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Hi folks.

 

Not sure if this is a taboo subject or not, but a couple friends and I were talking about what we would do with our dogs once they've crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. I said I would cremate Caleb and bring him with me wherever I went so he'd be with me forever, while another friend said she'd bury her dog under the family tree. Our third friend, however, said he'd have his dog stuffed... Initially, I thought he was joking, but he went into a long, long rant about why he wanted to do it. It got me thinking, what do most people do with their dogs after they've died? I'm sure most cremate or bury them, but apparently some stuff them, and even freeze dry them after I did some googling.

 

 

What have you done with your dogs' remains, if you don't mind my asking, and why did you choose to go that route?

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It shouldn't be a taboo subject. Unfortunately, we do eventually lose them. :(

 

I had Maddie, Speedy, and Sammie cremated. Originally I had planned to divide up their ashes and scatter them in various places that they loved, but I haven't been able to touch them. The ashes are in individual wooden box urns and I keep them together in a box that I have placed discreetly in the bedroom. I also have a tiny bit of fur from each of them and that is in the box, as well, along with Speedy's plaster pawprint and some sympathy cards, etc.

 

Honestly, I don't think about them being there all that often, but that seems to be the arrangement that I am most comfortable with for the time being.

 

We will probably move someday and I don't want to have to leave their ashes here.

 

In remembrance, I actually plan to plant some trees next spring. One for each of them, and one for any dog of any friend who would like a tree there. A lot of my friends lost dogs this past year. I'd like to make a small grove just packed with little trees in some part of the yard that we don't really use for anything.

 

I think that would be a cool tribute.

 

I guess eventually - maybe years and years and years from now - I will bury or scatter them somewhere.

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I have buried one of them, here on the farm. Another one went in the container at the local slaughterhouse because the ground was frozen.

I am not very emotional about my dog´s mortal remains. So I do what is most practical and hygienic.

 

My husband says I can put him in a skip (dumpster) when he dies.

 

Gone is gone for both of us and my dogs have gone for communal cremation. There's plenty in my life to remind me of them.

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I am utterly and unapologetically unsentimental about remains. From my perspective, bodies are just receptacles for whatever spirit or soul that makes an individual an individual, and when the animal (or person) dies, it's just an empty mass of cells.

 

So I've just had my various dogs' bodies disposed of by the vet in a communal cremation.

 

I've kept their collars and tags -- and memories of the time we had together -- as remembrances.

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I'm not really attached to remains. I know my dog isn't in there any more. That being said, my first great dog was cremated(I worked at the place where they do it, so I didn't have to pay for it), and I spread her ashes in the mountains where I loved to go with her. Otherwise, if a dog died at home, they have been buried at home. If they were put down, they went for communal cremation. My small animals(guinea pigs, chickens, rats, etc.) have been buried, if they were the kids' pets, or thrown in the trashcan, if they weren't.

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It is strange my husband and I are both atheists and both intend on being cremated. Our dogs on the other hand are a different matter, this was my husbands doing, after watching a program well before we even got a dog or married, of shelter dogs being put down and thrown in a dumpster he vowed that no dog of ours would ever under go a similar fate. All 3 of our dogs are burried together in a private place that we will always be able to visit, each of them died in winter so burying them involved a pick axe and a lot of work on his part. Each one was burried with their bed and favorite things, their names and dates are carved on a tree. They were burried in the company of the surviving dog.

Before we left Rhode Island one of our lasts stops was to visit them, a very strange and sad day as we always thought that we would only be leaving behind 2 not 3.

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I've had 6 pets total cremated, and one buried. I kept all the cremains, and decided that I would scatter the ashes at their favorite dog parks/walking spots.

 

After my ex left me, I went into a flurry of clearing out. All the pet cremains went into a gallon-sized plastic bag, and I visited those favorite sites over a few days. It was both sweet and sad to remember each one in the places they loved so. I'm glad I did it that way.

