Home > Pet Ponderings, Pet Products > How did you preserve your memory of your pet?

How did you preserve your memory of your pet?


My heart. ❤️Ever since Daisy’s diagnosis for an isulinoma (a cancerous tumor on the pancreas), I have been thinking of ways I can capture some of our most special moments in pictures. Being that she is afraid of the camera, it can be hard to capture her at her most cuddly. I’ve got tons of photos of her running through the woods or sniffing something fascinating at the dog park, but those moments when she just wants to cuddle and get a belly rub? Nada. She sees the camera coming every time. A fast get away soon ensues.

Facing the imminent loss of a pet can make you work harder to preserve those moments. Some do bucket lists with their pets, some schedule “joy sessions” and others choose to get their beloved pet made into a plush toy that they can keep with them long after their pet has passed.

(I have to admit I was a little intrigued by the post I saw on Bored Panda regarding the plush stuffed toy. It would be nice to have a stuffed animal version of Daisy that I can keep with me. Of course, with my luck Jasper would get a hold of it and de-stuff it. Can you imagine the trauma that would cause?)josie-and-clone

I have finally decided that I am going to select a few prize photos that really capture Daisy’s spirit and get them made into canvas prints. I don’t plan on doing it right away (after all Daisy may be with me for years to come), but I will do it, when the time is right.

It’s a somewhat melancholy type of thing to consider, but I wonder if all of you have done something similar to preserve your memories of your pet(s).

What special thing have you done to reserve your pet’s memory? Did it help to ease your grief? How did it comfort you? I would love to hear your stories.

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  1. March 1, 2015 at 11:16 PM

    When I lost my Poe I put together a shadow box with his collar, bandana and a picture of him in it. Every time I had a memory of him I would write it on a piece of colored paper and put it in the box. Whenever I missed him I would pull out a paper and read it. That way I wouldn’t forget all the quirky little things he did. I had him cremated and bought him a nice urn that holds two poems, a name plaque and three photos of him. I’m so sorry to hear that your pet has cancer. Take lots of photos. That’s something I forgot to do. Good luck and best wishes.

  2. kenzohw
    March 2, 2015 at 12:35 AM

    I am very happy today with the painting we have from Viva. It is hanging on the wall, but I also made smaller copies of it, one is sitting right beside me on my desk, and I also get the print on my iPhone cover. That way she is always with me.

  3. dog12
    March 2, 2015 at 12:40 AM

    Just wanted to say I’m sorry. Also, sometimes when I try to get photos of dogs who hate the camera, I silence the noise and put on selfie mode. Even though I might not want to be in pic, taking photo from a differant angle might help. I always think dogs that hate having thier photo taken are reminded of when veterinarians use an instrument to check thier eyes from directly in front of them.

  4. March 2, 2015 at 3:24 AM

    I’ve tried printing paw prints before, one on paper and the other on a heart shaped slate, it’s alot trickier than you realize! But the end result has character and nothing is ever smooth sailing with animals! Haha 🙂 I’d have a look on Etsy though, they have tons of custom pieces for pet owners. Nose prints, photo jewelry, mini felt animals, cushions in the shape of your pet, artwork. For my mums 50th birthday I had her a portrait commissioned of herself, me and my brother and had her two dogs added. It was perfect, as they were both in their signature poses! You can get it done in so many different styles too, depending what your tastes are 🙂 I hope you can find something that gives you comfort ♥

  5. fredrieka
    March 2, 2015 at 5:25 AM

    momwithoutpaws has lots and lots of pictures of all of us pawbabies

  6. March 2, 2015 at 5:45 AM

    Mom has one of her favorite pics of her last dog in a frame with her collar and tags hanging over the corner, she also has an album with Trine’s name on it and we have a few photos around the house. Mom says it helped after she passed to go through all the photos and choose some to display…it brought a ton of tears, but also wonderful memories.

  7. March 2, 2015 at 5:54 AM

    Try to have someone photograph you with her as well. The one thing I wish I had of my heart dog was a really good picture of her and I together. Even if they catch it off guard, when her eyes are closed snuggling against you so she doesn’t see the camera coming.

