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And The Pet Heavens Get A Bit Fuller…

by J. Money on Friday, May 18, 2012

miss you bob cat

I hate to be the bearer of bad news today, especially on a Friday, but after 14 long and adventurous years, our pet cat, Bob, has finally passed away :(  And even though he definitely wasn’t the healthiest of cats lately if you recall (what, with giving him IVs and medicines morning, noon, and night), it still is just as shocking when “the day” comes.  Or in this case, when we’re out of town about to attend a wedding :( Which makes it all kinds of worse…

I’ve known Bob the entire time I’ve known my wife (6 years, who’s had him for 13 of his own 14 years), and he’s been there for her what seems like forever. When she was just a teenager, when her dad died, when she graduated college, when she met and married her favorite boy in the world (me), when she got into grad school, and finally through all the joys of our recent pregnancy. It’s been a sad week to say the least, and to top it all off my 8 year old fish happened to die right after too, jeez…

But the one thing that keeps coming to my mind is – ‘He’s in a MUCH better place now’. Pet Heaven, if you will.  Where my grandparents and her dad all have easy access too any day of the week :)  I don’t know if you’re supposed to believe in that kinda stuff as a Catholic, but I’m going to do it anyways… I’d like to think heaven encompasses all types of wonderful and loving things, esp. pets.

And while it’s probably inappropriate for me to talk about the financial aspects of this major change now too, you know it still has to be dealt with.  Just like when we come into this world of ours, we spend a certain amount going out too.  Which is the last thing you actually want to think about or manage during all that unhappiness (and also why it’s important to get things like wills done *ahead of time* if possible!  It sucks, and it’s freaky as hell, but it makes the after-financial-life a ton easier on all other loved ones left behind).

Now with pets, of course, it’s totally different, but unfortunately we still had one last decision to make before we can move on thoroughly.  And that was *what* exactly to do with his blessed little body :(  According to our vet, we had three ways we could go:

  1. We could take him back, and then bury him on our own terms (Free).  I have no idea if it’s illegal to bury an animal in your backyard or not, or even if you have to disclose that if you were to sell your house one day?, but it certainly crossed our minds so that we can keep him closer to us and visit anytime we wanted.  Maybe in a warm sunny patch of grass somewhere where we knew he loved to soak up the rays? :)  That would be nice…
  2. We could cremate him, and allow the vet to dispose of him properly ($30.00). That would be all there was to it in that case. We say our goodbyes, and off he goes to wherever all the other animals in that stage go :(
  3. Or, we could cremate him, and then get his ashes back and do as we please ($205). The most expensive route of them all, but also the most appealing in that you could not only decide to still bury him later in the backyard if you wanted, but you could also hold on to him more and maybe feel better as he’d be in a nice cherry-wood box as a wonderful memorial… kinda freaky, but still an option.

Before even going to the vet to see him one last time, we decided we’d want to keep his ashes as long as it wasn’t SUPER expensive like $500+, or something like that.  Even while writing this we still don’t know what we want to do in the end, but at least this last option gives us more time to say good bye when we’re finally ready, as well as keep him close by for a little bit longer.  So in the end, we decided to go for option #3 (and we should have him back again in about 2 weeks).

I really am sorry for all the freakiness/sadness of today’s post, but in some strange way it makes me feel a lot better getting it all out there :(  And a lot of you know who he is too, especially as I’ve been blogging about him a lot more over the years, so I thought it would be good for you to know where he is now too.  Maybe we could all shower him with good thoughts today??  And make it more of a celebration of pet love all around?!  I dunno… that would be nice :)

I guess at the end of the day, it’s just the circle of life.  One beautiful soul leaves this world of ours, and another one comes into it.  It’s sad that Bob won’t ever get to meet our little baby boy in a couple of months, but at least we had the pleasure of knowing him for so long. And really that’s what’s important in the end :) If you have a pet or loved one around you right now, do me a favor and tell them you love ‘em! You gotta appreciate them every chance you get.

