A Time of Thanks Forever and Ever and Ever

November 4, 2014

And God asked the feline spirit

Are you ready to come home?

Oh, yes, quite so, replied the precious soul

And, as a cat, you know I am most able.

Are you coming then?  Asked God.

Soon, replied the whiskered angel

But I must come slowly

For my human friends are troubled

For you see, they need me quite certainly.

But don’t they understand? Asked God

That you’ll never leave them?

That your souls are intertwined. For all eternity?

That nothing is created or destroyed?

It just is….forever and ever and ever.

Eventually they will understand,

Replied the glorious cat

For I will whisper into their hearts

That I am always with them

I just am….forever and ever and ever.Stanley in plant6

Pet Memorial Day – September 14, 2014

September 26, 2014

Waterfall IMG_1723

It was a beautiful day with blue skies and a gentle breeze caressing our faces.  There were so many folks in attendance; we brought out extra chairs for those who wanted to sit during the ceremony and blessing of the animals.  We thank our many friends who were able to attend and for those who could not be there, we were with you in Spirit and Prayer.  Although, National Pet Memorial Day was held at Rolling Acres Memorial Gardens and other special events across the country on September 14, 2014, we can memorialize our pets any day of the year.  Creating a special memorial for your pet can be as simple or elaborate as you desire.  It is personal preference and what ever is meaningful to you.  Included are a few suggestions, should you desire to create your own personalized memorial for your beloved pet.  Anything you decide to do should meet your special need to express your sorrow over your loss and share your feelings while paying a tribute to the special bond you share with your pet.

If you like to write, create a special poem or story about your pet. It can be in the form of an article, song, letter, obituary or eulogy sharing your feelings about saying goodbye to your special pet.

Share verbal stories and let others know it is okay to talk about their feelings about your pet.  It is better to keep the memories alive rather than act as though nothing has changed.

Place a small clipping of fur, feather, or teeth in a small container or locket.

If your pet had a special skill or competed in events, create a memory book, shadow box, or make a wall hanging from the ribbons.  Some people make quilts or pillows from the ribbon fabric from the pet’s winning competitions.

Decorate a candle or candle holder and light it in memory of your beloved pet.

Write his or her name on a balloon and release the balloon.

Donate a  book to the a local library in honor of your pet.  Please the pet’s name on the bookplate inside the front cover of the book.

Children need to express their grief also.  Create an art corner where they can draw pictures, write stories, or just talk about their memories of their pet.

Have a professional artist create a painting of your pet from a favorite photo.

Have items imprinted (watch, mug, notepads, t-shirt, etc.) with your pet’s photo.

Purchase a stuffed animal or statue that resembles your pet and put your pet’s collar around its neck.

There are many ways to memorialize your pet.  Check out these webpages for more ideas.

http://www.visitrollingacres.com

http://www.lovinghearts.com

http://www.pet-loss.net

http://www.dogtime.com

http://www.vetstreet.com

Caring for the Homeless and Their Pets – Need Food Now

July 25, 2014

Rich

What could be more unfortunate than for someone to lose everything, but their beloved pet, and find themselves in need of help to keep their companion animal, often the only family they have left?  Pets provide comfort and companionship to the homeless.  Many homeless situations are temporary and the family is in need of help in the short-term in order to keep their pet(s).

Rolling Acres Memorial Gardens is proud to support the Uplift Organization where their main goal is to assist the homeless, including their pets.  Rolling Acres Memorial Gardens for Pets seeks donations of pet food, toys, leashes, collars, blankets, towels and pet beds.  If your pet has outgrown a collar or leash, has a diet change and you have an open bag of pet food you won’t use, or one your pet doesn’t like; just tape up the open bag and bring it to Rolling Acres.  Your donations will be distributed to the homeless in the community.

Our volunteer coordinator from Uplift Organization says their shelves are overflowing in December.  She wishes people would recognize the need throughout the year, especially during the months of June, July and August as the need is just as great in the summer as it is in December.  The shelves are currently almost bare.  We need food NOW !!!!

