Omah Pet Loss and Grief Center
I want to give a huge shout out to Cherie Fry from a locally owned business...PAWS TO ANGELS...anyone who owns a pet needs to visit her...
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"Sometimes Doing What's Right For You Is The Hardest Thing In The World" - RM Drake, Thank You Memories

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Gosh I don’t even know where to begin….
Cherie Mollie ChadzI have no easy way of saying this, so I am just going to say this.

Paws To Angels will be closing the doors this Saturday July 31, 2021. I am very ill. I can not continue to keep going for the best interest of my health. My heart is breaking beyond words.
Not only is this a personal loss for me but an enormous public loss for this Greater Omaha Community. A significant loss for you, the family who truly believed in my mission of giving our furry, winged, and scaled family members Love, Respect, and Dignity in death. Also giving you the compassionate care, validation, and time, you needed in your grief journey, allowing you to honor your pet child in the way you needed too. In a way we would honor any family member, treating them as the little humans we see them as and NOT agricultural waste with “traditional” processes. I put in place professionalism, ethics, integrity, and standards in place where there has not been any. With well over 3000 testimonials, my services remain unmatched. I am truly honored and blessed to have created something so beautiful. I am blessed to have been the Pioneer and Leader in so many changes for the better for our pets in Home Hospice, In Home Euthanasia and the States only true pet funeral home.

So much more to say, but I sit here with tears rolling down my cheeks. I'll close on that for now and write more later. I hurt, but most of all I hurt for you the family who won’t have this experience any longer or be able to experience true death care for your pets for the first time. Many of you will want to know how to care for your babies’ body in death. I can certainly help with that yet. Just ask.

I will be sending out letters to our preplan clients and refund them the amounts they are due. Sending out letters to those who have not picked up their pet’s cremains or their memorialization pieces. If you are one of those families, please call to set up a time within the next week, if possible, to bring your baby and those pieces home. There will be other letters going out to cover other concerns I may have.
For any of you who may be interested in buying Paws To Angels to carry on my journey, I would love to speak with you. I’d like to see what I started carry on. Maybe a family I’ve worked with, a veterinarian who would like to continue the In-Home Hospice and In Home Euthanasia Services, or just someone who has a love for our pet children. If no interest in buying Paws To Angels arises I will be liquidating everything in center. I will keep you all posted-on dates for this.

Cherie Garfield Cleya

Thank you to the wonderful colleagues whom I’ve met along the way, for always having my back, believing in me, giving me a chance, and supporting me. You know who you are.

Thank you to each family I’ve been honored to work with in allowing me to be part of your darkest hours, walking your grief journey with you. You will forever be a part of me. I LOVE YOU!

 To Garfield and Cleya, thank you for making my days just a little brighter and being who you were in working with the Paws To Angels families. You created a legacy that many will always carry with them.

To my girls Chadz and Mollie who were my inspirations behind Paws To Angels. I love you with all my heart for walking this journey with me in spirit. Most of all girls THANK YOU FOR HELPING ME, HELP THEM.

"In Honor of Our Pets Who Touch Our Human Souls"

- Paws To Angels Pet Loss Center & Services

My Deepest Love To You All,


Cherie Fry, CPLP

Our Golden Paw Winner

Tuesday, 07 January 2020

Cleya 1  One of the things in life that truly amazes me is the love and joy an animal can bring into our lives. I guess that is why I love them so much. Each pet I have ever had has brought their own charm into my life with their personality, souls, life lessons and so much more. As you all know, our four-legged companions do so much important work in so many ways. Some pets are domesticated house pets, some are medical alert, some are therapy, some protect our streets, neighbors and United States Borders and then there are some that companion the grieving hearts in Counseling Offices, Homeless Shelters and Funeral Homes. 

I am truly HONORED to say that our very own Cleya has won the 2019 Golden Paw Award with her work in grief companioning for pet parents who are dealing with loss and death of one of their own furry friends.

Cleya's work has amazed me for the last eight years... It was eight years ago I watched her climb into the lap of a grieving pet parent as the tears rolled down his face from his loss. The gentleman held her in his arms, stroked her fur as he told me stories of his beloved pet child. The calmness Cleya brought to his soul was just amazing. Cleya has never looked back Every parent and child that walks through the Paws To Angels Pet Loss Center doors is looked after by Cleya. Whether to crawl into a lap, wipe away tears with a sweet little swipe of her head on a cheek, give a gentle nudge on the arm or forehead she is there to lend a helping paw.

Cleya's journey in life brought her to Paws To Angels in June of 2012 with her brother Garfield after their human mom took a fall and was no longer able to care for them. I adopted them both. Each took on a role here at the center in which they took their jobs very seriously. Sadly, Cleya's paw brother Garfield died in May of 2019. Cleya in many ways has even picked up some of Garfield's jobs such as the door greeter. Cleya has always stood steadfast in her work, even with the loss of her brother.
Seems almost every family that meets her wants to take her home because of her calming gentle nature.

The Derek Flynn Golden Paw Award will be presented at the PLPA reception on the evening of Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at the ICCFA Annual Convention & Expo. I am so honored to be receiving this award on behalf of Cleya, bCleya companiong a grieving heartut most importantly I am PROUD to call her my pet child. 

Thank you Cleya for being who you are, and for companioning each and every Paws To Angels Family on their grief journey.

I love you Sweet Pea.




National Pet Memorial Day

Saturday, 07 September 2019

Garfield I

On this Day of Remembrance of our pets who have passed on. I'm reminded of not only Garfield "My Little Man" I lost this year, but all of those furry little babies that fill my heart with so much love and gratitude because they lived and loved.

National Pet Memorial Day is the day set aside each year on the 2nd Sunday of September to honor those pets who have journeyed onto the Rainbow Bridge before us. We honor our Police and Firefighter K9's, we Honor Search and Rescue, Emotional Therapy and Medical Therapy Animals. We Honor the ones who fill our Homes and our Hearts. A day to say Thank you...a day of Remembering and a day of Reflection...

For today though, take some time and share a story with someone? Speak it, write it - for that time, your loved one is alive and well again; taking part in the tale. And in the telling, you may find yourself laughing, or crying; you may even find yourself getting angry all over again but the light in this is You get to relive the life you had together, for better or worse.
Maybe today you want to memorialize your friend and why not? Our society has given us the opportunity to redefine those means of memorializing our loved ones. No more do we automatically turn to the cemetery to grieve; often times, we are left with a box of cremated remains, and the intention to do something with them... maybe today is the day..
• If you buried your pet somewhere, go for a visit
• Contribute to an animal shelter or rescue
• Volunteer
• Create a garden in your yard
• Plant a tree or a shrub as a living memorial
• Color with the children
• Have a ceremony
• Light a candle

No matter how you choose to honor those pets who have touched your soul, make sure it's what is right for you and your family.

My friends I leave you with one piece of advice to carry in your heart this Pet Memorial Day, it's this:
"Although this is a day to set aside to honor and pay tribute, I am reminded that each day I can and do honor my precious pet children. I bring them back by remembering: It's in the memories that I share, the stories I tell, the photos I look at and the love I carry within. So today and everyday remember to take those things out, and enjoy them - not just on the anniversaries, and birthdays, but every day. Your heart is large enough to carry them, I promise..."

For Love Always Remains - Cherie Fry, CPLP

K-9 Veteran's Day

Monday, 13 March 2017

military man and dogOn This Day March 13th in 1942, the United States K9 Corps was founded; it's now known as K-9 Veterans Day.

As a Nation we honor our fallen. In memory of the countless brave dogs that have gone where no human could or would, who have served multiple tours of duty in war-torn lands, who protected their handlers with their last breath: These animals not only provide for our troops safety but also help them to remain human in the day to day ugliness of war. These dogs are on duty to help protect our soldiers, the most precious of our assets. We send them in first for ask them to put themselves between us and imminent danger.

There are endless true stories of heroism and bravery by these living four legged beings.

We honor your service, and the bond between you and your human handlers.

Thank you!!!dogs in front of flag





Author: Unknown

To Honor... To Remember... To Give Gratitude...

Saturday, 10 September 2016

National Pet Memorial Day

HeadstoneToday is a day of remembrance for any pet parent who has had a special pet die. From all of the pets that we grew up with to my most recent losses of Doll, Mollie, Penny, Trust and my hearts inspiration Chadz - I remember all of them. I remember them and I pay honor to them for what they have meant to me in my life,... the love... The lessons... The life-changing mission that they have given me.

Honored the second Sunday of September set aside to represent one day of national awareness, honoring those pets who died many of which defend our nation, protect our streets, provide care to the disabled and a reminder of the Unconditional Love our pets gave to us and to our families. This prestigious event was established in 1972 by the International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematory's. Celebrated by hundreds of people all over the United States in recognition of the important role that our beloved pets play in our lives.

For me today it is also a day marks the day that people pause each year to remember the lives lost on September 11, 2001. Many Americans still remember clearly the unfolding of horrible events 15 years ago, the United States was rocked by an attack on 9/11 by four planes that were hijacked by al-Qaeda. Even though it is a decade and a half since the horrific events of Sept. 11, 2001, each year, the day should be remembered for those who lost their lives and gave their lives to help others. To be remembered not because of the events that took place, but because of the people — the people that are no longer with us and those that risked their lives to do what was right. During the chaos of the 9/11 attacks, where almost 3,000 people died, nearly 100 loyal search and rescue dogs and their brave owners scoured Ground Zero for survivors. Amid the rubble and dust, the jarring scenes and scents of death and destruction, hardworking dogs from across the country came to New York City to help the search and rescue efforts following the terrorist attacks. No one knows exactly how many working dogs were in New York and at the Pentagon that September, but estimates state about 900 canines were there lending a paw.

va cemetery 5 1548180

Truly, no American has loved us more than the pets who has offered their last breath to secure that which we cherish. Everywhere we go they are with us. When you take your children to the park, when you have a birthday party for them, when we are opening Christmas presents, and walking through our daily routines. please remember, there are angels watching over us. You will not see them, as their hour has already passed. Yet, they abide in the recesses of our worldly perception. Underneath everything we hold dear is the blood of those to whom we owe our deepest respect and fidelity. If you stop and listen closely, not with your ears, but with your heart, you can hear their whisper. As they leave behind a life on earth worthy of honor, remembrance, and gratitude, they unceasingly utter "I love you"

Let's pause and remember the true meaning of this holiday. Taking a Moment of Remembrance is a step in the right direction to give the meaning to the day, a day of observance. One day out of the year for the nation to get together to remember, reflect and honor those who have given their all and loved us unconditionally. It is a day to honor those pets; it is a day to honor those pets and humans that paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Honor Them. Honor You. - Knowing forever your heart will be changed. Remember them.

A Living Love

Thursday, 23 June 2016



 Do remember the day you brought your new baby into your home ? Over time that precious little pet has taught you so many things about life, about love... They reach deep into your soul and climb right into your heart. It's a love you and only you will know with your beloved precious pet. A life that will change you, a life that will mold who you are, a life that will write a chapter in your book. It is a love that fills each fiber of your being. A love that stays with us well into our own years. We know it as

 A Living Love

If you ever love an animal, there are three days in your life you will always remember....

