Past Pet Owners: What Did You Do With the Deceased?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Traverse, Aug 16, 2015.

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What Would You Do With a Deceased Pet

  1. Drop off at vet

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Bury in backyard

    15 vote(s)
    55.6%
  3. Cremated and sealed

    12 vote(s)
    44.4%
  1. Traverse, Aug 16, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2015

    Traverse macrumors 603

    Traverse

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    #1
    I apologize for bringing up such a morbid topic, but it's been on my mind lately. I have a pet rabbit that I rescued from the road many years ago a week before Easter. It obviously wasn't a wild breed and I believe that someone was mating them as pets and let this one go or it got loose. It was only a few weeks old. My plan was to nurse it back to health and find a home for it, but I become so attached to him and he's become my first pet (I didn't intend to get this close, but the first time I was browsing the web and he came and fell asleep in my lap I knew I could't get rid of him).

    He's about 6.5 years old now and their typical life span is only 8 years. I worry about him because he's very sickly sometimes (I had to get him hooked up to an IV once and medicate him for 3 weeks when he got sick). Anyway, I've been think a lot about this because I don't want to come home one day and find that he's passed on and have to make a snap decision, but I don't know what to do so I wanted to seek advice from previous pet owners who have learned the best way to handle this.

    I have 3 options, neither of which are particularly appealing.
    1. Drop him off at his vet's office for disposal
    2. Bury him in my back yard
    3. Have him cremated and placed in a small sealed box (I didn't even know you could do that with pets)

    Vet: I'm not too proud to admit that this option made me tear up. My home is the only one he's ever known and he loves his play area and routine. It breaks my heart to drop him off at some foreign office for him to be thrown into a bio-hazard bag and forgotten.

    Back Yard: I don't really like this option either. I think it would bother me to know that his remains were just sitting there in my back yard, but it would be at his home which I feel is more respectful.

    Cremated: This is what I'm leaning towards now. The problem is I feel it's a bit morbid. Are you going to keep your animals remains in your closet for 50 years? At least he'd be home. And I always wonder if they are really his ashes or just a random scoop from a big pile. I had family members that did this when their pug died and they got it in a small, but nice sealed little box.


    I'm sorry if you think this is silly, I realize not everyone is this crazy about their animals. I didn't have the best childhood, and this rabbit is one of the few things I've bonded with aside from my adoptive parents, so he's extremely special to me. I just want to be ready when the inevitable happens.

    Edit: A friend of mine suggested cremating him and burying the box too.
     
  2. Mr. Buzzcut macrumors 65816

    Mr. Buzzcut

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    #2
    Cremate and scatter is my first choice. But burial of a small animal...it will decompose pretty quickly.
     
  3. pollaxe macrumors 6502

    pollaxe

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    #3
    After she died, we buried our beloved Labrador in our garden, wrapped in her favourite blanket; she's still there with flowers on other wild plants growing on her grave. We're quite lucky that we have a fairly large property and were able to dig her a nice, deep grave.

    That being said, some friends of our recently lost their dog and she's buried in their very small garden.

    I quite like the fact that she's still with us, in some way but grief is a very personal thing (and pets are a part of the family.)
     
  4. Traverse thread starter macrumors 603

    Traverse

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    #4
    One thing is, I plan to move in like 5 years or so. That's one consideration. I wonder how I'd feel then.
     
  5. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

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    #5
    Sorry to hear about your loss. My beloved family dog passed away the week before last. :(

    My family is Jewish. Being Jewish my parents think our pets are too and therefore like to follow the rules, like no cremation (though technically there are no laws for animals). Our dogs have always been buried at a pet Cemetary in NY. It's nice because you always have a place you can go to remember your lost pets together. Obviously, this is not the most cost effective option, but it's another one.

    We've had burrials for our dogs, as ridiculous as this sounds. We've always considered our dogs essential parts of the family. I was talking to a co-worker of mine who is a psychologist. He said pet deaths are often massive unresolved issues for people. They drop their pets off at the vet and never see them again. There is seldom any closure with this. Having a memorial on the other hand helps bring a sense of closure.

    Given this pet sounds close to you and assuming you are not religiously against cremation, I think it's the best option (if prefer to be cremated myself). You can either hold onto the ashes in an urn, spread them, or bury them. If you were to bury your rabbit on your property, if you were to ever move, would you find that to be a problem? I feel dropping your rabbit at the vet, as mentioned before, doesn't allow for much of a memorial/closure.
     
  6. JamesMike macrumors demi-god

    JamesMike

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    #6
    If you cremate and bury in the backyard, mark the spot so you could remove it and take it with you when you move.
     
  7. Absrnd macrumors regular

    Absrnd

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    #7
    This is where I keep 3 cats,
    one died naturally, and two were put to sleep, by the vet at home,
    all were cremated separately and put inside this Urn, that I made from a nice looking vase, and I made a lid for it.

    I was planning to spread the ashes somewhere nice later, but I just liked the look, and kept it in my living room :)
    maybe in the future there will come a time that I will scatter the ashes, but for now they stay at home.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #8
    We had to put down our sheltie a couple of years ago. We had him cremated and spread the ashes in nearby forest.
     
  9. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #9
    A really nice thread and some lovely and thoughtful answers.

    Friends (and neighbours) of mine tend to favour the 'burial in back garden' and nice ceremony route, and say that this works well, particularly for cherished pets that would have grown up with the family in question.
     
  10. Roller macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    #10
    OP: No need to apologize. Those of us with pets of all kinds know that they become integral parts of our families and lives. We've had a succession of hamsters, dogs, and cats, several of whom passed away over time. Your friend's suggestion of cremation sounds like it might work for you. One thing I'm glad to have done with one of our dogs was to record video of her, something that's much easier to do these days with cell phones. Watching these videos reminds me how much I miss her, but also makes me recall how great she was.
     