In September 2001, Rolling Acres Memorial Gardens for Pets started soliciting contributions for homeless people’s pets, either pet food or money for pet food.  This was after it came to Nancy Piper’s attention that many homeless people also have pets.  Some of their concerns are food for their pets, veterinary care, and the afterlife care of their pets – the same as ours!  Collectible items such as blankets, towels, and clothing is needed, as well as pet food. If you have anything to donate, just bring it to Rolling Acres and we will deliver it for you.  In 2013, with the generous and overwhelming assistance of the community, Rolling Acres Memorial Gardens for Pets provided 6,112 pounds of dry pet food, 391 cans of canned pet food, cat and dog treats, as well as pet beds, pet carriers, toys, collars, leashes, pet brushes, and combs to Homeless Peoples’ Pets.  The need for this support has been increasing in recent months.  Rolling Acres thanks the public for their help in this year-round project.  Uplift Organization is the primary benefactor of the pet food and supplies.  We also supply the Red Cross with pet food.

Choices and Options for the Final Responsibility

June 20, 2014

HealingWe have choices and options available to us when the time comes for our Final Responsibility to our loved ones.  Believe it or not, there are choices of firms that will provide services for the afterlife care of your pet.  You do have the right to request burial and  either private or communal cremation.  These are topics most people do not like to think about until the time comes, however, it is worth the time to plan ahead.  It is your final responsibility to your beloved pet.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, lots of questions.  Ask enough questions so that you can rest assured you are going to get exactly what you want when the time comes.  Ask a veterinarian, search the Internet, or look in the yellow pages for Pet Cemeteries and/or Crematories.  Why shouldn’t we have rituals for our deceased pets?  The pet parent has the right to plan a visitation, memorial service, or funeral service specially designed for them.  Discussing this before and making selections of services and/or urns helps us feel some sense of control in a situation where we feel a great loss of control in loosing a loved one.

Many people, in fact, most people leave their pet’s body at the veterinarian’s office.  They experience a lot of stress and grief wondering about what happened to the body.  Some people do not want to ask, as they are afraid of the answer.  None of us want our loved ones to die, but we all realize it is inevitable.  Most people are not aware there are options in caring for the deceased pet’s body in a respectful and dignified manner.

The best time to start is early on in your pet’s life.  Feel free to go and visit a facility to see if you like the people that work there and are comfortable with them handling the final arrangements for your best friend and beloved companion.  It is best to investigate before you actually need the services and are in an emotional state of mind.  Most people feel better and enjoy their pets even more knowing they are prepared and have trust in the facility and people who will care for their pet in their time of greatest need.  Making a prearrangement plan helps alleviate some of the stress of experiencing the grief of the loss of a loved one.  With a plan in place, all one needs to do while grieving and hurting is make a phone call, knowing their treasured companion will be handled according to their wishes.  The promise of handling their pet during this time with compassion, dignity and respect helps ease the pain of the loss.

Summer time and the living is easy? Not inside your vehicle – for your pets.

June 3, 2014

Looks can be deceiving.  On the outside on a 70 degree day, the inside of a vehicle can heat to over 100 degrees in just a few minutes.  In a very short time, a pet left in a vehicle on a warm day can succumb to heatstroke and/or suffocation and die.  Even in the shade, on a 78 degree day, temperatures in a car parked in the shade can exceed 90 degrees – and rise to a scalding 160 degrees in the sun!  Even with windows cracked open a bit.  A common misnomer by many people is that their pet will be safe with the windows cracked open.  Never leave pets or children in parked cars even for short periods of time, even if the temperatures are in the 60s and even higher.  Rolling down windows and parking in the shade will not guarantee safety or protection, since temperatures can quickly climb into the danger zone.

Many people ask about leaving the dog in the car with the air-conditioning running?  This is still extremely hazardous.  For example, in 2003, a police dog in Texas died after the air conditioning in the patrol car shut down and began blowing hot air.  The air system’s compressor had kicked off because the engine got too hot.  Newer model automobiles have computerized functions, and are prone to the same problem.  In less than 30 minutes, a North Carolina couple lost two of their beloved dogs, and nearly lost a third, as a result of a similar vehicular failure in the hot August sun.

