Category Archives: Uncategorized

HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR AGING/AILING PET – a guest post by Tina Marconi

Elderly DogThey’re more than just pets; more often than not, they’re members of your family who’ve stuck by you through thick and thin.  And now they’re growing old and/or becoming infirm so they deserve much more care than ever before.  Continue reading

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Pet Cremation: Know Your Options Ahead of Time

Where will you go when the time comes to say good-bye to your beloved pet?  Most people will go to their trusted Pet Care Provider who will hopefully usher them through this crossroads of emotion and decision making with love, support and dignity.  It is important to know that Pet Care Providers are just that and may not know your preferences on the after life care you prefer for your beloved pet.

While pet cemeteries have been available in many communities, burial within a pet cemetery can be a very expensive option.   Many may still choose to bury their pet in the “back forty” but most communities now have very strict health department  zoning restrictions on pet burial.  Today families have become more mobile and may desire the ability to take their family pet’s remains with them if they re-locate.  All are reasons that more and more pet owners are choosing cremation and as many as 70 percent of those owners are choosing to receive their pets ashes after the cremation.  Just 10 years ago only 25 percent chose this option.

Knowing that cremation is your choice isn’t the last step in this decision.  Many pet owners do not realize that there is also a menu of options for the pet cremation.  Pet cremation usually falls within three main categories;  mass cremation, individual cremation and private cremation.

Mass Cremation – As the name implies this is the cremation of many animals at one time, within a single crematory session.  Pet crematories can be very large with a capacity of several hundred to thousands of  pounds of weight.  These animals come from a variety of clinics, animal shelters, etc and when the cremation is completed the ashes are gathered and taken away to be disposed of by the crematory company,  generally in their private landfill.  This option should be the least expensive option for the pet owner and is a sanitary and decent way to dispose of the pet if retaining the ashes is not desired.  It is important for pet owners to know that if they do not specify otherwise this is the option that will be chosen for their pet if they request that their pet care provider “just take care of it”.

Individual Cremation – The individual cremation is a source of some confusion for pet owners and can be very deceiving.  Individual cremation simply means that the ashes that are returned to the pet owner are intended to be only the ashes of their beloved pet.  Generally with an individual pet cremation, the animal is tagged with a metal tag and placed within their own individual metal “tray” in the crematory.  Depending upon the volume of the particular crematory there can be many animals within one session, however the animals are identified and separated.  When the session is complete, the ashes are processed, bagged,  and readied to be shipped back to the Pet Care Provider or individual pet owner depending on the circumstance of its arrival to the crematory.  Many pet owners believe that an individual cremation means that their pet was cremated in a single session by itself  and then given back to them as a guarantee that these ashes are their pets ashes alone.   The only way to make absolutely sure that is the case is with the following option and that is the Private Cremation.

Private Cremation – A private cremation provides the option for the pet to be cremated entirely alone within the cremation chamber ensuring that there are no other ashes mixed within the pets ashes.  Often there will be a tag with identifiying numbers that will be placed on the pet and will go through the crematory process with him and returned with the obvious characteristics of the crematory process on the tag as an extra assurance.  Many times the crematorium facilities will allow for a special blanket or toy to accompany the pet and some crematoriums now have waiting room facilities or facilities that allow for a witnessed private cremation.  Private cremations are becoming more popular as pet funeral homes are beginning to pop up across our landscape.  Pet funeral homes often can arrange for pick up of the pet at the private home or Pet Care Provider as well.  Sixty five percent of private cremations are from Pet Care Provider affiliates so it is important to discuss with your Veterinarian what crematory company he has an affiliation with and/or does he have a pet funeral home that he would recommend if what you require is the absolute assurance that a Private Cremation will take place.  The prices for these services should also be discussed in advance as they can vary greatly.

While it is a difficult subject to contemplate for every pet owner,  it is best to be prepared with as much knowledge as possible before the time comes.  Take the time to discuss your crematory options with your Pet Care Provider or with your local pet funeral home or crematory, make sure that you are clear on what it is they provide, have them describe their processes in detail and make sure that those services meet your expectations. 

As difficult as this can be, it is very important that pet owners are prepared with this knowledge before the agonizing time of the loss of a pet.  The loss of a pet is a very emotional and devastating time making these decisions all the more difficult.

