What do you do with your dog’s ashes once they have left you?
Treacle, Starkie and Sam were our three brindle coloured dogs who were inseparable when they were with us. They were all around 11 to 12 years old and would run, play and sleep together – sometimes they lay in their bed and you couldn’t tell where the first dog started and the last finished.
Then in 2006, Starkie was suffering terribly with arthritis and despite the best efforts and medication from the vet, he passed away as we prepared for the Summer. The other dogs obviously felt the loss and just after Starkie died, Sam was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. Sam died just two months after Starkie, leaving 11 year old Treacle lost and visibly feeling the emptiness left by her two friends.
Not knowing what to do with Starkie and Sam’s ashes we kept them in their boxes and placed them to the back of the bookshelf. The thinking was that as the three dogs were so close, we would wait until Treacle joined them and they could all be scattered together. Given Treacle’s demeanour and apparent downhill state of health we feared we may not be waiting long.
Then in October 2006, in an attempt to perk Treacle’s spirit, we visited the RSPCA and found a two year old Lurcher we called Ozzy. Treacle took to him straight away and was like a new dog herself. Ozzy did the trick for both us and Treacle and Treacle went on to live for another six years.
When Treacle died in 2012, at the grand old age of seventeen we were once again faced with the prospect of what to do with the ashes. Unfortunately, we had now had Starkie and Sam’s ashes so long we were reluctant to part with them. Treacle joined the other two on the bookshelf and there they all stayed for a few years more.
I finally decided that if we weren’t going to scatter the ashes, I would make something with them so they could be out in the open with us once more.
This is the result of Treacle’s ashes which I have set in a clear resin and mounted between the ends of an old oval bathroom mirror. I sandblasted the mirror to leave just a mirrored tree and Treacle’s name to the front and a paw print on the reverse. Treacle’s last dog dag is also set into the clear section of the ashes and the main part is then mounted on a piece of solid Oak.
The remaining ashes are set in the ‘pool’ on the oak base with a Mahogany paw walking across. Being a Border Collie/German Shepherd cross breed, Treacle was the most intelligent dog we have ever had and the poem describes a typical trick she used to play on the other dogs on a regular basis.