Making a personal resting place for the pet you've lost is a good way to deal with sadness and loss. Preparing a wooden casket for your best four-legged friend might seem morbid, but it may help you to deal with grief and say goodbye. For some, it can be a very satisfying personal experience.
DIY Casket Building
To build the casket, you will need a saw for cutting wood pieces in the appropriate lengths, screws and the corresponding screwdriver, and optional brackets for attaching the top piece. Buy a copy of “Do-It-Yourself Coffins” for coffin-making plans for pets and people, available from retailers and on websites, or visit WayneoftheWoods.com for a free plan.
Plans and Kits
You may not be so skilled at carpentry, or simply don’t trust yourself with a saw. But you can still make something in honor of your pet. Preparing the coffin, whether from scratch or through a kit, will help you feel more connected to burial and will help you let go, which can be important when saying goodbye to an animal. Order a kit for assembling a wooden casket at TheOldPineBox.com or Rockler.com. Each of the kits comes with the wood pieces and step-by-step assembly instructions. While websites claim express delivery, it never hurts to order in advance for a future need, if you are interested in the preneed approach.
High Quality and Handmade Buys
While you might not find much help online for building a casket yourself, scan the Internet and you will find many handmade pet caskets for sale, some with intricate, made-to-order carvings of individual pets and others with elaborate interiors. While many large-scale manufacturers produce coffins without the “homemade” feel of a plain wooden box, quality varieties are available from Highland Lakes Pet Coffins, Pets in Paradise, and Pet Memorials (see Resources below).
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Emily Manthei holds a masters degree from the University of Edinburgh and has written for publications as diverse as the "Oxford Journal of Theological Studies," "Emanuel Levy Film Reviews," "USA Today" and "Northern Express Magazine." She also writes screenplays for short and feature films.