Memorializing Our Furry Friends: Saying Goodbye & Processing the Loss of Pets

When the time comes to say goodbye to a beloved companion, it can be hard to find the right way to process your grief. Losing a pet is a tremendous loss, and memorializing that precious friendship is a wonderful way to honor the many years of unconditional love your pet offered you and your family. Here are a few ideas to inspire you:

Have a memorial service for your pet.

Having a memorial service for your lost pet can be a very healing exercise, whether it’s something you do
all alone, or with a group of family and friends. You can share memories, tell stories, say a prayer if you wish, and perhaps memorialize your friend with an urn, a small headstone, or a lovely plant or tree. That way, you will always have a special place to visit when you think of your furry friend.

In the event that your pet needed to be put to sleep, many veterinarians will offer a paw-print impression of your pet that your family can keep forever.

“I loved that my vet signed a card and included my dog’s paw print with her name. It was very tasteful and sweet.” – Ronna.


“I loved the paw print we got from the vet. My daughter just gave me a watercolor of our two lost babies for Mother’s Day. It was very meaningful. People, in general, seem to be very understanding that it hurts so much. I appreciated all the kind words.” – Jill.

Write an obituary for your pet (yes, really!).

“This is something I did for myself that was SO helpful in my grieving process: I wrote obituaries for our dogs who died. It’s weird, I know, but they had so much personality and took up so much space in our worlds. We had hundreds of pictures. They had funny traits that made them unique. They had hilarious stories we could tell. They were real members of our families, and honoring the love that they gave us was so tender for me.” – Krista.

Writing an obituary for your pet is a wonderful way to honor their memory and give yourself and your family something to cherish forever. The process of reflecting on and writing about your pet really helps you grieve healthily!

Remember your pet with artwork.

A piece of art is a beautiful way to memorialize your cherished pet. If you are the creative type, perhaps you could create a painting or drawing of your pet yourself. Some other ideas include:

  • Having a painting of your pet commissioned.
  • Having a bit of your pet’s fur or ashes included in a piece of handmade jewelry. Many artists on Etsy offer this service, and we also have lots of options at the funeral home.
  • Get a tattoo memorializing your pet!

A meaningful piece of art is a special, unique way to remember your pet and their friendship for generations to come.

Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory is honored to be able to provide cremation and burial services for your treasured pets. Contact us today to learn more.