After a Dog Dies: Thinking Outside the Box (Part 3) — With Contest for Beautiful Urn!

Many dog lovers keep their dearly departed dogs' ashes close by for years. Some even go to the grave with them (if local law allows...


You can win this beautiful "Angel Puppy" pet cremation urn by entering our contest. Details below

Many dog lovers keep their dearly departed dogs’ ashes close by for years. Some even go to the grave with them (if local law allows it). Part 3 of our series looks at artistic, beautiful ways to think outside the traditional pine cremains box that becomes the final resting place for many a dog’s ashes.

Another handcrafted urn from Custom Pet Urns

Many artists and small companies make gorgeous urns for pets’ ashes. One of my favorites is actually the business of a fellow Dogster! “Alex in Welderland’s” business, Custom Pet Urns, has been built on her reputation not only for incredible craftsmanship, but on the deep sense of caring about the people who are grieving the loss of their pets — and, of course, the pets themselves. In fact, this big-hearted Dogster is donating the above “Angel Puppy” urn in any size to the very lucky winner of a contest that starts today. You’ll find the details at the end of this post.

In addition to urns, she and several others make stunning memorial jewelry and other memorial art that incorporates a small amount of a dog’s ashes and can go anywhere with you. “I always, always have Sadie with me wherever I go,” says a friend who keeps a tiny, heart-shaped glass sculpture that has a little of Sadie’s ashes inside of it. “She’s in my purse, she’s been around the world with me, and she will one day be buried with me. It’s so much easier than worrying about keeping all her ashes. Hers have gone with the wind.”

One company known for its handcrafted glass remembrances is Art from Ashes. The people there make glass jewelry and sculptures with a tiny amount of a dog’s ashes. And no one ever need know that the gorgeous bracelet you’re wearing or the eye-catching piece on your desk contains a bit of your best friend. Here’s a little video about Art from Ashes.

If you like what you see, tune in later this week: Like Alex in Welderland, the people at Art from Ashes have consented to donate one of their glass memorials to the winner of a Dogster contest!

In addition, people sometimes sew a small bag of their dog’s ashes into a pillow, or put them in a stepping stone they then decorate. These are inexpensive alternatives that I can personally attest to! (You can buy stepping stone kits at garden stores and sometimes even at places like Target.) When my old Airedale, Joe, died, we mixed some of his ashes into a stepping stone, and decorated it with colorful glass beads, his dog tag, and even a drawing my then-7-year-old daughter made of him. (We laminated the drawing first, and it has held up beautifully.) And put a small amount of his ashes in two tiny, sealable plastic bags, opened up a bone-shaped pillow my daughter had made at her dog-themed birthday party, and put his ashes in the very center. These items were so affordable, and so comforting.

If you’re not handy with a needle and thread, there are companies that will make a pillow for you. Here’s a video of one:

So if you’re wondering about how to enter to win the Angel Puppy urn — which, depending on size, retails for $157 to $182 — you are in the right part of this post! First, here’s a description from the Custom Pet Urns website:

The Angel Puppy is one of my newest designs in the Angel series. I just love the addition of the wings. Uplifting. This urn will sit as a beautiful memorial to your lost, loved cat or dog. If you wish to remember your pet soaring up to the heavens, this is the urn. Angel Kitty Cat Urns and Angel Puppy Dog Urns also feature a small hook so you can hang your pet tags on. Your custom personalization goes on the back. Ashes are not mandatory as my urns work just as well as pet memorials symbolizing your love.

Isn’t it heavenly?

Ah, speaking of heaven, here’s the contest: Tell us if you think dogs go to heaven, and if so, what that heaven might be like. We’re not going to judge the contest on the basis of what you say, but just on the fact that you commented. I love hearing others’ ideas of pet afterlife, and I know other Dogster readers do, too. Your comment counts as your “raffle ticket” (one per person, please). The deadline for entries is Saturday June 12, 2010, at 5 pm Pacific Time. We will draw the winner randomly from all the entries, and announce the winner on Sunday, June 13.

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