Dealing With Your Pet's Passing: Should I Consider Cremation?
Pet Cremation - My Personal Experience
My beautiful Angel was laying next to me, tired and weak, although she purred and acknowledged my presence. I did not leave her side during the last two days of her life. I struggled with the realities of what was about to happen and also trying to consider the pros and cons of taking that last trip to the vet. I had decided to keep her with me as she passed. She seemed peaceful and happy to be with me. I didn't have the heart to take her to the vet where her last few moments may be of fear and discomfort in an unfamiliar place. She was 17 and had been my best friend for over half my life. She traveled with me and loved car rides more than my dog. It was hard for me to envision my future life without her. She was about to pass and I knew I needed to decide what I was going to do with her remains. I lived in an apartment at the time and had no yard to place her in. If I was to bury her, I would want it to be a place I could revisit or that I could look outside my window and rest assure knowing she was apart of my beautiful yard. The thought of cremation flew past my mind. I searched for answers and found a few local crematories that perform cremations on pets and also prepares the cremains.
When she finally passed in the wee hours of the morning, emotions hit me hard. Her death was just as hard on me as the death of my grandfather of whom I was very close to. I have had other pets die before, but Angel was different. I knew I needed to do something special for her. She deserved that.
Later in the day, I called several of the local crematories and found one I liked. The crematory was in Canyon Lake, Texas called Paws in Heaven. Even though she had passed on a Sunday, the owner was more than willing to come and pick up her remains for safe keeping. There were three services I could choose from: 1) To have her remains processed with other animals (community processing I think it was called) and then her remains would be scattered in their garden, 2) Have her processed and then returned to me within 24-48 hours and 3) Have a scheduled cremation, in which I would be allowed to wait for her to be processed (approximately an hour long process).
I didn't want to leave her. For My own personal comfort, I decided to schedule a personal service and wait for her. When I arrived, everyone was so warm and empathetic. There was even a chapel within which they placed her so I could say my final goodbye. It was actually quite beautiful and really touched me. I felt as if I was giving Angel the goodbye that she deserved.
If you personally are looking into doing something similar for your beloved pet, let me highlight the pros and cons:
- Cremation is considerably cheaper than buiral and typically, most crematories include a standard urn in the price of your service package.
- You don't have to decide right away what you want to do with your pets remains. My personal choice is to place Angel's premains into the soil surrounding a tree I would like to plant in her honor; however, I do not yet own a property for doing so, but in the meantime, I have her with me until the day I can. I also, however, have the option to decide to keep her memorial urn forever with me at all times.
- You can fill several urns with your pets cremains. You can take a small urn to work, have a memorial charm made so you can carry them always or separate the cremains amongst several family members.
- You do not have to pick your final urn right away. You have the option to either save money for the urn of your choice or to explore and shop around for the urn you would like to properly memorialize your pet. Cremains can be transferred from on urn to the next when you are ready by your crematory of choice.
- Some crematories do not always give you back the remains of your beloved pet. I am not sure how or why they do this but it does happen. Call around to your local crematories and see if they can guarantee your pet's return. The crematory I went to allowed you to be guided through the process if you need that reassurance (your pet is concealed in a box). I know it may seem silly to doubt, but when you hand your pet over, you are entrusting that he/she will be handled with respect and your fears and concerns do get the best of you.
- Cremation is cheaper than burial but it is not a free process. Any service you choose for your pet can run you anywhere between $50 and $250 and even up to $400 if you wish for cremation and burial. (I paid about $130 for my Angel.)
- Any urn other than a standard urn (if offered) are a separate cost all together and can be quite pricey.
Always research your choice before you decide on the services you would like for your pet, if even through just a phone call. A pet memorial is not only to honor your loyal, loving companion, but it is also a comforting way for you to deal with your loss. I smiled when they returned my Angel to me and although I was still heart broken, I felt at peace. Even though she was no longer with me in this life, I still felt the need to care for and protect her. It was nice to take her home, knowing she was safe and sound, resting in my lap.
Paws In Heaven
- San Antonio, Austin, and South Texas Pet Crematory and Funeral Home Services : Paws In Heaven
If you live in the San Antonio/Austin area you may be interested in their services. As I said before, please research your options and always pick what feels right for you.