“Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them and filling an emptiness we didn’t ever know we had.” – Thom Jones
The worst thing about owning a dog is that they can’t be with us forever. Losing a dog is one of the hardest experiences many of us ever go through.
No one wants to say goodbye to their best friend, and it can be really painful to see them cross the rainbow bridge.
But when the time does come to say goodbye to your beloved pet, sometimes finding a way to honor and memorialize them can ease the pain and provide some much-needed closure as you say goodbye.
Here are some ways to help honor your dog’s life and keep their memory alive forever.
Plant A Tree In Their Favorite Park Or Spot In Your Yard
Did your pet have a spot they always gravitated toward? Is there a certain park where they always seemed to have the most fun? Was there somewhere in your yard that they always lounged? Plant a tree there in one of these locations.
Watching life grow at your pet’s favorite spot will warm your heart and honor their memory.
If it’s a public place you may need to get permission. You can even offer to donate money for a plaque near their favorite shady spot.
If you choose to cremate your dog, you can even plant some of their ashes along with it, so they can always rest in their favorite place.
Get A Paw Print Tattoo
Tattoos are not for everyone, but if you are a person who likes to express yourself with ink, getting a memorial tattoo of your dog can help you feel close and connected even after they’re gone.
You could get a little bone, your dog’s name, or even a tattoo of their paw print or snout print. Some people even choose to get beautiful portraits of their best friend.
You could also get a tattoo of something symbolic of something special between you and your pet. Maybe they loved blueberries so you ate them together? Get a small blueberry to remember them.
They will forever be etched in your heart, so why not give them a little space in your body art too?
Save Their Water Bowl and Turn It into a Planter
Did your pet have a special bowl set in your home? Instead of getting rid of it, use it as a planter. Plant some succulents or small herbs, giving way to new life.
You can also take their collar and wrap it around the dish with the tag attached. You can even get a new tag made with their dates of life. This is a positive way to turn something painful into something that brings you warmth and a happy memory when you see it.
If you are artistic, you can even paint the bowl with something that symbolizes your pet. Personalize their dish a bit and make it something beautiful and functional in your home.
Make a Donation To a Local Rescue in Your Pets Name
Did you meet your furry friend at a rescue shelter or a pet-oriented non-profit?
Send them a donation each year in your pets name on the day they passed or, if you’d rather, on your” found them” day. Some organizations even host memorial pages where you can submit your dog’s photo and bio to honor them.
If you’re still looking for some pet snuggles, volunteer to walk or bathe pets from the rescue on a memorable day. You could also offer to foster a pet to honor your beloved dog.
Make a Stepping Stone with Your Pup’s Paw Prints
If you garden or have a patio, make a stepping stone with your pets paw prints and lay their tag in it so you can have it forever.
Plant some of their favorite treats nearby, like carrots or sweet potatoes. Your plant might even attract an animal that your four-legged friend would have loved to chase!
Have a Canvas Made of Your Pet’s Photographs
Do you have a whole Instagram full of dog pictures? Take some of your favorites and have small canvases made of them. There are even sites that will put your pet’s face in a powdered wig if you want to remember them in a silly way.
You can have pictures printed onto coasters to adorn your living room, or onto a blanket for nights when you are missing their snuggles. One cute idea is to roll a blanket and clasp their collar around it to keep it rolled. This allows you to remember your pet in a sweet, loving way, and preserve their memory!
Make a Shadow Box with Some of Your Pet’s Favorite Possessions
A shadow box is a lovely way to showcase your love for your pet and what made them special.
Did your pup have a favorite squeaky toy? Or a favorite blanket? Take a scrap of the blanket and pin it in the background of the shadow box. Place the toy in the box, with their collar, a picture, and anything else memorable as well.
Put the box near your desk or in your room. You’ll love having your best friend nearby, even when you can’t be together anymore.
There’s No Wrong Way to Honor Your Pet
Most importantly, listen to your heart. Maybe keeping their keepsakes around is too painful for you. Or maybe you aren’t someone who holds onto items, and that’s okay.
There’s no right or wrong way to memorialize your pet. Regardless of what you choose, you’ll always have the memories you made together.