In many states it is against the law to leave a dog in a car after the temperature reaches a certain point.  Owners and pet sitters can be held legally accountable and pay fines or be incarcerated for neglect and abuse of their pet, even in the most innocent of situations when a dog is left in the car for even a few minutes.  More recently a pet sitter/dog walker is under prosecution after six pets left in her care were left in a vehicle and died due to heat exhaustion after being left in the vehicle. 

Dogs are not able to sweat like humans.  Cats and dogs cool themselves by panting and by sweating through their paws.  They can go into duress and collapse, suffer organ failure, brain damage and potentially die of heatstroke.  In just 15 minutes, an animal’s body temperature can rise from a normal temperature to one of deadly levels that will damage the nervous and cardiovascular systems, often leaving the animal comatose, dehydrated and at risk of permanent impairment or death.

What should you do if you see an animal or child in a car on a hot day?

  • Take down the car’s color, model, make, and license plate number.
  • Have the owner paged in the store and call animal control/police.
  • Have someone keep an eye on the animal, or child.
  • Don’t leave the scene until the situation has resolved.  If police are unresponsive or too slow and the dog’s life appears to be in imminent danger, find a witness (or several) who will back up your assessment, take steps to remove the suffering animal, and then wait for authorities to arrive.

THIS IS a tragedy that is PREVENTABLE – if you truly love your pets – LEAVE THEM HOME

Leaving an animal in a vehicle on a warm day is like placing them in a furnace. 

At highest risk are puppies to 6 months of age; older large breeds 7 years and above, small breeds 14 and above, dogs with short muzzles/snouts with a wide heat; ill-overweight-over exerted; black or thick coats; dehydrated; or any existing medical conditions.

DANGER SIGNS:

If you think your companion is suffering from heatstroke, immediately remove him or her to a cool, shady place.  Try to slowly lower the animal’s temperature by placing in cool, not cold water; apply ice to the head and neck area; GET TO A VETERINARIAN AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AS FOLLOW-UP CARE IS CRITICAL TO HIS WELL BEING. 

LOOK FOR: rapid panting, bright red tongue, red or place gums, thick, sticky saliva; depression; weak/dizzy; vomiting/diarrhea; shock; coma.

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Memorial Day – Memories from beginning to middle to end –

May 17, 2014

 

Eternal Memory

Most people when they add a pet to their family often only think about the exciting beginning.  They look forward to many years of companionship (the middle), but rarely consider the last days of their pet’s life with them.  As we share our life journey with our pets, there are ten tips to consider for the end stages of life with our beloved pets.

1.  How will you know when it is time to euthanize your pet?

2.  Should you stay during the euthanasia?

3.  What are your next steps?

4.  You may ask yourself, “do others feel as emotionally distressed as I do, or am I overreacting?”

5.  What can you expect to feel?

6.  What can you do about your feelings?

7.  Who can you talk with about your feelings?

8.  What should you tell the children (if you have any)?

9.  What if you notice your other pets acting in a strange manner?

10. Should you get another pet right away?

These questions and more information can be found on the Rolling Acres Memorial Gardens website:   http://www.visitrollingacres.com/faqs.html

Feel free to call any time to discuss any of these questions, or other questions you may have.

This is a very challenging time in your life journey with your pet.  Rolling Acres Memorial Gardens is here to help you during this time in the life of you and your pet.

We invite you to visit Rolling Acres Memorial Gardens at any time.

M – Making

E – Every

M – Moment an

O – Opportunity to

R – Reflect  on

Y – Yesterdays

Let Your Love Grow

April 25, 2014

“What we have once enjoyed we can never lose.  All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.”  Helen Keller

Your beloved pet has passed away, you chose a private cremation so you have your pet’s ashes and you are wondering what to do next. How do you memorialize such a special relationship? There are so many options and decisions to make and your mind is so overwhelmed with the grieving of your loss, it is difficult to know what to do.

