Pet Cremation (Video by Thomas Halek)
When a beloved pet passes away, most owners are afraid to have their pet cremated because they do not know if they will get their pet’s ashes back. Once they learn what is involved in pet cremation they can seek out a crematory that will put their mind at ease and give them the cremation service that they want. The video is about Donald “Skip” Wyland and his cremation business, PETS REMEMBERED Cremation Services. Wyland talks about what got him into the business and what happens to the pet during the cremation process.
Wyland also stated, “Pets are family members, and they apply the same standards to your pet as we would have done to a parent or grandparent.”
There are three basic categories available when cremating a pet, private cremation, individual cremation, and mass cremation. A private cremation is done with the pet placed in the crematory by itself. Individual cremation can mean one of two things. It can mean individual by itself or individual in a group. A pet owner who requests individual cremation needs to ask if it is individual by itself or individual in a group at that crematorium. With mass cremation, several pets are cremated together.
When Jocelin Schellbach’s pet passed away, she said, “ At first when I decided that I wanted to have her cremated I was scared that I would not get her ashes back.” Schellbach went on to say, “My girl was hit by a car and was taken from me. I just wanted to have her ashes with me forever.” After doing some research, she found a reputable crematorium, had her pet cremated, and now has her ashes with her.
The pet care industry in the U.S. is second only to the electronics industry. In 2012, Eric Spitznagel from Bloomberg Business wrote an article about pet aftercare, There’s Never Been a Better Time To Be a Dead Pet. In the article, Spitznagel reported that there were about 700 pet aftercare facilities in the U.S. Spitznagel also reported that the pet care industry brought in $52.87 billion in 2011.
This story is about a writer (who wishes to remain anonymous) and his love for his best friend Walter, a 16-year-old long-haired Chihuahua. Walter passed away on June 9, 2015 at 8:50 P.M. Walter’s master said, “He always had my back. Whenever I was happy, he was happy. When I was sad he would make me smile, and whenever I was angry he would help me stay calm.”
Two years ago, Walter helped his master write a poem titled ‘FREEDOM’. The poem was about what freedom meant to Walter.
About a year ago, Walter’s master wrote an animated short titled ‘A Golden Moment’, starring Walter, and a 2-year-old Appaloosa stud colt named Merlin. The story was about their adventures on their journey to find what was at the end of a rainbow.
A typical day in Walter’s life would start with an 8:00 A.M. wake-up call for his master. He would sit on his master’s chest and lick the end of his nose until he got up and let Walter outside to take care of business. Next, his master would serve him breakfast, a portion of canned dog food. His favorite was chicken and bacon. For the next couple of hours, Walter would curl up at his master’s feet and listen to the clicking of his master’s keyboard as he worked on his writing. Around 11:00 A.M. Walter would go for a ride with his master to go to the Post Office and do other chores. Going for rides was one of his favorite things to do. He would stretch out on the front seat and soak up the moment. If fact, if his master were late in going into town, Walter would either paw at his master’s leg or sit up, paw the air and speak until his master would take him for his ride. On days when his master did not have to go to work, they would go for walks, go fishing, or go to one of his master’s favorite places to get inspired and write. Walter loved being in the outdoors with his master.
On days when his master was gone to work or doing his business, Walter would sit for hours at the top of the steps or in the entry waiting for his return.
Whenever it was possible, Walter was always at his master’s side. When it was time to go outside or for a second ride into town, all his master had to do was look at him, raise his hand and motion with his index finger and Walter would come flying. His master said, “If I were heading for the door Walter would sit, and watch for me to turn and motion him to follow me. I would turn, look into his eyes from across the room, and as soon as I raised my arm, he would jump up and wait for the signal. As soon as he got it he would race across the carpet in a fury to get to me.”
At night, Walter would once again curl up by his master and listen to the magical purr of the keyboard, as his master would write until the early hours of the morning. When finished, his master would look down at him and say, “It’s night-night time.” Walter would jump up, run into the bedroom, and stand next to his master’s side of the bed and wait for him to pick him up and set him on the bed. After his master settled in bed, Walter would curl up in his master’s left armpit, and they would fall fast asleep.
Reflecting on Walter’s first night with him, his master said, “The first night Walter went to bed with me, he bit me on the nose. It was as if he was trying to tell me, he may be little, but he is still the boss. From that moment on, we were best buds forever.”
Reflecting on what happened when Walter passed away his master said, “I held him in my arms, cried, and begged him to come back to me. I could feel his spirit looking down at me, telling me not to be sad, he had a great life with me and would always be with me.”
Walter’s cremation took place on June 11, 2015 at PETS REMEMBERED cremation service in New Brighton, Minnesota. Walter’s master said that one of his biggest fears about having Walter cremated was, “Will I get my Walter’s ashes back?“ He reported that after researching pet cremation, he found Pets Remembered. At Pets Remembered, only one pet is cremated at a time, and you can be involved as much as you desire right up to and including placing the pet into the crematorium.
