Writing a pet obit can help owner’s healing

Whether it involves the loss of a human or a pet, grief can be unbearable. We search for ways to deal and ways to heal.

Depending on each person who is attempting to cope with loss, there are many ways in which to try and come to terms with the great void our loved one has left behind.

We will write soon about dealing with the loss of a pet, but for now I want to share one way of coping that may make your heart smile.

Imagine if you could write and submit a pet obituary to the paper just as you can for a human? Well, you can!

The Altoona Mirror accepts pet obituaries and it has served many people who are trying to come to grips with the loss of a beloved pet.

Why create an obit for your pet? We’ve been writing obituaries for people for centuries. They have changed quite a bit over the years – the reasons, the styles, the options but we choose to remember and celebrate life in many ways when someone passes.

Sharing an obituary is a touching way to share your loss with others as well as help to celebrate the life of your loved one. It’s a place to express a more personal side and share qualities that made your loved one unique and special.

Often when we lose someone close to us, one of the hardest things to do is share that news with our friends and family. Sometimes there are just too many people who would like to be notified. Sometimes our grief is so new and so great we can’t bear to keep sharing the news over and over. A pet obit is a way to reach family and friends to let them know of the great loss you’ve experienced and what that loss means to you.

Pet obits are published each Sunday in the Mirror and can include a photo of your beloved pet. Cost varies by size but starts at $25 for 150 words. Photos are additional and start at $15. Once printed in the paper, your pet obituary will also be posted on www.altoona


Many people choose to remember, share and celebrate the life of their pet by including their fur baby’s quirky personality traits, funny habits and tricks, likes and dislikes.

For so many of us, our pets are family and finding ways to grieve their loss can be just as difficult.

Because our pets are so much a part of our family, I would have a hard time narrowing down what I wanted to share in an obituary.

One of my all time favorite quotes by Anatole France — “Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” — captures for me the essence of why I would want to share the memories of my beloved pet.

Another great idea is to offer to gift a pet obituary to someone who recently lost a beloved pet. What a beautiful way to help a friend or family member share their love and loss – helping them to formulate the words and find that perfect picture and submit the information for publication.

For more information, contact the Mirror at 946-7459 or email petobits

@altoonamirror.com. Pet obits can also be dropped off in person at the Mirror office between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays if you have already penned your remembrance and have a favorite photo to share.

Amy is the author of the new children’s book, “Oakley’s Great Cape Escape”, as well as, “Have Dog Will Blog”, editor of the Central PA Pets magazine, and director of the Central PA Pet Expo. She can be contacted at ahanna

@altoonamirror.com or by mail: Paws and Reflect, c/o Amy J. Hanna-Eckenrode, Altoona Mirror, 301 Cayuga Ave., Altoona, PA 16602.