“Let Your Love Grow” is a relatively new option that many people are unaware of when  making decisions about memorializing of their pet.  “Let Your Love Grow” provides the opportunity to have a living memorial of your pet, by using the cremated ashes of a loved one to nourish the plant.  A common misconception is that cremated ashes can be used by themselves in the ground, under or around  a new or existing plant or tree, and that the ashes will help the plants grow.  On the contrary, the cremated ashes on their own will not allow for the release of the nutrients which as in the pet’s ashes.  Instead of nurturing plants, the untreated ashes will actually harm surrounding plant life.  The high pH of cremated ash does not allow nutrients to become available for plant life; additionally, the high sodium (salt) content of cremated ash can harm plant life.  “Let Your Love Grow” is a specially formulated organic mixture that lowers the pH and dilutes the harmful sodium (salt), as well as releases the nutrients from the cremated ashes. Regular soil and potting soil will not do this.  Using “Let Your Love Grow” is the answer to creating a living memorial.

Creating a living memorial is actually a very simple process.  Here are the steps:

1. Select a plant appropriate for your climate and situation.

2. Mix the appropriate amount of cremated ashes with “Let Your Love Grow” (we at Rolling Acres will help you with this; both the amounts and mixing, if you desire.)

3. Plant this mixture along with your chosen plant.

4. Water in abundance to keep plants healthy.

In the grief process, many of us want to have something we can touch and see to remind us of the one who is no longer here and keep them close to us of the one who is no longer here and keep them close to us. Nothing could ever replace that life; however, selecting a plant or tree for your home or garden is a wonderful way to cherish and celebrate the special bond you have with your pet. A plant or tree is a living memorial – a way to express love that has not ended with death. the circle of life is continued when nourished by “Let Your Love Grow” and the cremated ashes.  Something extraordinary truly happens as it becomes a living symbol of the special life you shared.

 

http://vimeo.com/45867018

Let Your Love Grow

 

 

Count Your Blessings

April 19, 2014

ImageA friend of mine lost her best friend last week.  Her furry friend passed away due to old age.  He had been her constant companion for a decade,  helping her through many trials.  My friend, you see, is confined to a wheelchair.  Most of us love the pets in our lives, and they are  often considered family members.  To someone like my friend, Sammy, her beloved pet was also her support dog.  Her lifeline if you will.  Sammy has been counting her blessings in recent days.  Instead of having a pity party, she decided to count her blessings.  She states, “each day is your birthday” when you open your eyes and realize you have been gifted another day.  Sammy has coined the phrase “anti-pity party” or “Sammy-isms.”  She truly believes in the words of Willie Nelson, “when I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around for the better.”  To join Sammy in her mission takes only a few simple steps:

Sammy-ism #1 – Be glad for family and friends, cherish them

Sammy-ism #2 – Be thankful for what you have, not what you don’t have

Sammy-ism #3 – Don’t let technology take the place of personal interactions

Sammy-ism #4 – Savor good health, it is one thing that can be fleeting

Sammy-ism #5 – Take responsibility for your education, a mind is a terrible thing to waste

Sammy-ism #6 – Be thankful for coworkers, being part of team makes a job easier

Sammy-ism #7 – Praise people when they do something good, don’t just comment on things they do wrong

Sammy-ism #8 – Accept a compliment gracefully, it is a gift of kindness from the giver

Sammy-ism #9 – We can all learn from each other, the load is lighter when shared

Sammy-ism #10 – Nothing lasts forever, cherish each moment with loved ones

Pocket Pets – Good things come in small packages

April 5, 2014

There is an old saying – “good things come in small packages.”  I guess the same can be said for our companion animals.  Most people think of companion animals as dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, guinea pigs, miniatures horses, pot belly pigs and birds.  There are a growing number of people who also think of rats, mice, lizards, sugar gliders, hamsters, fish and turtles as companion animals.  Who is to judge what others see in these animals as pets? 

