Today’s guest was Jodi Clock, a Certified Pet Loss Professional (CPLP) and the founder of Clock’s Timeless Pets.  Clock’s Timeless Pets provides cremation services for pet parents in and around Muskegon, Michigan.  Their motto is “Unconditional care for the loss of your pet.”  The Clock Family has been serving both humans and their pets in the funeral industry since 1897.   

The loss of a loved one is never easy.  Yet, we all have questions regarding the type of end of life care we want our loved one to receive.  There are many options.  Clock’s Timeless Pets has an excellent Frequently Asked Questions section that can answer many of your questions.  You can also find the “Pet Parent’s Guide to Planning Ahead.”   

What do you do if your pet dies at home?  In some communities you may be able to bury your pet on your property.  For some, you may want to have your pet cremated.  Sadly, our pets don’t always transition at a convenient time; it might be at night, on the weekend or over a holiday.  In these cases, it’s nice to have a resource available in case you have to make an unexpected call. 

If your pet transitions at your vet’s office, they may offer cremation or burial services through a local provider.  However, there’s still a lot to know and your vet and the office team may not have all the information.  First, do you want your pet buried or cremated?  If buried, will there be a memorial, a casket, a private burial or a communal burial.  If you want your pet cremated, you’ll want to know the difference between private and communal cremations.  Do you want to be present at the time of the cremation?  How will your vet care for your pet until the after-care company picks them up?    Do you want to have your pet’s ashes or cremains returned to you?  If yes, how do you want those cremains returned?  How will you know that the ashes you receive are actually those of your pet?  If you don’t want the cremains returned, what will be their final disposition? Do you want any kind of keepsake or memory of your pet?  And, these are just a few questions that may occur to you.   

If your pet dies while you are on vacation, who can you call?  If your pet is at home, does your pet caregiver have the legal authority they need to make final arrangements for your pet?  If your pet is with you and you aren’t familiar with the local veterinarians, is there are resource you can call?   

After the loss of a loved pet, you may experience grief.  Losing a member of the family can trigger lots of emotions.  Grieving for a pet is the same as grieving for a family member.  There are lots of resources available to provide assistance during a time of grief.  Psychology Today describes “7 Self-Care Essentials While Grieving the Death of a Pet” that include the following.  1. Set aside the time to grieve in your own way and release your emotions; 2. Reflect upon the life shared between yourself and your beloved pet; 3. Make sure you continue to meet your basic needs; 4. Choose a calming practice and use it frequently; 5. Maintain routines with your living animals as best you can; 6. Memorialize the memory and love of your pet; and 7. Don’t hesitate to seek support from understanding friends or relatives.   

There are lots of options for memorializing your loved pet.  You can find some examples in All My Children Wear Fur Coats – How to Leave a Legacy for Your Pet.  You can create a photo album, write a song or a book about your pet, you can plant a tree or plant, you can create a memorial garden, you can create a piece of jewelry that incorporates pet cremains, just to name a few  For more ideas about memorializing your pet, visit Let Your Love Grow, Pet Perennials, or TerryBear.   

Thank you to Jodi and all of the Certified Pet Loss Professionals across the country that serve our loved pets.   

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