The first is a day, blessed with happiness, when you bring home your young new friend.
You may have spent weeks deciding on a breed. You may have asked numerous opinions of many vets, or done long research in finding a breeder. Or, perhaps in a fleeting moment, you may have just chosen that silly looking mutt in a shelter--simply because something in its eyes reached your heart. But when you bring that chosen pet home, and watch it explore, and claim its special place in your hall or front room--and when you feel it brush against you for the first time--it instills a feeling of pure love you will carry with you through the many years to come.

The second day will occur eight or nine or ten years later. It will be a day like any other.
Routine and unexceptional. But, for a surprising instant, you will look at your longtime friend and see age where you once saw youth. You will see slow deliberate steps where you once saw energy. And you will see sleep when you once saw activity. So you will begin to adjust your friend's diet--and you may add a pill or two to her food. And you may feel a growing fear deep within yourself, which bodes of a coming emptiness. And you will feel this uneasy feeling, on and off, until the third day finally arrives.

And on this day--if your friend and God have not decided for you, then you will be faced with making a decision of your own--on behalf of your lifelong friend, and with the guidance of your own deepest Spirit. But whichever way your friend eventually leaves you--you will feel as alone as a single star in the dark night.
If you are wise, you will let the tears flow as freely and as often as they must. And if you are typical, you will find that not many in your circle of family or friends will be able to understand your grief, or comfort you. But if you are true to the love of the pet you cherished through the many joy-filled years, you may find that a soul--a bit smaller in size than your own--seems to walk with you, at times, during the lonely days to come. And at moments when you least expect anything out of the ordinary to happen, you may feel something brush against your leg—very, very lightly And looking down at the place where your dear, perhaps dearest, friend used to lay--you will remember those three significant days. The memory will most likely to be painful, and leave an ache in your heart--As time passes the ache will come and go as if it has a life of its own. You will both reject it and embrace it, and it may confuse you. If you reject it, it will depress you. If you embrace it, it will deepen you. Either way, it will still be an ache.

But there will be, I assure you, a fourth day when--along with the memory of your pet--and piercing through the heaviness in your heart--there will come a realization that belongs only to you. It will be as unique and strong as our relationship with each animal we have loved, and lost. This realization takes the form of a Living Love--like the heavenly scent of a rose that remains after the petals have wilted, this Love will remain and grow--and be there for us to remember. It is a love we have earned. It is the legacy our pets leave us when they go. And it is a gift we may keep with us as long as we live. It is a Love which is ours alone. And until we ourselves leave, perhaps to join our Beloved Pets--it is a Love we will always possess.

-Martin Scot Kosins

The Months of Passages

Thursday, 10 September 2015

"The emotions of raw grief through a pet parents heart"

antique clock 1539249With the marking of three months since my little Doll's death tomorrow, I find myself grieving and mourning but slowly falling into a world of acceptance. I found that these words from a family I worked with resonate with me so deeply that I wanted to share her story with all of you. With permission from Tracy to post her deepest emotions of grief and loss in her words as the months mark the passages of loss:

"My little bear Romy,
Today marks one month. This whole week so far has felt like the one month mark really.
It was a Monday one month ago that we took you into the vet, her last appointment of the day. We had made the appointment one week prior, finally realizing that the meds were no longer working, that you perhaps were actually suffering...we had kept you so heavily medicated for six and a half months. We didn't know what to do anymore, the vet had you maxed out on pain medications. We had bought you one more week with a sedative, a week that created confusion for us. It was a week that haunted me after we said good bye. We made the final decision to say goodbye on Tuesday. That was the hardest decision I have ever made in my life. That day was the darkest day of my life. The days that followed have been a blur of raw pain and anguish.
Was it too soon? Were you suffering? Did you struggle right at the end, when I felt you pull your leg back a little? I have prayed for signs and I have received signs.
I read so much prior to making the decision the let you go peacefully, in our arms. I continued to read so much after, when I was questioning every single detail of the last moments, days, months, even year of your life. I think I understand things a little better now, but I don't have perfect peace. What I do have is the belief that we did the very best we could for you, your whole life, however imperfect we were at it. We loved you, all of us. We always will.
You, sweet boy, were absolutely perfect. I could write about all of your special quirks and sweet tendencies. Every pet lover has so many things about their pets that they want people to know. What I want to do though is describe that overriding feeling that we all have about our pets that goes beyond loving the little idiosyncrasies. It's the thing that ties all of us together.
I guess I can only articulate it by saying you were my 'no matter what'. In the days following your passing, I would find myself getting this familiar feeling that I couldn't put into words. Just for one-one thousandth of a second, I would feel that familiar peace of mind knowing I had you to come home to, then I would be jolted back into my new reality. I would, for that fraction of a fraction of a second in my sorrow, feel the peace of mind that matter how bad the day was, I had the best dog at home. No one could take that away. (Except that wasn't the case anymore, you see.) It took several incidences of this happening for me to grasp the concept of this thing I had built my life around. You were the bright spot in each and every day.
You were my no matter what.
You most certainly were a best friend for me. I think the words from a video I watched say it perfectly, you were my witness, my testament. You saw me through ten and a half years of my life and the lives of the people I love the most. So many things happen in a decade. I am so thankful you were with me through this particular time in my life. God knew that I (we) would need you. (We called you our angel puppy after all.)
You saw a new marriage grow, two children grow into adults, careers change, love, lots of laughter, and sadly, loneliness. You were my constant companion when my days personally grew very dark. I am not ashamed to admit to or talk about depression and anxiety, because it isn't a character flaw. I thank you for being my buddy in that chair of ours. By now you should be a YouTube beauty guru, a Pinterest wiz, and have the skills to write an amazing blog with the best of them my furry little man. We were peas in a pod...Or more accurately two creatures spending an inordinate amount of time in a leather chair with an iPad. You sat with me when I needed you, and I sat with you when you needed me.
A piece of me left with you one month ago, but that's not as bad or dramatic as it sounds. You were a part of me, so how could it not be that way?
Thank you for teaching me about what a life span looks like. It is really something everyone should witness, because it will shore up the edges of a weak existence. There is only so much time in this life. We will have an eternity together though soon, if how fast the last decade flew by is any indication.
Here on earth though, I would have sat with you forever little one, had I not thought (however uncertain I was) you were ready to go to heaven. I truly never minded taking care of you at the end. I savored the time with you; I didn't want to leave you. I begged you not to make me make the decision for you, but it's okay. I am seeing now, day by day, that you just didn't want to go. You were so loyal to us and so incredibly brave. You may have stuck it out far beyond when it would have been good for you.
So, one month later... I have cried so many tears, prayed, relived details of so many events, especially that last day. I know what I felt as you let go, I will never forget it. I will never forget you. You changed my life.
I will always love you. Thank you for coming to live with us, for letting us be your human family. It was an honor to be your mommy.Romy Weiss 2015

Little Romy,
I read an article that was posted on Facebook Thursday night. It was entitled 'Saying goodbye to my beloved dog like a grown up.' I read it through and fought back tears, noted the similarities between her story and ours, and went to bed. I re-read it Friday morning before work, because it resonated with me, and had a cry in the shower. I have been keenly aware that it is coming up on two months. I haven't counted out the days exactly, has it been sixty? Today is the 30th, that's all I do know. And every 30th I'll remember that day, as if I don't think about it or you all day, every day anyway.
I went to look for the same article this morning, maybe to share it, and came across another about a little dog who started turning in circles, and the tears came. So here I am in our chair, writing to you.
That little dogs brain mass caused her to start turning in circles very suddenly, yours was slow and sneaky. It gave us time to really think. It gave me many, many days to put drops in your little eyes and gaze into them if I wanted to. It gave me many days of hand feeding you your meds, which was so sweet for so long, then it became so hard. That last day though, you took them again right out of my hand readily. Thank you for that little friend.
The picture I posted is from one of those days. I had just done your eyes, you had them opened so brightly and propped your head up as you did so often in the end. It was really the only way you could hold it up wasn't it? I love how you were looking at me. I think you felt ok from your pills, and you could see well enough and life was good for a moment right?
The slowness of your illness also gave us time to think about your whole life span, how amazing you were, and then how...

Remembering & Honoring Mollie

Thursday, 26 February 2015

One Year later ... The Lessons I've Learned...

Mollie Oct. 2013

 It's been a year since you went away. Time seems to move so fast, but yet stand still. Feels just like the day before yesterday and in many ways it still doesn't feel real. There are times when I still expect to see you at the door when I come home or worry about stepping on you because you were always under my feet. One year later, I still cry. My heart still has moments when I can’t believe it. I still miss you. I still want you back. One year later, the absence is still felt, and my heart has a hole in it that nobody could ever fill. However, one year later, I can finally say that despite all of that,  I’m doing good.

One Year later, a lesson Mollie taught me was about time "they say that time heals all wounds." Well, I’m here to tell you that I am not a fan of that quote, Time does not heal all wounds. However, I will say that time is a gift, and it is not time that heals your wounds, it is what you do with time that helps you heal. I will also say that over the year I’ve come to learn (and accept) that there are certain heartaches that will never fully go away. This is one of them. So, let me say this about what time has done for me. Time, is a gift that I am so very grateful for. Time has taught me how to live with the pain. Time has taught me how to cope. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about Mollie or miss her. That will never change. What has changed is that I don’t dwell in the sadness anymore. I allow myself the moment, but I have learned and trained myself to keep going with my day. I don’t get comfortable and make myself a home in sorrow anymore. A painful memory, the emptiness I feel in my heart, and missing Mollie doesn’t keep me paralyzed anymore. I carry the heartache with me, everyday, but it doesn’t control me anymore, I control it. Time has taught me how to live with the pain and the hole in my heart.

One year later, I’ve accepted that honoring Mollie doesn’t mean living a life of grief and sorrow. I have learned to honor Mollie by doing the things that she liked, going for walks, smell the roses, eat a lot of Arby's roast beef sandwiches and make new friends. I've learned the best way to honor Mollie is to make a difference in this world and make every effort to enjoy every minute that I have left on earth.

One year later, I have realized that while Mollie’s death has changed me, it does not define me. I am Cherie, and ironically enough, my name means, “loved one, dear one”. One year later, I have a special fur baby watching over me and smiles to me from heaven. One year later, I focus more on my blessings more than my heartaches. I have sad and painful moments, not days. I have happy days, not just happy moments.

Yes, my day started off with a heavy heart as I remember this day one year ago when Mollie died,  February 26th will always come with a set of emotions for me that span from sadness because she is gone - to gratefulness in what she has done for me in my mission and in my work.  I will eternally be grateful to her for the lessons she taught me and for being such a large "chapter" in my life!

I believe, with my whole heart, that true love never dies and that true love stories never end. I accept that I am blessed with a love that gives me a piece of heaven, everyday.

Mollie  Me Oct. 2013 1

Rest in Peace Mollie "Bear", I Love and Miss You!!!

