Seeking Help with My Dog

Updated on June 06, 2011
P.A. asks from Los Angeles, CA
17 answers

Well this isn't easy to write but it looks like the family dog of 15 years is going to leave us soon.........any tips on what I should do? Do I bury her, cremate or what and where? thanks for your help

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So What Happened?

thanks for all your support but my beloved dog of 15 years died and I can tell you my heart is so empty. I know that it will get better but right now I just can't breathe

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answers from Kansas City on

I'm so sorry for you. I wish it wasn't happening. As far as what to do, what do you want to do? Most veterinarians would take them and have them cremated for a price.

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answers from Dallas on

I am sorry. We have been through this with 2 of our beloved Cocker Spaniels and we have a Cocker now at 12 yrs old with cancer and we know time is limited with him.

It is a hard thing to go through, let yourself grieve.

We opted for cremation. There is a nice pet cemetary/crematorium here. (Tooth Acres) They pick the pet up at the Dr office and in about 4 days or so, your pet is delivered back to you in a pretty cedar box with a lock, name engraved on a gold plate on the top of the box. This place also sends a thoughtful sympathy note, a purple velvet bag for the Rainbow Bridge, Rainbow Bridge poem and a white silk rose.

We have our cedar boxes 2 Cockers and a rabbit on the mantle.

The price is according to the weight of the pet. We paid $150 each for Cockers and a little less for the rabbit.

I wish you the best, it is not easy... Our pets are a vital part of our family and when they pass they are cared for accordingly. One neighbor said..... "your pets hit the lottery when they made it to your house".

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answers from Anchorage on

I would have the vet cremate her after he puts her down. Our vet did this and sent the ashes home in a nice wooden box. I think it is easier on the kids to spread ashes than to bury a carcass that still looks like the dog they loved.

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answers from Chicago on

My mom has cremated 3 of our dogs. She keeps them in decorative containers near pictures of the dogs. I think it's a sweet memorial. We used to encourage her to bury the ashes in the flower garden, but now I'm glad she didn't because she ended up having to move from our childhood home, and it would have been sad to leave them there.

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answers from Washington DC on

I'm sooo sorry!!! I know it's like losing a child....

our dog of 14.5 years died in Dec 2008...i could NOT see myself burying him or cremating him - that just isn't me....I have pics of him all over the house...I let the veterinary's office handle the disposal of him (I know that sounds harsh and cold after all of his years of being in our family....)

The weekend before we put him down (he had cancer - he was in a LOT of pain) the Dr's gave him "feel good medicine" - he was like a puppy again when he was on it - we took him to the park, took lots of pics and have nothing but good memories of him....

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answers from Santa Barbara on

I have been cremating our family pets for over twenty years (dogs, cats, guinea pig, hamster and mice). I have always felt better with the individual cremation rather than mass cremation that happens if they are left at the hospital or picked up by animal control. They come back in a pretty locked box with a poem. So sorry about your dog.

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answers from San Francisco on

You can ask the other family members what they wish to do.

Our dog's ashes six in a pretty box with a nameplate on my son's shelf -- and he has always been comforted by having them. It cost more, but at the time it felt like the right thing to do, and the kids wanted it.

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answers from Dallas on

We had to put one of our labs down about a month ago. I just couldn't let them take care of him so my husband said we would go and pick him up. They put him in a box the shape of a coffin and we buried him in the back yard. Our kids are 5 and 8. It would have been WAY too traumatic for them to be there when they put him down. They were here when my husband brought him home. The kids put his initial on top of his grave using sticks and we said a prayer. For several days the kids would go visit him and I believe it helped them heal. One of the twins still prays for him. Cremation is a good idea too. I guess do what you are most comfortable with. I'm sorry!


answers from Biloxi on

We cremate our pets. I can't bear the thought of not being able to "bring them home". In fact, we had say good bye one of our kitties last week :(
So hard.

Talk to your vet - they should know about after care for your pets.

God Bless


answers from Boston on

So sorry you are going through this. Our beloved terrier died in our arms a little over a year ago - very very sad. The choice is yours. We buried our dog in our back yard in her bed and covered by her favorite blankets. We put in one of her favorite toys - silly but comforting somehow. We went fairly deep to make sure no wild animals would decide to dig her up. We bought one of those cement stepping stone kits and the letters, and designed a plaque for over her grave. It has her name, dates of birth/death, and our names. It's nice to have a place to go to think of her. I would only do that if you plan to stay in your house for a long time. We also bought a resin statue of her breed of dog, and put it out there. She was a Cairn terrier so we also had a stack of rocks ("cairn") out there. Friends gave us a hyacinth plant, and we replanted the bulbs, and the flowers came up again this year. That was kind of nice.

