Pet Parents Say It ? What Are You Doing With It?

January 18, 2011
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imageI?m having a great time working the North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando this week! I can?t believe my good fortune ? animal ?stuff? all around me! Just heaven!

As I visit with the various attendees and other vendors, and mention what I do in working in pet loss and grief, the stories are amazing. And, one statement always seems to come up, ?I know everyone says it, but my dog REALLY was the best.? In fact, as one vendor was telling me his story, relaying the details to me so eloquently in his fabulous British accent, I learned about Cajun, his ?Staffie? who was an absolute love, and his forever love. ?The best dog ever? he said, time and time again.

While I loved seeing the photos of Cajun, what I found more interesting was all that he had done to honor Cajun when he died. They buried him in their backyard, in the special place that he liked to lay, under the ?dogwood? tree. (Even more meaningful ? as the family?s last name is Wood.) They marked the grave with a special flagstone piece that said ?Cajun ? The Best Dog In The World ? 17 March 2998 ? 4 Sept 2010.? Sitting at the top of the flagstone marker is Cajun?s treat jar, always filled with fresh, seasonal flowers.

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Then Cajun?s daddy showed me more,? as he was a ?Staffie? loved by all, Cajun loved it when people came to visit. Cajun?s daddy said they would always yell ?Cajun, your friends are here!? Therefore, when Cajun died, so many of those friends wanted their opportunity to pay respects to a dog that had touched their life, too. So a friend built a bench that sits next to Cajun?s grave that says ?Your Friends Are Here.? The entire grave site and tribute to Cajun is amazing,? warm and full of incredible love.

Personalization is powerful! The peace that it gave to this family to show their love for this dog, to sum up how they felt about Cajun, and to allow everyone who had been touched by Cajun to pay their respects to him too. Yes, personalization is powerful.

How are you guiding your families with the power of personalization?

About Coleen Ellis

In 1998, a chance encounter with a pet parent facing the death of her beloved pet was a defining moment for Coleen, and the birth of her vision of how to best meet the needs of pet parents as they plan for, experience, and cope with the death of their beloved animal companions developed over the following few years. In 2004, the catalyst for bringing her vision to reality was the death of her then 14 year old beloved Schnauzer mix Mico. Within months, she founded Pet Angel Memorial Center, Inc.

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