  11. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #11
    We have had all of our animals cremated and put into little decorative boxes or urns if you will.
     
  12. Traverse thread starter macrumors 603

    Traverse

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    #12
    Sorry for my delayed reply. Thankfully, he hasn't passed yet, but is getting much older. I want to be ready and not get caught off guard and make a snap decision I'll regret. That's interesting, though. I never knew that no cremation was a rule in Judaism.

    A pet cemetery. I never thought of that. Unfortunately, I don't have any near me, but that seems like a great idea for grieving owners...

    I was going through all my images since I recently moved to Lightroom and realized that I have over 400 pictures and 20 videos (kept separate) of him! :eek:

    So many random poses or happy little moments. I'll forever treasure them, though I am trying to prune some of the bad ones.

    ---
    Burial seems to be the most popular choice of the posters. I don't know. For me personally, I feel like it might bother me and I'd hate to move away and leave it unattended. I'll think about it.
     
  13. Traverse thread starter macrumors 603

    Traverse

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    #13
    Does it ever bother you having them there (where you keep them)?
     
  14. juanm macrumors 65816

    juanm

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    #14
    Depending on where you live, you can bury it somewhere in the forest, if you plan on moving. We might do that with our dogs. Somewhere isolated, of course, for health reasons. They're just so happy when they are in the wild, I don't see myself just sending them to the vet, and I don't like the idea of clinging to an urn with their ashes.
     
  15. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    #15
    Had my Dad's dog pass away and his ashes were in a small box. When my Dad passed, the little box holding the ashes of his faithful dog went with him to the ground. I couldn't be more satisfied with my decision.
     
  16. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

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    #16
    No worries, this is a forum. I don't think anyone really expects immediate answers here. :)

    I think it's great that you're taking some time to consider your options so you don't have to worry about it, but I hope you're not getting too stressed about this. This may not be something you have to worry about for some time. Are other members closely connected with this pet as well? Have you discussed the ideas with them to see what they feel comfortable with.

    Cremation generally is not a preferred means of "disposal" (for a lack of a better word) in Judaism, as well as many other religions, including some sects of Christianity. As far as I know, at least in Abrahamic religions, these guidelines do not apply to animals.

    I can't say "pet cemetary", without thinking of that Steven King novel and subsequent movie "Pet Sematary". They are aren't very common. I'm not sure exactly how much, but I think at least a couple thousand for a medium sized dog, in my experience anyways. Thats New York though. You have to buy the plot, casket, and headstone, all of which vary in cost dramatically, especially the latter two.
     
  17. Traverse thread starter macrumors 603

    Traverse

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    #17
    Well, my parents are very fond of him, but they're from the "old school" as they put it. A pet is just an animal. They said they'd just drop him off at the vet and get another one. No. I don't work like that.

    My family church is Baptist, but I'm not sure I'd say that I identify with that specific branch, but it's all I've known. They never mention cremation (but they do say animals will be in heaven, who knows). I prefer cremation myself, but that's a personal thing.
     
  18. ProjectManager101 Suspended

    ProjectManager101

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    #18
    He still a live, he is always happy to see me. I don't know what I would do. Rigo.png
     
  19. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601

    AutoUnion39

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    #19
    When my family dog passed away a few years ago, we got him cremated by the vet. Parents and I spread the ashes at his favorite beach soon after.

    I kept his collar in my old room at my parent's house.

    This thread came at an interesting time. I was walking thru the Boston Commons today and a Golden Retriever that looks just like my old dog came up to me. Spent a few minutes petting him.

    Brought back some great memories!
     
  20. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #20
    Not at all. We have them, two currently, both are in one of the corners of our living room.

    My mom has done the same and they are all in her living room.
     
  21. AlliFlowers Contributor

    AlliFlowers

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    #21
    Our back yard is a veritable pet cemetery. One of the cats buried there was a 32 lb. monster named Bill. We always referred to him as "Big Bill," or "Sweet William." Shortly after his plot settled, we planted a sweet olive. That tree is fertilized by the sweetest of sweet, and has grown quickly. It is fragrant and lush, and always reminds us of Bill.
     
  22. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    #22
    Agreed, the Jewish religion doesn't qualify animals as having to be buried but this is about the living and our perception of how an animal is part of one's family. I am glad your family found a way to handle the loss of this family member. Btw, nothing sound ridiculous about mourning or celebrating the passing of someone or some animal that brought joy to a family.
     
  23. AlliFlowers Contributor

    AlliFlowers

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    #23
    Judaism also has no laws against cremation. The proscription is against spreading the ashes.
     
  24. sdilley14 macrumors 65816

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    #24
    I've thought about this same subject from time to time. I have an 8 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback. I believe they're expected to live about 12-14 years. He's still in great shape, but I know dogs can "turn" quickly in terms of health. :( I live in a big city in an apartment complex. At my dad's house (across the country, big house out in the woods) we used to bury all of our pets that passed away in the forested area behind the house. That obviously isn't an option here. I have no idea what to do or who to call if I come home some day and my big, sweet baby is passed away in the apartment. :(
     
  25. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #25
    I once had an old cat, Homer, who had been with me for 20 years. He was less a pet, and more a strange looking little brother to me. He was the friendliest, most personable animal I've ever seen. I loved that old cat so much.

    When I had to have him put to sleep one cold, snowy February day a couple years back, I took the only option I thought appropriate. I buried him in his old favorite place, put bricks over the plot, and built a little tombstone for him. Every once in awhile, I'll go out there and make sure it's still kept nice and tidy.
     

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