 


{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bekah May 18, 2012 at 7:25 am

Sorry for your loss :( Pets are family, and it’s hard to let them go. But, on a lighter note, here’s a ridiculously non-budget friendly option for the ashes. :) http://www.lifegem.com/secondary/beloved_pets_main2006.aspx

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2 Steve May 18, 2012 at 7:39 am

I’m sorry for your loss. :(

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3 Call Me What You Want Even Cheap May 18, 2012 at 7:42 am

Sorry to hear that Bob passed away. I am not a pet lover, but can definitely understand the attachment after having one for so long.

I know of several people who buried their pet in the backyard. I just assumed it was fine, but you should definitely check the legalities of doing that.

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4 @JustHeather May 18, 2012 at 8:23 am

I’m sorry for your loss.

We also paid for cremation, which people who know my frugality were shocked to hear. We buried his ashes in the backyard, then planted a tree. In all, the process cost around $300 for each of our lost pets. That doesn’t seem too much to pay for a beloved furry friend.

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5 Michelle May 18, 2012 at 8:23 am

I’m so sorry! My dogs mean the world to me and I can’t imagine when the day comes.

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6 Veronica May 18, 2012 at 8:54 am

So sorry for your loss, J. It’s always so hard to lose a pet. They have a special place in our hearts. I’ll be thinking good things about Bob today and giving my kitty some extra cuddles.

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7 Slw May 18, 2012 at 8:59 am

When we had to put down our 13 year old golden retriever my parents were surprised the vet would let us take him home after. It is illegal to bury a pet in the back yard, at least in California, but it’s what we did.

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8 Shawanda @ You Have More Than You Think May 18, 2012 at 9:18 am

I’m so sorry for your loss. :( I’ve lost my share of pets, and it’s almost always tough. Sometimes I’m just relieved they won’t have to suffer anymore.

I’ve never considered cremating a pet. Back home, my mom probably has about ten dogs buried her backyard. Kinda freaky if you think of it.

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9 Laura Brown May 18, 2012 at 9:22 am

Sorry for your loss – it’s always hard to lose a pet. I lost a dog that we had had for 19 years (that’s a REALLY long time for any animal) but I too believe they go to a better place. Here, we had another option available to us: have the pet buried in a pet cemetery. Yes, they really do exist, and you can visit them as often as you would like. I think both of my childhood dogs were cremated and had their ashed scattered over the cemetery, which I can’t say that I regret. My husband buries our pets now (all fish) in our backyard, when he remembers. We did find one fish that he forgot to bury – fortunately, the fish was sealed in an envelope so the smell wasn’t there (to us, but there’s no telling how many other animals smelled it). We recently also had a neighborhood cat die on our walkway. We thought it was our neighbor’s cat, but thankfully it wasn’t. It was one of their offspring, but no one claimed the kitty. He was pretty young, and we think he got into some construction chemicals that were nearby. It was sad, but the cat was also buried in the backyard of our neighbors. Hope your weekend is better than today. Sending good thoughts and comfort to you and your wife.

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10 Emmy May 18, 2012 at 9:35 am

In spite of my dislike of cats – when I saw this on Twitter I was SO SAD for you! :( If something were to happen to Bandit, I would probably ideally want to do the third option. It’s more expensive, but I don’t have a backyard to bury him in and the second seems too impersonal.

Also- the pets and heaven thing comes up almost every year in my 1st year confirmation class. (I know we’re Lutheran and not Catholic, but….) I tell them that technically the Bible doesn’t specifically say what happens to animals. Therefore, if you want to believe they go to heaven… I’m pretty sure God isn’t going to smite you or something. :)

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11 Beckey & Jeff May 18, 2012 at 9:42 am

So sorry for your family’s loss.

I had to make this decision back about 6 years. My then 18 year old cat was getting worse, I had had him since he was 5 years old, so he was there through everything too. I ended up having him cremated and still have his ashes in a pretty cherry box. I glued a nice plaque to the front of the box of a person holding a cat. I still want to get a nameplate engraved with his name, date of birth, and date of death. He will never be buried, as I want to have him with me wherever our travels take us in life. It only cost me $155 and it was well worth every penny.

