Thursday, June 09, 2011

A Dog's Life

Last Wednesday I spent much of the day in Topeka completing the arrangements for our boys' final resting place. I say boys' and not boy's because Steeler's remains were actually involved as well as Celtic's. When Steeler died so suddenly five years ago, we had no idea where to have him cremated, so we took him to the Lawrence Humane Society where I volunteered. They were kind enough to do the cremation free of charge, but since their equipment wasn't exactly state of the art, let's just say the remains weren't processed very well. We didn't worry too much about it though, since it was always our intention to lay Steeler to rest with his brother when this time came.

So anyway, I took the little can containing Steeler's remains over to Topeka to the wonderful folks at Heavenly Pet Memorials. I'd discovered them on the Internet a week or so before Celtic passed, and I just can't say enough about how great they were. They were kind enough to take care of Celtic's body on a holiday weekend and also to process Steeler's remains with Celtic's for no extra charge. Now we have their finely processed ashes all put together in a beautiful and safely sealed velvet bag. Heavenly Pet Memorials had a big selection of urns and boxes, and they helped me pick out a beautiful box in which we'll eventually put their remains. Not only that, but they practically counseled me as well. Jody was the consultant there last Wednesday, and she sat there patiently as I talked about our dogs, cried a little, and even showed her pictures. I was there probably a good half hour, and she couldn't have been more caring and consoling.

When I got home from that trip to Topeka, I immediately started the search for the perfect picture to have engraved/etched onto the box. In my mind, I knew the one I wanted to use and remembered the frame it used to be in, but I couldn't for the life of me find the frame or the original in our old boxes of prints. I probably searched through pictures for at least 8 hours total before I finally found the negative on a roll that had no other pictures of the dogs at all. In the process of searching though, I found so many other pictures of the boys that I really loved, so now I'm not even sure if the sought after picture is even the one I want to use! Here are the ones that I'm most strongly considering--I would love your input in the comments!

From their puppyhood

At age 1

At about 3 years old

At about age 5

At age 9, just before Steeler died

For me, searching through all of those pictures was very therapeutic. As I looked back on the very full and active life that Celtic had, it was more difficult to be sad about his passing. As I was reminded of how close he and his brother were, it made me that much happier to think of them reunited in heaven.

During the great picture search I was also inspired to scan and then edit all of my favorite pictures--since I was a pretty horrible photographer in those pre-digital days! Someday I'll hopefully have time to put it to music in a better format, but for now, I hope you enjoy the slideshow of their lives!


Anonymous said...

3 year picture is the best! Rest in peace Steeler and Celtic.

Kristin said...

Your slideshow made me tear up a little. What sweet pups and what a loving family. They were so lucky to have you and Chad as their parents!

cw said...

Yep, I was crying by the end of the wonderful slideshow. Thank you for putting together all of those pics. ILY!!!!