Sheri_H
I dreaded going to the vet after work today, yet at the same time, I couldn't wait to see the pawprint they made for us from his paw..
My reaction the closer I got to the place, was tears & more dread.. felt like I couldn't breath.. I prayed Oh God help me with this, because the last time we were here was the last time I saw him physically.. :-(

Rico's pet carrier is still in my suv, was in the back seat until Saturday which has been since moved to the very back, where I can't see it.. glad I did that.

Once again I felt numb.. I couldn't hardly say why I was there when I walked up to the person at the counter, but thankfully the staff there are very well trained and are very compassionate.
One brought out the box & I about gasped. Its SOOO SMALLL!!!!!! She wanted to talk, make sure I was ok but I barely heard her.. felt bad for her, her name tag said she was in training.. She was very sweet though, please don't get me wrong.. I just didn't know I would react that way when I saw the box of remains..
I went by where my husband works, crying almost all the way there.. He could tell I'd been crying & held me.. I appreciated that so much.. He said he'd put the remains in the urn for me (I honestly don't think I can do it). So that part is still untouched.
The other is in a white box, like you'd put a necklace in. Its his pawprint in soft clay that can be baked in the oven. I looked at it when I finally got home.. I cried SO hard.. it doesn't really look like his pawprint! I think they "enhanced" it a little. I can see where his pad indentation was, but the part where his toes & claws are indicated, to me looks nothing like his real paws. Those sweet, HUGE, SOFT paws of his I miss so much.. He'd use them to tell me so much, especially when he'd want under the covers at night.. sometimes I'd kiss his paws.. what is it about fur that feels so wonderful, besides the obvious - soft :-)

I am glad I have his remains though.. just yet another shock to me.. I didn't know I'd react this way at all.. feels so weird.. my mind's immediate response to seeing the boxes & his pawprint - that's NOT MY BABY!!

I honestly wonder with those here who've had pets cremated, how you reacted when you got their remains? I know we're all different but wonder if anyone reacted like me or not.

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Please visit Rico's residency:
http://www.rainbowsbridge.com/residents/RICO002/Resident.htm
Also, more pics of Rico can be found on my Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?id=1291163525&aid=2023119#!/photos.php?id=1291163525
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siah

yeah.. i picked up my siah's box two weeks ago too. i hated to go to the vet again since the last couple of visits were horrible for me but i made it and got her box of ashes and i was in tears coming out of there. i am glad too that i have his box with me at home, it feels like he is here with me. i have made a little section in my chest drawer in bedroom for him with his pics and plaque. i will take a few pics and maybe post it here.

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pam
Getting to the vet's to pick up the remains it is just one more difficult hurdle to get over in this upsetting process, isn't it?

When I got the phone call that my beloved dog Mollie's remains were back at the vet's, I put off going for a couple of days- I couldn't bear making the trip for the same reasons as you did- the last time I traveled this road she was alive... as well, I wasn't sure if I would be able to keep it together.

As it was, the office that day was a bustling, happy place, and somehow, I was able to be strong.  The staff knew me well, so they handed the box over to me when I came in ... and our vet came out and hugged me.  We chatted a bit about Mollie and laughed about the food she loved to eat- Indian was her favourite(go figure!)- her appetite and food choices always raised eyebrows at the vets!

Anyway, I held the brave face until I made it to the car, where I broke down in uncontrollable tears. I could hardly see to drive my way home.  The remains were already in an urn, and cards from the vet and Gateway Pet Memorial were already in there. I left everything in the box for a couple of weeks- I just couldn't bear to take the urn out- I guess it was too much of a reminder.  The lovely pawprint (in a dark blue satin bag) was nice, but I still can't bear to look at it (almost three months later). The thought of her dead foot being pressed into the clay kills me.  It is in its bag in my bedroom with her ripped up toy squirrel.

After the urn came out, I developed issues with it as well- every time I looked at it (and there really was nothing wrong with it at all) all I could think of was the crematorium and those horrible thoughts associated with that process. I decided to go to an artist I know who made me a beautiful porcelain container in the lovely browns of Mollie's coat.  That sat better with me for some reason, and Mollie is now in my bedroom- where she loved to be.  Still, the visual reminder is difficult, and the urn has been hugged and cried over too many times to mention.

In the end, I am forever thankful that I have her back with me. When I go to join her, her remains will go in with mine- in that way, we can be together forever.

