My last pet was an orange tabby that died at the age of nearly 20. A friend, who had been caring for him, insisted we gather with a few others who’d been fond of the cat to scatter its ashes in Central Park. I felt a little silly but I was truly sad to lose my feline friend—especially since he was the last vestige of a relationship that had ended sadly. We trudged out in the snow late in the evening (we were pretty sure we were violating some city ordinance) and scattered his remains in fistfuls as if we were seeding a lawn. So I can’t really snicker when Quirky Japan Blog points us to an article in AsiaOne News about the growing popularity of Buddhist pet funerals in Japan (ours was pretty secular). QJB writes:
I hear the word “pettoro-su” (pet loss) surprisingly often these days, and it seems a lot of funeral parlors and graveyards are springing up to help bereaved owners put their loved ones to rest. One of the biggest companies is called Petto Ceremoni-Makoto (Sincere Pet Ceremonies), and it offers a wide range of pet funerals and cremations.
So next time you suffer from pet loss, you have options. It’ll set you back a sincere 400 bucks or so, not counting airfare, but if your dog has Buddhanature (I don’t think there’s a test for this), it will have been money well spent. For more Buddhist takes on pet loss and euthanasia, here are some perennial pearls of wisdom that appeared in Tricycle some time ago. (The article was originally titled, “Putting Spot Down,” but now appears under the more civil “To Kill or Not to Kill”).
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