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An Expression of Sympathy: Create a Pet Loss Gift Basket

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

Read By: Pet Lovers
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Do you have a friend or relative who recently lost a pet? A thoughtful gesture is a pet loss gift basket. Recently, a friend did this for a family member and it was a wonderful expression of sympathy and caring during a very difficult time.

This basket can include anything you want and can give comfort in a trying time. You can personalize the contents of the basket as much as you want.

Some ideas for items to include in your gift basket are:

Book or pamphlet – this can be on pet loss or an inspirational story. Most book stores have some books on pet loss. Some possible books include:
        
  • When Only the Love Remains: The Pain of Pet Loss by Emily Margaret Stuparyk

  • Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates by Gary Kurz

  • Goodbye, Friend: Healing Wisdom for Anyone Who Has Ever Lost a Pet by Gary Kowalski

  • I'll Always Love You by Hans Wilhelm

  • Saying Good-Bye to the Pet You Love: A Complete Resource to Help You Heal by Lorri A. Greene, Jacquelyn Landis

  • Pet Loss by Eleanor Harris

  • Grieving the Death of a Pet by Betty J. Carmack

  • Dog Heaven by Cynthia Rylant

  • Blessing the Bridge: What Animals Teach Us About Death, Dying , and Beyond by Rita M. Reynolds

  • Alternatively, you can give them a gift card to the local bookstore or Amazon to allow them to choose their own.

    Personalized Cards – make sure you include a card with a nice note. Many card shops have pet loss sympathy cards or simply buy a blank card and create your own message.

    Something Personalized with Pet's Picture – coffee mugs make a lovely gift. There are several companies that will make personalized mugs and other items such as www.snapfish.com.

    A Pet Portrait – you can submit a photo and have a wonderful oil on canvas of your pet painted. Companies such as "Your Love on Canvas" do a wonderful job. I recently had my first cat painted who died many years ago. It is lovely. You can also purchase a gift certificate which allows the user to choose and submit a photo.

    Pet Photo Album – a blank album or an album that you fill in with special photos of the pet.

    Memory Box – a box that could hold photos, hair clippings, collars and other items.

    Comfort Food – chocolate, ice cream, cake or cookies are often a welcome and comforting gesture.

    Tissues – some baskets will come with a box of tissues as the loss of a pet will bring many tears. The tissues represent your understanding of the magnitude of the loss and an acceptance of the tears. It tells them that it is "okay" to mourn.

    An "IOU" to talk about their loss any time they want. This gives them "permission" to talk about something that may be difficult and lets them know you are willing to listen.

    A Note Slip in small, colored pieces of paper with fond memories of their pet written by friends and family members. This may help give them opportunities to laugh and talk about happy memories of time spent with their loving companion.

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