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Losing a pet is heartbreaking, whether or not you’ve had time to prepare for an eventual loss after a cancer diagnosis. You’ve cherished your beloved companion for years, and while their memory will always be in your heart, your mind may begin to forget the details of your bond. To ensure your best friend will have their permanent special spot in your heart and your mind, you may want a unique way to commemorate their memory. 

After your furry loved one receives a terminal cancer diagnosis, your thoughts likely automatically turn to aftercare, such as burying your pet at home, or cremating them. This decision will have bearing on your memorialization options. Depending on your pet’s cancer, you may not have much time to decide, or you may have months. Discuss with your family the following ways to remember your beloved companion, and which would mean the most to you.

#1: Engrave a stone to mark your pet’s grave

If you choose to bury your pet, or their ashes if cremated, you can create a gorgeous burial area where you can sit, and feel close to your furry loved one. A traditional headstone or grave marker, engraved with your pet’s nickname, a special saying, and a picture will make a perfectly unique memorial. There are many heartfelt sayings about the impact pets have on our lives that you may consider, or create your own special phrase that reminds you of your bond with your pet. Once the stone is placed, plant bright blooms around your pet’s gravesite, or create a memorial garden.

#2: Personalize an urn for your pet’s ashes

If you choose to have your pet cremated, a personalized urn can commemorate your beloved companion’s final resting place. A wide variety of urns—wooden, stone, or metal—are available. You can have an urn cast in your pet’s image, and engraved with a favorite picture, or opt for a simple, elegant look without added frills. Whatever you choose, your furry loved one’s urn will be a wonderful commemoration of your life together.

#3: Create a paw print of your pet

Paw prints are beautiful works of art that will remind you of your best friend. You can create your own clay paw print at home with a mold kit or, at Pearland Animal Cancer and Referral Center, we can design a copy of your pet’s paw after euthanasia, which allows us to redo the print if necessary, to ensure it looks perfect.

#4: Commission a painting of your pet

A painting is a beautiful way to commemorate your pet. Choose your favorite picture of your best friend, then search for an artist whose style you like. Some people prefer simple, clean drawings, while others like a splashy watercolor to depict their pet. The art style that matches your pet’s personality is an excellent memorial to their life. 

#5: Make a donation to an animal shelter in your pet’s name

What better way to celebrate your pet’s life than by saving another’s? If you rescued your furry pal from an animal shelter, donate toys, food, bedding, or other needed items to that shelter. You can also donate to a shelter, rescue, or “angel fund” organization dedicated to helping alleviate cancer treatment costs for pets, in your pet’s name.  

#6: Create a piece of jewelry from your pet’s ashes or fur

If your pet is cremated, you can commission a beautiful piece of jewelry containing your beloved companion’s ashes or fur. You can have a ring or necklace created, so you can always have a piece of your pet with you. A small sculpture with your pet’s ashes or fur is another wonderful way to commemorate your pet.

#7: Design a tattoo to commemorate your pet

While tattoos are not for everyone, they clearly show that your beloved companion was special. Think carefully about the design you would like, and whether you’d prefer a paw print, nose print, simple outline, or highly detailed picture of your best friend. 

If you’re struggling with the thought of saying good-bye to your beloved companion after a cancer diagnosis, talk to the Pearland Animal Cancer and Referral Center team. We know how incredibly difficult it is to care for a pet with cancer, and we want to help.