Wednesday, April 11, 2012


The weather was a bit dreary today when my brother and I set out to run errands.  This wasn't a day I was looking forward to since one of our errands was picking up Buddy's ashes.

We took care of a few items on our list then stopped for a meal.  Finally it was time to go to Hope Vet.  Everyone was as nice as always but a bit subdued knowing why we were there. Buddy's ashes were given to us in a small heavy paper tote bag with the name of the crematory and a black ribbon marked 'Beloved Pet'.  Inside was a white cardboard box labeled with the crematory's name and information.  There was also a plastic bag containing another item but I'll get to that later.

Next, we needed to finish Annie's errands.  I needed to get some items to make her Healthy Powder so our first stop was The Herb Shoppe located right next to Hope Vet for Kelp powder.  Lauren was behind the counter as usual with a smile and always helpful.  I needed 8 ounces of kelp but there was only a small quantity available which Lauren packed up and gave to me with a promise more would be in by Friday for us to purchase.

Our final stop for Annie's needs was The Vitamin Shoppe.  We were in luck, the store was running a 'Mix and Match' sale.  I needed Lecithin (which was on sale) and Nutritional Yeast (which was not).  We purchased 2 containers of Lecithin - one at full price and the second at 50% off and the largest container of Nutritional Yeast in the store.  It was time to head home.

The feeling was somber indeed when it came time to unpack the paper tote containing Buddy's ashes.  I removed an envelope containing Buddy's Cremation Certificate and the cardboard container from the tote.  When opened, the container revealed gold tissue paper.  I lifted the tissue paper out and began to unwrap it.  Inside was a small metal container of moss green with a pretty floral decoration.  Buddy's remains.

We had gathered our little family together before we started.  Artie and I just looked at each other then he showed the metal container to Annie.  We told her Buddy was gone now.  She smelled the container and her ears went down.  We know she finally understood.

We placed Buddy's ashes on a side table in the living room.  A few hours later, Artie spied Annie standing on the couch, leaning over the table to smell the container.

The other item in the tote?  It was a clay disc containing Buddy's paw print.  The wonderful medical family at Hope Vet made that print for us and it means so much to us.  After Buddy died, Artie was upset that he hadn't thought to make a paw print before Buddy became very ill.  Now he wouldn't have the chance to do so.  Both of us were very touched by the sensitivity and thoughtfulness conveyed by this gesture.  Our pets are the world to us and while including them as members of the family is becoming more accepted, there are still quite a few people who would consider us 'crazy cat people' and 'dopey dog people'.

The ceramic paw print was an acknowledgement of what we had gone through and that the journey was shared not only by Buddy's family but by his medical family as well.  Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to everyone who took such good care of Buddy.  All of you helped to make our journey easier.


  1. The image of Annie sniffing the container is heartbreaking. It makes me wonder how dogs move through a mourning process. Humans rely on comforting thoughts & condolences; what do dogs use? Just . . . time?

    1. I agree. Just time but how much time. In my experience dogs remember a long time. Annie cries when she sees someone in a wheelchair - she thinks it's my Mom. It's years since Mom died but Annie still reacts to the sight of a wheelchair.