Critters

Critters: Finding ways to pay tribute

By Debra Bell

Special to The Weekly

 

Last month I wrote about the passing of our sweet greyhound Laura. Her absence is palpable. We feel it all the time in the little moments. In the memories and in the quiet time.

Laura was one of the most wonderful dogs out there. She had quirks which made her unique.

In the time that we’ve been without her, I’ve been working on finding meaningful ways to honor Laura’s memory. I know we’re not alone in trying to find little ways to make her live on.

One of our favorite images of Laura, taken in the summer of 2009. This was one of the first photographs we have of her showing her prowess in racing. (Debra Bell Photography)

One of our favorite images of Laura, taken in the summer of 2009. This was one of the first photographs we have of her showing her prowess in racing. (Debra Bell Photography)

 

When Laura passed, we chose Ashes to Ashes Pet Crematory in LaGrange (ashestoashespetcrematory.com) to handle her cremation. They picked her up from Veazie Veterinary Clinic and brought her back when the cremation was complete. The package included a certificate of cremation as well as a bag, thoughtfully packaged. Ashes to Ashes offers special urns, memorials and even jewelry. At the time I wasn’t ready to purchase any extra items from them.

Our vets had done a few things for us as well. We received a lovely card with Laura’s pawprint with a note from Dr. Cloutier. The staff at Veazie also created some nose print impressions and clipped some of her beautiful brindle fur at our request. Currently, I’m working with an artisan who creates jewelry from pet fur.

Then we decided to have a box made to house the container of her ashes. A friend of ours in Hampden, Scott Tucker of Scott’s Alder Ego, is also a woodworker and he has been helping us create a container to put hold her ashes. We’re currently working on choosing several images taken over the years to create metal prints from and mount on the box. We even have a spot picked out that keeps her in the living room — her favorite room — with us.

But perhaps the most important memory generators are the images created of Laura over the past 8 years. From a dark-faced youngster to an ond gray-faced girl, we have photographs that help us remember the adorable, silly and astounding things that our girl did and how she lived. We’ll eventually put everything into an album along with stories of her smartness, curiosity and adorableness.

And because of Laura, my pet photography business will be rolling out some ways to ensure that your pet is honored, no matter if they are still with us or have passed.

Because memory and honor matter.

They matter because of the relationships built over time. And no amount of time can change that relationship.

Hug your furry friends tight. And tell them that Laura sends her love.

Debra Bell is a freelance writer, graphic designer and the owner of Bell’s Furry Friends Photography (a division of Bell Imaging & Design LLC). Bell’s Furry Friends Photography has been named Bangor’s Best Pet Photography Studio in 2014–16. Debra and her husband Bill, are owned by a Maine coon cat named Olivia, a greyhound named Buddy and an angel greyhound named Laura. See her work and learn more about Bell’s Furry Friends Photography at bffpetphotos.com.

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