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Burial With Your Pet: Crazy Notion or Next Level of Personalization?

The Wall Street Journal recently offered an opinion piece on a bill that would allow people to be buried with their pets. Although the issue is being raised in New York, where Gov. Cuomo is currently evaluating the bill, this is an interesting topic that may soon pass to other states—wherever people and animals forge deep bonds. Interestingly enough, several pet cemeteries already allow humans to be buried with their beloved pets if they so choose, but the reverse is hardly ever the case. People cemeteries are, as of yet, reserved mostly for people. But is this practice to remain?

Some may think of joint people-pet burials as somewhat preposterous; for some people, after all, dogs are just dogs. However, for others animals are akin to children—they provide unconditional love, constant companionship and share their human owners’ lives. Come to think of it, this is more than some parents can expect from their children. Is it, then, unreasonable that some people would want to spend the rest of their eternity with a creature that offered such comfort and support in life?

What are the downsides?

While Joe Queenan, the author of the WSJ piece, jokes of family infighting—“who gets to be buried with Fido?” this may actually be an issue that arises. Family pets are held dear and indeed who does get to decide whom Fido loved best and vice versa?

But in the end, there really is very little to discourage a burial with your pet. If this is something that you or your loved one prefers, then what is the harm? It is simply another way to make a funeral even more personal, even more intimate and true to the character of the deceased.

What are the requirements?

Of course this is simply speculation at this point, since no laws have been passed, but common sense dictates that certain rules will apply. For example, both parties must be deceased at the time of the funeral—in other words, no animals should be harmed to meet the demands of their lately passed human. Furthermore, the animal in question must be cremated, in order to eliminate any space concerns. Finally, the animal must be a domesticated pet—in other words, it is not a trophy that you are taking to the grave, but a beloved friend and companion.

Whether you “get it” or you don’t, burial with a pet is an interesting take on a personalized burial—we all want our wishes to be observed and we all hope to have a funeral that truly reflects who we have been in life, perhaps this is simply another way to do so. What do you think? Is this something you would consider or is it too far “out there?”

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