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12 bogofdebt May 18, 2012 at 9:45 am

I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. And pet heaven is something I have always believed in. I love my kitty and told him so just this morning.

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13 Jessi @ PracticallyFunctional May 18, 2012 at 9:53 am

So sorry to hear about your kitty :-( When our dog passed away (many years ago, I was still a child) my parents had the same options and chose #3 as well. Then we planted an apricot tree in our backyard and sprinkled Molly’s ashes in with the soil. It’s a really nice reminder every time we look out and see that tree. (At the time my parents already knew they were going to live in that house forever, so we didn’t have to worry about moving away and leaving new owners with weird ashes…)

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14 Diane May 18, 2012 at 9:54 am

I’m so sorry for your loss. The past month I have both a) been away for work more often than here and b) been dealing with a cat who was just diagnosed with lymphoma – and stopped eating for two weeks (!). I was sure two weeks ago he was going to die while I was away, and was walking around my job sites crying.

He’s since made a great recovery thanks to steroid shots, but he’s 17 and still has the cancer, so it is just a matter of time. I am very sad, but also know in my head (not heart) that they don’t live forever, and we are so lucky to have our furry friends in our lives for the time we do. There’s no right answer for what to do when they get sick and when they die, and the only thing you can be sure of is that he had a great life with you and lots of love.

When my kitty dies (and hopefully I will still have a few more months with him), I plan to bury him in my back yard and plant things over him to remind me of him and create a little memorial garden. It’s not technically legal here in CA, but people do it all the time.

Again, I’m so sorry about Bob. I know how sad you must be.

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15 Lynn May 18, 2012 at 9:55 am

I am so sorry for you loss. I lost my Louise in 09 after a lot of health issues and finally cancer. I was gone for the day and she waited until I got home to go. I was petting her and telling her it was time to go when she went (I’m crying as I type this). I decided to have her cremated and not keep the ashes. I like to think of her as she was. It is a very personal decision. I now have Belle. She did not replace Louise but is a totally different cat who also fills a place in my heart.

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16 This Aggie Saves May 18, 2012 at 9:55 am

So sorry for your loss. I know how tough it is losing a kitty you’ve had for a long time.

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17 Joe @ Retire By 40 May 18, 2012 at 10:06 am

Sorry to hear that. We lost one of our cat late last year and it was a pretty tough experience for Mrs. RB40. Hobi was a crotchety cat, but we needed her to balance out the other two exuberant cats. The 2 cats are running wild now…

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18 Jeff @My Multiple Streams May 18, 2012 at 10:18 am

Sorry for your loss :( i swear when we have a pet die I say never again. I just don’t like going through it. Even tougher when you have a kid and have to explain it. Went through it last year when our puppy left us way to early. Then late last year we got two kittens. Life just seems empty with out furry companions.

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19 stacey May 18, 2012 at 10:24 am

So sorry for your loss. I’ve had pets all of my life and have been through this numerous times, most recently last summer for my dear cat. Very rough. We have used cremation and then put the remains in a stone especially made for this. (It’s not as terrible as it sounds…) We knew we would be moving and didn’t want to leave our pets behind. We now have two stones (one dog and one cat) that sit in our garden and can move with us if we move. We had a plate engraved that is attached to the stone. PerfectMemorials.com if you are interested. Your family is in my thoughts.

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20 Matt May 18, 2012 at 10:24 am

sorry bro. I try not to think about this with our dog.

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21 Dana May 18, 2012 at 10:34 am

I’m sorry to hear about your pet. I don’t think you should bury it in the backyard though. If you do research that some first. I hope that you guys pick the best option and that the cost isn’t the main deciding factor!

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22 Aloysa @ My Broken Coin May 18, 2012 at 11:00 am

So, so sorry for your loss! I only can imagine how painful and devastating it feels. But Bob had a good life with you guys! Hang in there. Time will heal (eventually) your wounds. You will always have memories of him!
I am somewhat outraged by the prices! $205 to cremate and take the ashes? WTF? Why so expensive when the other alternative is only $30? Capitalizing from people’s losses?

