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Furever Remembered

This post may get long, so I apologize. The death of a loved one can be difficult, and research shows for some the loss of a pet is just as hard, or even harder than losing a human family member.

I want to start off by showing some examples of ways you can remember your dog after they have passed. You may want to think about some of these before they pass (foot prints, tattoos etc.) because there are things you may need and once they have passed, it will be too late. I have another post (insert link) where I go into some details about my experience and grief of losing my first dog, Rayan.

When you first lose a pet, it is hard to look at their toys, collars, treats (etc.) without hurting and some people just want to get rid of them. DON’T!! If needed, just box up the items and keep them all stored away until you are ready to process them. There may be some things you wish you held on to in the future. Below are some ideas for using some of your pup’s daily items and turning them into small things to honor and remember them.

Add their dog tag to your car keys. This may take an extra ring or small item to get onto your keys (depending on what you have), but shouldn’t take much more time or effort. It is a simple gesture and one I have come to truly love. I get to keep a little piece of her with me at all times.

Turn their blanket into a stuffed animal or pillow case. I personally love the smell of “dog” and was finding myself hugging Rayan’s blanket for months after she passed. I found someone local who was turning human shirts into teddy bears and asked if she could turn a blanket into a stuffed dog for me. She was amazing and I couldn’t be happier! I have the extra pieces and plan to make a pillow case for my other dog to snuggle with.

Make a shadow box. I personally did not make a shadow box of Rayan’s things (most are still in a box) but have seen some pretty awesome ones online like this one pictured. You could use their collar, leash, favorite toy, bowtie, really anything will work.

Below are some other items that I did to remember Rayan. Some of these may take some ‘pre-planning’ but for my situation…I didn’t get to “plan” so I made due with had I had. There are also some things I wish I had in order to create other pieces (I will mention below).

Let’s be real. We all have hundreds (if not thousands) of photos of our dog(s). I decided to make this photo memorial piece soon after Rayan died. To be honest, it was part of my grieving process and gave me something to ‘keep me busy’. I have seen some people on Etsy who will make a digital copy of these for you and ship to you for you to frame. I made this one myself by creating a bunch of 4x4 picture collages (through a phone app) then sending them in to get printed (Walgreens or Walmart, can’t remember which one) and then cut the collages apart so I ended up with a bunch of 1”x1” photos. I then printed a large picture of Rayan to use as the silhouette. I traced and cut her silhouette out from a poster. I then filled the silhouette with the 1” photos (cutting some to fit in small spaces). I started with the legs and other ‘weird’ shaped areas since they would require pictures of her in certain positions. Then filled in the center. Last, I used stickers to create a quote and framed the whole thing. Any extra photos were put into a photo book.

My husband and I both have tattoos for Rayan. I got mine two days after she died and never looked back (it was my first tattoo!). I wanted something just for her, in a spot I would see on a daily basis. I absolutely love this tattoo! (Her name on my forearm)

One-year later I got a second tattoo to honor all of the dogs that have and will come into my life (Sunflower). I will add initials around the flower as I fill my family with more dogs in the future. My husband decided he wanted a portrait of Rayan. This is where you should ‘prepare’ if you can. If you are thinking you would want a portrait tattoo of your pup, talk to an artist now. Since Rayan’s face is mostly white we had to find a VERY clear and detailed photo for our artist to use. She was very honest with us and wanted to produce a tattoo we were happy with. She loves doing animal portraits and is very picky on the photos she uses for the portraits so she can produce a realistic and true tattoo. We had our favorite photos, which most didn’t work (too far away, not enough lighting etc.) but finally found one we all liked! I am amazed with our artist’s talents and the tattoo turned out amazingly well!

Footprint art and décor is something I wish I had prepared for. I have a clay paw print from when she died, but would have wanted a true ink print as well. There are a lot of things you could do with an ink print (tattoo for example). So, if this is also something you have thought of…get the print now! Do not wait or it may be too late like it was for me.

I have a friend (and past co-worker) who makes resin paw prints and has recently dove into domestic pets (she started with the animals at our wildlife park we worked at). I HAD to get a print of Pete, since this is something I wish I could do/have for Rayan. I AM IN LOVE!! Look at how beautiful this is!!

One of my dearest friend’s dad made this beautiful piece of art for me. It is so detailed and realistic; I still cry looking at it. This sits next to her urn on a small shelf I found.

Lastly, we had Rayan privately cremated so we could keep her ashes. I had my awesome step-sister in-law personalize her urn for me to match my tattoo. It is perfect!

Our shop has some items you may be interested in. We have a couple different light options that can be used to memorialize past pets, or honor those still with you. During Christmas time we make ornaments, then all year round we make wall plug-in night lights and larger decorative table lights.


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