Creating Living Memorials for Our Pets
Pets are a special part of any family, making it all the more devastating when they leave us. Over the years, our family has lost three dogs, each of whom will forever keep a space in our hearts. Much like we did when Annette’s father passed, we chose to memorialize our pets and celebrate their lives using our Let Your Love Grow mixture.
Losing a Pet
Pet grief is a very real, often misunderstood phenomenon for people. When a pet dies, we owe ourselves time to process the loss and remember the pet’s life. This starts with giving ourselves permission to grieve. We’ve heard people say “Just get another pet and move on,” but we know from experience that moving on is never that simple.
Our first pet was a beautiful dachshund, Silke. Silke was a calm, friendly companion who opened our hearts to a brand new type of love. When her health declined after a tragic coyote attack, we made the difficult decision to put her to rest.
As difficult as it was to lose our Silke, her life paved the way for our work with Let Your Love Grow. When we set out to memorialize her life, we were troubled by two things:
- Ashes won’t break down in the environment
- When a family declines the ashes of a beloved person or pet, the ashes often make their way to a landfill
Once we saw the problem with cremated ashes more clearly, we began meeting with independent laboratories and creating a mixture that would blend with ash to create a more chemically stable soil. Years later, when we had a proven product, we blended Silke’s ashes and planted them in our front lawn. Honoring Silke’s love of sunshine, we picked the brightest spot in our yard and created her memorial planting.
Gracie & Annie
When Silke passed away, we waited years before getting another pet. From the moment we met a prissy young dachshund, our hearts were sold. We named her Gracie. And when we saw the connection she had with her kennel-mate, who we named Annie, we decided to bring both of them home.
They spent fourteen years together antagonizing each other just like sisters should. They were true buddies! Gracie was our snuggler and loved her bling! Annie was a bit more independent and would be happy hunting in the woods and eating her beloved cherry tomatoes!
Unfortunately, after numerous health complications, Gracie and Annie passed within a few months of one another in early 2015. This spring, after years of grieving our loss, we were ready to move on and plant their ashes.
For Gracie, an indoor dog who loved the sunshine and Annie, a born hunter who would spend all day outside if we let her, we chose a spot near a wooded area behind our house. Because the girls were so close, we wanted to create one remembrance planting to reflect both lives. Now as caretakers for their living memorial, we still have a deep connection to our beloved pets.
We consider ourselves blessed to have had such wonderful companions over the years, but we know all good things must come to an end. Let Your Love Grow was born from the love we had for our first pet. And today, we are so happy to offer a source of peace and comfort to others suffering a loss—all while giving back to our environment.