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23 Lainie May 18, 2012 at 11:15 am

So sorry for your loss. :( I’m Catholic too and I also like to think that my Schnauzer, Busta, in all of his conniving, rascally glory, will be with me too, once we’ve departed this life.
I like your option 3 – seems like a great way to honor your best friend :)

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24 Nicci May 18, 2012 at 11:21 am

I’m so very sorry! We lost our dog Friday last year and it’s a heartbreaking experience. I’m told it gets easier over time, but I still miss her every day. We opted to have her cremation and disposal of ashes through our vet, but they offered a service where, before cremation, they took a cast of her pawprint for us to keep. Sending love and healing thoughts to you and the missus, and of course, to Bob.

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25 Mal May 18, 2012 at 11:23 am

So, SO sorry for the loss of your kitty. Losing a pet is just one of the hardest things ever. :(

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26 Angella May 18, 2012 at 11:40 am

So sorry about the loss of your beloved pet. :( I lost my two dogs in 2011, it was rough. I also chose to have them cremated and returned, about $150/ea. and they each weighed 2.4lbs and 3.2lbs! This included the cremation, urn, custom tags, a lock of fur, and a paw print mold. Many places were upwards of $300/ea though. They now sit pretty in their urns in my living room. I just couldn’t let them go (bury or disposed by vet), they were my babies before I had my baby. :) Great memories, as I’m sure you guys will have about Bob!

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27 Georgie May 18, 2012 at 11:45 am

I am so sorry to hear about this. I had a cat named Hailey that died about three years ago, and she was just the sweetest girl you could imagine. She was diabetic and after about four years developed a resistance to insulin. It was just heartbreaking. I had a cat who died many years ago and I didn’t want to keep the ashes, but my fiance was so attached to Hailey that we kept the ashes. It felt right.

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28 Meg May 18, 2012 at 11:48 am

This made me cry…. I hate losing pets. :( (The fish sucks too, you get attached to them too!)

When our first kitty died (super unexpected, he got sick & was gone not even two weeks later, and he was only 4…..) we wanted to keep his ashes. But we were moving in a few days and they couldn’t ship his ashes to us…. So we had to say goodbye then. :( I’d have loved to keep his ashes with us, he was such a great cat. (Shelter cat and we were his first and only home.)

Of course, the bright side of the story was we moved and rescued another cat after some months of grieving. I miss my Enzo so much, but my Dino makes my days awesome and he’s such a great kitty too. Just hoping he sticks around longer. :/ (I’m now pretty paranoid when he’s not his normal self… But I figure it’s better to be cautious.)

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29 Money Beagle May 18, 2012 at 11:54 am

Sorry for the loss.

I have two older cats. I had one cat a long time ago that only made it to the age of 3. Letting him go was tough but it was the right thing to do and he let me know when it was time.

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30 Heidi May 18, 2012 at 12:03 pm

So sorry for your loss J. Money and family. I do have to admit that I am jealous at the same time for you having the opportunity to make a final decision for Bob. Our 16 year old cat Conan went out one night last July and never returned. We miss him terribly but know that he is in a better place as is Bob :)

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31 J. Money May 18, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Thanks everyone, you all are wonderful. Appreciate all the kind words, Bob would be happy! :)

