How can I pick just one memory?
Shep and I were the bestiest of besties. We went everywhere together, did all the things. We climbed mountains, took crazy left turns on dusty side roads, visited ghost towns and ate bacon.
So. Much. Bacon.
To pick just one memory, the one that defined who we were together as a couple? It would have to be the day we hiked to the Ink Pots in Banff National Park.
It was the day, I think, we both truly fell in love with hiking, with the mountains and with each other.
We sat in the meadow, backdropped by the Sawtooth Range of the Rocky Mountains and breathed in the aroma of fresh air.
It was a most perfect day.
Our memories can help us heal
Losing our pets can be incredibly painful and difficult process. Our worlds are upended. We’ve lost a best fur friend who has brought us comfort, joy and love.
Our memories, though, can help us heal by keeping us connected to them. Although they may longer be physically present, the memories we have of them can help us to feel as though they are still a part of our lives.
This can be particularly comforting during the initial stages of grief when we may feel our most empty and lonely. The memories we have of our adventures can bring comfort and remind us of the love we shared and the joy they brought to our lives.
The memories we cherish
I asked One Last Network’s photographers what special memories they have of their pets, the ones that are still with us and the ones who have left our physical world.
Kota’s love of snow and our winter snowshoe adventures — these are the best memories! She was so happy during the winter and she taught me to enjoy this season and all that it has to offer. Our new rescued Siberian Husky, Halo, loves the snow and we hope to skijor together, in honor Kota.
Early on, Lance decided the seat behind the driver’s seat was his. It doesn’t matter which car we’re in, he goes to his spot. My car is full of dog fur in that spot and it will be a sad day when he is no longer sitting behind me.
Lili has occupied the front passenger seat. She reminds me of a small kid who lays their head against the window and looks out at the world. She gets so excited when she gets to go somewhere she loves going. She is so joyful and happy, especially when she gets to go alone.
Midnight was always wanting to “help” me with my handy work around the house. He loved his ball and adventure, too.
For Shamus it was just his love for life. He was quite happy for me to play with him, but if I was busy, he could entertain himself with his favorite ball or toys.
I’ll always remember special trips we’ve taken together. Hunter loves visiting the dog-friendly beaches at Dewey Beach even if he has no intention of ever setting foot in the water. We make sure to do several day trips throughout the year because they fill Hunter (and me) with so much happiness.
Arawn is a Belgian Malinois and true to his breed, he’s absolutely obsessed with balls. He knows the difference between when you tell him to get a ball versus any other type of toy and once you start playing ball with him, you’re not allowed to stop. Ever. He will literally drop a ball in front of you and stare at the ball until you pick it up and start throwing it again. When he’s gone (which hopefully won’t be for a long time since he’s only 6), I imagine we’ll save one of his favorite balls in his memory.
For Omega, it’s the way he loves to snuggle with his people. He was such a fearful dog when we first got him, and as we started to work through his anxiety and fears, he started to show us that he’s a super affectionate dog, highly attuned to the emotions of the people around him. His favorite place to sleep is in our bed, curled up with his face tucked into my leg or on top of my feet. When he’s feeling anxious, he’ll try to climb into your arms to be comforted. When he’s gone (also, hopefully a long way away), I know I’ll find comfort in remembering the life he had with us, and the way he blossomed into the sweet, sensitive dog that he is, especially knowing how different the outcome could have been if he’d ended up elsewhere.
Record these memories
“Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really.”
― Agnes Sligh Turnbull
It never feels like we have enough time with our pets. If you’re in this space, it’s because you understand the depth of love many humans feel for their best fur friends, including those of us here at One Last Network.
Keeping a record of these incredible memories we create with our pets while they’re with us can help ease your grief in the days, months and years without them.
- Take all the photos.
- Get video of them playing and barking and running toward you.
- Journal about their lives.
However you choose to do it, holding onto these memories might be a way to smile through the pain.
Angela Schneider is the founder of One Last Network and owner of Big White Dog Photography in Spokane, Washington. She takes her clients on adventures throughout the Pacific Northwest, creating epic images, artwork for your home and, most importantly, memories. In her free time, Angela is out on adventure herself, creating a lifetime of memories with her Maremma sheepdog, Bella.
Such a wonderful blog to highlight those memories we each have.