How to memorialize a pet? Kamloops family's idea is catching on | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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How to memorialize a pet? Kamloops family's idea is catching on

Stella's passing was unexpected and devastating, so her owners decided to make a memorial in her honour on her favourite Kamloops trail.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Elaine Scott
October 24, 2020 - 7:30 AM

Anyone with a dog knows they become a part of the family, and when they pass it can be truly devastating.

Two years ago, Kamloops resident Elaine Scott and her family unexpectedly lost their dog Stella when she was just seven years old.

"She had escaped the yard and gotten into something that made her very sick and she never really recovered," Scott said. "We had to put her down… It devastated all of us."

She said their daughter was only 12 at the time, and it was her first experience with grief. The help process their loss, they decided to do something to honour their beloved pet.

"We brainstormed different ways to make a memorial to keep Stella's memory alive," Scott said. "We thought it would be nice to make a little plaque."

The family wrote a poem about Stella, and a local artist put it on a plaque. They decided to hang it from a tree along Stella's favourite hiking trail, the plateau above Peterson Creek.

"Underneath the sign we have a little canister and we still walk the same trail, every time we’ll fill it with different dog treats," Scott said.  "It’s a nice way for our family to remember her, and then for other people to just appreciate their dogs, give them a pat."

Elaine Scott and her family still visit their late dog Stella's memorial two years after her death, now with their new dog in tow.
Elaine Scott and her family still visit their late dog Stella's memorial two years after her death, now with their new dog in tow.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Elaine Scott

Over the last two years, Scott has noticed other dog memorials popping up around it.

"People would put a jar with their pets name under different trees along the path, so that was neat to see," she said.

She said there was one memorial in particular that she remembers well.

"They had left a Tupperware container of tennis balls down at the beach because their dog loved to play fetch," she said. "They left a sign with the same sentiment, 'our dog loved to do this, take a tennis ball and play fetch with your dog.'"

Making Stella's memorial was an important step in the family's healing process.

"You just want to do something after you lose a pet, because it’s such a sudden shift in your family dynamic," she said. "When we went out and hung up the sign, it was sort of our final farewell."

Scott and her family still regularly walk the trail, now with their new dog in tow. People still comment on the memorial when they see it, sometimes posting photos of it on Facebook.

It goes to show the memorial fulfilled its purpose — Stella's memory is still very much alive.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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