Specialty memorials help owners cope with dead pets
Published Wednesday, August 17, 2011 3:11PM PDT
All week CTV Consumer Reporter Lynda Steele has been reporting on the big business of dogs. Today she ventures into the world of pet psychics and animal memorials.
The death of a family dog can be utterly devastating to some people. That's why a B.C. firefighter who lost several pets of his own opened a pet memorial centre to help owners cope with the grieving process in some rather unique ways.
"There's some people whose pet was their everything. The grief has just taken over their bodies. That's where we step in and be there for them," said Kevin Woronchak, owner of Until We Meet Again.
The memorial centre, the only of its kind in the Lower Mainland, cremates about 150 dogs a month.
"We do our cremations one at a time. In our private cremations, their pet is the only one in the crematory," said Woronchak.
And once the dog has been cremated, pet owners can choose from a surprising array of memorial objects to remember their beloved animal. They include rings that hold the dog's remains, actual castings of the dog's paw and specially blown glass objects containing the pet's ashes.
After losing three family pets himself, Woronchak has a special empathy for others experiencing the same grief.
"I think it's just the bond we have with our pets that's so true and pure, the unconditional love that they give us," he said. "It's something that our humans can't replicate."
Now on to the canine spirit world. Have you ever wondered what your dog was thinking? Pet psychic Bev Crook says she can tell you.
For nearly a decade, the Vancouver-based pet psychic has worked to interpret and relay pets' feelings, like those of the feline that killed a family pet.
"They wanted to know what happened to their hedgehog. The owner came home and found the hedgehog dead, and I saw that the cat was actually jealous of the hedgehog," said Crook.
Crook charges $60 for a half hour session or $100 for the full hour.
Animal control estimates 105,000 Vancouver residents have a dog. That's one in every six people.
The most common breed in Vancouver is the Labrador retriever, followed by terriers, shepherds, Shih Tzus and collies.
And when it comes to the most popular name - you might want to reconsider the name Max if you want the dog to pay attention at the park. Over 1,300 dogs in Vancouver respond to the name max.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Lynda Steele