One of the most common questions we get asked when we are arranging a funeral, is if someone can bring their dog, cat or other pet with them to the service.
And the answer is a resounding YES! Well, most of the time anyway.
Generally speaking, most crematoriums and cemeteries are completely fine with pets being on the premises, so long as they are on a leash and any accidents or mess is cleaned up straight away by the handler. Some churches however may take a different view. So whilst your fur baby may not be allowed inside the church, they could still be at the graveside or at the crematorium if that is part of the funeral process.
So Pets Are Allowed?
Pets play a massive role in our lives, they give companionship, emotional support, fun, frivolity and help to keep us active and young at heart. What most people don’t realise, is that Pets experience grief just as we do, so giving them an opportunity to be part of a life celebration is a wonderful thing to consider. Pets express their grief in similar ways to humans, they go off their food, they seem a little depressed and not their usual happy selves. Dogs in particular are pack animals, so their pack is the most important thing to them and when they lose a member of their pack, they grieve that loss.
I am reminded of a time that I conducted a service for a young man whose best mate was a gorgeous Blue Heeler called Rex. Rex was devastated by the loss of his mate and he hadn’t been the same since his passing. He was fortunate to be allowed to come to the funeral and it was one of the most emotional experiences I had witnessed.
When Rex arrived he knew immediately that his mate was in the coffin at the front of the chapel, and all he wanted to do was lay in front of it. He cried at first, and whimpered a few times throughout the service, but for the most part, he laid at his mates feet in front of the coffin. It was like he understood the process, when people stood up for prayer or at the end for the committal, Rex stood up and then he walked out at the head of the recession with the rest of this young man’s family.
It was a beautiful thing to witness and Rex got so much love and attention that I am positive it helped him with his grief. More than that, it also helped the other people who were in attendance, they could express their grief in a way they hadn’t been able to before, to an animal that was grieving the same loss, that was free from judgement and was willing to comfort anyone who needed it.
You see, animals have this gift of making us feel better, and Rex was a great demonstration of that. The feedback following the service was all positive, Rex was well behaved and he got what he needed from the service as well as giving back to many others.
What Do I Need To Do To Bring Fido Along?
There are a few things that you should do to prepare your four legged friend to attend a funeral service.
- Bring a small bowl that you can use as a water bowl to keep them hydrated. Excitement and adventure can make a pupper thirsty, so its always best to be prepared.
- Bring some small plastic bags to clean up after them, both inside and outside of the chapel
- Bring some small treats to help keep them calm and their behaviour appropriate
- Make sure you have a collar and lead
Animals are a wonderful gift for us, they give so much and expect so little in return. We love when we have fur babies attend a funeral service, we don’t even mind when we get covered in pet hair. It’s the experience that is enriching for the family and friends of the deceased that matters most to us.
So go ahead, bring along your fur babies to a funeral and let them be part of a beautiful celebration of life.
If you have questions about funerals, why not get in touch with us on 1300 043 522 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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