Death + Biology Death + Technology Monuments + Memorials

Keeping Your Dead Pets Alive Forever

Amy Finkel, Director

We humans love our pets. A lot. We love them so much that when they die the grieving process can become overwhelming. Over the last ten years the number of companies and funeral homes offering pet memorialization services, products, and bereavement literature have ballooned.

Meg came across the following in-development documentary on pet loss. The film, Furever, has got chops so we’re throwing its director, Amy Finkel, a Death Ref bone.

Ok. Enough with the bad metaphors and puns.

The Death Reference Desk has been running dead pet stories for a long time and we are more than happy to add this one to the list.

Two words: Freeze Drying.

Furever is a documentary exploration of pet preservation, or, the processes by which a deceased pet is professionally conserved. I have shot forty hours of footage of one technique, freeze-drying, which produces disarmingly lifelike results. This seemingly bizarre practice offers a unique perspective on mortality, grief, and mourning. The concepts investigated in Furever will disarm anyone who might want to dismiss the subjects as mere oddball caricatures.


Furever contributes to the dialogue on death and grief, bewildering aspects of the human condition, begun by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, dovetailing with the growing trend toward pet anthropomorphism, and the anguish that befalls the owners of deceased pets. Many dismiss or judge pet preservationists for being “unbalanced,” yet the assorted rituals in place for deceased human loved ones, while precious to those who practice them, often seem odd or unusual to outsiders.

One reply on “Keeping Your Dead Pets Alive Forever”

Yay! A special thanks to Karen for the tip about Furever!

If it’s not clear from the video above, this is actually a documentary in progress, and you can donate money to Amy Finkel to make sure it happens! She’s already blown past her goal of $5000 (go Amy!) but you can be sure more money will help and be much appreciated! She’s got such great footage and interviews so far, you can be sure the full film will be tremendous.


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