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  • Writer's pictureAdrienne Tuling


Yes, you read that right.

I care for pets after their death. I didn’t know what to expect when I chose this path, and that didn’t matter. I don’t recall aspiring to BE an undertaker of any sort, but here I am. My heart got me here, driven by my love for my pets, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The privilege of caring for pets and their people after loss reveals grief as a common thread. It doesn’t matter how pets found their people. It doesn’t matter how long they were loved, or how large or small they happen to be. It doesn’t matter where we live or how much money we have. The loss of a pet’s physical being evokes a grief response in the people who called them family. Learning to live after losing a beloved companion is difficult and might be the absolute worst part of pet parenthood we experience.

When we love deeply, we grieve deeply. Grieving the loss of a pet is painful and may feel unbearable. We may experience different kinds of grief depending on the circumstances of the pet’s death. We may experience grief when we anticipate their passing due to illness or age. Nevertheless, grief is personal and no two people experience or process it the same way.

I have extended the dignified and respectful afterlife care I provided for my own heart dog to hundreds of other beloved furry, feathered, and scaly companions. I bear witness to the raw and tender grief experienced by their people when leaving their cherished pet’s body with me. Leaving the pet you've nurtured and loved behind is sobering and unnatural. And yet they express gratitude to me for carrying out their final responsibility. This is easy to understand because I, in my times of loss, would have liked to have had the service I provide.

That’s it. That’s why I do what I do.

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