A friend of mine sent me the following link tonight:

Pet Preservation Specialist

Apparently, now you can freeze dry your pets when they die, as opposed to, oh I don’t know, BURYING them. The process is called freeze dry taxidermy, and it allows you to keep Spot around in pristine condition for years after Spot passes into the Great Beyond for a price starting at around $560. Unbelievable. This is just about the craziest damn thing I’ve seen since I had fish tacos in San Diego.

Don’t get me wrong, I love pets. I have 4 dogs and a cat now, and that’s the lowest total of pets I’ve had in 13 years. At one point there were 9 cats and 4 dogs living in my house. I can’t be accused of being an animal hater. Well, at least not for dogs. I love dogs. I tolerate cats. Cats and I have a long-standing mutual agreement, whereupon I won’t try to dunk them in the toilet if they don’t piss on my things. It’s more like a Cold War than a real peace accord, but it works. I don’t wish them any harm, and I would defend them from all attacks, but I’m not out there buying them $500 worth of cat toys, either. So while I’m not a PETA member, I do care about their welfare, and I generally enjoy a pet’s company.

That being said, when they die, they’re dead. And they should go where dead things go – in the damn ground. As sad as it is when your friend passes on, you should refrain from freeze-drying them and standing them in the living room like a piece of twisted modern art. I mean, who the hell wants to look at a dead animal standing in the corner, especially if it looks like it should be sniffing your crotch or coughing up a hairball on your newly-vacuumed carpet? If you shoot a bear or a tiger or something ferocious and you want to stuff it and mount it in your study, I can sorta see that. It’s something you conquered, something that represents victory in the face of danger or whatever. But damn, if Buster kicks the bucket because he was 15 and got sick, do NOT freeze dry him and make him into an ottoman. If he was truly your friend, he deserves more respect than that, doesn’t he?

Here’s a quote from the main page:

For some people, burial is not an option. You may be limited by local regulations, and may not have a pet cemetery in your area. You may live in an apartment, or community, where you do not have a private yard. Perhaps you know that you might someday move from your home, and can’t bear the thought of leaving your pet behind. Maybe you feel that burial is just not the right choice for you.
Some people simply do not believe in the process of cremation. There is an alternative.
Pet preservation, also known as freeze drying, is the comforting alternative to your pet’s burial or cremation. Take time to consider all of your options, because only you can decide what is best for you and your pet.”

There’s merit to some of this statement. If you live in the city or in an apartment, maybe you can’t go bury Rover in the backyard. That makes perfect sense. I’ll even buy the argument about moving, because it’s the same set of emotions that come into play when you bury a human you love. But there is a very simple solution if putting your pet in the ground isn’t viable – cremation. It says that some people don’t believe in it, but that’s because those people are insane. Cremation takes care of several problems all at once.

  1. No risk of running out of burial space, or having your pet disinterred to make room for another.
  2. Ashes are portable as hell.
  3. They come in a fancy ornate box that makes a good conversation piece.
  4. You can preserve the living memory of your pet while also still having him/her there with you.
  5. It’s not stupid, like freeze drying is.

Granted, there are different strokes for different folks, and I’m sure there are plenty of people who’d like nothing more than freeze-drying their 25 cats and lining them up single-file in a psychotic fucked-up feline frozen conga line while they dance naked among them with “Footloose” playing in the background on TNT. Oh, they’re out there. They’re the answer to the question “Who the hell watches ‘Gilmore Girls’?”. And, this being America and all, they’re free to spend their money in any way they choose. This, though, is just plain wrong, marinated in a wrong sauce, and basted with a light stupidity glaze.

Another quote from the site:

“I was not prepared for her arrival in a box yesterday. I was home alone and afraid to open it but I finally got the courage to do so. I can’t describe the realm of emotions that overwhelmed me, from spooky to a sense of peace and love. I shed as many tears yesterday as I did the day she drowned. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. After a couple of hours I began to brush her and talk to her like I used to. To most of you this story sounds very strange. But to me, I believe Lacie never wanted to leave my side in spirit or body. “

There’s an element of sweetness there; there’s love, affection, and lonliness, too. But to me, it’s all overpowered by the element of utter wrongness of having your dead pet sent back to you, posed and frozen. As the saying goes, let sleeping dogs lie.

Peace.

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