The Night Before Christmas at the Rainbow Bridge

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Xmas Rainbow Bridge 1

Pet Parents I am thinking of you and keeping you close to my heart, I hope you can find some comfort with this poem as I have... Wishing you much peace during this holiday season!

- Cherie Fry, CPLP

"The Night Before Christmas at the Rainbow Bridge...

We Bridge kids were thinking as always of you.
We'd seen how the holidays weren't bright this year,
Heard you whisper so often, "I wish you were here!"

We know how you wish you could just stay in bed
And sleep through the holiday lying ahead,
When all celebrate with their loved ones so near...
Unless they have loved ones on this side this year.

But we're no less alive here, on the other side.
If you could just see us, you would've laughed and not cried.
The dogs all in harness, pulling the sleigh.
The cats all in Santa hats pointing the way.

The pet birds all flying back over the rainbow,
Bound homeward in spite of Earth's darkness and snow.
All the pets that you've lost, pets for whom you've cried,
Flying home on this Christmas to be by your side.

If you feel warm fur brush you when no pet's around,
Hear a soft bark or purr, just a ghost of a sound,
We're trying to tell you we're visiting this way,
 And our visits, even rainbows, can be on any day.

But for Christmas we have something special to do,
A sleigh full of happy dream visits for you.
On doggy, on kitty, on winged friend and ferret!
The love that you lavished, we mean now to share it!

We're fetching that love home, the way we once played,
With the closeness we shared and the memories we made.
Our Earth lives with you were too short for us, too,
And on this Christmas Eve we have so much to do.

So all through this night as you sleep in your beds,
Sweet visions of fur babies dance in your heads.
This one special night we can bring you Home for a while,
Your true home in Heaven, where again you will smile.

Over the rainbow you'll fly, for a short while this night,
Hours that you'll be happy, hours that will feel right,
Hours to cuddle and hug us, to run and to play,
Before the return to Earth in our magic way.

And when you awaken and face Christmas Day,
We pray you'll remember your trip on our sleigh,
But in case you forget, just remember our love.
Remember us watching you, your angels above.

Sending love wrapped in rainbows, shining and bright,
Love that will guide you through the darkest night,
Love found in each memory unwrapped through the year,
Replacing dark sorrows with Christmas cheer.

Leave the toys to St. Nick, we Bridge kids bring dreams,
Sweet visits to remind you all is not as it seems
When you look all around you with tired Earthly eyes.
If you saw as we do, there'd be joy and surprise.

There are fur angels waiting by those Christmas trees,
Always there for you and hearing your pleas.
We're never more than a thought away from your home,
You're never forgotten, you're never alone.

Nor are we alone here, with our Rainbow Bridge friends.
We know only joy here, the celebrating never ends,
And after our reunions with you Christmas Eve,
We Bridge kids will party like you'd never believe.

But we'll slip away often to be by your side.
Sitting there watching you, eyes open wide,
Praying you'll be able to catch a glimpse of us, too.
But whether or not you see us - Merry Christmas to you!"

- Cindy Morgan (2007)

Today, 6 Months Already?

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Mollie fry - CopySeems just like yesterday that Mollie crossed to the Rainbow Bridge, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't still miss her terribly and wish she were here. My home still feels so empty and I still seem to look down at times to make sure I don't step on her because she followed me everywhere. Her medication is still sitting out, I look at it yet and for a quick second think "I need to give this to her". Then there is that realization that she is not here anymore and I sigh followed by the words "I miss you Bear" and I move on about my day.

Will the time get easier? Yes, and in many ways it has, but I've learned to focus my grief into honoring her life and sharing in her stories because what brings peace to my heart today; is to sit down and tell a "Mollie" story. I smile at her memory and I have a warmth that comes to my heart when I can look back and be proud of the life lessons she taught to me and all I love that she gave me daily for sixteen years. I know as time continues to move forward as it always does that each day will be a little brighter and my heart will continue to explode with the joy my child with a fur coat brought to my life.

Mollie is also my reason for expanding my pet loss services now to include "Pet Hospice" There are so many things we as pet parents can learn about... the final months even days in our pets life. Signs and symptoms to look for that are not always discussed. My Mollie received wonderful care with her Doctor and her medications helped sustain her life a little longer, but looking back on what I've learned lately through studying about hospice was that she was in pain and was suffering beyond what the meds could do and she was truly uncomfortable, I had no idea...I didn't know what to look for... or ask about... Mollie will be my guiding light as I walk a family through the "end of life" with their fur-baby.

 The biggest lesson I've learned from Chadz and Mollie both with their deaths is to take all that love they gave me and pass it forward. Find something that I am truly passionate about and share it. I am so honored that I have two fur angels that are such an inspiration in my life's work and also for giving me the passion to "Why I do What I Do"

oh.. and just one more thing... for you Mollie "Bear"

 "Goodnight my pride and joy, sleep well... I'll see you in the morning, I Love You"

Remembering Penny

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Senior pets need homes too!

Penny 2 resizedI remember the day like it was yesterday, chatting with friends on facebook and this cute picture of this little dog that went by the name of "Pistol" popped up, under her picture it read "Due to be euthanized today at 5pm." I reached out to my dear friend of twenty plus years with Midwest Dog Rescue Network and I said "Monica, you have to pull her, we can't let her die, I'll foster her" That very next evening I met with Harlan County Humane Society and took Pistol into my arms and into my home.

A few days went by and I could not get adjusted to the name Pistol for such a sweet lady, Penny seemed to be her fit. Penny came with her own issues as all senior dogs do. The vet guessed her around 10-12 yrs old she was partially blind from cataracts, partially deaf and she ended up having to have most of her teeth removed. Penny was potty trained, but she was one of those girls that if she had to go to the bathroom you had better be watching her signals as she walked in circles at the front door or she was going right there.

Midwest Dog Rescue posted Penny's picture and a little bio of her on their website and it was almost a year before anyone took any sort of interest in her. With each phone call I got it saddened me more and more; people just didn't want to deal with her senior ailments.  All Penny ever wanted was to be loved. Her favorite spot was to lay her head next to your chest and be held. She never asked for much just food and a scratch a time or two. She spent most of her days sleeping in "her spot" on the couch.

Penny's senior moments became more frequent, she was starting to lose her bowels, she came down with Vestibular Disease, her arthritis had gotten worse, she had to have surgery to remove the rest of her teeth and she started to drastically lose weight. I always believed Penny would be adopted out to a loving family....As the days continued to go by less and less inquiry's about her and I wondered if she would ever find her "Forever Home." I knew it took a truly special heart to love a special needs dog and one with a few years under her collar.

Penny taught me a lot even though I didn't know where she came from, Penny  Me 7252014 resizedor how she ended up in a shelter, but what I do know, that on her life's journey she deserved to have a home and be surrounded by arms that could love her and allow her to live out her final days. She taught me what it's about to foster a dog and why, she taught me that no matter what; I took her into my home ...I made a vow to give her the best I could regardless of how challenging it became, she taught me to never give up, she taught me about silence and to learn to feel and listen with the heart. The best lesson she taught me was " Senior pets need homes too" - it wasn't about my needs and wants, it was about hers... her life mattered... regardless of age."   I wouldn't have her for 15 years, I would give her the life she deserved in two.

Penny passed peacefully on the 26th of July as I held her in my arms and said "Your finally home, love you baby girl" Today my couch is empty and the silence so pronounced, but I'll take that vacant spot on the couch and tuck the memories away in my heart because in the end Penny found her "Forever Home" and her "Forever Heart"

Rest In Peace Penny, Rest In Peace...

Photos by:  Paws & Whiskers Photography

In Loving Memory

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Frosty & Lloyd Johnson

Lloyd  Frosty - resized"This day is remembered and quietly kept
No words are needed, we shall never forget
For those we love don't go away
They walk beside us every day
Unseen and unheard, but always near
So loved, so missed, and so very dear."

Time seems to pass so quickly, it was one year ago today as I stood by the Johnson/Kraemer family when they said their goodbyes to little Frosty. A ragdoll cat mischievous but, deeply loved... The last link to Lloyd's beloved wife Diane who passed only one year earlier. In the days to follow I visited with Lloyd at the care center he lived at walking him through his grief journey. Frosty was his world... Lloyd was devastated. The next few months to follow were hard, Lloyd's daily routine was broken, his will to get up in the morning became a challenge. And just six months ago today I received a call from the family saying Lloyd had passed away. My heart broke deeply for this family. The visitation was to follow, the night of; I went to be with the family and pay my respects. I remember sharing and honoring these two precious lives just like it was yesterday. Both have taken a special place in my heart...  

Time has a way of helping our hearts heal from the grief, but it never diminishes the love and memories.

Today, I am holding the Johnson / Kraemer Family close and thinking of them. Honoring the Memories and Celebrating that Frosty and Lloyd lived and loved.

Rest in Peace Frosty,

 (2006 - 7/26/2013)

                Rest in Peace Lloyd,

                (1/16/1929 - 1/26/2014)

                                                Rest in Peace...

Oh Good Grief...

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Grief Ranking,  will we ever accept pet loss grief ?

Grief Ranking - resizedFor any one that truly loves a pet will face the agonizing grief when their precious pet dies. It breaks my heart terribly when I have a family look me straight in the eyes and say to me "I can't buy that piece of jewelry I want because NO ONE understands my loss, so I will honor my Cleo in the privacy of my own home." or " It's been almost two years since my little Delbert passed and I still haven't told anyone at work yet." 

Unfortunately grief ranking has been going on for far to long in our society, I would love to blame that 38% that doesn't understand the human animal bond but it's not just them. It comes from our co-workers, our friends, our family , pet owners, pet care professionals and yes, we even do it to ourselves. For me, my grief is REAL..., losing Chadz almost five years ago, Trust a year ago; still brings tears to my  eyes and with the recent passing of Mollie my grief is still so raw. Do I talk about it? Yes, but to only a select few, the few who understand... Even though our society has accepted the pet into the family they haven't accepted pet loss grief as normal. I believe in time this too will change, but with these changes comes education. This just goes to show me that I still have a lot of work to do in this community when it comes to grief and loss.

Grief ranking in pet loss starts long before the pet even passes and comes in so many forms, it starts for the family whose pet may have run away or became lost, it starts with the diagnosis that my pet is going to die, it starts with the pet care professional who doesn't inform you of the support that is out there or the options available before the death occurs. It happens when we choose for others their death care. I've seen people turn their heads at the tears. I have found myself turning away from others who have said "When are you getting another dog?" or" it was just a cat, get over it!" We are even ranked on our grief depending on what kind of animal it is.  I've heard it said "but my friend just lost her mother, that is far more important than my loss."  or "It's been six months, shouldn't she be over it by now?"

I should never be shamed for loving my pets. I should never be judged for what I may or may not need. When a bond is broken; grief will happen. Grief is grief and deserves the care and attention of anyone that is experiencing loss. I need to know that I can feel good about sharing my feelings, I need to know that my grief is normal, I need a safe place to do that.

My heart has been broken, my pet family member is gone... there is an absence in my  home,  I yearn to have each one that I loved close again.

