A Memorial Day for pets

Updated: 28 September 2011: Dr. Bek’s Pet Memorial Day is getting closer. Everything is coming together for our little service and gathering of friends, four-legged and two. Please set aside a little time on Sunday, 9 October for you and your family to join us in remembering your departed best mates. And please tell you friends. We would really like to see a good gathering at the church.

The 4th of October is St Francis of Assissi Day and, in the spirit of the patron saint of all animals, great and small, Alpine Animal Doctors is holding a Memorial Day for all of those much loved pets who have passed on, and a Blessing of the Animals for all of those precious creatures who are still here, and still helping light up our lives.

We’ll hold a simple ecumenical service and blessing at the Uniting Church in Bright on Sunday, 9th of October, at 5 pm. Everybody is invited, including all of your furry family.

It will be a day for reflection and rememberance, a gathering to tell stories of your departed best mates, but it’s also a day for the celebration of life, and of the part our pets play in making our lives more joyful in the all too short time they’re by our sides.

There will be some snacks and drinks for after the service, and time to mix and mingle and make new friends.

We hope it will be a joyful day for everyone. It doesn’t matter what your faith may be, or even if you are not a believer. As long as you believe in the power of animals to bring joy and happiness, you should come along, and bring your pets. Check here for regular updates.

Every animal lover knows how hard it can be to bear the loss of one of their furkids. I have lost a number of precious dogs in the last couple of years. They may have left this world but their memory lingers. They can still reduce us to tears whenever we think of them — every day — or reminisce about how they brightened our lives with their wonderfully silly antics.

As an animal lover, I understand all too well how the loss of a pet can make a home feel empty, and leave lives devastated. As a veterinarian, my heart goes out to every individual who has lost a cherished animal companion. As some of you know, all of us at the hospital are always deeply affected by the passing of a precious member of a client’s fur family.

For months now I’ve been wanting to find a way to let our clients know how much we feel for them in their loss, and that all of us here at the hospital will never forget those pets who lit up our lives, no matter how long or how briefly shone their light.

After much deliberation, we all thought a Pet Memorial Day would be the best way to commemorate the lives of the many furry family members that have gone before us. Not a day to grieve or to mourn, but a day to celebrate how much joy and happiness they brought to us. I wanted people to know that while they can never be replaced, they will never be forgotten by us here at Alpine Animal Doctors.

We will write personally to invite those of our clients who have lost fur kids to our memorial day, but we hope everyone who has ever loved a pet will come along. Bring your photos, your stories and your funny tales of your furry family members, so we may all remember those that went before.

I’m certain there will be many a tear shed on the day, but there will be laughter and fun too. I hope we get a great crowd, and that you all enjoy the day. And maybe we can make it an annual celebration.