@Bekah – Oh my gosh, haha… I’d actually get that for the wife if I didn’t think it would freak her out ;)
@@JustHeather – Awww, I like that idea a lot – esp with the tree!! Maybe we’ll do the same with a plant? :)
@Veronica – YAY! That would be great :)
@Slw – I think it’s one of those things that people will look the other way on. But still prob. a smart idea to do it sneakily.
@Shawanda @ You Have More Than You Think – Woah, really? I can def. understand it though.
@Laura Brown – Awww, 19 years is indeed a long time, that’s incredible :) Thanks for the kind words, I hope it gets better for my wife the most – it’s really taken a big toll on her this week, on top of all the pregnancy hormones :(
@Emmy – Hehe… I bet I asked all kinds of questions like that in my confirmation classes too :) And obviously still wonder about all that stuff!
@Beckey & Jeff – That’s a good idea :) I could see us taking him everywhere too, unless the wife just wants to close the chapter once and for all, but we’ll see.
@Jessi @ PracticallyFunctional – Awww, that is wonderful! Is it big enough now to make apricots and all too? That is a great idea :)
@Diane – Thanks so much Diane, that means a lot. I hope so much that your little one still has lots of months in him too! I’m so glad he got a little better and that initial scare is at least over for now, that’s a wonderful feeling :) We’ll send some prayers over to you.
@Lynn – Awwwww, I’m so glad you were able to see her off like that. That’s exactly what my wife wanted to do, but unfortunately we were too late :( It’s the only thing that really haunts her right now – that we weren’t there when he was leaving, even though I think that was his plan. To do his best not to upset us :( It all sucks no matter which way it happens, though, but we were blessed to have them in our lives for when we did! Cats are wonderful little souls.
@Joe @ Retire By 40 – Awww, haha… that’s kinda how our 2nd cat is acting right now – like she owns the place and is even more crazier than she was when Bob was around :) Though we could tell she misses him cuz she cries a lot more, especially in the night, and keeps nudging us to make sure we’re awake :( I just hope it’s not cuz she tried to do the same with Bob but it didn’t work… so sad….
@Jeff @My Multiple Streams – I agree :) And I can’t even imagine what it’s like with kids in the mix, but guess we’re gonna have to find out one day. Luckily our 2nd one is only a few years old though :)
@stacey – Oh cool, I like that idea! Thanks for sharing the site with us – we will check it out :) And hope all your current animals are all nice and healthy!
@Aloysa @ My Broken Coin – I think cuz of the box and engraving they put with it… or maybe cuz they have to do it separately than all other animals? So they know they’re giving you only your animal? I bet that’s why… and now I’ve officially freaked myself out even more, bleh…
@Lainie – Hehe… I like that name, Busta :)
@Nicci – Well that’s cool, I like that :) I hope this time next year it gets even better for you guys! So dad, for sure.
@Angella – I think it’s a great choice for sure, and I’m glad you’ve had wonderful experiences with it so far – maybe we’ll put him on our mantle for a bit too?
@Georgie – Do you guys still have Hailey? Or did you end up scattering her ashes somewhere?
@Meg – Awwww, you have such a good heart girl! I’m glad you help to rescue them :) We’re thinking of doing the same in a bit once things calm down, and our baby is born and what not. We def. want another pet, but just too much to handle at the moment (though we did go to Petsmart to pet some the other day to feel better, hehe…)
@Money Beagle – That does make it easier, when they let you know it’s time. I hope your cats now still have lots of life in them! :)
@Heidi – Oh no!!! That breaks my heart :( Maybe he’s on some crazy adventure out there? :) Or maybe he’s hanging out with out Bob! Hehe…

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32 Kathy May 18, 2012 at 12:26 pm

So sorry for your loss. In another week it will be 7 years since my beloved cat died and I still miss her every day. We got her at 6 weeks old and had her for all of her 18 years.

In my home, all of our pets become our family and it’s so difficult when we lose them.

As time goes by, the ache will lessen. But the love remains.

As a fellow Catholic, I completely understand what you mean about Pet Heaven.

My best to you & yours.

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33 Kelli May 18, 2012 at 12:29 pm

I’m so sorry for your loss. RIP Bob. Now he’s at the Rainbow Bridge frolicking with other cats and dogs. When my 17-year-old dog died a few years back it was devastating because he had been with me for so much of my life. It took me a couple years until I could adopt another dog. I just love having a pet in my life/family. It enriches you and fills your home with even more love. Thinking of you and Bob today. I hope you all can find comfort and peace.

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34 Yana May 18, 2012 at 12:31 pm

I’m sorry you lost Bob :( Our dog will be 17 years old next month, and we were glad she has lived long enough to move into an upgraded place with us. It’s hard to make those final decisions, and it’s food for thought that you showed us the choices.

