Thursday, 22 August 2013

Pet Cremation - Q and A

This seems like the most extraordinary choice of topic considering that we lost our beloved friend but its also a way of letting those who supported me know that Hey! I'm OK.  

Peppy died just over a week ago and this week we were given his ashes in a lovely wooden box that Tom picked out. It is plain and simple with a small plaque with his name engraved on it.

We placed Peppy's box on the piano with his photo and there his ashes rest.  It actually gives me comfort.  I didn't think it would as i still find myself looking for him underfoot.  Though we miss him, it seems to have settled us having him home.

I hoping that if i share my experience i might help someone else through a difficult time.  I'm questioning my reason for doing so but perhaps this presentation of facts is part of my healing process.


When you are faced with making a decision about how to treat your deceased pet's body there are several choices that you can make.  At the time we were at the veterinary hospital and Tom literally made the decisions on our behalf as we were not capable.

Home Burial

This is chosen by many people who wish to bury their beloved pet at home in their garden.  Many choose to plant a bush or to mark the grave with a plaque or stone.   My friend Noelle sent me a photo of one in her garden

and a plaque which she offered to me when she first heard the news.

If you choose this option then over time the body follows the natural process of decomposition as with humans.  I knew this was not what i wanted to do as i am currently digging up the backyard for garden beds, fruit trees and putting in a chicken coop later this year.  Had everything been established and i knew where things were going to be then i might have made this choice.

It is also the cheapest option and for many after exhaustive veterinary bills following their pets illness or accident this is their only choice.


There are two ways that this can be done.  You can call a pet cremation service directly or it can be arranged by your Vet.  You have the choice of having the ashes returned to you or not.  If you do not wish to receive ashes then your vet will arrange disposal by cremation.  Note that it maybe with others animals and it may not be immediate.

When we received the above box, it came with some literature that explained the process of cremating animals.  You would think that it would have upset me but it didn't.  It answered some nagging questions.

The Facts About Cremation of Pets

If you have chosen to receive your pets ashes then each pet is cremated individually. The literature states that you always get the remains of YOUR pet.

The cremation can be viewed and their is usually a place where family can gather for a ceremony if desired though actual burial would take place elsewhere.

It takes approximately one hour for small dogs and two hours for a large dog.   They have different cremators for different animals and can do from the smallest to a horse.

Cremation is simply a hastening of natural processes by a clean, sanitary and entirely modern method which is quickly effected by a clean, intense heat that returns the body to its original elements.

After cremation the calcified bone fragments and body ash that remains are carefully gathered and sealed in a container. We were told ours was in a small metal box.  If you have not chosen a special receptacle then this is what you would receive.  If you have then it is enclosed in your choice, carefully packaged and presented to you.

Ashes are available in around 7 days unless other arrangements have been made.

There is no law preventing the burial or scattering of cremated pet remains.

Cost - The vet charged us $444.30 for Euthanasia and After Care.  This included the injection, cremation and receptacle.  Our vet is Wendy from Greencross Vets - Werribee.  She was kind, patient and despite the late hour, in no rush for what was actually a lengthy period.  She was thoughtful enough to give us a small pouch with his hair.  We could have chosen to simply walk away once the decision was made but Tom stayed with Peppy till the very end.

The cremation was provided by Pet Cremation Service - Lethbridge.  You can visit this site and see the different receptacles, prices and perhaps glean more detailed information.

A Poem  - To those whom I loved and Those who Loved Me

When i am gone, release me, let me go.
I have so many things to see and do.
You must not tie yourself to me with tears
Be happy that we had so many years. 

Roses given to me by my sister, Glenda, to cheer me up.  

I know that there would be many people saying "Oh for God sake, its a dog" and if that's how you feel about your pet then i respect that.  I'm only asking that you allow me the same courtesy and respect my/our choices. Thank you so much to the many people who left comments, who visited, who sent flowers and even chocolates.  I think perhaps the best gift was from one of the engineers at work who arranged for his wife to come in on Friday afternoon with his 1 year old and 4 year old and spend time with me.  So much joy in little packages.  How could anyone not smile or be happy in their presence.  He knows me well.

Some of you would have noticed that I'm back commenting on your blogs or Facebook and being my cheeky self again.  I'm thinking about this blog and which direction its taking. It seems to be jumping all over the place now that I'm not doing regular workshops, which i miss. This, i am told, is blog suicide.   I may have to spread my wings and sign on for a few more courses relevant to the garden just so i have something interesting to write about.

Thanks for visiting Living In The Land of Oz   


  1. Thank you for this post Lynda, rest in peace Peppy, unfortunately it is a fact of life we have to deal with as pet lovers and they are very much part of our families. xx

  2. And so the healing begins... :)

  3. These days pet cremation has become very popular just in the sense of pay a tribute and respect to our beloved pets. More convenient processes for funeral of our pets are coming day by day. We can choose biodegradable cremations in order to pay respect for our passed away pet at the same time maintaining a eco-friendly product to save our nature. We can also get urns for the sake of restoring our pets remaining.

    1. This is a very touching and relevant post. Will ask everybody to visit this Website.


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