Updated: Jun 13, 2021
Many of you have seen and heard the story of my sweet Poly-ana, who just turned 12 last fall, but I haven't shared my sweet girl, Lisa-Lee's story and how I pay tribute to her every day. So today, for World Pet Memorial Day, I thought I'd share her legacy + a few other beautiful ways we can all pay tribute to our amazing + beautiful fur-kids who have crossed the rainbow bridge.
2009 was a really really really bad year for me. While I won't get into the details, in the end, I ended up in a new city, where I knew no one, far from family + friends ... so I decided to make a big change. I decided to adopt a rescue cat. I'd had furkids in and out of my life since childhood and I knew from experience, we would be rescuing each other for sure.
The rescue I contacted, HART in Edmonton, didn't have cats on their website but they had some available for adoption I knew from attending one of their events. So I called and asked about adopting one. I'll truly never forget the wonderful lady on the phone who asked what type of cat I was looking for. My answer? The one who needs a home the most. One who is hard to find a home for. As I was single, lived alone, and had no other pets, I knew it would be an ideal home for many adoptable in need, that might be hard to place. I will never forget the catch in her voice when she simply stated with joy, I know the perfect cat for you!
It took time to coordinate, but they eventually brought me Lisa-Lee in a kennel to see if we meshed. It was love at first VERY LOUD MEOW! Her foster paw-rents were amazing and I cannot thank them enough for all they did for her before she came into my life. You see, Lisa-Lee was found abandoned under an abandoned trailer with her babies. She had a distrust of being around other cats from being quazi-feral with her babies. She couldn't be placed in a home with other pets and they knew she'd bond with just 1 human. So my home was the perfect one for her. It was just her and I against the world!
It was through capturing our journey together that I found a passion for pet photography I didn't even know I had.
Eventually, later that year, after consulting with a vet and a pet psychologist, and rescue, I decided she needed some company while I was out at work. So we decided that adopting a younger feline might be best so her maternal instincts might kick in and it wouldn't be a huge transition.
I brought home Poly-ana and while they weren't BFF's right away, they learned to tolerate and enjoy each other's company.
Over time, Lisa-Lee even found to enjoy the company of Ozzy and her grand-pawrents, my 2 young nephews, and my brother and SIL.
Sadly, in 2017, at age 16ish, my sweet girl passed away due to old age catching up with her - and I cannot thank the amazing folks at Fraser Valley Animal Hospital for their kindness and compassion while we had to say goodbye to her. They went above and beyond and their compassion is second to none. We were not rushed, we were not pressured. We were able to say goodbye in our own way, in our own time thanks to their compassionate care wing.
My heart still aches when I think about my beautiful girl who loved perching like a bird on my shoulder while I worked, whose loud voice could be heard through brick walls, and whose shinanigans made all of us laugh on a regular basis.
I love looking back at all our beautiful memories together and I'm so lucky I captured so many of them and have printed them out over the years.
One of the ways I try to honor her legacy is by giving back to local rescues via Hearts Speak so other felines in need can find their happy ever afters as she did. Having a great adoption photo helps amazing furkids find homes up to 60% faster! When tallying up months and days in foster care or a shelter, that can tally up fast! I also donate to local auctions and fundraisers to help local shelters and rescues keep doing what they do best - helping great furkids find amazing happy tails!
Another way I try to keep her legacy alive is by helping amazing pet parents capture their special stories and moments so that they too can find comfort and joy in those special moments when it's their furkid's time to watch over them from the rainbow bridge too.
Today I also wanted to share a few great ways to pay tribute to your furkids if they've crossed the rainbow bridge and are watching over you, like my sweet girl, Lisa-Lee does me.
Have a ceremony to say goodbye. No matter how long or how fancy or simple, give yourself the chance at some closure and say good-bye.
Share stories about them with others. As some say with us humans, as long as people remember us and share our stories, we live on. So share those stories! (Be sure to share yours in the comments section today!)
Create something special to remember them by - be it a tattoo, an urn, a tribute wall with images, printing an album or framed images, a necklace, commission a special artwork piece by a local artist, keychain, ornament for your tree, wind chimes, a garden stone, planting a tree, or even a small online memorial you can touch and see often to keep them close to your heart.
Share something your pet loved. Some pet owners have taken to having pet memorial baskets of tennis balls or other fun things their pets loved at their favorite dog park, trail, etc. where other pets can enjoy the same thing they did and let that fun-loving spirit live on.
Give back. Be it your time or by donation of food, supplies, or cash. For those of us who've adopted, giving back to other rescues is truly the cat's meow. I know for those of us who have rescued, and had pets cross the rainbow bridge, giving back so another furkid can find a happy tail makes our furkid's tails wag on the rainbow bridge!
Adopt or Foster. When you're ready, be sure to adopt again or foster an amazing furkid and help them find their happy tail. While our hearts break, sometimes it can be very healing to help more amazing furkids find their own happy tails.
I hope this blog post today helps make your rainbow bridge furkid's tails wag + puuuur and brings some peace, love, and joy to your own heart that's healing.