Referring to a pet as our best friend is a sign of the times in America. As today’s society becomes more and more complex, human relationships have less time to develop. That means the companionship that many people were once able to experience with other people is now a chief function of our best friend, a cat, dog, bird or some other animal.
Life now demands that parents often live in separate cities from their children, and families get together, perhaps, only once every few years. Often even, in today’s word, husbands and wives often don’t see each other for weeks at a time, as job duties call them away from home for lengthy periods. So, in these situations, which are the result of a fast-paced, complicated society, a cute, cuddly, dependable pet becomes our best friend. (It is interesting to note that, in scholarly publications about pets, the word owner is omitted and animals are typically referred to as a companion animals. What else would you expect to call our best friend? Friends are not “owned, particularly our best friends.)
Because, in many cases, pets have begun to take on many of same roles as human friends, (many people have used this phenomena as a reason to criticize our society, perhaps deservedly so, but that is for another article) it’s only fitting that, when the time comes, memorial services and memorial displays are often similar to those befitting our best friend.
As an offshoot of the memorial industry, many companies even funeral homes that sell human memorial products and services now also offer similar products and services for pets. What better way to say goodbye to our best friend than to adorn his grave with a elegantly designed grave maker, complete with his name and even an epitaph?. Or, perhaps, a special pet cremation urn molded into a shape that will bring our best friend’s memories alive for the ages?
To display this relatively new and growing line of memorial products for our best friend, large, elaborate pet cemeteries have sprouted up across America in recent years. One of the largest of these is in Los Angeles, and it houses the cremated remains of some of the most loved of our best friends, the hundreds of special animals who have starred in well known television shows or movies since the 1930’s. Today’s pet cemeteries are typically very well maintained as strictly as those for humans and are often considered major tourist attractions for their respective towns.
While the temptation is often great to treat our best friends to the best memorial service that money can buy, glamour and expense are not always required to create a sufficient memorial. When one of our best friends dies, many people simply gather a few supportive family members and friends around a backyard display and share a few happy memories of their lives with their best friend. Such a tribute to our best friend can be just as valid as even the most elegant, expensive of tributes and displays.
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