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35 Kerry May 18, 2012 at 1:07 pm

So incredibly sad. This poem has really helped us when we lost our cat in 2009.

http://petloss.com/rainbowbridge.htm

Thinking of you guys!

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36 Rachel May 18, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Sorry for your loss. In my 24 years, I’ve lost two horses that I cared about very much. One was an old Thoroughbred named Gracie. She was diagnosed with an incurable disease and was put down. But, my Quarter Horse gelding died when he was six years old. My dad (a basement repairman at the time) buried both of them at the back of our property.

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37 LB May 18, 2012 at 2:42 pm

So sad for all involved. Rest in peace Bob.

My old kitty that has been with me through everything, just like Bob. She is almost 17 years old and I am thankful every day she is still around. My mom’s fuzzy passed away about a year ago and even though you aren’t supposed to bury pets in your yards, I convinced her to do so. I think if I lived in a country area like she does, I would too. Otherwise I will probably want ashes in order to keep my fuzzy around. :(

Sorry for your loss.

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38 Evan May 18, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Sorry for your loss, J. Losing a pet is really tough.

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39 Kate May 18, 2012 at 5:01 pm

I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s hard to lose a pet you’ve known and loved for so long.

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40 Lance@MoneyLife&More May 18, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Sorry to hear about Bob :( It is so hard when a pet has been with a family for so long regardless of whether or not you know it is coming in the near future. Enjoy up above Bob!

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41 Courtney May 18, 2012 at 5:53 pm

I’m so sad to hear about Bob! Losing a pet is devastating even when you see the end coming.

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42 Bryan at Pinch that Penny! May 18, 2012 at 5:53 pm

I’m sorry to hear about your cat passing away. My best friend’s parents adopted a couple of cats when he and I were both in jr. high or high school, and two of the three recently passed away. It was sadder for them, obviously, but it made me a little contemplative to know that these animals that I knew as they (we) were growing up had lived their full lives now. It all just keeps moving; it all just keeps rolling.

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43 Stacia May 18, 2012 at 8:17 pm

Sorry to hear about your cat!!! Heartbreaking, but I’m so glad you took the time to decide what to do with the remains,as I would’ve have chosen the same thing!

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44 Carol in Mpls May 18, 2012 at 9:22 pm

J, So very sorry about Bob passing away. Lucia, my long-haired Siamese, and I send our condolences to you and yours. I’ve had her about 3.5 years (abandoned in our condo garden, rescued and loved by me), and hope she’ll be around for a very long time. I tell her every day how I just love her to pieces.

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45 DC May 19, 2012 at 2:19 am

Sorry to hear about Bob. We have a 19 year-old cat that my wife has had since she was 4 years old :0

I definitely think you should get the ashes for the reasons you already listed. You can always bury the ashes later on or just leave the ashes in an urn.

Again, sorry for your loss.

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46 Sense May 19, 2012 at 8:37 am

Um, you lost TWO pets while you were away? I hope that is just a coincidence and not a consequence of who was taking care of them while you were gone!! Sorry, but that is the first thing I thought of when I read that.

I’m so sorry for your losses. :( I’ve lost both a fish and many doggies. The last one was the hardest–Buddy had been with our family since I was 14 and he lived almost 17 years! My dad was bawling as he buried him in our backyard (he was hit by a school bus (!) because he was almost blind and got confused while going outside to do his duty. And no, the school bus DID NOT STOP.)–no vet or putting down for him. I don’t know if it is legal or not in VA, but he buried him anyway. It’s our land and has been for 30 years!! :) Pets are always so special. My condolences.

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47 Michelle May 19, 2012 at 2:53 pm

So sorry to hear about the loss your beautiful cat. I still miss my kitty who died two year ago. We were able to bury him at my husband’s parents place. We put a flowering bush over his grave.

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48 Ornella May 19, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Hey J,

so sorry to hear about your loss. I’ve lost my dog and I think he was almost 15 years old. My condolences to you.

