I have one friend who saved her dog's ashes in a stylish little urn, which comforts her, though it's been tucked away in her closet for years. Another keeps a locket of her dog's thick fur in a beautiful box, along with other small mementos like photos and tags. And, when I was a child, an elderly couple who lived next door displayed a commanding oil portrait of their prized doberman in their sunroom, where he'd spent many happy afternoons with them.
I'm head over heels for my own pup, Quatchi, and even though he's only two, I wish I could stop the clock right now. Since that's impossible, I am making sure we have a few tangible memories of the best moments. When Quatchi was a wiggly puppy, I had a small painting made that captures his mischievous-but-adorable personality perfectly. He'll be posing with me and my guy in our engagement portrait, too. In 50 years, when I look at that picture, I bet I'll bawl more over my beloved dog than any long-faded youth or beauty.
What about you? How do you remember your favorite pets when they're gone?
(Image: Painting by Joan Hiller)