When Max died, the Alpha Japanese Female and I had a discussion about how to handle his remains. We decided there were basically two options: burial in our backyard or cremation. We just weren’t up to researching and deliberating over all the other alternatives like aquamation, tree pods, sea burial or the place that creates jewelry from dead dogs.
Really, it’s a thing and you can check it out.
We decided on cremation largely because the AJF just couldn’t get comfortable with thinking about the natural processes that occur after burial.
Pet cremation is a big business; one to which I never gave a second thought before Max’s passing. Turns out that in the pet cremation biz, as with other service industries, there are scamsters and good honest operators, a dizzying array of fees, charges, add-ons, upgrades and package deals.
When a dog dies at the Vet, it is typical that the Vet’s office handles the details and charges the client and takes a cut of the action for the service. When a pet dies at home, say for example in Rancho Cucaracha, it is typical that the DogDad is charged with making the arrangements.
Needless to say this was not a task I relished or even ketchup-ed. :snorf: But I muddled through and eventually identified a legit operator with a sterling reputation.
We first agreed on a “private” cremation which is an industry term that means Max’s body was cremated in its own vessel and by himself as opposed to alternatives that cremate several pets in individual vessels but together in the furnace, or the communal option where the animals are all mixed together with the ashes co-mingled. This is one of the areas where scams abound so it’s important to have a reputable operator and demand to see the various tags, photos and documents that prove the chosen method was indeed the one carried out.
Then, AJF and I agreed on a cremation plan “package” that included transportation of Max’s body and, afterwards, delivery of his ashes in a memorial urn, along with a commemorative nose print and a paw impression in clay. I hadn’t known until this time that a dog’s nose print is as individual and unique as a human fingerprint.
To be sure, the pet cremation business is every bit as adept at leveraging emotional vulnerability to maximize revenue as is the human cremation business.
Depending on your view of such things, the cremation and accompanying expenditures of time, money and psychic energy were either a well-deserved tribute to a beloved family member who happened to be a canine or a tremendous waste of resources and a source of stress. You can guess where on that spectrum you’d find our opinion but your mileage may vary.
Several days ago our Pupster’s ashes were returned to us. Max is currently sitting on the fireplace mantel where his spirit can keep an eye on things, especially the Recliner of Sloth where he spent so many happy hours. We are happy to have his remains back home where he belongs.
To answer a question that has popped up…I will soon, not immediately, be back hounding you on your blogs, disrupting discussions, offering atrocious puns and generally being rude just as usual. You don’t get rid of me that easily.
As to the future of Within the K Streets… This will be my last post on this blog. I will be leaving the blog public and available but it will go dormant. It was always about Max and without the hero a story can’t go on, with maybe the Bible being a major exception.
I am activating the comment section on this post, at least for a while, so any final messages can be posted. Max’s email firstname.lastname@example.org will also stay active.
But, hey, guys…no sappy, sad messages, no public grieving, none of that stuff, please. Only happy, funny, rude or thoughtful comments are allowed. Puns and jokes encouraged!
Later on, I may start a new blog if I can think up a worthy topic. The world is not yet ready for a Racing Possum or Squirrel Wallet blog but perhaps there is another subject that I can yap about.
So, like Max’s post from a few weeks ago about Paul Harvey, “Now you know the rest of the story.”
Aloha and mahalo. Sayonara. See ya later in the comments and on your blogs!
Within the K Streets is now closed.