National Pet Memorial Day is held each year on the second Sunday of September, and it’s a day to remember and honor all the pets we have lost.
Our furry babies occupy a huge space in our hearts, lives, and homes. If you are a pet parent, then you know what I’m talking about: missing your pet when you are not around, thinking about what he/she might be doing when left alone, petting other animals on the street, and talking to other pet-parents like a proud momma or poppa.
So, once they are gone, it’s hard to explain what it feels like. And that indescribable void you feel can only be filled by allowing yourself to grieve properly. The main goal of this day is to replace sad memories of our dogs' passing with good memories of their wonderful lives.
How to celebrate it
As we’ve mentioned before, National pet memorial day is about honoring our furry partners who are no longer with us. But how can we do that? By:
- Bringing flowers to your pet’s grave.
- Planting a tree on his/her name.
- Talking about your pet, seeing old photos, remembering his/her favorite treats, etc.
- Donating to a local shelter under your pet’s name, to help those who are in need. Operation kindness in Texas, Animal Haven in New York, Humane Society and Operation Blankets of Love in California, and Max Fund in Colorado, to name a few.
- Adopting or fostering. Thousands of shelter dogs are rescued every year and they are waiting for a family.
Besides, National Pet Memorial Day is a date to honor those pets who died on duty. It’s a good opportunity to support and promote the thousands of dogs who work tirelessly to keep us safe (by rescuing people, detecting bombs, helping in fires, detecting all kinds of diseases, etc.).
The hero dogs of 9/11
On this special date, it’s impossible not to remember the dogs who helped in 9/11 and the importance they have had on the rescuing. Until that day, people had little understanding of what service dogs could do. But seeing them help in this catastrophe raised awareness and encouraged dogs’ owners to get search and rescue certifications.
Always remember: Bretagne, Trakr, Jake, and Apollo.
More than 300 emergency rescue dogs helped in the collapse of the World Trade Center. Even though this is the story of only 4 of them, it’s our way of honoring all the dogs who provided aid in 9/11.
Bretagne was one of the most renowned hero dogs since she was the last surviving search and rescue dog who worked at ground zero. She spent 2 weeks doing 12 hours shifts to rescue people. Bretagne later retired in 2008 and peacefully died in 2016.
Trakr was a German Shepherd who worked tirelessly in rescuing people. But after two days, he collapsed as a result of smoke inhalation, burns, and chemical exposure. Luckily, he was treated soon enough and he passed away in 2009.
Jake was a 10 months-old puppy who helped during 17 days in the WTC looking for survivors. He also served in other disasters like Hurricane Katrina.
- Apollo was the first rescue dog to get to the scene, only just 15 minutes after the collapse. At one point, he was almost killed by flames and his life was at risk, but luckily, he was saved.