Our pets are an enormous and important part of our lives, and we always hope they’ll remain healthy and active even into their old age. Sadly, it’s a reality that dogs and cats simply don’t have as long a lifespan as humans. Beyond that, they face many diseases or illnesses that may take them away from this world before we ever expected. Such a loss is heartbreaking, and most of us have experienced at some time or another as a loved pet moves on to a more peaceful existence.
When a pet dies, though, they are not forgotten. In fact, most pet owners continue to cherish that pet in a corner of their heart even if they go on to have other dogs and cats in their lives. Every animal has a special impact on us and deserve to be honored for the love and joy they’ve provided.
Today is National Pet Memorial Day, a time set aside to remember those pets who have gone on before us and wait on the other side. It doesn’t matter whether they’re a dog, cat, bird, horse, reptile, fish, or any other creature. Let’s take this day to hold them in our minds and hearts, recalling all the fun we had with them, the hard times they helped us through, and the unique personalities and quirks that made them different than any other animal out there.
Here’s how you might consider spending this day:
- Meditate – Take a little time alone, away from the noise and distractions of the day, and just think back over the times you and your pet spent together. Focus on happy memories, the things you loved about them, and how they changed your life in little or big ways over the years.
- Volunteer – Consider spending time working at a local shelter or other animal organization, helping care for those pets who’ve yet to gain a loving home. Many of them are working through health issues, and your support could give them the care they need to make it through and find their next family.
- Contribute – If you don’t have the time, you can always donate funds or supplies to shelters or adoption agencies. This will empower them to connect pets with potential adopters!
- Memorialize – A pet memorial doesn’t have to be a big affair (though you can certainly make it as grand as you wish). It can be a simple as a small picture or painting hung in your house. It could be a post on Facebook or photo album…perhaps a paw print preserved in clay, or a stuffed toy that sits on the shelf and reminds them of you every time you see it.
Once you’ve given these moments to look back on lives loved and lost, be sure to look back to the present and the pets you currently are blessed to have. Then look to the future and all the potential adventure and joy it holds!
Have you lost a furry family member before? What have you done to keep them close in spirit?
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