National Pet Memorial Day

New Pet Owners  •  Pam Karkow  •  Wednesday, May 6, 2020

I remember coming home from middle school that day, and seeing my dad’s car in the garage.  I knew something was up because he was never home when I got home from school.  I had a sinking feeling in my stomach and somehow I just knew.  I knew something had happened to Moisha, our thirteen-year-old golden retriever.

My suspicions were confirmed when I went out on the screened-in porch and saw my mom’s tear stained face.  They told me the news and I excused myself to the bathroom, where I cried my eyes out, composed myself, and rejoined them on the porch.  For some reason I felt like I had to be strong, when as I look back on the events of that day, I should have just given in to the sadness I was feeling.  My heart was breaking.

Now, as an adult, I fully understand the depths of the pain I was feeling.  Our dog, Summer, has been with us through countless celebrations, camping trips, and holidays.  She’s also endured two moves, the introduction of three tiny babies to our home, and those same babies becoming tail-pulling toddlers.  She’s often the first to comfort me when I am sad.  She cannot resist a bowl of popcorn or a plate of scrambled eggs, and after a meal, she’s the best vacuum cleaner we have ever had.  I cannot imagine life without her.  

National Pet Memorial Day

It is like losing a family member when a pet passes away.  So it is good to know that there is a special day set aside to honor the unconditional and perfect love our pets provide.   On the second Sunday of the month of September, people come together to celebrate National Pet Memorial Day.  This year, this special day will be celebrated on September 13.

Honor Your Pet's Memory 

Here are some great ways to remember your pet on this day:

  • spend time reflecting on happy memories of your pet, look at pictures and watch videos of him/her
  • donate money or time to an animal protection program, shelter, or rescue organization
  • create a memorial in a flower garden in your yard
  • plant a tree or a shrub as a living memorial (consider the Arbor Day Foundation’s Trees for Pets program, where for a donation of $10, 10 trees will be planted in your pet’s honor)
  • send sympathy cards to former pet owners

Our pets change us.  They are with us through events that shape our lives and make us who we are.  Pet Memorial Day can help us remember the good times with our beloved pets, and find the solace and peace we need as we mourn. 

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