Don't rank my grief, simply stand beside me...

hold my hand...


Be my friend... because in the end it's all I really need from you.

A Lesson in Unconditional Love

Friday, 02 May 2014

Linette  TahluluOur pets teach so much without saying a word...

 In life I have relationships, ones with family, ones with friends,and even loves. I live much of my life through the relationships I have, yet the deepest of bonds that I seem to share comes from the relationship I share with my special pets. For me, on the toughest of days coming home from a long day or carrying a heavy heart for a family who suffered the loss of one of their precious pets, my fur babies are there to greet me with warm kisses and a joyous wagging tail.

Our pets create such a spirit of forever love in our hearts that it amazes me every time I think about it.  It does not matter if the pet is living or deceased, the discussion of this love will reach deep down into a person´s heart and bring about such a rainbow of colorful emotions to re-call this love - or to relay it in a present tense.

This is why we need pets. They do something for us that rarely a human companion can do. I know no matter how messy life gets, no matter how many mistakes I make or how often I make them, regardless of my looks, income or social standing, my pets never judge me, they always think I am wonderful and they love me with all their hearts.

Through the unconditional love of our pets, we learn what true loyalty is, what true acceptance is and what true companionship is. This unconditional love is a true gift: one we may not always deserve but one that is always there. More amazing still, is the love that pets and owners feel for each other lasts a lifetime. This is the ideal love humans strive for, but often fail at. Oh, the lessons of love our pets teach us, if only we would use those lessons in our everyday lives we would all be better people.

"Humans break our hearts all the time, Pets break our hearts only once." - Coleen Ellis

Paws To Angels Supports Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA)

Monday, 21 April 2014

Vendor table MDA Lock-up

Believe it or not, I'm going to jail and I need your help. " on Wednesday April 23rd. While it's not a real jail, it's even more important as I'm raising bail to help children and adults with muscle disease in my community who are supported by the vital work of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). I might not be able to rely on good behavior to get out so that's why I need your help - I need you to donate to my bail!  I know that together we'll Make a Muscle and Make a Difference in the fight against muscle disease. I've been charged with having "A Big Heart" My bail is set at $1600, and I need your help to reach my bail goal. Your donation will help put me over the top.  If you could please make a donation of $ 25 or more to help me send two kids to camp it would be greatly appreciated. All gift donations are tax deductable.

 Because of your support, MDA is able to continually provide help and hope to tens of thousands of children and adults living with neuromuscular disease. Donations from the Lock-Up will support local families and guarantee that MDA can continue its mission to find treatments and cures, as well as provide vital services.

Click on the link provided here to donate :

As Paws To Angels was founded on Love, Respect, and Dignity we hold true to those words as we are here to help families and to help other people, we make a difference in society, we feel good about ourselves. donating and giving of our time is the perfect opportunity to make a difference. I know by making a difference in someone’s life, I am leaving behind a legacy.

"If there be any truer measure of a man than by what he does, it must be by what he gives"                                                                                                                                                                     - Robert South

The Importance of Family Rituals

Thursday, 10 April 2014

xmas 2013 1 - Copy 640x506My Pet is Family



Is it acceptable to do the rituals that are important to us with other deaths in our family for our pets? I face this question often from families and I in turn am honoring my Mollie this weekend with a full Celebration of Life service. Why would I not? She lived almost 16 wonderful years with me, she celebrated the holidays and birthdays with my family, she stood by me through the ups and downs in life just as any member of my family would.

Incorporating rituals into honoring your pet´s life is a beautiful way to pay tribute to the life that you shared together.  Whether it be a visitation or a memorial service, these rituals are incredibly important in your grief journey and mourning process.   


Our Family Portrait

There are other rituals that you can incorporate into honoring your pet´s life.  They can look like:

  • Special readings
  • The planting of a tree/flower/bush
  • Rituals you and your pet did to say “I love you”
  • Scripture readings
  • A candle lighting tribute
  • A donation drive for a local pet rescue organization in memory of your pet
  • Reading of special poems and remembrances
  • Playing audio tapes of their meow/bark/chirp
  • Sharing videos of the pet and your family
  • Reading a eulogy to remember your pet´s life with your family

Having a funeral service or a memorial service for my Mollie is a wonderful way to honor the life that we shared together. I give you permission to honor your pet in the way you want and in a way that is good for you and your family.

Let´s walk together as I guide you how to have a meaningful ceremony that will truly celebrate the life that you shared with your pet

Her Legacy Will Continue

Monday, 31 March 2014

Honoring Trust with Personalization

In July of 2013, I losTrust and Silouettet my precious cockatiel Trust. At the time of her death I was trying to design her urn, I wanted it special, a unique memorialization piece to her. I looked and looked for something that told her story, as any piece we create to memorialize and personalize our precious pets we want that piece to represent them, who they were, and how we want to remember. I had been working with one of the company in particular. They asked me to send them a picture of Trust. From there they created a silhouette drawing of her. It was just what I was looking for.

Time marches on and not a day goes by that I don’t miss her and all her crazy chirps and silly ways. I still occasionally find a feather lying around the house and I reflect on our time together. I like to think it’s her way of saying I’m still here with you. Today, I open my mail from the company that created the silhouette only to find that they are using that silhouette image of Trust on new personalization options for their urns. Oh my stars I can’t begin to tell you what that meant to me. The feeling of warmth that crawled inside my heart…

Trust’s image will be used by other families who want to honor their special cockatiel to tell their story, her legacy will continue in the hearts of many. What an honor to her memory… Thank You Terrybear!

My winged baby, I miss you, my feathered friend.  Thanks for giving me the honor of sharing memories and years with you.

Rest in peace, Trust, Rest in peace.

Happy Birthday My Precious Girls

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Celebrating Lives who Lived and Loved

Mollie  Chadz puppy 1998Today marks a special day for me, as it is the day two very special lives were brought into this world. While this day is bittersweet for me – with the recent loss of Mollie and remembering Chadz when she was here 5 years I ago, I can´t help but to also remember the days that Mollie and Chadz came home to live with me. Ah, I remember it like it was yesterday! It was so exciting! I became this pet-mommy that did everything I could to make sure they were happy – were content – and was living a life that every puppy could dream about!

Today I celebrate the lives of Mollie and Chadz. Although this is an anniversary date of birth, it is also a reminder that their special lives impacted mine with nothing but love and I have their memories to honor. Yes, both have now gone to be at the Rainbow Bridge but when it comes to heart of the matter they lived and loved, brought joy, and taught life lessons, for those reasons I celebrate them.

I’ll go about my day trying to honor them in the things that I do. They loved to go for walks, for them I’ll walk today, Mollie especially liked the smell of roses, I’ll be sure to stop and buy some to place by her picture, I’ll have cupcakes and ice-cream because that is how we celebrated their birthday when they were here. I’ll pull out the toys and play with my other four legged girls in their memory. As I crawl into bed tonight I’ll tell them as I have done every night for the past 15 ½ years “Goodnight my pride and joy, I’ll see you in the morning… I Love you!”

March 15th will always come with a set of emotions for me that span from sadness because they are gone – to gratefulness in what they have done for me in my mission and in my work. I will be eternally grateful to Mollie and Chadz for the lessons they taught me and for being such a large “chapter” in my life! Who would´ve thought that day would change my life and my life´s mission forever?

Animals have an amazing way, don´t they?

Today, Mollie and Chadz – I celebrate you. I celebrate the life that we shared together. I celebrate a life that changed mine. Forever...
Happy Birthday, Baby Girls.

Cropped of Mollie Cherie 2006

chadz and me 001 - Copy

Mollie  Chadz

This Mourning Thing is Really Work...

Wednesday, 05 March 2014

Grieving and mourning is work - but it´s work that has to be done,....

Mollie on her blanket

Our North America culture is a funny one.  A culture where the thought of hurting is more than a person can bear.  One where a person would rather ignore, or possibly even be medicated, versus feeling the pain.

With the loss of Mollie, the pain was excruciating.  To hold her head in my hands as she breathed her last breaths of life on this earthly world were overwhelming with emotion.  And, as the days have gone on, it´s an even bigger roller-coaster of emotions as I try to actively mourn, or make movement, through my grief.  One minute, I´m feeling strong and at peace.  And, then the next minute I´m crying uncontrollably as the reality of the past week´s events wash over me again. To know Mollie is to know that she died the way she wanted and in her terms, with that I can find peace.
Yes, it´s painful, this work of mourning.  And, if I had to chose it - I wouldn´t be doing it.  However, when I said "yes" to being a pet parent, this, too, is what I knew I would be facing.  But, I also know that in doing my mourning work, I am making me healthy and stronger - and am truly honoring Mollie´s story of life just like it should be honored.

As a retired veterinarian said to my mentor - "having a pet is as much as lesson in grief as it is in love."

I also, too, know that in foregoing this emotion of grief - I would be foregoing the memories.  
And, that, My Friend, is too big of a trade-off for me,...
Rest in peace, Mollie.

Honoring Mollie "Bear"

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Today, the reality sets in - the stark cold reality that Mollie is gone.

mollie with cornersToday -I honor Mollie.  Three weeks shy of her 16th Birthday; she was a stubborn little Chihuahua / Pekinese mix.  She was a lady who could be a little on the better then you sphere and always seemed happy. She fought many ailments throughout her life but she was never a nuisance to me. So, instead of putting me into the position to have to think about helping her out of her pain, she made the decision for me.  Such a love,...
I miss you, Mollie May “Bear.”  And, I will forever love you.  However, as much as the tears hurt today in knowing that I will never see your beautiful face, receive all those puppy kisses or have you cuddle with me again, knowing that we have years of memories is what is the most comforting.  Yes, it truly is like the Garth Brooks song "The Dance" - "We could have missed the pain but we´d had to miss the dance." 

I love you, Mollie.  You will forever have a place in my heart. 

Tell Chadz, Babe, Trust, Ginger, and Mickey that Mommy misses them too,... it´s comforting to know that I have six angels looking out for me,..
Rest in peace, My Mollie Girl, Rest in peace.

The Elephant in the Room

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

lonely chair- paws to angels

“Never, Never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake, Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”                                - Martin Luther King

Did you ever hear or see something that speaks right to heart? That’s what this statement did for me. Anyone who knows me, knows how passionate I am about pet loss, grief and by doing what’s right for the family. There isn’t a day that goes by that a pet parent’s loss and their grief is looked away from. I’m an advocate for pet parents who are facing the death of a pet or who have lost. I work hard every day to educate the community in understanding that “this hurts” and there isn’t a family that I haven’t worked with that hasn’t said to me “This hurts worse than when my parents or siblings died.”

It’s the elephant in the room. The situation no one wants to address.  It’s something that we will have to deal with, but no one wants to talk about.

  • When we don’t give families options…
  • When we don’t acknowledge their grief…
  • When we don’t let them honor their pet in death…
  • When we don’t let them memorialize…
  • When we put money before value…
  • When we don’t make time…
  • The biggest of them all when we don’t give them a voice…

We are looking the other way.