 

Funny story - my dad was cremated. I had taken some of his ashes and mentioned to my niece, who dearly loved and was dearly loved by her grampa, that I had the ashes with me. We were out doing errands for my step-mom, and decided to stop at a popular chain restaurant. As we got out of the car, the niece said, "Grampa loved to eat at this chain restaurant! There was always one easy to find wherever we went." We got the ashes, looked around to make sure no one was watching, and did some covert sprinkling. I don't think we ever told any other family members, and I spread the rest of his ashes at some sites I know he would have loved.

 

Ruth and SuperGibbs

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I am ridiculously sentimental about my dogs while they are alive. But I've fairly unceremoniously buried the ones I could in the meadow behind my house, and for the ones that died when the ground was frozen solid, I opted for communal cremation and did not keep any ashes. I sort of like thinking that some of the molecules that were once part of my dogs are now part of the grass and flowers behind my house, but I can't say that I have any regrets about not keeping cremains from the dogs I couldn't bury. As the saying goes, the one best place to bury a dog is in your heart.

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A lot of you are pretty unsentimental about the bodies it seems. Is it from previous experience that you don't feel the remains are very important, or just how you are normally? I apologize if that was worded poorly. Caleb is my first dog, and thinking about not being close to him, even in ashes, makes my heart ache, and most of my friends share this sentimentality.

 

Edit:

 

I truly do not feel the dead empty body of my buddy contains him in any way. I feel the same way about myself. I want to donate my body to The Body Farm, so some good comes from it, otherwise it is just rotting flesh. I won't be in there. The places I went with my buddy mean much more to me. The memories I formed mean everything. The memories are in my head, not in his remains.

 

I actually plan to donate my own body once I'm gone too. My family and I share the whole "our bodies don't mean anything when we're dead," (my mom actually told me to just dump her in a ditch!). I guess I just feel different when it comes to my dog even though I could care less about human bodies, and I thought others would feel the same.

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I truly do not feel the dead empty body of my buddy contains him in any way. I feel the same way about myself. I want to donate my body to The Body Farm, so some good comes from it, otherwise it is just rotting flesh. I won't be in there. The places I went with my buddy mean much more to me. The memories I formed mean everything. The memories are in my head, not in his remains.

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I still get teary thinking about dogs (and people) I've lost. But I've never felt the need to have cremains or visit graves.

 

As I said in my previous post, what made them special wasn't in their bodies. It was a soul or spirit or whatever you want to call it than transcended any physical manifestation.

 

This body is not me.

I am not limited by this body.

I am life without boundaries.

I have never been born,

and I have never died.

Look at the ocean and the sky filled with stars, manifestations from my wondrous true mind.

Since before time, I have been free.

Birth and death are only doors through which we pass, sacred thresholds on our journey.

Birth and death are a game of hide- and seek.

So laugh with me,

hold my hand,

let us say good-bye,

say good-bye, to meet again soon.

We meet today.

We will meet again tomorrow.

We will meet at the source every moment.

We meet each other in all forms of life.

~By Thich Nhat Hanh

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We have a spot on the farm it is in a little valley it is sheltered on all sides and a very pretty spot often thought I want my ashes scattered there all our farm dogs and a few friends dogs are buried there .

I figure most of them have enjoyed themselves there while alive good spot for there final rest.

 

Dan & Tilly

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A lot of you are pretty unsentimental about the bodies it seems. Is it from previous experience that you don't feel the remains are very important, or just how you are normally? I apologize if that was worded poorly. Caleb is my first dog, and thinking about not being close to him, even in ashes, makes my heart ache, and most of my friends share this sentimentality.

 

. . . I thought others would feel the same.

 

I think this is one of those things that is very individual. You need to do what works for you.

 

If you want to keep his ashes nearby when that time comes, then do that. There are plenty of people who do make that same choice.

