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After a Dog Dies: Thinking Outside the Box (Part 1)

Some 78 million dogs add life and love to nearly 40 percent of households across the US. But sadly, dogs dont live forever. Every year...

Maria Goodavage  |  Jun 7th 2010


pet-urn

Some 78 million dogs add life and love to nearly 40 percent of households across the US. But sadly, dogs dont live forever. Every year in the US, more than 6 million beloved pet dogs die. These dogs are bona fide family members in most households. And when they die, their owners can be blindsided by powerful feelings of emptiness and loss. It can be extremely hard to let go.

Most Dogsters know this first-hand.

This week, Dogster will take a look at the alternatives available when a best friend dies. The dog-memorial/pet loss industry is thriving. Almost every option available for humans is available for dogs, including gorgeous

A Dobie named Butch, in his bronze mummiform

hand-crafted urns, pricey little caskets, life gems made from a dogs ashes, cremation jewelry containing a dogs ashes or fur, headstones, and statuary. Dog mummification is a booming business at a Salt Lake City company that charges $25,000 to give a dog the King Tut treatment. And unlike humans, deceased dogs can be freeze-dried and made to look as life-like as possible. The companies that freeze-dry and preserve dogs places with names like Perpetual Pet have so many clients that many have had to turn people away.

Each day this week well be examining a different option for people who might want to think outside the box — be it a plain pine cremains box or a cardboard box of the sort we buried my childhood dog in — after the death of a pet. Well feature fascinating videos, contests with some very unique prizes, and plenty of opportunities to share your own experiences.

On that note, I’ll start with a question: I know how deeply our readers love their dogs and mourn their passing. Please feel free to share what you have done to memorialize your dog. Have you done anything outside the box when it comes to saying goodbye to your dogs body or ashes? Even if youre simply keeping your dogs ashes on the mantle, let us know.