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49 Shane C May 19, 2012 at 4:57 pm

So sorry to hear of your cats passing. We treat and love them just like family and It’s saddening when their time Is over here with us. They may be gone, but they will never be forgotten.

My dog Max will turn 12 this year and I truly hope he’s with us for a long time to come. I make sure he’s spoiled rotten and he’s told that he’s loved every single day. Raised him since he was 3 weeks old and I will be devastated when his time comes a calling. I try not to think too much about It and enjoy all the time I have with him now.

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50 Mercedes May 20, 2012 at 6:22 am

So sorry to hear about the loss of your family pet.

It is always a difficult thing to deal with, but, like you said, he’s in a much better place now. When we had to put down or family dog a few years ago, that thought really helped to get me through.

As far as your decision to keep the ashes, I think that is the best option. That is what we did with our dog, and we actually spread some of her ashes around at different places she used to love to go to. It definitely helped with the grieving process!

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51 Jim May 20, 2012 at 9:23 am

I’m sorry to hear about your loss J. :(

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52 Chet May 20, 2012 at 11:03 am

J. Money, I am so sorry for your loss. I too had to put my dog down on Thursday, he was my first dog and we went everywhere together.

It is so hard to lose them as they become such a part of our families.

RIP Bob. RIP Eb, I miss you dearly.

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53 Andi B. May 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm

I am so sorry to see your loss. I’ve always said my goodbyes at the vet because honestly, I couldn’t go through the process of digging a hole in my backyard for a hundred pound dog when I was already a very pathetic, shaky mess. Our vets were also like family too, so it was nice to know my loved ones were still in the hands of family.

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54 Crystal May 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm

I’m glad he’s in a better place, but I know you and your wife are hurting. :-( Our Miss Doxie is 14 this year and is starting to show and act her age. I understand how much the next year is going to suck. Sorry.

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55 David Hunter May 20, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Ugh. Makes me sad, and makes me think all about our pets, past and present.

I sure hope we’ll see them again. I’d much rather spend my after life in pet heaven!

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56 Stephanie May 21, 2012 at 10:47 am

Aww, I am so sorry for your loss :-(

We went with option #3 when we had to put our family dog down, nearly 10 years ago. For the longest time we had a “Rosie shrine” in the spare bedroom: the box with her ashes, and next to it was her favorite teddy bear (yes, my dog had a favorite teddy bear), which had her collar around its neck. Eventually my mom moved the box to a drawer inside the dresser, but she never buried it or scattered the ashes or anything.

My current dog, Elvis, is still relatively young (six years old) and healthy, and I don’t even want to think about how awful it will be to say goodbye to him. I have a hard enough time saying goodbye to my little rats, and they typically only live 2-3 years! Even as an animal lover, I used to be totally snarky about that “Rainbow Bridge” poem (it just seemed so CHEESY!), but when I had to take my first rat to be put down nearly 4 years ago, the room had a framed copy of that poem and I just completely lost it and started sobbing. I don’t care if it makes me a bad Catholic (hell, I already am a bad Catholic, what with being in favor of using birth control and being pro-gay marriage!), but I totally believe that if there’s an afterlife, I’ll be greeted by a stampede of all the wonderful pets I’ve had over the years, and I bet Bob’s up there hanging out with them now, too. :-)

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57 J. Money May 21, 2012 at 11:06 am

Thanks for all of this, everyone. It means a lot from each and every one of you – I’m lucky to be surrounded by so many awesome people. Thank you so so much.

