What do you do with over 30 canisters of pet ashes in your closet? If you’re me, you pay a landscaper a substantial amount of money to create a serenity garden, burying the ashes among beautiful hydrangeas, hostas, daisies and lilies. Through the years, I thought a lot about how I was going to honor those I held dear. I considered a lot of meaningful ways to honor pets after they have gone to the rainbow bridge to wait for you. I thought about jewelry or tattoos to commemorate how special they were to me, but fashions change. And I still have the canisters of ashes. I wanted them all together and near me. I decided placing them in a garden was the way to go. The first thing I worked out is that pet cemetery sounds creepy; serenity garden is much more appealing. There was still so much to plan.

Ideas I considered over the years:

Solar lanterns: pet’s name in calligraphy on the glass

Garden stones: pet’s name engraved on the face

Garden stakes: pet’s name in calligraphy on the blade

Glass urns: pet’s ashes look like a sand mosaic

Special shrubs and flowers: Kevyn, my yellow Labrador, loved to eat daisy blooms. Daisies were a must have.

A bat I had named Bruce, who resided in one of my outbuildings, died. He found a special place in the newly landscaped serenity garden. Coincidently, I had just bought a metal bat-shaped garden stake at Jerry’s the weekend before his death. That gave me a little chill.

The completed serenity garden is warm and inviting. I enjoy my morning coffee seated on a bench surrounded by favorite plants and memorial stones with personal messages to each pet. In the winter, a landscaped creek flows through from the rains and underground springs. It’s a place for peace and reflection year around.

Rock Nest Training & Pet Care LLC offers Group Class and Private Consult for dogs and cats. You can find Rock Nest Training & Pet Care LLC at facebook.com/rocknestpetcare/, www.rocknestpetcare.com or call Cheri Spaulding at 541-895-3162.