The following post was sent out in our Veterinary Wisdom eNewsletter five years ago. Five years after saying goodbye to my childhood dog, Beau, I am still just as grateful to have a dog paw print of his. Since it is made from ClayPaws clay, I know it will last a lifetime:
Earlier this month, my family said goodbye to our family dog, Beau. Mr. Beau Bear was the happiest dog I have ever met. As he got older, his eye-sight began failing, he couldn’t hear very well and he often seemed confused. But, he was always in a good mood and loved, above all else, my mom. Beau loved my mom so much that even in his last weeks, he would still jump up and down like a puppy when she came up the stairs. When he stopped getting excited about even this interaction, we knew it was time to let him go. After all, he had brought joy to our family for 18 years!
It was difficult for me to be far away when we were saying goodbye to Beau. I live in another state and work remotely. However, I was able to see him over Skype before he died. And, my family began sending pictures back and forth that sparked all the wonderful memories we had of him.
A Dog Paw Print Makes for Sweet Memories
The other thing I remembered I had was a a dog paw print of Beau that I made six years ago using ClayPaws clay. I made it when I first started working at World by the Tail, Inc. and my first job was to create some instructional videos for our customers. Beau was my little buddy while making the videos. He was also our “demo dog” when it came time to make the impression.
So, on the day that I knew would be Beau’s last, I pulled out his his paw print and kept it near me throughout the day. It’s not perfect. There is some hair in the clay, and one of the nails must have moved when I made it. But, I can see all the markings from his pads and these little imperfections are what make a dog paw print real and comforting. This paw couldn’t belong to any other dog. I know it belongs to Beau. Having a dog paw print of Beau made the distance a little easier to bear. And, it has kept his memory alive since we said goodbye.
For the Record
I still have this exact paw print of Beau (pictured above) that I keep in my office along with the other prints I’ve made: a dog paw print of each of my childhood dogs, a cat paw print of my beloved cat Jewel, and even some puppy prints from my current dog who is now eight!
To all the pet care professionals out there, I hope you know what you do to support families is so important for those who have lost a beloved pet. Thank you for supporting your clients and customers through pet loss and ensuring they have lasting keepsakes of their furry friends. These sweet reminders don’t have to be perfect, in fact, it might be better when they aren’t!
Until next time,
Chief Growth Officer
World by the Tail, Inc.