Eulogies are such a special form of expression that allows you and others to grieve healthily. It allows you to reminisce on happy memories while reflecting on the impact the pet made on your and others' lives. This is time to say your final farewell to your beloved family member, to bring closure and peace.
You can talk about who your pet was and what he meant to you. You can make it as short or long as you want; it can be serious or lighthearted. It really depends on your personal beliefs and who is attending the funeral.
To lighten your load during a trying time, here are some steps to help you write your meaningful eulogy:
- Recall what made your pet special
- Remember happy memories
- Recount details of your pet’s death
- Final remarks
- Extra tips - pet sayings/poems
Recall what made your pet special
Each animal has a personality of its own. Paint the picture of who he was - his breed, temperament, and quirks. Was he spunky, energetic, calm, chill, or ornery? What was his favorite food, toys, or activity you guys did together? Did he have a funny way to let you know he wanted to go for a walk, didn’t want to get into a bath, etc. These quirks can help provide an easy transition into talking about happy memories.
If you are struggling with starting the eulogy, you can start by saying, “We are gathered here to honor our beloved Spot.” You can then observe a moment of silence in the pet’s honor if you’d like.
Remember happy memories
Remember the happy times. Share how your pet came into your life. Talk about any special, funny moments and times your pet got in trouble, hurt, or helped someone. Your story can show how much your pet changed your life for the better. Remember the memories don’t all have to be happy; they can be heartfelt.
Recount details of your pet's death
This is probably the most difficult part to write and read. You don’t have to get specific if you don’t want to. You can shed light on an illness or accident and talk about how either can be prevented by being more aware or frequent vet checkups. Maybe someone attending the funeral can learn from your hardship. If your animal passed from old age then talk about what a good life they lived.
You can start this section off by stating, “He was a sweet dog that left this world too soon,” or “No matter how long he lived with us, I know it would never feel long enough.”
You can talk about how you feel losing your loved one and how his love will always be with you.
You can use Thom Jones’ quote, “Dogs have a way of finding people who need them and filling an emptiness we didn’t even know we had.”
Another quote by Winnie the Pooh is, “How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
Don’t worry if you cry reading your speech. It is to be expected. When it gets tough, remember this eulogy is to help yourself and others feel, to mourn, and to go through the grieving process.
*Note - Remember, instead of saying he died, you can say he transitioned to a better place, went to heaven, or passed away.
This is where you thank everyone for attending, anyone who helped set up the funeral, anyone who came to visit you and your pet in moments of illness, anyone who helped you, etc.
Here is a cute example, “We want to thank each and every friend, both two-legged and four, who came to remember Spot today.”
You can also close out your eulogy with the way you want people to remember your pet. It is good to leave on a positive note about the beauty of love. It can be a saying, a memory, or simply a heartfelt goodbye.
Short example - “Spot was a dear friend and the very finest pet a family could have. You will be missed.”
Long example - “I smile because of the beautiful memories of Spot, for he lit up the world with his joyous spirit. Forever will he be missed. Forever will he be in our hearts. To hold, to love, to serve as a reminder of the preciousness of love.
Everyone look at your loved ones around you, those still with you. How precious they are to have, to hold. Don’t let anger, grief, greed, strife, and tiredness make you forget the love you get to have for these individuals. Choose to tell your loved ones you love them. Choose to make time for your loved ones. Choose to be with your loved one in the present while you can, because love is precious. Love is a gift. It’s times like this when I choose to remember the wise words of our dear childhood friend, Dr. Suess, who wrote - “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” Thank you.”
Extra tips -
Tip 1- If you wrote your eulogy and you feel it needs something more, you can add a saying/quote. Possible quotes to include in a pet’s eulogy can be found in this article.
Tip 2 - Write your obituary from the heart.
Tip 3 - If your eulogy is shorter than what was desired, but you’re struggling to make it longer, you can always read a pet poem. You can write a poem yourself, or you can read your favorite pet poem, just make sure to credit the author if you know who the author is. Here are some poem examples.
The Creation by Unknown
When God had made the earth and sky, the flower and the trees,
He then made all the animals, the fish, the birds, and bees.
And when at last he’d finished, not one was quite the same.
He said, “I’ll walk this world of mine and give each one a name.”
And so he traveled far and wide, and everywhere he went,
a little creature followed Him until its strength was spent.
When all were named upon the earth and in the sky and sea,
The little creature said, “Hear Lord, there’s not one left for me.”
Kindly the father said to him, “I’ve left you to the end.
I’ve turned my own name back to front and called you dog, my friend.”
When tomorrow starts without me by Unknown
When tomorrow starts without me,
and I’m not there to see
The sun will rise and find your eyes
All filled with tears for me.
I know how much you love me,
As much as I love you.
And each time that you think of me,
I know you’ll miss me too.
But when tomorrow starts without me,
Please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name
And petted me with her hand.
I thought about our lives together;
I know you must be sad.
I thought of all the love we shared,
And all the fun we had.
So when tomorrow starts without me,
Don’t think we’re far apart.
For every time you think of me,
I’m right there in your heart.
Knowing by Sally Evans
If I had known that on that day our time was near the end…
I would have done things differently my forever friend.
I would have stayed right next to you deep into the night…
but I thought I’d see you in the early morning light.
And so I said ‘Good-night’ to you as I walked in through the door…
never thinking of the time when I’d see you no more.
But if I had known that on that day our time was at the end…
I would have done things so differently my forever friend.