Just a short note to thank you for your many kindnesses during our recent loss. Bailey was family to us and you both reinforced our feelings about her in so many ways. One, in particular stands out.
Moments after Bailey’s death, [our veterinarian] asked us if we wanted to make a clay print of Bailey’s paw as a lasting memento of her. We were intrigued by the idea and found it so satisfying to do this. The paw print was the first tangible remembrance available to us within moments of her death. It gave us a “caring” task to perform in those painfully empty, numbing hours immediately following her death.
Once we arrived home, we etched her name into the clay, baked it, and then located a special place for it to rest. We feel this memorabilia is quite possibly the single most important gesture made by our veterinarian at a time when there was really very little anyone could say or do to provide comfort.
Today, caressing this sculpture, running my fingers over the details of the impressions and seeing the single strands of fur forever captured in the clay has helped me “hug” her memory. Every friend and relative who has seen the imprint has remarked at what a marvelous idea it is.
As time goes by, we sometimes feel as if we are losing touch with Bailey and we even wonder, “Was it real? Was she really here with us?” The paw print has helped make our dog’s “memory picture” more vivid and complete, her essence more tangible for us. This is one of my most cherished possessions; frankly, it is one of the things I would grab in the event of a fire!
Now, I’m happy to tell you that we’ve adopted a new puppy, much like Bailey in looks, but seemingly quite different in personality. We want to make a print of her paw while she’s a puppy so we can always remember how tiny and sweet she was at this age. Later, of course, we’ll make a print of her adult foot and then we’ll have both to remind us of her love.