“The pain then is part of the happiness now. That’s the deal.” – Joy Gresham.
The above is, by far, my favorite quote from the movie “Shadowlands”; the story of CS Lewis (Author of the Narnia series) and his wife Joy’s journey of love and loss as she dies from cancer. Similarly, we are all on a journey with our own loved ones, both two legged and four. The joy that we experience with them today is transformed into a strange, aching pain when they are gone.
Most of us are at least somewhat familiar with the options available to our human loved ones when we lose them, but it’s not quite as clear cut when it comes to our pets. “Let’s talk about our animals,” expressed Christine Johnson, Manager of Eden Memorial Pet Care. “How do we want to remember them?”
Pet Loss Can Be Made Easier
Death is not often a topic that we dwell upon as we enjoy the lives of our pets, and yet most of us have experienced death and the emotions that go along with it. The pain then, is part of the joy today…that’s the deal that we make in being blessed by a very special kind of love. Having felt the pain of loss several times in my life, I can say without a doubt that knowing your options ahead of time is better than trying to figure things out when the grief is right there in your lap. So, let’s talk about a very special group of people who aim to make this transition easier.
Eden Memorial Pet Care has been helping people to deal with the loss of beloved pets through cremation services for over 18 years here in SLO County. “I just love this business, because I love helping people. It’s really needed in our community,” expressed Christine. “We have so many wonderful stories to tell of how we have helped people move forward from the loss of a pet.”
Eden Memorial Helps People
Christine went on to tell a story of “Hy Dimensions”, a beautiful show horse who tragically died in the prime of his life. “We got a call from the barn manager of a local stable. A boarder’s horse had eaten some poisonous flowers and suddenly died. We went out and picked up the horse for cremation. When I saw this beautiful horse, I made the decision to save the tail and mane, as everything was happening so fast for the owner. She was so distraught that she was unable to even really talk to us on the phone. When we told her that we had kept the mane and tail, she was so thankful. The owner made things with the hair, and now has a remembrance of her beloved horse. This does not bring back her friend from such a tragic death, but she was at least comforted to have someone walking through the experience with her. We were able to do it right, and to help someone.”
This continues to be the mission of Eden Memorial Pet Care. Based in Paso Robles, they contract with vets in SLO County, as well as in Bakersfield and Visalia. The vision was born with Christine’s dad, a vet known as “Dr. O”, as he saw the need for a personal service funeral home for pets so that they could be given the same care in death as other family members. The problem is that the options for pets are somewhat more limited than for humans, especially when it comes to our equine friends, as the process of “pick up” and “aftercare” takes very specific equipment and trained professionals.
A Variety of Options and Services
Christine has seen the industry change over the years, as more owners have began opting for cremation. This is especially important for the horse owner, as many believe that the only options are tallow and burial, and there are very few places that have the space for horse burial. “People are becoming more educated on cremation. They are asking more specific questions. We belong to associations, and we have ratings. We follow a code of ethics. This will all become more important in the pet industry as time goes on,” Christine related.
Eden Memorial Pet Care has many options and a variety of services. Christine really emphasizes the value of making decisions ahead of time.
“We don’t make clear choices with a cluttered heart,”
Christine eloquently stated. It is a tough thing to think about as you enjoy a run with your young, healthy dog, or a great ride on the back of your beautiful and vibrant equine partner, but it is none the less necessary to know what can be done in the event that you need to make a decision, either for the aged pet or one who has suffered a tragic early death.
So, enjoy life with your pets. Treasure the adventures and experiences that only they can provide. Just keep in mind that in the end, the transition can be made easier with Eden Memorial Pet Care.