Seeing the Unseeable: Zoya Girard wipes away tears as she views her Dachshund, 'Poncho,' in his casket at the East Lawn Pet Loss Center in Sacramento, California
An article ran in the Sacramento Bee a few weeks ago titled Spending on pet funerals increases in Sacramento and beyond. Try as we might, we simply can't get it, or the photo that ran with it, out of our little heads. We could never post such a photo on The Long and Short of it All, that's unthinkable. We could never see a Dachshund in that state, that's unseeable. We could never talk about a funeral for our little loved ones, that's untalkable.
But as the days and weeks have rolled on since it was published, maybe it's not such a bad idea to bring it up, to talk about, to lay everything on the table so to speak. Because if there's one thing as certain as life, then that's the world beyond, and while accepting that is never easy, coming to terms with it can certainly ease the pain.
This is Zoya and her pal Poncho's story via the Sacramento Bee:
Zoya Girard treated her beloved dachshund, Poncho, like a member of the family all his life. She's giving him the same kind of attention in death.
She wanted her 11-year-old dog to be buried in his favorite blanket, a prayer read at his graveside service and a viewing before he was laid to rest.
Girard leaned over his casket last week, looking at her beloved pet one last time in a visitation room at the East Lawn Pet Loss Center in Sacramento.
"He was like a grumpy old man, always barking," Girard said, weeping. She leaned over and kissed him. "But he was always there for me. This is the least I could do for him."
The article goes on to note that while pet cemeteries have been around for decades, the number of funerals – 10- to 15-minute graveside services – has increased dramatically in recent years. These services can run anywhere from just under $1,000 to many thousands of dollars.
Would you consider such a service for your beloved furry friend? We guess that we might consider something similar - if nothing else, a viewing in the home. It's easy to say something like this hopefully years away from actually leaving this planet, we would probably be too distraught with grief to actually carry out such a plan. But we can see how it would help bring closure with the support of your family and closest friends by your side. Or perhaps a small ceremony in the home when the ashes have been returned would be best - just a little something special to honor the ones who have given you that unconditional love their entire little lives.
We're reminded of one of our favorite anonymous quotes, something to live by every day in life, and something to think about for when that time comes:
"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."
Zoya lays flowers down on Poncho's grave.