History of Memorial Pet Services
Because of Thor
Thor was my first pet of my adult life, and he is one of the reasons I started Memorial Pet Services. To me, he was not just a dog, but also my best friend. Like all friendships, we did not always see eye to eye, but we always had respect and trust for each other. We had been through many life events together over the years, and he was always there for me with a wagging tail. When he was thirteen, he started showing many signs of old age and I knew that he was nearing the end of his journey. Just like most pet parents, this was not something that I wanted to think about or plan for, but I knew it was something I had to do. As his parent and his friend, I realized I owed him a dignified and honorable departure; and so began my search.
I had heard of pet cremation facilities in other states that were set up and run just like human funeral homes, but could not find any comparable services in my area. Knowing that there had to be many other pet parents looking for the same thing, I decided to research and create my own. My desire to help people and their pets, combined with over 20 years in the service industry and 13 years as an EMT/IV Tech, made this a fairly easy transition for me. The doors to Memorial Pet Services opened in the fall of 2006. We are the first Pet Memorial Center in Southern Wisconsin to have Certified Pet Loss Professionals.
On January 10, 2007, Thor's day had come. Like many pet parents at this difficult stage, we had hoped that he would pass on his own, but found that he needed our help. Although I know he was ready, the decision was a difficult one and remains hard to accept. Our family vet came to Memorial Pet Services and performed the euthanasia in our private family room. As we said our final tearful goodbyes, I hugged him and laid by his side. This was definitely one of the toughest days of my life and it brought out emotions I never knew I had. It was those emotions that later led me down another path. I realized there were no local support options available for people dealing with grief after the loss of their pets. The human-pet bond is as strong, and sometimes stronger, than the human-human bond. After much investigating, finding the right format and facilitator, I am happy to say that Memorial Pet Services offers monthly pet loss support groups as part of our Pet Loss Resource Center (PLRC). These groups are offered free of charge to anyone grieving the loss of a beloved pet in the Madison and surrounding areas.
Although we only opened in 2006, Mark's dad had worked for Memorial Pet Services since the beginning. Mark's son, Jacob is now learning how everything works and helps out when he can. You will see more of Jacob over the summer months when he is not in school. Justin, Jacob's younger brother will also be helping us soon as well.
Pet Loss Resource Center (PLRC)
The Pet Loss Resource Center is now a non-profit department of Memorial Pet Services where we can help support pet parents with their loss and help veterinary clinics staff and their clients with death and loss.
The PLRC will have the following services available:
- Free pet loss support groups
- Pet loss information about: Grief, Children, Other pets, etc.
- Library of recommended books about loss
- Provide training of pet businesses staff to help support their customers with the grief from a loss.
- Support veterinary staff to help prevent compassion fatigue.
Our Pet Loss Support Groups are free and open to anyone from the community who has lost their beloved pet or have a pet that is near the end of life. Educational materials and support will be available on end of life decisions, the grieving process and ways to help others including the emotional needs of children. The meeting will have an open format, allowing plenty of time for questions and answers.
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