7 Things Not To Say When Someone Has Lost A Pet

When a friend or loved one has lost their pet it is often very hard to know what to say to help.  With over 200 million pets owned in the United States most of us will, at one time or another, be called upon to support  an important person in our life as they experience the often times devastating loss of a pet.  While it may be very hard to know what to say, an important part of supporting the loved one is to know what not to say:

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A Pure Love…Why is the death of a pet so devastating?

“I feel so guilty…I didn’t cry this much when my mom died”,  “I’m sorry…I don’t know why I am taking this so hard.”,  “Thank you for understanding; this has just been so hard for me.”…

The grief from losing a pet is so deep, so real and so heartbreaking.  I hear the above statements weekly from people who are seeking an answer or some comfort as they deal with the profound loss they are experiencing.  I can really only listen and try to explain from my perspective why this grief over the loss of a pet is so overwhelming.

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It’s Back to School For Pets Too

I don’t know about others but there is something about the first of September that creates in me this feeling of “a new start”, “something new just around the corner”.  I guess it’s just conditioning from all of those years of anticipating the new school year, new school clothes, new friends, new teachers, etc.  After all it wasn’t that long ago was it?  ahem..

We aren’t the only ones experiencing these feelings.  If we’re feeling it, you know our pets are.  For those families with children still at home the changes can be profound.  If we can get down on their level for a few observations;  for days now, there has been a frenzy of last minute trips which may have involved pet-sitters or kenneling as families scrambled to get in those last minute vacation days or promised fun times. New boxes and bags have been coming home with interesting smelling items as families have been stocking up on school suppies, clothing, gear and packed lunch treats.  There have been more conversations around the family gathering places and perhaps a more organized or disorganized (depending upon the family) evening mealtime hour with school sports and club schedules beginning to appear on family schedules.  Out come the dreaded alarm clocks that, perhaps, silent for weeks now, have been ringing at “o-bright thirty” once again. Now there is a new breakfast time for everyone including the pets which means new potty time, walk time,  etc.  Lots of early morning conversation, some of it quite animated as everyone rushes around to meet the bus schedule, head off with friends or pile into the car for the morning commute.  Then…..silence.

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DOGGY DEFINITIONS by anon. the dog

LEASH – A snap which, when attached to your collar, allows you to lead your human wherever you want him or her to go.

DOG BED – Any soft clean surface, such as a white bedspread in the guestroom, or the recently re-upholstered sofa in the livingroom.

DROOL – What you do when humans have food but you don’t.  To do this properly, you must sit as close as you can and look really sad, while letting the drool fall to the floor – or, better still, on their laps.

DEAFNESS – This is an affliction which affects dogs at times when their human wants them in, but they want to stay out.  Symptoms include staring blankly at the human and then running in the opposite direction.

THUNDER – This is a signal that the world is coming to an end.  Humans remain amazingly calm during thunderstorms, so it is necessary to warn them of the danger by trembling uncontrollably, panting, rolling your eyes wildly, and following at their heels.

WASTEBASKET – This is a dog toy filled with paper, envelopes and old candy wrappers.  If you get bored, tip the basket over and artfully arrange the contents all around the house until your human comes home to admire your efforts.

SOFAS – The dog equivalent of human napkins.  After eating, it is entirely appropriate to run up to the sofa and wipe your whiskers clean on it.

BATH – An activity during which humans soak the walls, floors and themselves as thoroughly as possible.  You can assist by shaking vigorously and frequently.

NUDGE – The perfect way to get your owners attention when they are busy drinking a cup of tea instead of paying attention to you.

LOVE – A feeling of intense affection given freely and uncondionally.  If you’re lucky, your human will love you in return.

Bush, Karen.  Everything Dogs Expect You To Know. Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 2008.

A Promise Kept; his ashes are where he most loved to be…

 Benny Man was our first rescue dog.  He came to us from a breeder whose life had become more complicated and she could no longer care for him the way she should have.  He wasn’t for sale but when my husband and I met him and saw his condition we made her a very generous offer and she, knowing that she had over-used him as a stud and wasn’t giving him the care that he needed,  happily accepted our offer.  Benny was seven years old,  deaf and  emmaciated from a flea infestation which had compounded into a tape worm.  Our veterinarian was shocked by his condition and was able to remove many teeth which had caused the ear infections and, after months of tender loving care,  Benny was once again  able to hear and, to our surprise,   had a beautiful white coat!  We had thought that Benny Man was a cream colored dog but he had lived around so much cigarette smoke that his coat had become discolored and dull.

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