Tattoo Ideas: Pet Memorials
More Than Just a Pet
My family was devastated when we lost our black lab in 1998. Jake was our first family pet, so when he was diagnosed with cancer at age 11, we couldn't help but think that his time with us had been much too short. It wasn't long before he could no longer walk up the stairs to sleep at the foot of my parents' bed. In Jake's final days, my dad would often sleep next to him on the living room floor, holding him when he would wake from tremors in the middle of the night. It wasn't long after that we took him to the vet and had him put to sleep.
When Jake died, our other dog (a character of a pug named Max) was still young and spry. But of course, inevitably, after living a long, happy 15 years, Max's time came, too. Just a few days after his 15th birthday, the vet was kind enough to make a housecall and put Max to sleep in the comfort of our own home.
It's amazing how animals come so easily into our lives and seamlessly become members of our family. Their devotion never wavers, their love is unconditional, and they're always happy to see you. Is it any surprise many people refer to their pets as their children? When Jake died, we made my father a framed photo collage documenting the eleven years he spent with us. My dad (a construction worker who never really shows emotion) cried when he saw it. The collage hangs prominently in my parents' living room. We also have a plaque celebrating Max's life which sits nearby.
There are many ways to memorialize the loss of a beloved pet. I had a friend who got her precious dachshund stuffed by a taxidermist after he was tragically hit by a car. He lived on her dresser. Some people prefer to get a tattoo honoring their deceased cat or dog, the same way you would get a tattoo of a cross or someone's name along with date of birth and date of death. You can find a ton of different and creative ways to ink a pet memorial tattoo.
Pet Portrait Tattoos
Portrait tattoos, of both the living and the deceased, are a popular tattoo choice. Rather than flipping through images in your mind or only having a tattooed name and dates to look at, some people choose to get their pet's actual likeness inked onto them. The key to doing this successfully is finding a photograph of clear quality that accurately represents your pet, and then finding a tattoo artist who has experience with this type of art. If you doubt your artist's ability to translate the photo into a realistic image, another option is to get a caricature, or even a cartoon sketch, of your beloved pet.
Pet Portrait Tattoo GalleryClick thumbnail to view full-size
Paw Print Tattoos
The standard, thick outlined image of a cat or dog paw print is a common choice for tattoos, whether they're pet memorials or not (think Eve's paw print tattoos on her chest). This can be very cute when incorporating a small heart or your pet's name, but I think an even cuter idea would be to get their actual paw print.
You can take the stamp of a paw print the same way you would take a human's fingerprints, either before your animal ever even gets sick or passes away; or, if you feel up to it, you can get the stamp just after your pet passes.
Paw Print Tattoo GalleryClick thumbnail to view full-size
Quote Ideas for Pet Tattoos
"A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself." --Josh Billings
"Dogs are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole." --Roger Caras
"Even the tiniest poodle is lionhearted." --Louis Sabin
"There is only one smartest dog in the world, and every boy has it." --Anonymous
"A good dog never dies, he always stays, he walks besides you on crisp autumn days when frost is on the fields and winter's drawing near, his head within our hand in his old way." --Anonymous