It takes a village...
EVERMORE officially opened on November 15, 2021, and a lot has happened in the 6 months since. The response and feedback from pet parents locally and from surrounding areas continue to provide validation and demonstrate that I am not alone in expecting more for my pets during their after-life care.
I am humbled to have been entrusted with after-life care to more than 60 pets from Stratford, St. Pauls, Clinton, New Hamburg, Drayton, Kitchener, Waterloo, Woodstock, Mount Forest, London, and Arkona to date. I could relate to their grieving pet parents because we, too, had recently lost a beloved pet. On December 24, 2021, our sweet Lucy passed peacefully at home surrounded by those who loved her most with the assistance of her compassionate palliative care veterinarian. We miss her so.
My “why” for this undertaking is to ensure our pets are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve as members of our family after they pass. We did the best we could with what we knew in the past, but I wanted to be better prepared for the pets still with us, especially Lucy, our senior pup. Because there were no local alternatives to the long-established pet after-life care status quo, and since this status quo was not acceptable to our family, EVERMORE exists today.
I was relieved to be operational in time to give Lucy the loving, and dignified send-off she deserved. Though it was difficult having to say goodbye to Lucy and then care for her after she passed, the comfort in knowing she had the best possible ending mostly outweighed the regret of not knowing enough or doing more for our pets who passed before her.
Someone close to me recently pointed out that I am essentially a pet undertaker. I hadn’t thought of myself that way and admit that I was not particularly delighted with the reference. But at the same time, I had not given much thought to what happens after a pet passes, how, and by whom before the discovery that provided the inspiration for EVERMORE. It is a classic “ignorance is bliss” scenario that abruptly ended for me after asking “What happens next?” after the loss of a beloved pet in 2019. So, if providing dignified, respectful, compassionate, and personalized pet afterlife care makes me an undertaker, then it is a badge I’ll wear with pride.
I am truly grateful for the support I received from my husband, mom, sister, and friends because I couldn’t have done this without them. I am also thankful for the support I have received in our community from Invest Stratford & the Stratford Perth Centre for Business, and the City of Stratford. I’d like to give a special shout-out to Mike Pullen and Holly Mortimer who help make Straford a great place to innovate and grow.
I am especially grateful to Ken Robinson and team for, well, everything. I am grateful to the local businesses and the fantastic people who helped EVERMORE become operational, including Ken Robinson Refrigeration, Industrial Mechanical, Douglas Electric, Turner Plumbing, and Kirby Electric. These expert problem-solvers transformed the dream into reality.
The entire Bio-Response Solutions team and owners of Resting Waters, New Leaf Pet Cremation, EcoPassage, Peaceful Pasture Pet Cremation, and Faithful Pet Memorial have been invaluable in their support. The opportunities for dialogue and sharing of ideas have been most appreciated and will continue to be valued going forward. I wish you all continued success.
A final thank you to those who have trusted me with the care of their pets, and to Dr. Hambleton, Dr. Gilles, Dr. Hodge, and Dr. Dickie who have been early supporters of this radical departure from the “norm” called EVERMORE.