7 Ways to Remember How Great Your Dog Was

Saying goodbye to your pup is hard, but doing something to mark his passing helps ease the hurt.

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It's devastating when your furbaby dies. Your house is empty and so is your heart. The leash hangs by the door unused, there's a bag of dog treats in the kitchen that won't be eaten and you catch yourself looking for your beloved pup. You can ease your grief by doing something to remind yourself (and the world) that he lived and he mattered. Here are some ideas to celebrate your pet's life and commemorate the good he brought to you.

Picture Frame With Flower Bouquet.

Picture Frame With Flower Bouquet.

Photo by: Etsy

Etsy

1: Plant a Tree

Put it by their grave, or plant it in a place that's meaningful to you. Did your dog have a favorite spot to nap in the yard? Put the tree there. If you have your dog cremated, consider mixing some of the ashes into the ground when you plant the tree. You'll be growing new life from your dog's life.

2: Donate to a Good Cause

Make a contribution to a charity in your dog's name. Choose one that connects to your pup. Was he a border collie? Donate to a border collie rescue so another dog can be rescued. Did he die of cancer? Make a donation to canine cancer research or to a fund that pays for medical treatment for cancer-stricken pets whose owners cannot afford it. Did he love going to the beach? Donate to an environmental group that protects the shore. Your pup brought unconditional love into your life; remember him by spreading love to others.

3: Have a Memorial Service

Invite friends, family and their dogs to a gathering in memory of your dog. You could have it at a dog park where he was a regular, your house or any place you and your dog liked to go together (like the craft brew pub with the dog-friendly patio.) Invite people who love pets, and skip the ones who always rolled their eyes when you talked about how much you adored your dog. Serve your dog's favorite treats to the pups who are present, play music that reminds you of good times you and your dog spent together and talk about what a fabulous soul he was. Bring tissue.

4: Get a Custom Urn

If you cremate your dog, get a container made for your pup's ashes. Check out the hand-crafted urns from Alyson Whitney Company and Malloryville Pottery. You can keep your dog child's ashes with you, in a pretty object that reminds you of her.

5: Make a Video

Put together a short video from photos and bits of video you have of your dog child. If looking at footage of your dog is too much for you, ask a friend to make the video. Post it on YouTube, send the link to your friends and post it on social media, so you can share your memories with the world. Your dog will get eternal life online, because YouTube clips are forever. Watch your video when you're missing your buddy and remember what it was like to be with him.

6: Make a Photo Book

If you're more of an analog person, send your digital photos of your dog to a company that makes custom photo books, like Shutterfly or Artifact Uprising. Going through the process of picking the images to put into it and writing the captions will help you remember the good times, and you'll have a story of your dog you can hold in your hands. Another option: a custom pet memory book for your dog, with blank pages for you to write on or mount photos.

7: Commission a Portrait

Dogs only live 10 or 15 years, but art lasts forever. Have a portrait made of your dog so you'll always be able to see her face on the wall. There are scads of artists and companies who can create a custom portrait from a photo, like Oneko Shoppe, Coconuttowers or Pop Your Pup.

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