Why we are doing this
It all began back in 2012, when our white-faced golden retriever developed a massive tumor in his stomach that quickly rendered him incontinent and immobile. Unwilling to subject my beloved companion to more suffering, I made the very difficult decision to put him to sleep. Brandon – my Brandybran, passed away in my arms on the eleventh anniversary of our time together. It was by far, the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life.
During the following months, as our family grieved over our pet, friends, neighbors and even strangers came out to us to share their stories of loss and bereavement with us. That’s when it became painfully obvious to us that we all shared the same feelings of isolation as there wasn’t much support out there for those who grieve for a pet.
We realized that what we all needed most as a group was to have our feelings validated…
Motivated by that, my daughters and I decided to coordinate a collective memorial in order to provide everyone with the opportunity to honor and bid farewell to their treasured companions. The first Canine Memorial was held on the one year anniversary of our beloved Brandon’s passing, July 27th, 2013.
On that day, the cities of Orlando and Winter Park, Florida united to help us create the most beautiful and unique ceremony; one that brought together animal lovers from near and far, who expressed their sorrow by decorating lanterns in honor of their canines. These lanterns were then released into the water to carry away the heartwarming messages written to their beloved.
For some, it was the first real opportunity to say goodbye to their companion!
After the event, we received many messages from attendees letting us know what a powerful impact the ceremony had had on them. Some even expressed how the new found sense of closure had allowed them to finally open up their hearts to adopt another pet.
Sadly, and as expected, many more dogs have crossed over since our first memorial, leaving behind many families in need of an outlet for their grief. We must continue our mission. Please join us this Saturday, March 4th at Harbor Park for our 5th annual Canine Memorial at Lake Baldwin.
Thank you so much for your interest.
Jannette, Alanna and Kiara