Posts Tagged ‘Pet Lovers’

Win a Custom Pet Story by Joining our Pet Lover Community

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Winston Photo Eddie Enhancement Are you a Pet Lover? Join our Pet Lover Community and Win!

Do you ever wish you could text your pet during the day to see what they’re up to or sneak off for a quick snuggle to help you through a challenging project? For many of us, our pets have become our BPFFs (best pet friends forever). We enjoy a close bond with these sweet, adorable friends and our attachment can be as deep as those we have with the humans in our lives. They bring us unconditional love, heartwarming experiences, and such joy that we could not imagine our lives without them. And when the time comes to say good-bye to one of our cuddly friends, our hearts break and the pain can be overwhelming.

Sound familiar? Or maybe you have a hard time admitting that you have a close relationship with your best pet friend. Perhaps you think it’s quirky to dress your pet in cute outfits, yet you and your BPFF spend every free moment sharing your favorite activities together. Being deeply connected to your pet is not only okay, you’re in great company! You are a member of a growing number of pet lovers from all ages, backgrounds, and cultures that enjoy a wonderful relationship with their pets and we’d like to welcome you to our community.

While nearly 63 percent of U.S. households own one or more pets, a pet statistic that is not often discussed but becomes apparent when you follow pet trends, is the increase in the number of people who identify with being a pet lover versus a pet owner. So what’s the difference?

Being a pet lover seems to be one of those subjective phrases that evoke an emotional response in all types of humans. Few are immune – not even the toughest guy or the most career-minded woman.

Here are some of the tell-tale signs of a true pet lover.

  • When speaking about our pets, if you didn’t know better, you would swear we were talking about our kids. In fact, for many pet lovers, their pets are their kids or their furry kids. Who do you include in your family?
  • When we are in close proximity to another pet, even if our pet is not with us, our faces light up, we turn to mush, and the conversation quickly shifts to a pet topic. Sound familiar?
  • We also treat our pets like members of our family, celebrating their birthday, making sure they have a care when we’re away, bestowing our love and affection upon them daily, and buying special toys and treats to make them happy. What special things do you do for your pet?

So while we instinctively know what a pet lover looks and sounds like, how do we define one?

Your Chance to Define What is a Pet Lover & Win a Custom Pet Story

For the sake of clarity, and in defining the pet lover community for this site, I began a search for a clear definition for what it means to be a “pet lover.” To my surprise there wasn’t a definition in any of the traditional dictionaries. So I selected a couple of definitions from similar words that are closely related, but not fully representative of a pet lover. These definitions are quoted from the on-line resource Wikipedia:

A pet is an animal kept for companionship and enjoyment or a household animal, as opposed to livestock, laboratory animals, working animals or sport animals, which are kept for economic reasons.

Animal love or animal friendships are emotions of fondness that lead to bonding with non-human species.

As a pet lover, neither definition seems to work for me, and I’m betting, not for you either. So now I need your help. First Like Us on our Facebook page or subscribe to our pet lover blog posts. Then share your thoughts or a brief phrase that defines what it means in your words to be a “pet lover.” We’ll compile your feedback and share the final choices for a vote in the coming months. This is your chance to make history by defining a phrase that could someday be used in popular dictionaries (or perhaps Wikipedia for now). You will also help shape our new on-line community for pet lovers and BPFFs. The winning pet lover definition will be awarded a personalized My Best Pet Friend hardcover story book to help you remember or celebrate your special BPFF (valued at up to $200)! And your story will be featured on our Pet Sharing Bridge.

Contest ends December 1, 2013 so start submitting your definitions now and share a photo of your favorite BPFF. Ask your pet friends and community to join us, especially if they are in need of support as they are coping with the loss of a beloved pet.

Pet Lovers Unite

With so much love for our BPFFs, we launched this website with five goals in mind.

We’re a community of pet lovers sharing:

  • the richness of our human-pet bonds
  • heartwarming pet stories
  • meaningful ways to overcome pet loss
  • helpful pet resources and information
  • great ways to enrich our best pet friend relationships.

Each week we’ll share My Best Pet Friend stories written by one of our pet lovers as they celebrate or remember their best pet friends forever. (You can read a few now for inspiration on our Pet Sharing Bridge.) We’ll also bring you pet experts and helpful resources to enrich your pet relationships on our pet lover blog posts.  And we’ll provide you with an opportunity to share your pet memorials, experiences, photos, and questions with our pet lover community.

We look forward to creating a meaningful and supportive pet lover community with you – one that brings each of us much joy and helpful content to enrich our best pet friend relationships. See you next week…

A big welcome and warm fuzzy hugs,

Tracie and Sydney

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A Pet Story and Memorial Service – Not Just for Celebrity Pets

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

Meaningful ways to overcome the loss of your beloved pet.

