It was out of love and commemoration that we started Let Your Love Grow in 2009. Our founders, Bob and Annette Jenkins, suffered the loss of their beloved dachshund, Silke, and were inspired by their desire to honor her in an eco-friendly way. Bob and Annette were recent guests on Doobert’s Animal Innovations Show to discuss the stigma around pet grief and show what makes Let Your Love Grow such a therapeutic experience for families mourning a loss.
“We hate the word ‘grief’, but grief is the price that we pay for love,” Bob said. “And our pets give us such unconditional love. So when that time comes, we want to make sure we understand what our choices are.”
When a pet enters our lives, we want to believe they’ll be part of our families forever. Pets are a beloved part of families across the nation, with the American Veterinary Medical Association reporting 63.4 million U.S. households with a dog and 42.7 million U.S. households with a cat. As sad as it may be, our pets won’t live forever, or even as long as we do. When the time comes to say goodbye to our furry friends, the options for burying a pet aren’t always clear.
Possibilities After Passing
When your pet passes away, you may feel unsure what to do or who to turn to. A veterinarian may tell you that your two options are burying or cremating, but either option may have downfalls. In many municipalities, pet burials are not permitted. If you were to relocate, you would have to leave your pet behind or exhume the remains.
Cremation is an alternative to burial, but the ashes are harmful to plant life once scattered or buried. Many pet owners innocently believe this to be a proper tribute to their pets, though it does more harm than good. In fact, cremated ashes are solely made up of bone matter, which contains a high pH and a sodium level anywhere from 200 to 2,000 times higher than most plants can tolerate. When you bury or scatter cremated ashes, it’s very likely to kill the surrounding plant life over time.
Bob and Annette created Let Your Love Grow to provide an entirely carbon-neutral product for pet memorialization. The organic mixture dilutes the toxic sodium level and lowers the pH, which allows the ashes to be reincorporated into the environment without disrupting the existing ecosystem. The mixture can be used to give your pet new life through flowers, bushes and trees that can stand as a living memorial for you to cherish.
“We found Let Your Love Grow to be very therapeutic for grieving families,” Bob said on the Animal Innovations Show. “When they’ve got something that they can watch grow and nurture along the way, it helps them move through the grief cycle. And the things they plant become beautiful reminders of their pet’s life.”
Or, if you would rather not grow anything, you can plant the ashes next to existing plants, like Fido’s favorite tree. Let Your Love Grow helps you create a living memorial that honors the memory of your pet while also supporting you through the grieving process. After planting, you can visit the memorial site time and time again, watching the surrounding environment become more beautiful as the plants flourish.
“We want to make it as easy as possible to go to the next step in life,” Bob said. “And that’s really where we come from. And what kind of impact can we have on the environment. Because we have to be conscious of what we’re doing. You know, we think about our day-to-day practices, but nobody thinks about the afterlife care, what the effect is on the environment. We’re leading a whole new conversation here.”