September 27, 2002

"Obituaries for a Furry Farewell"

"Obituaries for a Furry Farewell" c. Ryan Rhodes, March 5, 2002

As if we needed more proof that Americans hold their family pets in just a tad too high of esteem, the Philadelphia Daily News last week announced that it would start running monthly memorials under the heading, "A Fond Farewell to our Beloved Pet." That's right, for the paltry sum of $52.08, families can now bemoan the loss of anything from turtles to terriers, complete with picture.

And, because I'm always on the lookout for a lucrative endeavor, and because I have a fairly strong obituary writing background, I'm considering offering my writing expertise, for the right price, to families wishing to posthumously praise their pets. Consider the following examples.

Rexvold "Rex" Nelson, 7 (49 in dog years), a golden retriever, passed away Monday, March 4, 2001 at his master's feet in Rochester, Minn., following a two month battle with heart worms.

Rex was born Dec. 29, 1995 at a puppy farm outside Des Moines, Iowa, where he lived in a cardboard box with his three brothers and two sisters before being sent to "Puppies -N- Stuff," where he was purchased by the Nelson family for $356.

Rex enjoyed chewing cool grass on a summer's eve, fetching sticks, and barking at the family of squirrels nested in the big oak in the backyard. An avid hunter, Rex was credited with countless pheasant retrievals, both on land and in ponds.

He is survived by his adopted family, one brother, one sister, and a special friend (the hydrant on the corner of 24th St. and Harriet).

Brief funeral services were held in the Nelson backyard shortly after the kids got home from school on March 5, with their father Bob Nelson officiating. Interment was under the big oak.

Fluffington "Fluffy" Michaels, 4, a common tabby, died early Monday morning, March 4, 2002 at her home in Stewartville, Minn., after being backed over by the '98 Chevy she was sleeping under.

Fluffy was born June 21, 1998 under a stack of hay bales in High Forest Twsp., where she lived for three months before being brought into Stewartville by farmer Hank Mathews, who gave her, her two brothers, and two sisters away for free. Fluffy was the first to be selected by the Michaels, with their three year old daughter, Hannah, having the final say.

Fluffy enjoyed playing with the assortment of toys provided by her adopted family. She was also fond of sleeping in sunlit windowsills and under the left rear wheel of the family's '98 Chevy.

She is survived by her adopted family, her mother, her father (that dang cat that kept climbing over the fence each night), all her brothers and sisters, and Fluffy 2, the identical tabby selected by Mr. Thomas Michaels at the local humane society to prevent his daughter from learning of her his mistake while running late for work that morning.

No funeral services were scheduled for Fluffy. Interment was the local Stewartville landfill.

Jacintha "Jaws" Henry, eight months old, a goldfish, was discovered belly up in the Henry aquarium in Wabasha, Minn., Friday, March 8, 2002 after being fed repeatedly by young son, Thomas.

Jaws hatched July 1, 2001, after being spawned and fertilized at the Fins and Gills tropical fish hatchery in Miami, Fla. She was quickly transported to pet supply stores nationwide, during which time three-quarters of her siblings perished and were processed into Friskies and Fancy Feast. She was given away free to the Henry family four months ago after they paid $35 for aquarium cleaning supplies.

Jaws deeply enjoyed swimming, a pastime that constituted most of her life. When not swimming or eating, she liked exploring the castle and the wrecked ship at the bottom of the aquarium.

She is survived by her adopted family, countless remaining siblings, and her genetically engineered mother (capable of producing 25 times more eggs than regular goldfish).

Brief funeral services were held in the Henry bathroom March 9, with mother Jane officiating and conducting appropriate flushing ceremonies. Interment was in the Wabasha municipal sewage treatment facility.

Posted by Ryan at September 27, 2002 09:13 AM
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