted to scatter her in our garden area, so we could keep her nearby forever.

A paw print keepsake

Another service that our vet was able to offer to us was the chance to have a paw print keepsake. I was not overly fussed about this option, however, Thomas decided that he wanted it to look back on so we decided to go ahead with ordering this. We received a plaster type disc that had Izzy’s paw print in the middle so we could remember how little she was forever. It’s been tucked away for safety, as we have a little one in our home, but it is a nice keepsake for Thomas to have.

Commission a pet portrait

It’s lovely to have photographs of your pet up in your home but you really can’t beat a Pet Portrait! This is a fantastic service from Vector Pets that offers you the chance to order hand drawn custom pet illustrations, which look lovely and are great fun too. It is such a fun way to remember your pet or pets, and you can choose from a variety of different styles including a full body pet portrait or even just a simple head portrait.

Plant forget-me-nots or lavender

We chose to scatter Izzy’s ashes in some soil in a pot in our garden, so we can move this with us when we choose to move house again. The pot has flowers on it, and is a lovely blue colour. Then we have planted a lovely little lavender bush inside the pot too. We DID try our hand at growing forget-me-nots but sadly they just never grew, despite trying two packets of seeds and our best efforts! I’m not sure if we did something wrong or whether it was a soil ph issue but either way now we have the lavender, which smells glorious, looks lovely too and it is a nice way to remember Izzy and her life when I am sitting in my office looking out of the window.

Create a photo album

Gather together all of your favourite photographs of your beloved pet. If you have lots of photographs then you could consider making a scrapbook. You could have photographs of your pet through the years, perhaps several pages for each year. Add in some of your favourite little keepsakes and write up some of your fun memories from when your pet was young, or even close to their passing date.

Put together a memory box

It can be really hard to have your pets belongings in your home once they have passed away. Consider donating some of the items, such as bedding or toys, if they’re in a suitable condition to pass on to a pet charity or rescue. There are lots of great charities that would really appreciate your support, especially when times are hard at the moment.

Save all of your favourite pet items, that can really remind you of your time with your pet, and then place them inside a memory box. You could decorate the box if you want to add a personalised touch to your memory box. You’ll have your pets favourite items to hand, when you want to reminisce, but you won’t have to see your departed pet’s items around your home to make you feel sad on days when you are not mentally strong enough to look at them.

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