Pet Funerals Ancient and Modern

Posted by: Author scentandviolet August 20th, 2017

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It's not as if the idea of a pet funeral is anything new. They go back a very long time indeed. Not too long ago, a 25,000-year-old grave was unearthed that held the remains of  three dogs, all carefully positioned on their sides, one with a bone placed in its mouth. They were, from all indications, cherished companions -- not food. Though we can't describe what their funeral was like, there is no doubt these animals had been sent on their way with tears and love.

Researchers have collected thousands of cat mummies in Egypt, with thousands more awaiting discovery. Mummification was a long and expensive process deemed necessary for admittance into paradise. Ancient Egyptians had no trouble according their cats the same funeral rites and afterlife privileges they accorded themselves. And it was customary to shave one's head in mourning when the family cat passed away.

Legend says, Alexander the Great held lavish funeral games and built an ornate tomb, along with a city to go around it, for his favorite horse. Dozens of dog mummies were found in a thousand-year-old Peruvian cemetery. They had been buried alongside their human masters and mistresses; their bodies shrouded in the finest wool, their feeding dishes and toys close by. In modern times, major Hollywood stars turned out to attend the 1938 funeral of the chimp who played Tarzan's buddy, Cheetah, in the movies. And today, we still have a somber parade of funerals for military and police dogs killed in the line of duty.   

Yet, there remains a tendency among some to scoff at the idea of a pet funeral and the notion of equality it implies. How silly, they say, to give a dog or cat or hamster a funeral when all they are is property; soulless things good only for churning back into the ground. To which we answer, "rubbish": Those of us who cherish our pets need no convincing that they ensouled beings.To honor their passing with a funeral attests to the eternal nature of our relationship and gives solace to our sorrow.

It has been now many years when we started to create funeral flowers for beloved pets. From floral crowns to wreaths, pets have been sent off with our beautiful flowers, and we have delivered quite a few bouquets to the bereaved families who lost their pet. We lost and cried over our beloved pets - and it hurts. Each one of us finds the best way to grieve over pets. Please to not judge or discard people's need to hold beautiful memorial services for their beloved family member, whether it's a dog, cat, hamster, horse or snake.

- Matty