I made a vow to families I would be their voice in some way whether it was to educate, support or guide them what they don’t know. I also provide a family with a safe and peaceful place to mourn. I am doing right by my families and for their well being. I am proud, honored, and humbled to walk a family through their darkest hours.

With pets becoming more like children to pet owners, and not animals, the passing of a pet has become harder to deal with. And, while it makes everyone uncomfortable to talk about, it’s a traumatic part of life that can be made slightly more comforting, if the correct, compassionate steps are taken. Letting people grieve goes a long way in supporting the healing process.

If we must acknowledge life and love, we must also acknowledge death and grief.

Once In a While, Someone Comes Along...

Monday, 06 January 2014

angel hand resized - pawsn to angelsTouched By an Angel

The other night standing beside my vehicle filling up with gas, an elderly gentleman approaches and asked “What is Paws To Angels?” I proceed to share the Paws To Angels story with him, he asked “do your pets rest in caskets?” I said “yes they do.” With water filling his eyes, he said “Bless you for all you do.” I thanked him, he started to turn away and looked back and said “I just lost my wife of 47 years, this world is such a lonely and sad place. I miss her every day. I go to meetings at the funeral home and talk to others it helps, but it’s still so lonely.” We stood in the parking lot as I listened to his story of his wife and their lives together. He told me of a sanctuary area he created in his basement with her pictures from birth on up. “What a beautiful honor” I told him, he said “Yes it is, but I am really the one that was honored” Tears in his eyes he looked directly into my eyes and said “Good Luck to you and your business, your needed.” He started to walk away “Sir”, I said “I wish you much peace” He turned, softly spoke “Thank You” and walked away. Even though I didn´t know this man or his wife, I could feel his pain through his message. His heart had just been shattered.  My heart went out to him,..

The day that we lose our precious loves or our precious pets will forever be a day that is engrained in our hearts.  A day that we will always remember that a love was taken from us. A day that we know we have been forever changed because of the love that we shared and the life that was ours together. We will forever remember and miss our loves,... in their life we find love.  In their death, we hold onto memories and the warmth of their love from above.

As I watched this gentleman walk away, I somehow found comfort within myself, a sense of peace with the crazy day I had. Knowing I’m on the right path in why I do what I do with Paws To Angels, the families and pets I serve. Feeling as though I had just been touched by an angel and in some way I may have even touched his soul.

Words from Vocal Artists Alabama

But then a kind old man took my hand and led me home.
Mama couldn't see him, but he was standing there.
And i knew in my heart, he was the answer to my prayers.

Oh i believe there are angels among us.
Sent down to us from somewhere up above.
They come to you and me in our darkest hours.
To show us how to live, to teach us how to give.
To guide us with a light of love.

Listen with all your heart or hear a kind from word from a stranger…

You may never know when you’ll be touched by an angel…

Going on Two Years in Business

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Losing you seems just like yesterday...

It´s at this time Chadz Fryof year  that my heart is happy and heavy, both at the same time, as I remember my “journey” with Chadz. You see, it was 16 years ago on March 15, 1989, that my little Chadz came into this world.  And, it will be four years ago today, December 31, 2009, that she left her ´humanly´existence and went to the Bridge to wait. And, yet, all of that seems like just yesterday.
But, I can tell you that while my heart still becomes heavy on this very day-I still remember distinctly every bit of joy that she brought to me.  And, just like I´ve shared with many of you, we all know the outcome in this world, but we wouldn´t have changed one minute of happiness that we had with our babies.

As the singer, Garth Brooks, eloquently says in his song  The Dance,  

 "Our lives are better left to chance,
 I could have missed the pain
 But I´d of had to miss the dance.”

Thank you for our beautiful dance together, Chadz!

Thank you, for making me laugh. I remember how your little rear end used to shake back and forth when you´d get excited-and you´d wiggle!  Oh, how you´d wiggle with excitement! Especially when you´d see me, your Mommy! I laughed every time or how excited you’d get when it was time to go for ride, you couldn’t get to the door fast enough.

Thank you for all of the stories. Remember when Papa found you and Mollie four blocks away after I spent hours combing the neighborhood because you both snuck out the door when I was bringing in groceries!  I was a mess and you both still wanted treats!!! Thank you for helping me to know unconditional love. Oh, how empty hearts must be that don´t know that kind of love. Fur babies like you break hearts only one time. And, I knew that the day that it happened, it would change my life forever.
Thank you for showing me those souls that feel abandoned and helpless are souls that are special. They are souls that have so much to give to the world if someone would just allow them to do that. Souls that are like yours, and souls that are like mine.  We all need each other,…
Mollie, Emmie, Savanna and Paws the cat hear about you every day…  You will always be My Little Baby Girl.

And, one last thank you. For being my pet angel and for crawling into my heart – here at Paws To Angels. I gave mine to you years ago and I know that I was in yours.  Thank you, for helping me – help them.  You will forever be My Little Mama Bear.

Death is not the Enemy

Monday, 11 November 2013

Doll - pawstoangels I found this excerpt on my mentor’s website done by Joshua Loth Liebman.  It is so profound and touching - and really makes one think about life - and death - and another way to see these events.  Join me.  Walk with me.  Reflect with me on your life - and what your journey looks like.

"I often feel that death is not the enemy of life, but its friend; for it is the knowledge that our years are

limited which makes them so precious.  It is the truth that time is but lent to us which makes us, at our best, look upon our years as a trust handed into our temporary keeping.

We are like children privileged to spend a day in a great part, a park filled with many gardens, playgrounds, and azure-tinted lakes with white boats sailing upon the tranquil waves.

True, the day allotted to each of us is not the same in length, in light, in beauty.  Some children of earth are privileged to spend a long and sunlit day in the garden of the earth.  For others the day is shorter, cloudier, and dusk descends more quickly as in a winter´s tale.

But whether our life is a long summery day or a shorter wintry afternoon, we know that inevitably there are storms and squalls that overcast even the bluest heaven and there are sunlit rays that pierce the darkest autumn sky.  The day that we are privileged to spend in the great park of life is not the same for all human beings; but there is enough beauty, joy, and gaiety in the hours if we will but treasure them.

Then for each of us the moment comes when the great nurse, death, takes us by the hand and quietly says, “It is time to go home.  Night is coming.  It is your bedtime, child of earth.  Come, you are tired.  Lie down at last in the quiet nursery of nature and sleep.  Sleep well.  The day is gone.  Stars shine in the canopy of eternity.”

One Year Later...

Tuesday, 05 November 2013

Honoring Jack

Jack - BlogIt was October 14th 2012 when I received the call: I’ll never forget the sound of shock and grief on the phone the day I met Kathleen and Tom. But I’m glad that I remember that sound. It reminds me of the utter rawness that one goes through when we lose a special pet that is part of the family. The road that laid ahead for them was difficult, but one we managed to get through together. In early spring Kathleen reached out to me and said “I want to put in a garden for Jack, Can you help me with this?” Of course the ideas started flowing as we continued to share in Jack’s story over the months. We picked out a fountain for Jack’s playful yet peaceful soul, a memorial rock for strength, an angel because he watches from above, oh and yes, Jack loved the smell of flowers so of course these had to be there too. It wasn´t physically hard - but emotionally it was hard work. Bringing everything together was something that Kathleen and Tom did, I am so proud of them. Yes there were still tears but a lot of laughs too as Jack is still part of their everyday life.

One year later…. On the anniversary of Jack’s passing Kathleen and Tom unveiled “Jack’s Garden” I was both honored and humbled as the family asked me to lead a dedication ceremony. A dedication to honor the life, hope, and courage of Jack. Remembering past times, and the families relationship with Jack, now gone from us, I dedicated Jack’s Garden in his memory honoring the life of Jack as he continues to give to his family… as they tell and retell his story. The garden is a sign of remembrance, but it was dedicated as a sign of hope. Let its growth be a sign of Jack’s grace. This garden stands as a beautiful and lasting tribute and will stand as an eternal flame for Kathleen and Tom, a place of rest and reflection. A place where they can put all of those things that was significant in Jack’s life. A place where they can let the memories touch their hearts - a place where they can smile.Memorial Garden  Mohrs Blog

The focus of a one year anniversary is not a day to remember that Jack died, it was a day to honor that he lived and loved. Life does go on we find “new” normal’s in our everyday rituals, and the pain of our loss is lessened, But that's not to say we can't remember and pay tribute to a precious pet who was a tremendous part of our lives.

Kathleen and Tom, Thank You for giving me the opportunity to honor Jack’s story this past year and to catch a glimpse of the love that you and he shared. Thank You Jack for bringing your mommy and daddy and my life together. In life you touched their hearts and in death you touched mine.  It´s such an honor - to honor your story.

Halloween - It's Going to the Pets

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Halloween 2013

Seeing a pet wearing a cute costume is enough to put a smile on anyone's face, regardless of what kind of day you're having.

Halloween is one of my favorite Holidays. I love carving pumpkins, eating yummy goodies, and dressing up in fun and unique costumes. For many families it’s about the entire family, this means the pet family members too. A couple of weeks ago I took my little Savanna to the store to buy a costume for a pet costume party we would be attending and I have to admit “I never thought I would be picking out a Halloween costume for my fur kids” but in doing so it truly brought joy to my heart picking out a fun costume just for her. As I tried on several different costumes I found the perfect witches hat and sitting on floor with her I started laughing so hard it brought tears to my eyes, nothing but pure love for my soul. She starred me like “Mom really?”


No matter what you think about dressing pets in costumes, the fact is, Halloween is big business for pet costumes and you're contributing to the more than $300 million that will be spent during the holiday on costumes for animals. “That’s $70 million more than last year, and a whopping 40% increase compared to 2010,” according to The National Retail Federation. “Pets are the new kids,” Pet-costume trends tend to mirror those worn by people. It’s become a trend for people to dress the whole family in costumes, even the pets.” Given the emotional support, connection and happiness pets provide, it’s not surprising that people want to have fun with them, reward them, and honor them.Greta Nathan - pawstoangels


 What types of costumes should you dress your pet up in on Halloween? The choice is entirely up to you. Expect to see pets dressed as tacos, skunks, crayons, dinosaurs, chefs, princesses, leprechauns, flowers, and even as Gumby…. if you can imagine it, there’s a costume. Last year’s top-selling costumes were pumpkins, devils, and hot dogs. Your imagination is really the only thing holding you back when it comes to a Halloween costume for your pet. But sure to draw some compliments from trick-or-treaters .After all, how often do you get to see a dog wearing a Darth Vader costume or a cat dressed up as Little Orphan Annie?

My children have four paws and a tail. Despite the differences between my four-legged children and other parent's two-legged ones, my babies help me feel content with the family I have. They give me a lot of joy and love, and drive me crazy enough to make me feel like a real mom. And to them, that's exactly what I am.