I had a pet duckling when growing up.  That little duckling followed me everywhere.  I called her “darling.”  One day I found “darling” on the ground, torn apart by Lord knows what !!  I was devastated to say the least.  My mom was understanding and scooped her up, wrapped her in a towel and took her to the vet.  The vet was very kind and compassionate and offered information on afterlife care, as she knew how much “darling” had meant to me.  We decided to bury her in our backyard.  However, this is not an option for those who live in an apartment, or some other places in the city due to ordinances. 

I wrote a poem and we had a little memorial service with friends and family for little “darling,” but it was really more for me to say good-bye to my pet duckling.  It is one of the best gifts my mom could have provided for me.  I learned how to grieve at a young age and also how to take care of the steps when a pet passes away.  Eight years old is not too young to understand death and grieving.  I believe that having this life experience at a young age helped mold me into a more compassionate adult.  If you have an experience you would like to share, we invite you to comment on our blog, or send your comments or story to our contact page.Image

 

Catkins

March 6, 2014

Every once in a while you realize that life is more than meets the eye, and following your gut instinct is the right thing to do.  Why adopt a mother and entire litter of kittens one might ask?  Time is the true storyteller, since none of us “really” has a crystal ball.

In September 1999, when Nancy Piper adopted a mother cat and her litter of five kittens that had been dumped at a country veterinarian clinic, she not only saved six lives, she wove a legend of the “catkins” over their lifetimes.  They were dubbed the “catkins” because the kittens grew up to be cats and the Momcat was still with them.  The momma cat was very undernourished and could not nurse them during the first three days.  Then suddenly, she began to care for them.  Nancy wondered how she was going to place five kittens, but people began to step forward when they heard their story.  The “Momcat” was named Eileen.  Momma Eileen was a “grumpy cat” at first; ready to bite, or scratch, sometimes drawing blood.  She most likely had a trust issue; however, she grew to be the “sweet-grumpy” girl we loved.  In time, her periods of grumpiness grew shorter and her times of happiness and “kitty smiles” grew longer.

The “catkins” had distinct personalities.  One of the girls was so sweet, she immediately found a forever home.  Four of the kittens found their forever home at Rolling Acres Memorial Gardens.  Glory is a beautiful calico and Ginger is a gorgeous tortoiseshell.  They are both very shy.  They have become more social as time goes by, but still defer to their safe place when they feel the need.  Slowly, they have become more outgoing and expanded their social territory.  We are so proud of how far the girls have come socially.

Timothy was full of energy with an “in your face” attitude.  Nathan was calm, laid back, with low energy and most likely thought that Timothy was a real pest.  This wayward family has brought many memories to Rolling Acres Memorial Gardens.  The braided root three strand Ficus Tree now has only one trunk remaining with a few scratches and holes in it.  This tree still stands in our lobby as a tribute to the survival against overwhelming odds.  No Christmas Tree stands upright during the holiday without some outside help.

Sadly, 2013 has been the year the family chain was broken when Timothy became ill on May 9th.  He was affected by a physical condition that could only be repaired by a very risky surgical procedure that came with high potential for complications.  It was decided to allow him a peaceful sleep through gentle euthanasia rather than subject him to pain and misery of surgery with uncertain results.  Our Eileen was also taken to the vet many times with no diagnosis when she was off or did not act like herself.  It was finally decided that she had cancer in her abdomen/chest cavity.  She was having so much difficulty breathing and once again within 30 days a difficult decision needed to be made to allow her a peaceful sleep through gentle euthanasia.  However, she died naturally after being given just a sedative to relieve her discomfort and the decision was made for us.  She left her body on her own and crossed the rainbow bridge.

We are ever mindful of the joy animals bring to our lives.  This wayward family of “catkins” brought more than joy; they brought a sense of family connection through their journey of sharing their days with us in life and in death.  Tim, Eileen and Nathan were comfort cats, providing many a person with a warm furry body to love on one of the worst days of their lives.  There is no greater blessing than to have walked the journey of life knowing that you have improved the life of another.  That is what we desire to do with each and every being that comes through our doors.  It is our hope to provide the promise of a caring hand to help their hurting heart.

Momma Eileen and Chris          Timothy

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