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Sorry that this topic is a downer, particularly in a cheerful season. But it's been heavy on my mind lately and I suspect many of you have had similar experiences, and might have good advice, or might also benefit from the thread.

My good old girl Queenie passed away last month, and one thing that really bothers me is that she's just...gone. Other people were fond of her, of course, but she was really a one-person dog, and I feel like the memories of her are really only living on in my head. I think that's making it extra difficult to let her go. I made a little shadowbox of keepsakes for myself, but I really feel the urge to do something in her memory that's more...public, I guess? (Preferably that won't get me labelled "that weird dog lady"...I live in a very small unsentimental rural town, lol.) Any ideas? Maybe some sort of donation or sponsorship.
 

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Still thinking of you and Queenie, and wishing you the best.

Does your local shelter have any memorial type program? For example, mine lets people purchase a carved stone for a small memorial garden than anyone can visit, or hang an ornament on our Christmas tree. You might be able to sponsor an animal or make a monetary/food/toy donation in honor of Queenie too.

I hope you find peace. We have a little altar of sorts with Soro's box of ashes, his collar, a stack of photos, flowers, a candle, and a portrait of him above it all. It really only takes up the top of a tiny bookshelf but it is nice for us. We light a candle for him at night and blow it out before bed. I think it's so important for people to celebrate and remember their dogs in whatever way that helps :)
 

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I'm sorry for your loss :-(

I plan to get my dogs' actual paw print tattooed on my foot after they pass. I have a copy of Pepper's paw print already, but not Kane's yet.
 

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Twelve years ago, I had planned to bury the ashes of my Tippy under the lemon tree where he loved to laze during a summer evening. But I just couldn't bring myself to putting him in the ground. Three years ago, we lost our other GSD mix, Franklin. We discussed buying a really nice memorial stone and burying both dogs together but this time it was my son who couldn't let go. So now we each have a wooden box of ashes and a dog collar on our dresser.

As I was reading your post, it occurred to me that I don't have to do an internment to memorialize my dogs. I could buy them each a nice memorial stone, place them near the front of the house and plant some nice flowers around them to create a mini memorial garden for all who come to the door to see. That way, if I move, I can just pick up their stones and take them with me.

You said you made a shadow box but you might create a memory book, too. It can include a few photos, some handwritten notes detailing some special memories or silly things Queenie would do, and maybe a few printed quotations about dogs and your love for Queenie. Keep it on your coffee table so that visitors can thumb through it when they come to visit. Invite those that knew Queenie to write their own note that you can add to her book.

I love the idea of Canyx's candle-lighting ceremony, though I don't think I'd remember to do that every night. I've seen people who are Catholic light candles in church and make a donation. I'm not Catholic, so I hope this next thought doesn't seem blasphemous to those who are. My apologies in advance if it does. You might consider occasionally lighting a candle and depositing a $1 bill or $5 or $10 bill in a jar next to the candle. Once a year, donate that money to an animal shelter or animal charity in Queenie's memory.
 

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My thought is similar to Canyx's. Many people will make food/monetary donations to our local shelters and rescues in memory of their dogs. Then they get a little "memorial" on Facebook and a picture of the passed dog. Some sponsor a kennel, and a special plaque goes up on that kennel with your dog's name on it. Some sponsor the adoption fee of a dog in the memory of their dog.

At our agility club, one of the instructors invented a special award for the "highest scoring Mas/Exc agility dog" at the trial called the "Pottermore Award" or something in memory of her agility dog, Potter. The winner gets a special Harry Potter themed ribbon and some treats.

Other things I've seen sponsored in memoriam (for people and dogs) are new trees, park benches, bricks in a walkway, flower baskets or barrels in parks, playground equipment, pretty much anything that needs to be publicly funded by donations ever. So, perhaps if she had a favorite park you could sponsor the planting a new tree there, or maybe tend a barrel of flowers.
 

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I second the tattoo idea, although I know not everyone is into ink. I have also read about people having some of their dog's ashes mixed into the ink, but not every tattoo shop will do this, and I haven't researched it enough to advise as to whether it is safe or not. I plan to get a tattoo for Oli, probably before he passes, but it will serve as a memory when he is gone. A mountain range that says "Wander" under it, with Oli's paw print next to the script.

On etsy their are a lot of sweet, unique ideas for pet memorials. For the horses, we clip some of their tail when they pass and have it made into a ring. On etsy, they have options to have your dog's ashes put into a ring (or necklace). I think that's a nice sentiment that the ring will be on you every second of the day, and thus the dog is always with you (more than just in your heart).
 

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Sorry you're going through such a difficult time, at what's supposed to be a cheery time of year. It's tough, I know. BTDT like a lot of us have. So, no need for you to apologize, not whatsoever.

Have you considered making a thread here on DF, in the pet memorial sub-forum ? You could post a memorial verse, maybe a chronology of pictures, and /or something else very special to you. You might also want to include a cross-link there, to your other thread in the health forum. That one contains a tremendous display of your kindness, your anguish, and your bravery. In real time.

If you're looking for something 'public', well it doesn't get much more public than the internet. They say the internet will last *forever*, right? And don't worry, none of us here will think you're a crazy dog lady, lol.
 
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