Laughter through Tears

Monday, 23 September 2013

Even in our darkest hour we find the joy our pets bring to our lives…


Honoring Midnite

It was late when I got the call; a family needed my help and support. I arrived at the clinic and quietly walked into the room where the family stood surrounding their precious furbaby, Midnite, a black pekapoo that passed at home in his mother’s Trisha’s arms. Clearly distraught and in grief, the first thing Trisha says to me is “I have a story to share” She goes on to tell me about Midnite and all the quirky things he did in life, with each little story she told; the tears turned to laughter, story after story; she, her children, and I laughed. It became such a joyous event honoring Midnite…

 If you are seeking permission to smile and laugh again, then think of it as a path to healing.  Perhaps you get onto that road by remembering funny stories about your loved pet.  Look at old photos or home movies and recall the happy times spent with them.  There is a place for every emotion when grieving. Laughter, anger, guilt, joy, tears and bitterness are all appropriate emotions. It is important to identify what you are feeling. Just as each of us experiences grief differently, so too do we approach humor and laughter individually.  What place it holds on your healing journey is a personal decision based upon your comfort zone. By understanding the healing benefits of the sound of laughter, you can begin to realize why this is such an important emotion.

The family chose to embrace their grief. Embrace their joy. Embrace their laughter they found within both. Midnite gave her family a precious treat: the ability to look at the present moment with joy in their hearts. When you think about it, isn't that what we all need?  Life isn't about the long term; it's about loving each day as if comes, finding the bright spots and steering your course towards them. It's also about laughter through tears. If we can't laugh during our times of trial, then we won't see the miracles that are right in front of us...even if those miracles are created by a dog.. . A dog that shaped this families life into perfect circles of love.

Again, as with each family that I companion my heart was so warm with love and honor for this wonderful little dog.

We had an emotional time together.  There were tears.  There was laughter.  And, as we like to do in our grief journey, we took the important time to truly back up and say “hello” on our way to saying “good-bye” in remembering and honoring Midnight.

Accept the laughter through your tears…there is a reason for such a priceless balance.

Due Diligence

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

What is Due Diligence? Do you exercise your rights and take the extra steps to ensure a private cremation?

greenfieldI remember when my furbaby Ginger passed away back in 1998 when private cremations were the new way of doing things, back when there were no definitions on what constituted “private” and words were often interchanged like the word “individual” cremation were sold to the public and veterinarians offices; what we assumed were private in nature may have been a cremation where pet’s were cremated together separated by air or even bricks and commingling was high. Through the years and yet I still ask myself “is that really Ginger in that urn?” Even when Chadz died in 2009 I tried to educate myself on her death care but I didn’t know exactly what to ask and who to turn too, there were no resources available. Even though I would like to believe things had changed over the years and more companies operated ethically I still ask the same question.  As a Pet Loss Professional and changing the way the death care process is handled I can assure the families that I work with that they are in fact receiving truly only their pet’s remains back through Due Diligence.

You may be asking what is Due Diligence. "Due Diligence" is a term used involving either an investigation of a business or person prior to signing a contract, or an act with a certain standard of care. A common example of due diligence in various industries is the process through which a potential acquirer evaluates a target company of current practices of process and policies.

In today’s world of pet cremation; Pet Parents are demanding more and are tired of the days of TRUST, they want guaranteed only the remains of their pet back when choosing private cremation. So I ask you are you prepared to ask questions, educate yourself if you are leaving YOUR responsibility of your pet’s final arrangements to someone else?

Ask these questions of your veterinarian also, the clinic selling this option to you should be prepared to answer the following questions:

  • How are you caring for my pet’s body? Can I take a look at those pets in your care to be assured dignity?
  • What are my options in cremation?
  • What is the cremation process for each option?
  • What kind of working relationship do you have with your crematorium or do they just work through you?
  • How can you guarantee a private cremation?
  • What procedures do you have to ensure accuracy? Tracking procedure and Id Verification and the crematoriums procedures?
  • Is there a truck route that is picking up my pet? How often? How many stops are made before returning to the crematorium?
  • What is the time frame until my pet is returned?
  • How often do you visit the crematorium(s) that work through you?
  • Do you do Due Diligence? How often? What are you looking for? Who is doing them?
  • Ask to see their reports of Due Diligence and log book
  • When choosing Communal Cremation find out the disposition of those remains: Waste, Landfill, land that can be torn up, sold, or built upon, rendering plant, or interred with respect & dignity in an area where they will rest in peace for eternity.

Do not do “visits” to a crematory. Don’t call your crematory say, “I’m coming over at 10 a.m. don’t do that; that’s a visit. Do spot inspections. Don’t call; just show up and say, “I want to see what you’re doing. Lift up the retort door. I understand you’re cremating one pet at a time; I want to see what’s in there.”

As a Pet Loss Professional myself I know the importance of these questions, if the answers are not up to your expectations, continue on or if you choose to leave your pet with your vet ask them to refer you to a Pet Loss Center, Memorial Center, or Pet Funeral Home who have put standards in place to ensure Due Diligence is being handled in the highest regard who operate Ethically and Professionally and your pet’s body care is handled with Respect and Dignity.

I continue to educate the Veterinarians and their teams on the importance of who is working through them. We want Veterinarians to understand the importance of handling that final journey in a way that’s good for the family and also good for the veterinary clinic.

The crematoriums that have put this process is place should really have a third party or the clinics that use them doing due diligence, this should not be done within the company, or by a friend. Pet Loss Professionals are in about every state now and are willing to work with the crematoriums to provide these inspections and reports.

When it comes to cost of a private cremation you can certainly ask but, for me and my precious pet children I would rather know that I can be guaranteed respect and dignity throughout the entire death care process versus the cost.  Because, after all, that is what is most important isn’t it?

National Pet Memorial Day - Remember Them

Friday, 06 September 2013

rainbowHonor the story of your pets on National Pet Memorial Day

Today - I remember them. Those special pets that have died and have touched my soul forever. With their unconditional love and their forever-life lessons, I will always remember those pets I grew up with as well as Chadz and Trust. They have touched my life forever and have shaped a lifelong mission.

How are you honoring the lives that have touched you? Those pets who you will always remember and are now waiting on you at the Rainbow Bridge,...
Honor them. Honor you. Pay tribute to those pets who´ve died and touched you.

You will continue to travel on your grief journey - knowing forever your heart will be changed.

Remember them.

The Spirit of a Pet´s Love

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The Thread that Weaves the Stories

Othespiritofapetsloveur pets create such a spirit of forever love in our hearts that it amazes me every time I think about it. It does not matter if the pet is living or deceased, the discussion of this love will reach deep down into a person´s heart and bring about such a rainbow of colorful emotions to re-call this love - or to relay it in a present tense.

For those of us whose lives have seen that special pet - the one that is deemed “my heart” - come and go, these pets come to us in a variety of different ways. It might be the first born for a couple, the first pet as an adult, the pet that was there during a rough time - or to see the happy times - whatever it may be, there seems to be the one that absolutely stole a heart. The one that even years later will find that tear-faucet to turn on - and still evoke such emotion over the love - and the love lost - that it feels like it was just yesterday and they were still here. Yesterday that we felt their furry love, held their trusting heads in our hands, and gave our hearts to them to hold. To hold forever.

Nevertheless, time marches on - and life continues to unfold. And, while the events of the day, week, month and year continue to add to the colorful quilts of our lives, the love that we had, the love that we lost, will forever be a part of the thread that weaves these stories together. In addition, it is a quilt that I, personally, am proud to say that “my heart,” my special little girl, Chadz, truly lent the color to this part of the masterpiece of my life.

Your Rights as a Pet Parent

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

You have been the caretaker for your pet in life,... do what´s right for you, for your family and for your pet when they die.

Let´s have a heart-to-heart talk, My Friends,...  I, like you, have the utmost respect for my veterinarian in the care that they give to my pets.  We have formed an incredible bond and I know that my Doctor does what is best for my pets and for me.

But, Friends - it IS NOT up to your veterinarian to make those calls for us as Pet Parents when our pets die.  A veterinarian is there for health care - not as our pet funeral director.  Again, I respect my vet and their guidance,... however, it is MY call as to what happens to my pet´s body when they die.  Just like it´s YOUR call as to what´s right for you and your pet when they die.  NO veterinarian should TELL you what to do, or that they will handle it for you - YOU make the call!

It´s also our chosen right to understand what will happen next if the vet clinic is taking care of the final arrangements.  For many cremation companies that work directly with veterinary hospitals, deceased pets will be placed into plastic bags, put into freezers, being picked up at these clinics on a truck route.  If this is not what you want to have happen to your pet, find a pet funeral organization that will pick your pet up immediately, treating the body with dignity and respect.

Now, with that means that you need to educate yourself on what your options are.  And, doing this prior to the death of your pet will relieve much anxiety and give you and your veterinarian the peace of mind in knowing that what you are doing is the best for you, your family and your pet.
So, my plea to you - as a responsible and caring pet parent who does what´s right for your pet in life, do the same for them in death.  They deserve it.  You deserve it.

Memorialization Items for Support & Rememberance

Tuesday, 02 July 2013


Giving my families various options for memorialization items - they truly want choices!

Wriver-rock-paws-to-angelsCan you tell what Conan loved?hen it comes to honoring a beloved deceased pet, more times than not families "don´t know what they don´t know."  It´s my responsibility as a pet loss professional to have these items available and to guide our families in what their options are to pay tribute to their pet.  There are so few outlets to see items such as cremation jewelry, personalized art pieces and unique urns that families will come to our pet loss operation to become familiar with what they can do to remember and honor their pet.

Birthday Wishes

Saturday, 15 June 2013


Remembering and Honoring

Many times we start to feel anxious and unnerved for the week leading up to birthdays.

It strikes Paula as ironic. The day is still called Felon’s birthday, even though he is gone. A day that for most people celebrate a new year of life, to Paula it was another reminder of Felon’s death.

She wanted to celebrate with him, – it was a step forward.

She asked could I actually consider myself a sane person if I spent the day having a birthday party for my deceased pet? What would my friends and family think? Did it really matter? It’s strange the things a person thinks of when facing the question of whether to celebrate a deceased pet’s birthday or not.

Paula would honor him and their life together in the way she wanted.

Paulas-memorial-1-paws-to-angelsHappy Birthday Felon "Puppy" Honoring YouPaula started the day with a Balloon Release and placement of his new Memorial Stone in the garden. She invited family and friends and had a small service to celebrate Felon’s life in which I was honored to lead the service. Paula and her mother spent the rest of the day working out in the yard like they used too when Felon was alive. He would bask in the sun and watch them work. That night she made his favorite dinner and a cake. Paula and her mom later pulled out the photo album spent time going through every picture sharing in laughs and tears. As she crawled in bed that night she reflected on the day. With a little whisper she knew he would hear “I Love and Miss you Puppy, Happy Birthday.” When the day was over, she was filled with peace. I knew that I needed to continue to honor him in this way, and that finding joy in celebrating his memory is exactly what he would want me to do.

In the years to come, Felon’s birthday will become an entirely new milestone. Rather than being one of the “hard days,” it can be a day to look forward too. Birthday’s can become an opportunity to share memories with people in your life who never got to know your pet, as well as those who did.

It's not really that people "celebrate"... as it is that they are remembering and honoring.