  8. Karen Hollebrands
    March 2, 2015 at 6:41 AM

    I have three special photos of Belle. I didn’t realize they were going to bring me so much comfort (and eventually smiles and laughter) after she was gone. They weren’t photos that I took with the intention of a later memorial…..I find that sort of intention a sad thing, truth be told. They are instead, photos that captured a moment in her life that held much joy. I have two of those photos, along with Belle’s collar in my bedroom. The other picture is in my living room. Miss her still. Every day.

  9. Kasiapaintspets
    March 2, 2015 at 6:54 AM

    So sorry to hear about Daisy’s condition ❤ I think an oil portrait is a great way of keeping your pet's memory alive. At least that is what my clients told me. My pet portraits are based on a photo or several photos and are created with pet's parent's involvement regarding personality, fur colour and texture, background choice. I love animals and I am a proud mama of one black cat and I think that shows in the canvases I create. Sending love to Daisy and to you…Kasia

  10. Dawn Darkes
    March 2, 2015 at 7:10 AM

    When I lost Sabrina and Sheba (at 16 & 17 respectively) I made shadow boxes with collar and tags, pictures, paw print, quotes & snips of fur tied with ribbon. I also made my very first mosiac on a large rock in the shape of a heart with their name for my garden. With Sheba, I was fortunate to have an opportunity for a professional photographer to take some special pictures of her and the 2 of us together. Very special.

  11. March 2, 2015 at 7:33 AM

    We had 4 Westies over 38 years, two at a time. Just lost our last one, Sadie, 20 months ago and it still hurts. For a few weeks I kept the pillow case she slept on, so I could smell her scent. I felt some kind of connection but it also brought tears. I still have a small picture of her on my dresser. Otherwise, all we have left are photos and videos of both sets of our girls. We really enjoy watching them and remembering all the joy that they gave us. If I was going through the loss again, I might gather some special photos and put them on a collage pillow to hug when I missed her most.

  12. March 2, 2015 at 8:26 AM

    Make sure to search through old emails for photos. There might be photos you’ve forgotten or thought lost when you changed computers. I’ve saved more than a couple of my favorite photos that way.

  13. March 2, 2015 at 9:27 AM

    When both of my Old English Sheepdogs passed away, the vet that came to the house handled their remains. As I chose not to have their remains cremated, he took paw prints in plaster for each of them and stamped their name on it, along with a tuft of hair. Placed into a shadow box with a particularly sweet photo, whenever I pass by it, I smile, even if it’s a somewhat melancholy smile because it recalls a life of laughter, loyalty and companionship together in my heart.

  14. sfratzke
    March 2, 2015 at 2:37 PM

    A few years ago, I assumed that Rufus had very little time left with us and we had family pics taken by Sarah Beth Photography. I treasure those so very much. My profile picture is one of those in fact! Rufus is still with us, which I did not expect, so I am grateful for the memories we’ve captured as well as the extra time we’ve had with him!

  15. March 2, 2015 at 3:19 PM

    I did memory boxes for each of mine. The box holds their collar, their CKC papers, some pictures and for two their ashes. I also did videos. I think the videos helped most with the grief, selecting the pictures and the music. It was hard but helped me a lot.

    I hope you have many special days ahead.

  16. March 2, 2015 at 7:22 PM

    With Jasmine we didn’t get to have a bucket list nor do anything special because her decline came fast and hard and unexpected. We do have lots of photos and videos that bring back great memories. My whole social media presence, blog and FB group are her legacy. So was adopting Cookie in Jasmines honor. All those things help. Working with an animal communicator helped a lot. I do wear a pendant with Jasmine’s “living” fur. We are sill connected in spirit.

  17. March 2, 2015 at 9:34 PM

    I don’t have enough photos of Sally, Tino or Becca and I’m sorry about that. I actually wrote a book about Tino when he was still alive – never published – but I use his stories from the book on the blog all the time. So writing about them always help bring them closer. We had all of them cremated, so their little boxes sit on a shelf in my office and I say hello to them every once in awhile.

  18. March 2, 2015 at 9:37 PM

    That’s actually why I started my blog — I take a photo of Riley every day. They may not all be frameworthy, but it’s my way to celebrate my time with her.

    After we lost Xander, I took his favorite ball (he had a ball that he carried with him everywhere) and his collar and put them in a display case (like the ones for baseballs) and I have it on the mantel in our den along with one of my favorite photos of him.

  19. evelyntan
    March 3, 2015 at 12:47 AM

    I have a professional photo shoot with my dog and wen its done i asked someone to make me an oil canvas !!!