@Kathy – Thanks Kathy :) I’m sorry to hear about your loss too with your precious one – I’m glad we were all blessed though!
@Kelli – Aww, thanks. Bob is hanging out with your dog as we speak! :)
@Yana – I’m glad she’s still rockin’ and rollin’ over there! Soak up every day you have with her :)
@Kerry – That is such an awesome poem!!! Thank you for sharing it with me, I had never read it before :) Going right now to email it to my wife! She’ll love it!! (and I’m sure it’ll make her tear a little bit too :()
@Rachel – Awwww, I love horses :( I rode one for the first time last year – such beautiful animals!
@LB – Thanks LB. That’s actually one of the next areas I’d like to try living one day – in the country. So you have more free reign over stuff, and it’s totally peaceful. May both our cats be alive and well in the heavens! :)
@Bryan at Pinch that Penny! – Amen brotha. The circle of life…
@Carol in Mpls – Awwww well that’s good!!! Keep telling her and showering her – you know she loves every minute of it too :)
@DC – WOW, 19? That’s incredible man. I hope he/she keeps on going and your wife appreciates her every day! :)
@Sense – Oh jeez, no – had nothing to do with our pet sitter ;) They were both just really really old and became just a bad coincidence there… although I will say our pet sitter didn’t do a great job of breaking the news to us. It was her first time dealing with something like this, and it came out pretty bad :(
@Michelle – That sounds beautiful :)
@Ornella – Thanks Ornella, hope to see you soon :)
@Shane C – I’m glad :) And I hope he has a ton of years left in this world with you too!
@Mercedes – Oh, good! I like that idea of putting him in a few different places, that’s kinda cool :) Ours was an indoor cat, but there are a ton of sunny areas we could place him throughout our community… that was his favorite thing to do – lie in the sun and soak it all up.
@Chet – Oh no! Sorry to hear, man :( They’re both on the heavenly adventure together – I bet they become friends :) (Did your dog like cats?? Hehe…)
@Andi B. – That is nice :) We ended up saying bye to our boy at the vet too (which was really REALLY freaky – he kept looking like he was still breathing!) but we still wanted to take him home after too… we’ll see how we feel once it’s more “real” when we go to pick up his ashes :(
@Crystal – I hope Miss Doxie hangs in there for you guys! Beautiful name! :)
@David Hunter – Haha… I wonder if that’s an option? :)
@Stephanie – Hehe, amen sista. I think I might print it and frame that poem too if the Mrs tells me she likes it (I’d never heard of it until you guys started posting about it here). And we’re right up there with birth control and pro-gay marriage too ;) So I’m sure I’ll see you in the same place above too! Hehe…

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58 Emily May 21, 2012 at 2:38 pm

So sorry about this loss. :( Totally get where you’re coming from. I had a dog who was really dear to me die five years ago and my family and I decided to go with the third option, too. We even cremated him with his favorite toy. I tell myself he’s in a better place chasing cats and eating greenies. :)

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59 J. Money May 22, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Awwww, great idea to add the toy in! I like that :)

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60 Cristina @ Tiny Perfect Bites May 23, 2012 at 1:14 pm

I’m so sorry for your loss. I have two senior dogs, and I get sad just thinking about when their time comes. I definitely believe in pet heaven, too!

I think you’re right about the price difference between options #2 and #3. For shelter (i.e., unowned) animals, they are all cremated together. Option #3 would require that they cremate your pet separately.

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61 J. Money May 26, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Yup! We *just* got our little guy back too, and it feels sooooooooo much better seeing him back at home again! I thought it would be creepy, but it’s totally not – more soothing than anything if you can believe that. And the box is beautiful and even came with his paw print on part of it :) So glad we went this route!

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62 PK May 26, 2012 at 6:58 pm

Aww, I’m so sorry. That’s always tough. One of the most draining parts of my job is seeing grieving owners (I’m a veterinary technician). We get so attached to our pets and it is so hard to say goodbye. Many people have their pets cremated, sometimes with a collar, blanket, bed, and/or toy. Other times, they just want the blanket/toy kept with the pet until the cremation occurs.

@Aloysa – If the owner does not want the ashes returned, multiple pets can be cremated together. If an owner would like their pet’s ashes returned, that pet has to be cremated separately, which then takes a different amount of time, hence the extra cost.

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63 J. Money May 28, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Oh man, that’s probably the hardest part of your job, huh? But so cool you’re constantly surrounded by pets! And helping them feel better :) Sounds incredibly rewarding.

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