Life

Being Buried With Your Dog: Sweet or Cruel?

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When you die, would you ever stipulate in your will that you want to be buried with your dog even if it means putting your dog down?

Is demanding to be buried with your dog a loving act or a selfish one?

What if the dog we’re talking about is perfectly healthy and would otherwise outlive you? What if the demand meant having to put that dog to sleep just so it can be interred by your side?

A former colleague of mine posted something on his Facebook page about a woman who stipulated in her will that she be buried with her dog. He posted a photo of a dog that I assume is the dog in question, a chocolate brown Shih Tzu mix. The dog, he noted, has already been put to sleep and cremated so it can be interred with the loving owner.

It’s a story he said he’s working on, so there’s nothing beyond that to share at this point.

Is it something that’s even legal? Legacy.com says that might depend on where you live. Some states do allow someone to be buried with pets, but some don’t. Some allow cemeteries to set their own rules about how such a request is handled.

But what if your dog outlives you?

I have the cremated remains of my last Collie. And assuming I outlive my current one, I’ll one day have his as well.

My dogs are very special to me, and I understand the idea of wanting them to accompany you for eternity. It’s a sweet, loving idea. I don’t see it as all that different from people wanting to be buried alongside family members who have passed on before them in the same area of a cemetery.

But as much as I love my dogs, I’d never even think of demanding that they be put to sleep so their ashes can go with me.

I can’t imagine wanting to deprive them of whatever life they have left, even if it means having to live it without me.

The comments on his post, as you might imagine, are accusing the person of being horribly selfish. One even asked if the dog was available for adoption. My friend said it has already been euthanized and cremated.

I believe that when I get to Heaven, I’ll be reunited with the dogs I’ve owned over my life. I can’t honestly imagine it being Heaven if the dogs that have meant so much to me aren’t there. Regardless of where they’re buried or when they pass, I believe they’ll be there.

That, for me, is more than enough.

Should it be legal for a pet to be put down so it can be buried with its owner?

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.