I knew that the day would come when I’d be writing about the inevitable topic of how I’m coping with the loss of my beloved pup(s), and today is it, only 6.5 years after becoming a doggie mom, and obviously way too early.
Although Missy’s life on this planet was ridiculously short, it was most definitely long enough to leave permanent paw prints on my heart. After all, she became an integral part of my life the moment her tiny puppy self hopped into my place at just 8 weeks of age.
So in this post, I’d like to share a few ways I found helpful in keeping the memory of our time spent together alive. Maybe they’ll offer you some inspiration in helping you deal with the loss of a beloved furry friend as well.
Bringing Her Back Home In An Urn
I remember the day I asked one of our vet techs about the different options I’d have once Missy would have closed her pretty eyes forever. I had never experienced this process before, so I wanted to be as well prepared as possible and asked my questions when Missy & I went in to refill her anti-seizure meds, about 6 weeks before she ended up passing. I’m still amazed that I managed to do so without crying.
Jason, the vet tech, explained that I could either take her body back home and bury her in my yard, or have her cremated individually or as part of a group pet cremation. Since I wanted to bring her ashes back home in an urn, Missy would have to be cremated individually.
The total cost of the euthanization ($60), individual cremation ($135), urn ($12.50), & paw print of honor ($9.00) was $217.38 ($0.88 tax). Even death doesn’t come free. Sigh.
I was able to bring my little girl back home after a few days. I placed the urn on the right side of the backseat area of my car on our way home. That’s where Missy always sat when we went for car rides. Let me tell you that there were plenty of tears on those 30 minutes back home.
On Our Car Ride Back Home
Missy's Urn Above The Fireplace
Creating A Custom Picture Canvas
I knew I’d want to keep seeing my pretty girl on a daily basis, so it was kind of a no brainer to have a custom piece of photo art created in her memory.
I browsed a few different options online and went with a design I saw at Walmart. It’s a 20″ x 16″ canvas featuring 9 different snapshots of Missy – her in the NC mountains, in D.C., being goofy at home, and of course snacking away on some of her favorite treats (duck head & watermelon). It was $39.96, came with free shipping, and took about 2 weeks to get delivered.
Now it’s hanging up on a wall in the living room, a few feet away from the fireplace mantle where I keep Missy’s urn. I’m able to see both whenever I sit on my sectional, and that was important to me.
Getting A Tattoo In Missy’s Honor
Going along with the theme of wanting to see her every day, another part of my grieving process included getting a tattoo that documented my love for Missy.
I browsed Pinterest for some inspiration and came across the picture of a lifeline with a heart/paw print on one end, “Furbaby” on the other, and a black Boxer in the middle. The moment I saw it, I knew it was the one I’d want to get, so next up was finding the right tattoo shop.
I did an Instagram search for that one and ended up contacting a small tattoo shop in Fayetteville, NC, Southern Customs Tattoo Company. Owner Adrian set up a date for a consultation with tattoo artist Aaron, and 3 weeks later I went in to get it done. I decided to have it say “Missy” instead of “Furbaby”, and Aaron made the adjustment on his stencil.
My friend Laura came along for moral support and documented the process by taking pictures and videos – it was a really fun, enjoyable time!
Getting my tattoo, from start to finish
I decided to get it done on my upper left ribcage to have it close to my heart. It did sting a bit, but the physical pain actually helped cope with my emotional one.
The cost for my tattoo, Aaron’s tip and a few aftercare products was just shy of $150, so extremely reasonable in my personal opinion.
Blogging About Her
Missy has been an integral part of my blog since mid 2014 and the inspiration for my raw feeding journey, so I’ve been finding relief in continuing to write about Missy after her death, both here on K9sOverCoffee.com as well as on ThatMutt.com where I’ve been contributing raw feeding related blog posts for a while now:
I continue to miss my puppy girl and there’s not one day I don’t think about her, but I’m happy with the choices I made to honor the time we had together.
She keeps watching over me from her throne in the living room, I now have my love for her documented on my body, and I enjoy keeping her memory alive in my writing and seeing the snapshots of her happy puppy self every single day.
Have you lost a furry friend? What helped you cope with their death? As always, we’d love to hear from you in our comment section!