Colorado State University students will be able to commemorate the pets they lost at an annual pet memorial event.
The Argus Institute at the Colorado State University Teaching Hospital will host an annual pet memorial event on Sept. 10.
This is the 10th year of the pet memorial, which is for clients of the hospital who have lost a companion animal.
Erin Allen, a clinical counselor at the Argus Institute who works with clients of pet owners, says the event provides a space for pet owners that they would not otherwise have.
“A lot of people have a hard time expressing grief for a pet because society doesn’t allow it,” Allen said. “(The pet memorial) can be very beneficial for people. We have heard from them and found it has been a great service for them.”
Allen said the memorial provides activities for people to express their emotions.
“We have poetry readings, meditation readings, quotes, stories about lost pets and reflective prose on grief and loss and the human-animal bond to resonate with people attending,” Allen said.
The last few years have also featured a memorial slide show with harp musical accompaniment. The pets memorialized range from popular domestic animals like dogs and cats, to horses, guinea pigs, lizards and pot-bellied pigs.
Allen says that the Teaching Hospital is an ideal if painful location that provides a sense of closure for owners. Attendees include first-timers to repeat attendees who lost a pet years ago.
“It brings people back who said goodbye to their animals while they were here,” Allen said. “The memorial helps to create a healing environment for them to come to terms with their loss.”
The number of attendees has grown over the years, starting with 60 people in 2008. In 2016, nearly 140 people attebded the event.
The memorial will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. in Room 118 and 120 in the Flint Animal Cancer Center 300 W. Drake Road Fort Collins, CO 80523. A reception with light refreshments will follow the formal program. All who attend are encouraged to bring mementos of their pets to display during the ceremony. No pets are allowed.
Space is limited and anyone interested in attending must RSVP by September 1.
Collegian news reporter Colin Raunig can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @colinraunig.