Paula’s choice to celebrate Felon’s birthday has been a real progression of changes as I know it is for all bereaved pet parents. Like many pet parents in early grief, the first birthday is always the hardest. Year by year behaviors change with grief. As the view of Paula’s grief changes to facing Felon’s death from the perspective of missing him to (he’s only left his physical life and now lives his true essence of spirit) the pain of acknowledging each birthday will be progressively lessened. Over the years his birthday will take on a different meaning due to ongoing multiple steps of acceptance. That acceptance takes different forms as years pass but the results can be worth it. Acceptance gradually became gratitude.

Yes, our pets may have left yesterday or years ago but on one hand, they are still the pets who made us laugh and gave us a lifetime of memories and love. On the other hand, our pets are now an awesome spirit who still teaches us to learn some major life lessons. Be grateful for those lessons. Sure, your birthday wish would be to have a few minutes to see them with physical eyes but this missing helps create the trust and faith one must develop and two of the gifts of grief that one can gain through grieving. Be grateful that you had those years with them. Yes, the years will never seem enough, but they were what we had and that’s what you celebrate and honor today.


Saturday, 01 June 2013


Pet Parents want the opportunity to say good-bye,...

As a grieving pet parent, we WANT that opportunity to say good-bye to our precious deceased pet.  But, I digress - do I truly WANT that?  No, because what I really want is to have my pet back. But, do I now NEED this opportunity to just not have my pet taken away from me - and give me one more time to be with my precious pet?  One more time to say all of those "I love you´s" and to kiss that beautiful head?  One more time to relieve all of those special times that we spent together?  One more time to relieve that day you came home to live?  YES!

I know - a pet parent wants to have this opportunity to "do one more thing" for my beloved pet.

As a pet loss professional, it´s imperative that I am willing and capable of guiding a pet parent in what their options are to honor and pay tribute to their deceased pet.  And, while I may be met with resistance, I know it´s resistance in the fact that you still want your pet here - and to do what is being recommended to you is the LAST thing that you want to do.
However, this very well may be the BEST thing that I can do for you.  For you, the grieving heart who "doesn´t know what you don´t know" needs someone to guide you - to walk with you.  With all of the thousands of families that I have worked with - seeing their pet "one more time" has clearly been deemed the "best thing that I could´ve done."

I am giving my families that opportunity?  They do want it, trust me.

"Anthropomorphism",... are we guilty?

Friday, 17 May 2013


Is this you? I know it's me!

I learned a new word this week - "anthropomorphism" - attributing human characteristics to animals.  Well, yes, that´s me!  And, I´m proud of it.  However, while some people think that this is nuts - I´m wondering if the animals are insulted by it,...

After all, isn´t it the animals who are the unselfish ones?  The ones who know only giving and unconditional love?  The ones who´s mere happiness depends on us - and making us happy?  Aren´t they the ones who never say a harsh word?  Who never show hate?  Who never intentionally hurt others?  Yes, I´m guessing that they are incredibly insulted.

In fact - I would love to know the word that attributes animal’s characteristics to humans.  A world where man could show only love - not hate.  A world where there was no abuse.  A world where everyone existed together, as a part of a pack that only knows how to take care of each other. Yes, I think that I would rather have those attributes and be labeled with that word.  The attributes of only good and love.  Count me in.

Easter, Questions of Faith, & A Grieving Heart

Friday, 29 March 2013


How do I make it through the day?

The spring holidays, in particular, are family-focused and symbolically centered on rebirth, renewal and growth. This is a time, "When the whole world is waking up from winter- and all those spring cliches"

If I’ve heard the question once I’ve heard it a thousand times – “Do pets go to heaven?” With the exception of a few families that I’ve worked with, this question burns in everyone’s mind. I find it interesting that when we lose a human loved one, spiritual people focus on how good the person was and think that it’s natural for the person to reign in heaven. However, when a pet dies, so many people have an opinion on this topic, to the point of literally hurting a bereaved heart.

I believe it helps a grieving heart to believe in the mystery. A person’s faith allows them to believe in what they want to believe. Therefore if I say that I believe pets go to heaven, my feelings should be respected, and likewise, other grieving pet parents who believe their pets are reborn or don’t believe at all should have their feelings respected too.

The point is I respect the grieving heart no matter their beliefs. I ask everyone to “Let us believe what we want to believe!” I just want to believe in the mystery. Because when it’s all over, how will you really know if I was right or if I was wrong?

Grief During the Easter Season

When you're grieving, it can be difficult to get on board: for you, this may be a season in which you're feeling burdened by the pain of your loss. And that can be compounded when you're surrounded by others who are filled with the energy associated with this time of year.

Here are four tips that may help you cope with grief during the holidays. Please remember that there is no one right way to approach the holidays. The best course is to do what feels right to you.

  • Give yourself permission to do something different this year. Ask yourself what will evoke the true spirit of the holidays rather than thinking that you “should” do things exactly the same as in years past.
  • Be gentle with yourself. Try not to overwhelm yourself with too many obligations during the holidays. This year, you may not have the energy you once had to meet all the demands of the holiday season: to prepare food, to mail cards, to hang decorations, to attend religious services, to plan travel.
  • Tell friends and family what you need. They will not know how to best support you unless you tell them. If you want to talk about your loved one, let your family know that they can bring up his or her name in your presence. If you find you prefer to be alone, let them know that you would prefer that they respect your need for solitude.
  • Express your emotions. It can be tempting to try to ignore your grief so as not to upset others during this festive time. While you may wish to banish sadness during the holidays, suppression of grief is not the most helpful coping strategy. Attend a grief support group such It can be comforting to share your story with others who are also grieving and learn how they are getting through this painful time.

Honor Them This Easter Holiday Season. Whether it is a donation of time or money, creating a memorial, or baking a favorite treat, you can be creative in the way you choose to honor your loved one.

  • Color Easter eggs for them, use their nicknames or those moments that can be summed up in one word and write it on the egg, tell their story! so when you look at the basket you’ve made in honor of them you can find comfort in those memories
  • Decorate their picture frames in honor of the holiday or your beliefs
  • Decorate their bones, put their toys in your baskets you have sitting around your home
  • Plant spring flowers in memory of them
  • Create a tribute table
  • This is a good time to bring in family rituals

At this time of year - hold the memories close of those that are waiting at the Bridge,... It's at this time that I not only give thanks for those that shower me with their unconditional love - but I also fondly remember the days gone past - and the loves that I have lost. A peaceful and beautiful Easter season is my wish for you...

Another Birthday Passed & Celebrated

Friday, 15 March 2013


Another Birthday Passed & Celebrated,..

While she died three years ago, I still remember her birthday like it was yesterday.

The start of a lifetime of love!

March 15th.  A day that I will forever remember as "Chadz’s and Mollie’s Birthday."   As this day rolls around every year, it is bittersweet for me. It’s a bitter reminder that Chadz has passed on, and sweet that Mollie is celebrating her 15th birthday this year. This is the day they were born, new lives began. I met them on Mother’s Day 1998, I had to pick them out quickly because my mom and my sister were waiting for their Mother’s Day gift.  What else was more appropriate then give them this new love of a puppy for their life chapters. So, I picked out Chadz and Mollie and our journey began!
Now, some many years later - I still celebrate the beginning of "their" journey that we would embark upon together.  The journey not only during their lifetime but what they have meant in the mission of my lifetime work.  But, all in all, it was what I learned from them,..

  • I learned not to be afraid - everything needed to be "sniffed" out before a judgment could be made
  • To stop   and smell the grass – enjoy the little things in life and treasure the moments.
  • Life is an adventure - let´s pack a bag and go enjoy it.
  • People are good - even though they start out as strangers it´s only a matter of time before love blooms.
  • And, most importantly, unconditional love and forgiveness.

Today, Chadz and Mollie - I celebrate you.  I celebrate the lives that we shared together.  I celebrate the lives that changed mine.  Forever.
Happy Birthday, Baby Girls.

Gifts of Hope for Healing Hearts

Tuesday, 26 February 2013


Know someone suffering from pet loss?

For me finding a gift for a friend or family member that suffered the loss of a pet was almost impossible. I remember going store to store trying to find that perfect something, it seemed everywhere that I went I found gifts and ideas for the living pet, but never anything that said “I’m thinking about you during this difficult time” So when I made a vow to open Paws To Angels this was an area that I definitely planned on filling the void. People again just don’t know where to turn for these sorts of things. For many words of sympathy do not come easily and comforting sympathy gifts are difficult to find. With this in mind, I have carefully selected or custom designed a meaningful collection of sympathy gifts and cards, bereavement and condolence gift ideas with the hope of bringing comfort and remembrance to those who are grieving.

Even though the sympathy gifts themselves may fade away in time, the memory of them will live on and your loved one or friend who experienced the loss will always remember your kindness. When you give a thoughtful gift you show how much that person's grief means to you and that you sympathize with what they are currently going through. Showing that you care during this time of grief can make a huge difference for someone who is grieving. For a short period of time you can take them away from the sadness.

Come, let me walk you through this journey and help you in helping them.

Hatshepsut Ruler of Egypt Meet Your Namesake

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Honoring Hattie with Love and Remembrance

"Hattie", Queen & Ruler who made her mark in her momma's heart My heart broke when I got the phone call from Kirsten, “it was time”.  Even though I hadn’t met Hattie, I could feel her pain. In part of honoring Hattie’s life, Kirsten shared Hattie’s life with me, with a heartfelt story Kirsten was paying tribute… honoring… 
The time that I spent with Kirsten in remembering the life she shared with Hattie was priceless!

The love.  The memories.  

The stories.  The lessons.  

Holding you close, Kirsten.  And, honoring Hattie and what she meant in your world.

Rest in Peace, Hattie.  Rest in peace.

Hattie's Legacy

People have asked me how I got the name of Hattie.  My “thing” was in ancient Egyptian history and culture.  I had thought of “cool” names for cats before, Wadjet, Senkmet, Bast, Cleopatra and so on.  Hattie may have lucked out because I had just recently seen a documentary on the female Egyptian Pharaoh, Hatsheput.  If you aren’t familiar with Hatsheput, she was a ruler that sought to make her mark on Egypt.  She declared herself ordained by the gods to rule as Pharaoh.  She wore the garb of the male Pharaohs to drive this home.  She was a woman who knew what she wanted and went after it.  She also made great strides in terms of leading Egypt.

In the summer of 1998, I was beginning a new.  I saw this tiny little one who looked at me, stretched, and walked up like she owned the world.  I picked her up and with one hand, cradled her against my chest.  As she fell asleep next to my heart, I knew I had been adopted.  I started back to my new home with a new love. I don’t know if she realized it, but she was my saving grace and my angel.  After failing so hard at life, my depression was at its worst. She managed to show up and give me a new shot at life. This little orange fluff of a kitten that had come into my life got her name from this great woman. The way she walked around my place with such certainty, how she showed no fear towards visitors, how she declared things as “hers” I didn’t doubt for a minute that I had named her correctly.