A lot depends on your religious beliefs and on the age of your children. Older kids can help participate, younger ones can select something to bury with her if you want. Friends of ours had their dog cremated, and then buried the ashes and planted a tree in the dog's memory. Others scattered the ashes in the areas where they used to take their dog (favorite walking spots, hiking trails, the lake, etc.).

Would it be more comforting for your family to have a grave to visit, or more comforting to feel that your dog's ashes were everywhere and part of nature?

Something else we did was take her accessories (toys, leashes, bowls) as well as some old towels and bathmats, and donate them to a humane society. You could do that if it would help and if you don't plan to get another dog, at least not right away. You could also take her license and name tag and mounted them with a photo.

There are pet cemeteries but they are very expensive.

Your vet can probably give you some advice, some pamphlets, and so on. Our vet gave us a written piece called "The Rainbow Bridge" (you can find it on line) and everyone in the office signed a sympathy card. We are making a little album of those things as well as the notes and emails our friends sent us about what a wonderful dog she was.

My heart goes out to you.



answers from Dallas on

Our dog just died in December and we got her cremated and she's sitting in an urn on top of our fireplace with a beautiful picture of her.



answers from Los Angeles on

I commend you for thinking about this in advance. It was difficult when I lost my pets. I read a book called "Goodbye Friend" to help me through it. I decided to have my pets cremated. I didn't want to bury them in my backyard in case I ever moved. So, cremated and I got the ashes and I have them each in urns. I put their collars/tags around the urns. If I ever want to spread the ashes I can, but I have thus far chosen not to do so.

I was holding my pets when they were put to sleep. Afterwards, I spent some alone time after the vet left the room. It is difficult but I am allowed to grieve over them for a short time.

Your vet should be able to handle the cremation and provide you a catalog of urns to select from. It's not totally cheap but I feel that it is a "one time expense" and can't be undone. I always go with the "Spartan" (it's a solid brass--unbreakable--urn). Look for engraving or a "base" that has an engravable plate so you can put the date, name and any small saying.

It's a sad time but be grateful for the time you shared together.



answers from Colorado Springs on

Talk to your vet about what your local options are. Sometimes there are laws about this or that. I'm so sorry this is happening in your family. Pets are beloved when they're old as well as when they're young.



answers from Los Angeles on

We just had to have our cocker put to sleep three weeks ago. It was very hard, but it was the right thing to do--he had cancer, and was so weak we had to carry him to the car to take him to the animal hospital. We didn't feel that having his ashes was important for us, so we opted for a mass cremation. Then, when our daughter was able to come home from school for the weekend, we had a service for him in the back yard. We buried his collar and some of the hair we had clipped from his ears, topknot and tail, and marked the spot with a statue of St. Francis. We shared our memories of him, read some poems and said a prayer. He really was a member of our family, and it's going to take some time to grieve for him.

We also had a great photographer take some pictures of him several weeks before we let him go, and those photos just captured his whole personality. Please let yourself grieve; anyone who has a pet understands the loss and can empathize with you. The kindness of our friends and family has meant a great deal.



answers from Los Angeles on

Call animal services,
They will pick him up. Your local government can tell you who to call.
You can cover him with flowers.
Now, go to the local shelter and get another dog ASAP.



answers from Denver on

If you are planning to euthanize I would check with your vet about their feelings of having your child(ren) there to see the euthanasia or just see the dog after or say goodbye before he goes in for the final visit. I think that is the more important part than what happens with the body after. I have known many people who were fine with not getting the animal back, having a private cremation, or having it a part of group cremation. I think that is totally up to you and your beliefs and money situation. So sorry for your loss



answers from Kansas City on

well this might not be what you want to do, but it is an option here where we live. Many years ago, our dog was 13, and he died in the backyard when my husband was out of town. He was a big dog, at least for me. Anyhow I called animal control, and they came and got him and took care of everything. I know that is not so loving, but I had no choice, and it didn't cost anything. Just thought I'd put that in. I'm sorry about your dog.

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