More and more, pets are coming to be regarded as members of the family. Unfortunately most domestic pets have natural life spans which are significantly shorter than those of their owners, meaning that all pet owners at some time have to face up to the loss of their much loved companions. Fortunately the very real grief that this leads to for adults as well as children is now beginning to be acknowledged and understood by employers, friends and professional bodies.
At Saint and Forster we understand that your pet was not ‘just an animal’ and we have experienced the grief that losing a pet can bring. There are many ways in which we can help you to say goodbye in a meaningful way. On this page you will see a selection of the services we can offer from simply providing a memorial marker or urn for cremated remains, to a full funeral service. Please contact us for more information on anything you see here, or to discuss your precise needs.
- Memorials. We can provide a wide variety of memorials from simple grave markers to marble headstones. Some of these can incorporate pictures or engravings of your pet.
- Urns and Caskets. We have a very wide range of urns and caskets to contain the cremated remains of your pet. These range from the very simple and classical to the very unusual.
- Memorial Jewellery. From glass jewellery incorporating some of the cremated remains of your pet to silver ‘paw print’ jewellery; all of the options featured on our memorial jewellery page, are also available for your animal companions.
- Home Burial. Many pets are eventually laid to rest in a favourite spot in an owner’s garden. Not all owners, however, are willing or able to dig a suitable grave when the time comes. We can offer practical and legal advice on the best place to situate a home grave, and, if you wish, we can undertake to dig the grave on your behalf. We can dig the grave and return at a later date to fill it in, or we can wait with you while you say a few words and then fill in the grave for you.
- Pet Burial Grounds. If you would like to bury your pet, but do not have access to a suitable space in which to do so, we may be able to help. While there are currently no designated pet cemeteries in the Darlington area, there are two suitable sites in the North East that you may wish to consider. Tarn Moor Memorial Woodland, near Skipton, has an area set aside for pets and for those who wish to be buried alongside their pets. Paws to Restin Armathwaite, near Penrith, has a designated pet cemetery set in beautiful countryside. Please contact us for more information on either of these sites.
- Cremation. While we are unable to offer a cremation service to our clients as we do not have a cremator, we do recommend Ashes Pet and Equine Crematorium in Skipton-on Swale, near Thirsk.
Unlike many pet crematoria, Ashes is not situated on an industrial estate but amid beautiful countryside. They are fully accredited by the Association of Private Pet Cemeteries and Crematoria (APPCC)which means that unlike many other crematoria they can guarantee that what you receive back will be all of the ashes of your own pet and that they will be completely uncontaminated by any other remains. Ashes also has a ‘farewell room’ in which you can spend some time with your pet prior to the cremation. We can arrange transportation to and from the crematorium for you if you wish.
- Funeral Service. Many people devise a simple ceremony for their family to say goodbye to a favourite pet. Increasingly, however, owners are choosing instead to have a ceremony arranged and conducted by a celebrant. This can bring an extra ‘gravitas’ or sense of occasion and the celebrant may have particular experience or skills which can make the ceremony particularly meaningful. We work with the Rev George Callander who is an ordained minister with the UK Open Free Church. He will work with you to devise a tasteful, personal and fitting farewell for your companion. He can conduct services at your home, at a burial ground, at the crematorium or on our premises. Please contact us if you would like to explore this possibility further.
- Bereavement Counselling. Today it is coming to be more widely acknowledged that the grief arising from the loss of a pet is as real as that from any other bereavement and can be just as disabilitating. If you feel that you or any member of your family is struggling with grief please get in touch and we will be able to put you in touch with a qualified pet bereavement counsellor who may be able to help you.
- Healing and Coming to terms with Loss. As well as working with a number of qualified bereavement counsellors who specialise in the loss of companion animals, we also work with Dorothy-Anne Ross, a therapist specialising in hypnotherapy, reiki, colour therapy and psychic awareness. Dorothy is able to work with families who have lost a pet and with animals that are grieving over the loss of a companion
If you would like to find out more about anything that you have seen on this page, please give us a call and speak to Keith or Jenny.