She was a holy terror at times. While she was my shadow and my snuggle bug, she viewed others with disdain and contempt.  While many who got to know her eventually saw her loving side, she was known as my feisty companion.

To me, Hattie was a laid back lover.  Where ever I went, she went.  Any time I was on the couch, she was there being my parrot.  She’d lay on the back of the couch draped over my shoulder. Or she’d lay on the arm rest with her head up against my arm.  If I got up, she’d double check to see if I’d be back soon, otherwise she would be there seeing what I was doing. There are so many times over the past 14 some years that I had to rescue her from places (behind the couch, inside cupboards/the dishwasher, the covers on the bed) because she just HAD to know what I was doing and ended up there.

The wonderful thing about Hattie was she taught me a lot.  To judge a person by how they treat animals.  I only had to introduce a potential date to her and if they or her reacted badly, I knew right then and there things weren’t going to last. Out of all the people I have dated, my husband is the only one she fell truly in love with and treated like she treated me. She also showed me what it meant to be loved regardless of what was going on in real life.  If I’d come home in the blackest of moods. She would curl up on my lap/chest and just love on me or follow me around, almost like she was making sure to protect me.

In times of sadness and hopelessness Hattie stuck by me and saved me, this is why she was and always will be my little angel. During her time of failing health and upon her passing I needed to make sure her send-off was one fitting of the Queen she was. I know that she would have approved and given us all the royal snub love she was known for.

I will never forget my Hattie cat and her influence on my life. She brought me joy, love, compassion and finally understanding of what it means to love someone so. I love you Hattie!  You are my queen and my angel. I will never forget you and will love you the rest of my days. Enjoy your sunbeam and if there is an afterlife, I hope we see each other again.

All My Love,


Honoring a Friend | Remembering Sophie

Thursday, 31 January 2013

It was early Sophiamorning on the 29th of January, I received a call from a friend and former colleague, her voice laced with sadness and grief that her precious little Sophie passed sometime during the night. A young 8 year old King Charles Cavalier. Sophie was such a beautiful precious girl with white and red hair dawning her body and big eyes that spoke so much. Deb, heartbroken, asked me to care for Sophie and her cremation.                                                                         Honored with such a request I did just that.

Deb from my heart to yours: “My heart breaks for you and the emptiness that now resides at your home.  That emptiness that all of us who have endured the loss of a beloved little pet can immediately feel when we hear of others enduring this pain.  The "Presence of the Absence" that is so profound,...  Thoughts of peace to you as your grief journey has just begun,... . While the pain at times will seem unbearable, the only way you could have avoided this overwhelming grief, this journey, this pain was not to have had the love of your beautiful Sophie in your life. For you see, love and grief are equal.

The unconditional love, the memories and the joy this beautiful creature brought to your life are worthy of every tear. 

I will be here to help you and to companion with you as you continue in your process of this time that will forever change your being. As Sophie had journeyed to the Rainbow Bridge – I will always be here to journey with you through the dark.”

Creating Memories

Thursday, 24 January 2013

What to do today to create memories for tomorrow

ChadzChadz giving the look of "Please MommyToday´s technology makes it so much easier to secure "memories!"  As I look back on the life that I shared with Chadz - I am so grateful for the photos!  But, I miss the fact that I did not have an imprint of her little nose.  Did you know that an animal´s nose print is like our thumb print?  All noses are unique and depict the individuality of each pet!  Gosh, how many times did that cold little nose nudge me - to be held, to be petted, to be comforted,....  And, how about a video?  One that not only shows your pet in action but one where you can catch that darling little bark?  Or that persistent little meow!  Or the fact that when Chadz was feisty and wanted something, and certainly to get my attention, the whimpers of excitement!  Every time - without fail!

Yes, in her death, I am thankful that I have the memories.  And, three years later, I can close my eyes and still hear those precious little whimpers.  But to have had those recorded forever and ever, oh my,...

Yes, Mollie, Emmie, Savanna, Paws and Trust - that is exactly why Mommy follows you everywhere, recording all that I can!  I will have THAT forever,..

How Do I know I’m Really Trusting My Grieving Heart Into the Right Hands?

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Knowing a True Professional

When facing the loss of a pholding-hands-paws-to-angelset or are grieving the loss; knowing who is a true professional is tough in this ever changing world of pet loss.

My name is Cherie Fry I am the Owner / Founder of Paws To Angels Pet Loss Center. I am a Certified Pet Loss Grief Companion. I am the only professional in the state of NE that has been formally educated and has experience in working with the grieving heart in pet loss.

What defines a Pet Loss Grief Companion and Grief Support Professional?

I am educated in all aspects of grief, companioning, anticipatory grief, how to help the elderly, children and pets in their grief journey, ethics, and grief management. My educational curriculum that I studied promotes the highest standards for the final death care of a grieving family. "A professional is a person who, by education, training, and experience, performs work, and promotes ethics associated with a particular field of study."

Being professional means being an expert. It means being competent and skillful, Being professional means being dedicated to your professional development both for yourself and for those people who are affected by your work. It is about being trustworthy, reliable and committed.

• Professional learns every aspect of the job. An amateur skips the learning process whenever possible.

• A professional carefully discovers what is needed and wanted. An amateur assumes what others need and want.

Use caution when you see a company or people promoting themselves in Pet Loss Grief Support. Today people use advertising and marketing words to promote their services when in fact they have had no training at all. I know when turning to a Doctor of Veterinary medicine, I turn to them because they have the proper education, I wouldn’t entrust my pet family with someone who says they offer veterinary medicine, but has never had any formal training.  Why would I entrust my grieving heart with someone who thinks they can guide me? These are my feelings, my emotions and I would not want someone to take advantage of what I hold so personal.

Educate yourself, ask questions about formal training, you deserve to know.

Chadz's Story

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

It was New Year’s Evechadz-edit-matted 2009.  It had been a long 6 months for my little Chihuahua-Pekinese mix, my little baby girl, Chadz.  The ugliness of the spleen and liver cancer had taken its toll on her little body - and was eating away at her very existence.  Nevertheless, in true form to her feistiness and spirit - she held onto that fight until the very last minute...

As she lay there in my arms, watching my fiancé with eyes of desperation she took her last breaths and the light slowly left her eyes. I was taken back to the day that I picked her and her sister Mollie out of a litter of puppies for Mother’s Day gifts for Sister Marian and my Mother. I remember the joy that these two brought to their hearts immediately. Names were picked out right away. Chadz (pronounced Shades) was named because of the prominent sunglass look that she wore around her eyes. Mollie, well she just looked like a Mollie so said my mother.  The next couple of months Chadz spent in the hospital with her new pet parent. There in the hospital Marian and Chadz grew to have a special bond that only a pet parent and pet would share. Chadz instantly won the hearts of all the nurses. Two months had gone by and my sister passed away from an illness that plagued her body for years.  I made a decision at that time that Chadz would come live with me. She was the last gift that I gave to me sister and I knew how happy my sister was with Chadz. A few months later my mother going through her own grief and health issues just could not care for Mollie so my immediate family grew again. I knew these two baby girls needed each other and I wanted them to stay together.

It was not long and these two wonderful puppies had stolen my heart, and became “My Girls.” Their amazement with all the wondrous things life had to offer and the lessons that we learned from each other on a daily basis will live with me always. They both took hold of life, learning and growing every day. Met many people and Chadz won every heart of every person she met. She was “everybody’s favorite” fur baby. She loved shopping, eating, but most of all her greatest comfort was curling up on my chest and laying her little head just below my chin.

Life was so exciting with her - and for her.  She loved everything - and everyone.  We understood each other and spoke to each other from our hearts.  I was in hers and she was in mine..

“I Love You Chadz”

In a minute - I'm back in that euthanasia room.  The doctor had injected the final shot; I was to say “good-bye” to her.  How do you sum up 11 years in just a few minutes before those last breaths are taken?

How do I tell her what she's meant to me?
How do I thank her for what she's done for me?
How do I let her know that I will ALWAYS love her - with all of my heart - the heart that she's stolen?

And, in a minute - it was over.  My precious little girl was gone. All that she was to me and what remained of my sister.
With that, we had to move forward with the final arrangements for her precious little body.  Unfortunately - the options presented to me were not of the caliber that I wanted for my special little girl.  Now, not only was I having to deal with the death of my “baby” but I was being put in a position to hear of death care options that were so disrespectful and lacking dignity that I thought my heart would break into a million pieces.  She deserved so much more in this area of finality.  Not to be treated like an animal - but like the special little family member that she was.

Reluctantly, I finally moved forward with her final arrangements. Arrangements that lacked what she deserved.  It was then that I made a vow to Mollie and to Pet Parents : “That no Pet Parent like me would be caught in such turmoil with their beloved little furry kids.”

Chadz, my vow to you is this.  As Founder of Paws To Angels Pet Loss Center, I will be here in a variety of ways to educate, guide and journey with people through this wilderness of pet death care and grief.  I will make sure that it is a journey of companioning for those that need it - and a journey of wonderment for those that are searching.  Yes, Chadz - those seemed to be the lessons that we learned together that would be passed on.

And, one last thank you.  For being my pet angel and for crawling into my heart.  I gave mine to you years ago and I know that I was in yours.  Thank you, for helping me - help them.  You will forever be My Little Baby Girl, My Mama Bear.

Press Release - Cherie Fry Recieves National Certification

Monday, 17 December 2012

December 17, 2012

Nebraska's First and Only Pet Loss Professional,

Cherie Fry Receives Certification

Cherie Fry, OwPLPA member logoner/Founder, of Paws To Angels, Pet Loss Center & Services has completed the PLPA College and the requirements as Certified Pet Loss Professional, a management educational program presented by the Pet Loss Professionals Alliance.

The PLPA Certification, included training on topics such as ethics, grief management and customer service. The curriculum promotes the highest standards for the final death care of a pet and is a requirement for achieving the designation of Certified Pet Loss Professional.

"The knowledge gained from this program will enable me to better serve pet parents who want to have their pet treated with the same dignity and respect as humans receive with their death care,” said Cherie Fry, “It’s of the utmost importance that pet parents know that we don’t take the faith and trust they place with us for granted.”

Founded in 2009, the PLPA is dedicated to providing education and opportunities for professional growth for providers of pet-related death care services. It is a committee of the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA).

If you would like further information about Paws To Angels, please contact Cherie at: (402) 507-0585 or visit their website at

Pets Are Family Too

Wednesday, 22 August 2012


When they die, they deserve all the care and respect you gave them in life.

Our family has always had pets and I truly consider myself a pet parent. Much like you, I don’t like to think about life without them. However, when they do die, I want to make sure that they are treated with Love, Respect, and Dignity. I wasn’t all that long ago that I lost my beloved little dog Chadz, very little care was given to her body and to my family. I made a commitment and still standing by my commitment to change that.

The options back then were limited, and the options you may be given today are limited by who your vet chooses to give you as options - Paws To Angels will be here for you, your family, and your special pet, providing all of the guidance that you will need during this very emotional time.

Contact us for more information or go to our website to request our FREE Guide To Planning Ahead.