Tracie Bluse Ward

We have all been there and can speak from personal experience – the loss of a beloved pet is one of the saddest, most difficult times in our lives. For many of us pet lovers, losing a pet can be as heartbreaking as losing a person whom we have shared a close relationship.

The grief felt from losing a favorite pet can be overwhelming, and in some cases even lead to depression. While there are no simple solutions to help us overcome these very real emotions, there are some proven techniques to help us lessen the pain, and in time, to prepare us to eventually move forward.

The first technique my brother’s family turned to when they lost their sweet Marshall was to write a story about their beloved pet. The short storybook helped them not only deal with their grief and loss, but the story captured and preserved their fondest memories forever. Creating a memorial book or story is especially helpful when children are involved as it gives them an outlet to express their feelings by sharing their favorite pet experiences and even drawing or coloring pictures to illustrate the story. The family also gains an opportunity to spend quality time together reflecting, hugging, and supporting each other as they work through their difficult and individual emotions during the grieving process. Another benefit comes from the actual book which serves as a visible reminder of the beloved pet while offering comfort every time the story is shared.

Creating Your Pet Memorial Book

Here are a few memorial book creation tips from our pet story writing team:

• Give yourself and each family member time to grieve in your own special way. It’s okay to be sad or even to feel somewhat angry about the loss of your best pet friend.

• After a couple of weeks, or sometimes a longer period of time is needed, when the pain of losing your pet is a bit less intense, start a conversation with family or friends to reflect and remember your pet.

• Begin the conversation with, “I remember when…” and share a few funny or favorite stories about your pet. Record or write down the stories as you proceed. Always try to end on a high note.

• You may need more than one session to gather the information to complete your memorial book. Don’t feel rushed as the reflecting and writing process is therapeutic in itself.

• Next gather photos or hand-crafted pictures to illustrate the stories you shared.

• Either hand write or type the story using descriptive sentences that feature the best highlights of your relationship with your pet. A typical pet story includes 10-25 paragraphs or pages.

• Add the photos or drawings to each paragraph and place them on a page in the book.

• Preserve your story in a scrapbook, journal book or hardcover book.

• Keep your finished memorial out for you to reflect, enjoy, and share whenever you feel the need. This tangible reminder of all of the wonderful experiences you shared with your pet can be very comforting.

If you would like help with your pet memorial book, go directly to MyBPFF and our pet writers will guide you through the questions that provide the content for your pet story. They will also add your photos or drawings in a professionally-designed format, then write and publish a beautiful 8×8 inch hardcover memorial book (or a story print to be displayed on your wall) for you to cherish forever. Or send a gift card and personalized message to help a friend overcome the loss of their pet when they are ready. All are available at MyBPFF.com.

Creating Your Pet Memorial Service

The second technique that helped my brother’s family after the loss of their dear Marshall also helped them find closure so they could begin to move forward with the comfort of family and friends around them. They decided to hold a memorial service at Marshall’s favorite place in their yard while sharing the story they created a couple of weeks earlier. At the end of the service they buried Marshall’s ashes with a newly planted tree that represented life and the future. If you do not have access to a private yard, you could hold your service at a park or along your pet’s favorite walking path. However, be mindful that you cannot leave a memorial or plant a tree on property that you do not own without permission.

Here are some helpful tips to personalize your memorial service.

  • Talk with family or friends about ideas for your pet’s memorial service and jot them down.
  • Start the conversation by asking, “Where did (pet’s name) ______ like to play or rest or where was he/she the happiest?”
  • Once you determine a location where you will hold your service, decide who you should invite by focusing on people and perhaps other pets that best knew and loved your pet. Often the guest list includes only immediate family members or very close friends as this can be an emotional time.
  • Decide if you will be bringing your pet’s ashes to bury or sprinkle at the memorial site or if you will need a burial plot. It is important to know and respect the requirements of your community or location as pet burials are generally restricted to designated pet cemeteries.
  • Determine if you would like to mark your memorial site with a visual reminder (only if it is your property or if you have permission to leave a lasting memorial in a park or someone’s yard). Some examples include planting a tree or bush, leaving a memorial plaque or stone with your pet’s name, or using a natural landmark like a large boulder or lake to mark your pet’s special resting place.
  • Ask a friend to read your pet story and share the photos or illustrations during the service as you may become too emotional to read it yourself.
  • At the end of your service, ask if anyone would like to share additional memories, and then say your final farewells to your dear pet.
  • Visit your memorial site as often as needed to seek comfort and to remember your beloved pet.

A beautiful example of a pet memorial book and service can be viewed on this week’s Sharing with Sydney video: Marshall’s Story and Memorial Service.

We know how real and difficult pet grief is for so many pet lovers. May these suggestions and this video help you find comfort and support in your time of loss.

Our deepest condolences and warm, fuzzy hugs as you find a meaningful way to remember your best pet friend forever.

Tracie & Sydney

 

 

 

Copyright 2012 — All rights reserved.