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I agree grief and healing are very individual. Years ago, a friend and I lost our dogs within a month or so of each other. We each decided on cremation. My friend got a special urn, on which she draped her dog's collar. The process seemed to bring her much comfort. Meanwhile, I didn't know what to do with my dog's ashes and finally stored them away. They just were not meaningful to me. I buried one animal, a cat, and that actually made me feel worse. Since those experiences, I have not chosen to get cremains. I struggle a bit with it, because on one level it feels disrespectful of the dog I cherished. But I know how well loved the dog was in life and always will be in my heart. That is enough for me.

 

You need to do what feels right for you.

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A friend of mine had kept her dogs ashes for years, she always planned on taking them to her Dads in Maine as that was his favorite place and the two of them had a special bond but she never got around to it. Her father sadly died from cancer and with his permission, the dogs ashes joined his in a Viking style burial near his house. She added them at the last minute so her step-mother did not have time to think about what she was up to ;), but her father when he was alive thought it was a great idea to have Henry join him.

 

Edited to add:

My FIL has the ashes of his last 2 dogs and cat on the mantle piece, and he has instructions that they are to join in him when he dies, I don't know if he plans on being burried or cremated I just know that he wants his pets to join him.

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For my past dogs I have had them cremated and then bury the cremains and plant a tree over them. Now I don't have the yard space for that anymore so not sure what I will do. Maybe I will take them to my dad's and bury them near where we buried our cat. All my past dogs are buried on a property we no longer own. I don't feel much connection to remains though. For people or dogs. I like having photos of my family when they were well and often reflect on those however. I also keep all my past dogs' collars. I actually use my sheltie's leash now for Hank and that often has me remembering him.

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I agree it's very individual, just like how we deal with the death of other people. When strong feelings are involved, especially loss, you have to go with what helps you get through and different people cope in different ways. Even though I don't feel a connection to remains, when my aunt dies, I will be the one taking her ashes to find wild flowers in the mountains, because it is something we enjoyed doing together while she was healthy, and that's where she would like to think of herself as being. It brings comfort to both of us, just in different ways.

 

My mom is mortified by the idea of the possibility of someone wanting to keep her ashes. She had a friend that died last year that had her ashes split between the family members, and that kind of freaked her out. Go figure.

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My dogs are buried at my folks place. It seems fitting and brings a sense of closure for me to bring them home and bury them. I think that I would have a hard time just walking out and leaving the body for someone else to deal with - kinda a "my dog, my responsibility" thing. I clipped some hair from Missy and got an onyx heart locket to put it in. I'm debating having a bracelet or something made with Kipp's collar.

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Gosh, in 30 years of dog ownership, we've done a bit of everything. Our first dog is buried on a farm that used to belong to a close friend. Our second dog we let the animal hospital consign to communal cremation. A third dog is buried on another friend's farm, along with that person's old foundation Aussie male. One of our dogs who was killed in an accident is buried here on our property. Four others were cremated and their boxes are in various places around the house. We keep toying with the idea of taking three of those to scatter in the mountains where we used to pack mules and ride the high trails. Maybe next year?

It's a very personal thing, I reckon, and we've just made it up as we go along. ;)

~ Gloria

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My first dog that I had as an adult was buried on a butte in Washington.

First cat was buried on a mountain in Colorado.

Next dog was buried atop cliffs, where he spent some time as a youngster.

Next dog was buried near the previous one, as they were good buddies.

Next dog was cremated. I have her ashes in a box I see everyday. I also had a fused glass pendant made with a bit of her ashes in it. I love wearing it.

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I don't keep my pets' remains. It's not how I want to remember them. The cremation company I use will cremate them in a general batch, but the ashes are spread out over an orchard, so they don't just end up in the trash, which is nice enough, I think.

 

RDM

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Dear Doggers,

 

There's a farm graveyard on the hill above our setout and the fields we call Walnut Acres. Nine graves, eight marked only by a riverjack headstone (not uncommon in these mountains). Pip, Silk, Moose, Harry, Gael, Zippy, Dot, Josie, June, Luke, Slick, (Ruth and Boo guard dogs) are buried above where the sheep bed down and I often train. I will buried under a riverjack headstone where I can keep an eye on them.

 

Donald McCaig

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