Walter waiting to be placed into the crematorium
(Photo by Thomas Halek)
Walter being placed into the crematorium
(Photo by Thomas Halek)
Walter in the crematorium
(Photo by Thomas Halek)
After Walter’s cremation, his master was given a carved wooden urn with Walter’s ashes. He also received a pendant, which contained some of Water’s ashes. His master replied, “While wearing this pendant my buddy will always go with me, no matter what I do or where I am.”
Strelow, an Army veteran from the Korean War, shared his experiences in getting medical attention from the VA. Several years ago, in an accident he lost one eye. Since that accident, the vision in his good eye has been slowly deteriorating to the point where he can barely see anymore. The VA told him that a certain type of surgery would help his vision immensely, and for over a year, he tried to get the surgery scheduled. Each time he made an appointment it was rescheduled or canceled. Strelow stated, “It’s so screwed up. I received a cancellation notice, and when I called to reschedule, I was told that because I had supposedly failed to show up everything was cancelled.” He went on to say, “I never missed an appointment. That was just an excuse to stall me. The women I talked to was rude and told me I didn’t think too much of my fellow veterans and will have to start the process all over again.”
Eight months later Strelow had surgery on his eye. Strelow said, “I had enough with the bureaucracy with the VA and went to a regular Doctor and had the surgery done. Now I can finally see again. I am done trying to get help from the VA.”
Strelow lives in his home on the outskirts of Rush City, Minnesota.
At the age of 83, he still operates his excavation business.
He loves operating his bulldozer.
He loves operating his backhoe.
Now that he has his eyesight back, no job is too challenging.
When not excavating he loves his garden.
In his backyard, he has a creek that runs through it.
Strelow said, “My real love is operating my equipment.”
In summation Strelow remarked, “Now that I am seeing my regular doctors and can see, I am much happier.”
Groomers Astonishing Talent To Bring New Life To A Tattered Pet Video by Thomas Halek
The pet population in the U.S., today is growing rapidly, and the demand for groomers has grown with it. In a table published by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2010, titled, Table 1241. Household Pet Ownership: 2006, reported that the total companion pet population for dogs was over 72.1 million and the number of households with dogs was over 43 million.
In Minnesota, where Cheryl Pearson, the groomer featured in the video above resides, petgroomers.com reported in a 2010 study that there were approximately 569 grooming businesses in a state resident population of over 5,303,925. The estimated households with pets were 1,237,129.
In a report by IBISWorld, they reported that the Pet Grooming Industry was one of the few industries that were not hit hard by the depression. In 2013, the number of households owning a pet had increased to over 82.5 million. With the increased growth of ownership comes the increased growth for groomers.
The average income for groomers varies considerably depending on whether they are self-employed or work for pet supply stores, kennels, veterinary clinics or animal shelters.
The Houston Chronicle in an article on ‘The Average Income For A Dog Groomer’ reported in 2010 the average hourly rate for salary groomers was $9.10 an hour. The rate for self-employed was $25 to $30 an hour with yearly earnings, before expenses, reaching nearly six figures.
Pearson said, “One of the things I truly enjoy is to see the smile on my clients faces when they pick up their pets after they have been pampered and how much their pet loves me for doing it.”
Librarian Influence On Our Lives and In Our Community Video by Thomas Halek
Your local librarian is your pilot and navigator to any world your imagination wants to travel too and the world your depression wants to leave. Just ask your librarian for help and in minutes, you are transported from your world to any place you want to be. Whether it is the deepest jungle or a voyage into outer space with Edgar Rice Burroughs, an adventure into other worlds with H. G. Wells, or delve into mystery and suspense with William Kent Kruger, your librarian can help guide you there. Perhaps you want to learn about those who overcome insurmountable obstacles and achieved their goals. Your librarian can help you find them.
Donna Larson is one such librarian. Larson is a head librarian with the East Central Library System at the Rush City Library in Rush City, Minnesota since February of 2011. She is originally from Minnesota, has a 2-year degree in business from the University of Minnesota in Crookston and a 2-year degree in Equestrian Studies at a school in West Virginia. Larson and her husband are both ordained ministers and have led a church in Princeton, Minnesota for 31 years since they started it. She has written many ministry related articles, conducted research, developed Bible and Christian children’s curriculum, and attended or hosted many leadership conferences. Larson loves to read novels at night. It helps her to forget about her trials and tribulations of everyday life and helps her to sleep. When it comes to being a librarian, Larson said, “Witnessing that sense of desire and anticipation when a customer comes into the library is invigorating.”
Alison M.G. Follos, a librarian at North Country School in upstate New York, wrote an article titled ‘Change the Literacy Depression in Your School: Read Teens a Story!’ In the article she wrote, “Reading out loud to teens initiates, develops, and solidifies a love of literature.”
A librarian has a wealth of knowledge and an unending reach to other worlds limited only by your imagination and your need to replenish your spirit. With that in mind, a librarian is truly an ultimate weapon for depression in the young and old alike.
Buerhing Dairy Farm Video By Thomas Halek