  20. March 3, 2015 at 7:38 AM

    We had 3 months after Roxy’s cancer diagnosis. I tried to make the time extra special. I brought home take out gourmet meatballs each Friday. I took a week’s vacation to stay home with her the last week and we spent every day in the backyard, laying in the sun together and eating Popsicles. I took lots of pictures and made a photo album that still sits in my living room. We look at it a lot and remember all the special things we were able to do for her to show her how much we loved her. I felt blessed to have those last few months with her. When she passed I donated to the Canine Cancer Foundation in her memory. I adopted another dog (Kira – the collie I write my blog about) but on top of the dog crate i still keep a wooden tray with a glass etched picture of Roxy, her collar and tag, and some dried flowers that i picked the day we said goodbye. The other bunch of flowers were cremated with her.

  21. Jan Johnsen
    March 3, 2015 at 9:30 AM

    My Molly (yellow Lab) was diagnosed with cancer in her shoulder and I had to say good bye quite suddenly that very day at the vet. Molly loved the camera, so I had a canvas print collage done of her. I also have a plaster cast paw print and picture with her tags and collar. My Maggie (yellow Lab) was diagnosed with liver cancer, but lived more than a year longer than expected. I have a cousin who is a watercolor artist and she did a watercolor of Maggie from a photo which is very special to me. I also have a paw print, picture and her collar and tags. Hardest of all, we lost our 9 week old puppy, Lizzy (golden retriever), last November. I have pictures, and a paw print and her collar. I also have a garden that has three stones, one with each of my lost dog’s names. I had quite a few pictures of my puppy, so I made a scrapbook of her life from her first pictures on Facebook at the shelter to the 6 days she spent in our home. It seems to me it’s best to have 2 dogs. We had Molly, when we lost Maggie and Margarita (golden retriever) was here when we lost Molly and Lizzy. It’s so hard to lose a dog and being totally dogless is very difficult. Good luck to you. I hope your Daisy survives for a long time. We are hoping to find another sister for Margarita this summer.

  22. Maggie
    March 3, 2015 at 12:19 PM

    I’ve tried to comment on this quite a few times already and keep bursting into tears. As you know, we’re facing the same situation with Emmett. I have this heavy sense of impending doom as we approach the “outside” estimate of his prognosis – April will be one year, and they had told us 6 months to a year. He’s doing great, for sure, and I expect he’ll exceed that. But. I’ve been debating this question, too. I don’t have an answer, but I’ve started gathering little Emmett things, things that reflect his true spirit, like his portrait and some of the thank you notes he’s gotten over the years from his therapy work. Beyond that… well… I’m pretty lost. Your canvas print idea is excellent, and I can’t wait to see what photos you choose.

  23. March 3, 2015 at 1:28 PM

    Many years ago I made a stone with Sampson’s paw print in it. As he is my heart dog, his aging is giving me anxiety attacks. I can’t even bear the thought of him not being with me, and not sure what I’ll do when the time comes, but I’m pretty sure that stone will go anywhere I go.

    I’m hoping you have many years left with Daisy.

  24. March 3, 2015 at 1:35 PM

    When we were getting toward the end of our time with Abby (when her cancer had gotten worse and we couldn’t really fight it anymore) someone said to me to be sure to get photos taken with all of us in them. That was SUCH great advice. I am almost always the one behind the camera, so I had tons of photos of her, or her with her dad, but almost none with all three of us. We had my nephew’s girlfriend (who’s a great photographer) take a bunch of pics of us. We lost her less than a week later. Those photos are such a treasure now. I usually pass that advice on to others now. (I’ve been meaning to do a blog post about that actually… thanks for the reminder.)

  25. March 4, 2015 at 9:10 AM

    We have made many tributes to Sophie, including a shrine on our mantle, stories, photos, and video on sitstayandread, donations in her memory, and sharing her image at World Animal Day ceremonies. But the best and most touching tribute came more than a year after after she died. A woman in Canada had found my blog and posted about her own loss, and we began sharing memories of our basset-beagles, Sophie and Fig. We promised to acknowledge each other’s dog, and independently we each made contributions to veterinary teaching hospitals in North Carolina and in Canada. As a result, we can thank Fig and Sophie for having helped other dogs with serious health issues.

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