Losing a pug can be one of the most challenging times in a person’s life. The heartache may seem like too much to bear. The silence might drive you crazy. However, during this difficult time, you can focus on celebrating the wonderful memories you and your pug shared together. Here are 13 amazing ways to remember a deceased pug:
Build a shrine in their memory – When your pug dies, you can celebrate his or her life by building a shrine in his or her memory. You can have a small table set up with pictures, a favorite toy, name tag and other items that remind you of your baby pug. This allows you to hold their memory for a longer time. You’ll be reminded of your pug every time you walk by it. When you’re having a particularly hard day, you can hold one of their toys in your arms and cry – let it all out.
Create a scrapbook of their life – Scrapbooks allow you to remember happy times. You can flip through pages and pages of memories that bring you back to a certain moment in time. If your pug has recently passed, you can create a scrapbook with pictures of their life. If you have young children, they may enjoy taking part in creating it with you. It can be a way to get the whole family involved in the healing process. You can add pictures, stickers and decorate it anyway you want. You can also write stories of your favorite memories or silly things your pug did when he was still alive.
Build a memory box – Memory boxes are a great way to remember a deceased pug. You can buy a shoe sized box from your local dollar store and put all of the keepsakes that remind you of your pug in it. You can keep his toys, harness, leash, pictures, and other items that you associate with your pug. You can make it accessible or you can keep it in the closet until you can handle looking at the stuff again. If you currently have pets that are still alive, you can put special mementos like tickets to a dog event that you went to and other things so that when your pug passes you’ll have so many more things to sort through and remind you of happier times.
Create a memory wall – In my house, we have a memory wall of people who’ve passed. The wall has pictures of family and friends. You can either add a picture of your pug to the wall or start a memory wall with a picture of your pug first. It’s nice to have a celebration of the lives of people whose lives have touched you so open. Years from now, when you look at pictures you’ll smile. You’ll feel so grateful to have had those people or pets in your life.
Keep their urn on the mantle – If you choose to cremate your pug, you can keep your pug’s ashes on your mantle so your pug stays ‘home.’ It’s a great gesture to keep your pug in an urn because his ashes stay in the place he loved most. Some people who cremate their pugs choose to use the ashes to create a firework show, though this can be costly.
Bury them in the yard – If you choose to bury your pug’s body, you can bury him or her in the yard. It keeps it close to home. If you have other pets, this may be a good option because it allows them to grieve at the site anytime they’d like. You might find your other pets resting in the area that your pug is buried and not wanting to leave. You can also have a headstone made up for your pug and decorate it with flowers and plants.
Have a painting of your pug made – You can commission someone on Fiverr or Etsy to create a painting of your pug based on a picture of him or her. You can hang the painting on the wall so that it creates a beautiful focal point in your home. It’s a great way to honor your pug. If you’re artistic you can create the painting yourself which will allow you to grieve while commemorating your pug.
Put their picture in a locket – If you want to keep your pug’s memory by you at all times, you can put their picture in a locket that you wear around your neck. People may comment on your necklace and you can tell them stories of your pug and talk about your wonderful memories together. This is a great way to honor your pug in a subtle way.
Get a tattoo – I personally know several people who get tattoos of their pets after they pass. While it’s a painful process it’s also a permanent mark that shows others how significant the role your pug played in your life was. If you don’t want to have your pug’s face tattooed, you can opt for a paw print with his or her name. If you have owned a lot of pugs over the years, you might keep it simple with a paw print to represent all of them. A lot of people choose to put paw print tattoos on their ankles as that’s where pugs spent most of their time when following you around.
Have a funeral—Hosting a funeral for your pug may be a bit costly, however, you can host a private home funeral for free. If your pug is being buried in the yard or being kept in an urn, you might choose to all dress in black. The entire family can take turns standing up and talking about their favorite memories. If there was a certain show or song your pug always howled or barked to, you might want to play it. If you have other pets, you might take them all out to a dog park that day to celebrate your pug’s life and cherish the time you have with those still alive.
Donate to a charity in their name – You can also choose to remember your deceased pug by donating to a charity in your pug’s name. If you’re passionate about rescuing pugs, you might donate to your local animal shelter. If you can’t afford to make a financial donation, you might choose to donate your time to a local animal shelter. You might help walk dogs or simply spend time playing with them.
Plant a tree – Pugs love trees. Support new life by planting a tree in memory of your pug. You can also post a little sign that says ‘In Memory Of’ so people know it was planted on behalf of your pug. On days when you’re thinking of your pug, you can read a book under the tree and just relax.
Get another pug – Obviously you’ll never be able to replace your pug. However, if you live alone, getting another pug might help combat the loneliness. It also helps you celebrate your pug’s life because you’re celebrating a new life. Whether you buy a puppy or a rescue you’re helping to give another pug a second chance at life.
Why You Should Celebrate your Pug’s Life
In 2010, my dog died. I was away at university studying for exams when my mom told me. I told her I would go home immediately to be with him. She said he had died two weeks prior but she didn’t have the heart to tell me. I was crushed. I didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye. I didn’t talk to my parents for weeks. How could they not have told me that a family member had died?
My dog had been in my life since I was in the fourth grade. He was there through bad days and good days. If I needed to cry, he’d let me hug him and ball my eyes out. He was such a huge part of my life. I didn’t have the foresight to take many pictures of him (the camera on phones wasn’t as good back then either). I wish someone had told me to take pictures every chance I get or record videos. I wish someone had created a list like the one above for me when I was grieving and just wanted to hold on tight to my memories of him.
Your dog isn’t just a pet, he’s family. People who’ve never owned a pug won’t understand the pain of losing one, but the pain is very real. Some days you may feel empty or depressed. You might feel like the house is too quiet and the silence may bother you. You might even call out for your pug and then burst into tears when you realize he won’t be coming. It’s okay, I’m with you. I know how hard the pain is.
When a family member dies, even a non-human one, it’s important to celebrate their life. You can do one of the things above or all of them. You’re not crazy for crying over a pug. He’s been by your side for years. You need to cherish and celebrate that. You need to honor his life and the contributions he made to your own. Your pug has been your most loyal companion, keep a memento to hold onto to remind you of happier times.
How to Cope with the Loss of a Pug
- Cry: You know you want to. It’s okay if you do. Any loss is difficult. Just because someone isn’t human doesn’t mean that you can’t love them. You saw your pug far more often than you saw human relatives. When my dog died, I cried more over him than I did one of my blood relatives. The reality was I saw my dog more than I did the person.
- Spend time with family: Your family is likely also grieving the same loss. You’ll be better able to relate to people who are going through the same thing. You can sit down as a family and do some of the activities above. You can also have a day where you all watch videos and look at old pictures and talk about your favorite memories with him or her.
- Get help: It’s normal to feel the pain of a loss of a pug. It’s normal if you have difficulty adjusting for a few months. While you’ll always miss your pug, on average, the healing of a loss can take anywhere from 6-12 months. If you find that as time goes on you get further depressed, or that the pain isn’t more manageable, it may be a good idea to seek professional help. You can go to a local non-profit bereavement center or a grief counsellor.
- Combat loneliness: One of the hardest parts of losing a pug is the feeling that suddenly you feel alone. If you currently live alone, it may be a good idea to get another pug, not as a replacement but for your psychological wellbeing. You can also spend a bit more time outside your home by going out with friends and family. You can also volunteer at a shelter and walk the dogs there so you help other pets in need of love.
- Support other pets: If you have other pets in the home, let them say their goodbyes. Spend extra time with them cuddling them. Show them as much love and affection as possible. They also grieve the same loss, especially if they always played together.