small puppy being pet by woman owner outside in sunlight

Never Forgotten: Touching Ways to Remember Your Dog BFF (Best Fur Friend)

A pet’s passing takes time to accept and everyone handles the emotions in their own way. People also differ in how they want to remember their furry little pals. Here are a few ideas for memorializing a beloved dog, whether they were yours or they belonged to someone you care about.

Create a Dog Storybook, Scrapbook or Album

Pets are family, full stop. They probably command as much digital storage as our family and friends. And while those bright, colorful images are nice to have at your fingertips 24/7, in a quiet moment of reflection, there’s nothing like being able to hold a collection of printed photos, complete with written notes of special memories, funny moments and important events. You can even include items such as nametags, a tuft of fur and adoption papers. 

If you’re creating the compilation for a family member or friend, it can be a touching surprise. Ask other people to contribute by adding heartfelt or silly memories attached to the dog you’re commemorating. With the big personality that even little dogs share with the world, they’re sure to have made an impression on a wide circle of people in the owner’s life. 
photos of family with dog for pet scrapbook/album photos of family with dog for pet scrapbook/album

Keep Pet Photos throughout Your Home

Framed photos of your dog can be set on a mantel or hung on a wall — anywhere you’ll see them every day. Try rotating the photos you have on display to match the time of year or specific events. Holidays? That shot of your pooch in their ugly sweater. Summer? The photo of them in oversized sunglasses. Is their birthday coming up? Bring out the pic of your little pal in a party hat, eyes wide at a stack of special goodies. 

You can even tell stories about your dog on the wall. For example, hang a photo of them running in profile. Near the snout end, hang a shadowbox with their favorite fetch toy. Or a photo of the squirrels they loved to chase. Think about all the scenarios you can recreate that always make you smile. 
small breed black dog  in arms of woman being pet by another woman small breed black dog  in arms of woman being pet by another woman

Make a Difference for Other Animals

A wonderful way to celebrate all the joy your pup brought to your world is to pay it forward. Volunteer at the shelter where you found love at first sight. Or really, any shelter would be thrilled to have another willing helper. If time is tight, monetary donations or items on the shelter’s “need” list can be made in remembrance of your furry friend. Always check with the shelter first about how to make a helpful donation that supports them and the animals in their care. 

If you lost your pal to a certain disease or illness, you could make a donation in their name toward research into treatments or a cure. Imagine the feeling of one day seeing the news that what afflicted your pup won’t threaten one more dog’s health. 

Plant a Dog Memorial Garden

Planting something lets you continue the circle of life in honor of your four-footed family member. If your dog enjoyed relaxing in the shade of a specific tree, you could plant another one of the same variety. If on walks they stopped to sniff certain flowers more than others, plant a bed of them in your yard. Maybe you laughed every time their little legs launched them up toward the butterflies they could never reach. This is a perfect opportunity to grow flowering plants that attract and support bee and butterfly species — and fill you with warm memories. 

Build a Box of Memories

Rather than put all of your dog’s toys, leashes and so on into a carboard box and out of sight, place your pup’s treasures nearby in a wooden chest or toybox engraved with their name. You could also laminate some favorite photos and mount them to the inside of the lid — that way when you’re thinking of happy times shared with your little pal, you can look inside and feel a little closer to them. 

Repurpose Some Favorite Things

Realistically, some of your pooch’s beloved belongings are probably so well-loved that you won’t be able to keep using them as intended. A favorite blanket that’s stained and tattered or an old collar that’s frayed and sun-faded have a lot of memories but may be hard to reuse. Consider giving them new life by repurposing them with different jobs. 

Mount a photo of your pup on sturdy paperboard, crop it into a circle or oval, then trim off the frayed strands of the collar and use it as a frame — ideal for hanging as an ornament or decoration. And the blanket? Clean it thoroughly and use it to fill a custom throw pillow printed with your dog’s name and picture. 
small breed long hair puppy with top knot laying on window sill bench small breed long hair puppy with top knot laying on window sill bench

Keep It Simple

Maybe everything you need to keep loving your dog is in your heart and your memories. In that case, there are quieter ways to remember your pup and celebrate the bond you shared. Leave a favored spot the way your dog always liked it, without adding photos, candles or anything special. Write a short poem or piece of prose that captures how you feel and keep it somewhere meaningful. Perhaps there’s an everyday object that only you will know is tied to your dog, like an unremarkable chair you treasure for the tiny teeth marks on its legs your dog made as a teething puppy. Preserve what’s special, even if what makes each item meaningful is only clear to you. 

Our dogs are family, and our bonds with them last far beyond the time we share together. You can choose to remember your furry pal in any number of ways, from shared celebrations to memorials to personal reflection. The most fitting way for you is the one that sparks all the happiest memories of living the best life with your best friend. 

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