How do I say goodbye?

Personal goodbye

Pets left with the vet may be cremated en masse or individually, if the owner specifically requests that the ashes be returned.

However, increasing numbers of people prefer a more personal way to say their final farewell. Some may choose to bury their dog in a special place - for example, their garden - and mark the grave with a headstone. Others choose to have a private burial or cremation at a pet cemetery or crematorium, with the dog's ashes (in the case of a cremation) either returned to them or kept at the crematorium and interred. While your dog's passing is always going to be a sad and painful time, there are ways you can cope by remembering your pet and celebrating his life.

A solid reminder

Our pets occupy a major place in our lives and it's important to allow your emotions to form an outward expression - after all, you don't stop loving your pet because he has died. Once the initial feelings of shock and grief at a pet's passing subside, many people begin to think of ways in which to remember them. A memorial of some sort often provides a lot of comfort when a dog passes on. Some people like having a concrete reminder of their pets and choose to put up a memorial stone; others prefer the option of planting a tree or shrub in their memory. However, the idea is the same - these options give you somewhere to go to remember and feel close to your pet.

Special mementos

Other people prefer to honour their pet by doing something practical, like donating to a charity or sponsoring a dog, as they feel they're channelling their grief into a worthwhile cause. There are also many ways of creating your own special memento of your dog - whether that is by creating a photo album or putting together a scrapbook dedicated to his life. You may also wish to put your thoughts into words and write a poem about your dog. Keepsakes are another way to remember your pet and there are a lot of options available, ranging from memorial plates to mugs and coasters, with a favourite photo of your dog printed on them. Alternatively, you could turn a beloved photo into a canvas or even commission a portrait. If you want to do something a little bit different, you can even have your dog's ashes made into a beautiful diamond, which can be turned into a piece of jewellery. But however you decide to remember your pet, you need to make sure you're happy with it. A memorial is an extremely personal thing and should be a lasting reminder of your pet. Ultimately, it's about remembering the joy your pet gave you. While his passing will be hard, it's down to you to keep his memory alive and thank him for the years of happiness.