Pets bring laughter and love to our lives. They become members of our family and we can always depend on them to be there when we need comfort. They share our beds, wait for us to come home at the end of the day, and are always ready with a lick on the cheek to swipe away the remnants of a tough day. But as with every living thing, there comes a time, when despite the help veterinary medicine can provide, it’s time to say goodbye. It can be overwhelming when a pet dies and leaves a family. It is in that spirit that World Pet Memorial Day was created.
World Pet Memorial Day was created by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Every second Tuesday in June is dedicated to this special holiday and it allows us to commemorate and treasure the memories of a late pet. This year World Pet Memorial Day is June 11th. It is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the lives of our pets that will forever have a special place in our hearts and memories.
We thought we would list a few ideas on how to honor your pet’s memory.
Below is a list of activities to try out!
Write a letter
It can be a very soothing process to let out your emotions on paper and write down exactly how you are feeling.
You can even write the letter as if your pet is going to be the one reading it!
2. Create a scrapbook or collage with pictures
Take your favorite pictures of your pet and put them in a book and decorate the pages. This way you’ll have a special token with all of your memories in one place to look back on.
3. Create a living memorial by planting something
Plant a tree or one of your favorite flowers to honor your pet while creating new life.
4. Make a donation
Help out a local animal shelter like the Napa County Animal Shelter, or animal advocacy organizations like Napa Humane and Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch with items they need such as blankets, food, etc. You can visit their websites directly for was to donate.
Monetary donations are also very helpful to the animals in ensuring that they get exactly what they need when being served by these organizations!
5. Volunteer at the Napa County Animal Shelter to help other animals
Sometimes the best therapy is just being around animals! Help another animal that does not have a forever home yet to feel special and loved, and in turn help yourself!
More Ways to Memorialize Your Pet
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Have a Memorial Service. Invite loved ones and friends to honor your love for your pet. Share stories. Laugh, cry, embrace the give and take between you and your pet.
Get a tattoo with your pet’s name or paw print or saying that represents you and you pet.
Create an altar or shrine to your pet on a bookshelf or table or in part of a room.
Create a digital video with pictures of your pet and music that represents your life together.
Create a DIY paw print and/or nose print.
Create stepping stones or tile with your pet’s picture or name on it.
Make a pillow to hug with your pet’s ashes in it or your pet’s picture on it.
Create jewelry using a paw print or nose print or tooth or ashes.
Create a planter by placing a plant or flowers in your pet’s bowl to enjoy.
Turn your pet’s leash or collar into a bracelet that you can wear every day.
Create a photo blanket as a reminder of your lasting friendship.
Create a pet headstone that can be either inside or outside.
Make a collar candle by cutting the collar to fit the circumference of a candle and buckling it. Light it often as a way to remember your friend.
Join the conversation.
There are many ways to pay tribute to pets we have lost. And we discuss them in detail at our Monthly Pet Loss Support Group.
In partnership with Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch, we offer a monthly pet loss support group to the Napa Valley on the second Tuesday of every month. This intimate group is co-hosted by Dr. Kimberly Schmidt, owner and head veterinarian of NVHVS, and Rev. Dr. Amanda Tull, a hospice chaplain and retired marriage and family therapist. Our next meeting is this Tuesday, June 11th at 6:30PM. The group meets at First United Methodist Church located at 625 Randolph St, Napa, CA 94559. All are welcome to attend. For more information contact Dr. Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org . We hope you can join us. Whether you are struggling with the loss of a pet or are currently caring for your terminally ill pet, this group will offer a safe, warm and comforting space to discuss your feelings
Take the time to honor the memories you have with your pet, because your pet will always have a special place in your heart.