Pam

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River
I thought I would be relieved to have my little River's ashes home. I was anxious to pick them up because I had some questions. Our vet's office was closed when River was hit by a car. He was taken to the nearest emergency hospital that is about an hour away. My daughter was with him and I met them at the hospital, but he had died about 10 minutes before they arrived. When I looked at his little body, there was no visible external damage and I wondered if he had died from shock since it had taken so long to get help for him. I will never know for sure, and the staff, while compassionate did not put my mind at ease. I ended up calling the emergency hospital and spoke to a vet there which helped. They told me that it would be 7-10 days before his ashes would be ready to be picked up. They were ready after only 4 days which caught me off guard. I am still glad to have him, but it didn't give me the relief that I thought it would. It just made it feel more final and if anything saddened me more, if that was possible. I really regretted not getting a pawprint. I don't even know if that was an option. My husband made the arrangements.

Mary
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baileysmom
I went last week to pick up Baileys ashes and I was scared and sick to my stomach because I didn't know what to expect. I was given a very pretty wooden box and there was a nameplate on it and when I saw "BAILEY" I just broke down in tears. The office girl cried with me and I was barely able to get out that I appericated everything they did for me. I cried all the way home. When I opend the box I really didn't know what to expect. I wish I would have been given the chance to have his paw print done I would have loved that. I have made a space in my bedroom and on a shelf I have several of his baby pictures his 2 favroite toys setting with the box. I have a hard time looking at it when I walk into my room but some how I feel closer to him having him in the bedroom with me because he always slept in there with me.
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Mac
Oh, this is so sad to read - I think because of the finality of it, and knowing that previous visits to the vet were with your fur baby going in and yet still going home with you.

My family decided to take our little girl to a pet cemetary.  One of my brothers had lost dogs in recent years, and he had the foresight to buy a couple of extra plots in the same area (he didn't tell any of us this until the day our girl died; I had visited another cemetary close to my home a few years ago, had the conversation, everything, but for some reason just could not commit to it and left without buying anything or saying anything to the rest of the family).

The day after she died at home, we took her out wrapped in her blankie and with a pillow that she had rested on when she was dying, and put her in our van.  We bought a bouquet of pink roses, and took a slow drive past her favorite park, then on to the cemetary, talking to her all the time. I sat in the back with her and stroked her.

when we arrived at the cemetary, the staff there were very kind and compassionate - they put her in a little casket with her pillow and blankie, and she had another white eyelet-edged covering inside. We chose a couple of her favorite toys (she had over one hundred) and also put them in the casket with her. We stood with her, kissed her, then the casket was closed and put on the platform of a little riding mower.  The staff drove slowly while we walked arm-in-arm behind.  When we got to her gravesite, we said prayers, then each took a rose and threw it on top of her casket, then the staff very slowly and reverently covered the plot with dirt, talking to us as they did so.  We walked back with our hearts full, but thankful that we had the kind of ceremony that fit with our religious beliefs and that we knew where she was. 

We since put a Christmas wreath on her grave, and are already planning for her headstone and the sodding of the site that will take place in spring.  My mother was very upset the first time we visited there, and could barely walk to the site, but each succeeding time has been better and we feel a little better knowing she is no longer suffering.

I think the key to it is thinking about what has meaning to you and then doing it - there is no one right way, and it is amazing to think that as with people, many of us don't think out our final resting place until the need is there.  We remained grateful that my brother had taken much of the pain out of it for us, unfortunately due to his previous experience.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all...
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Sheri_H
ugh.. I'm having to retype this again..
anyway, I can't thank each of you enough for taking the time to share. I find as I keep writing here, it helps me..
As far as where we'll place Rico's urn & pawprint, I'm not sure.. I actually think I want it in our bedroom also, it was the place he spent his last days in, but spent pretty much every night with us thruout his life.. my sweet baby.. I sure miss them huge SOFT paws of his.. :-)
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Please visit Rico's residency:
http://www.rainbowsbridge.com/residents/RICO002/Resident.htm
Also, more pics of Rico can be found on my Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?id=1291163525&aid=2023119#!/photos.php?id=1291163525
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Babesmommy
I couldn't think or breath when I got the phone call that my Babe's ashes were ready to be picked up.  I called my husband, who was off of work that day, and told him she was ready to come home, but he'd have to wait for me.  I HAD to be the one to get her.  She was my angel.  I was the last face she saw before....

Her urn is a simple black one.  It is small, but when I got it, I could feel her love. My Babe is home where she belongs.  She is on my dresser where she can continue to watch over me.  My favorite picture of her and the angel dog ornament my husband bought me are next to her.  I talk to her every morning.  It helps, though I still miss her.

Peace and Love,
~ V
Babe's mommy
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”. Mahatma Gandhi
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