• Choosing Death for Pets. Choosing Death for Humans.

    Weighing the End of Life Louise Aronson, New York Times (February 3, 2013) How can we measure the quality of life, for our beloved pets…

  • On the Death of Animals

    At-Home Pet Euthanasia Grows in Popularity Steve Hendrix, Washington Post (September 26, 2011)   National Public Radio: Do Animals Grieve? Barbara J. King, National Public…

  • 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.

    Furever Amy Finkel, Director We humans love our pets. A lot. We love them so much that when they die the grieving process can become…

  • Lolcats? No, Death Cat.

    The story of Oscar, the “Death Cat”, is making the rounds these days. From articles in Discover and the New England Journal of Medicine, to…

  • Discards

    The euthanasia of unwanted cats and dogs is a regular occurrence the world over. However, in Japan, it takes on epic proportions. The voracious appetite…

  • Pets-n-Death

    People are crazy about their pets. Diamond tiaras, cat condos, doggie daycares serving gourmet kibble, anti-depressants and acupuncture for the unstable pet in your life…