George Carlin said it best: “When you buy a pet, you know it’s going to end badly. You just bought a small tragedy.” As pet owners know, the loss of a beloved dog or cat or even a rabbit is hard to bear. If you find it hard to say goodbye to Fluffy or Rover, now, thanks to modern science, you don’t have to. Instead you can simply freeze dry your pet and keep them with you forever and ever.
While many pet owners might find this cringe-worthy, some seek out the freeze-drying process to help cope with their grief. When an owner loses a furry friend, they contact a pet preservation specialist who, unlike a traditional taxidermist, uses a unique process to retain the pet’s distinct features. According to an article on LiveScience, pet preservationists use freeze-dry chambers, “which lower air pressure to the point that ice turns directly into gas without going through the liquid phase,” a process that allows the dearly departed pet to retain a more life-like look. Traditional taxidermy, which stretches animal skin over a three-dimensional mold, ends up looking generic, which is not good enough for grieving owners.
If you are interested in freeze driving your pooch or kitty, you must plan ahead. According to Live Science, the pet must be frozen right after death and overnight shipped to the freeze drying specialist. Additionally, the freeze drying process costs hundreds of dollars for even guinea pigs or hamsters, and thousands for a larger dog, such as a Golden retriever. While a bereaved owner may be willing to pay that amount to find some solace, they may have second thoughts by the time the freeze dried pet arrives. It can take up to six months to prepare a 10-pound cat, or up to a year for an 80- or 90-pound dog.That’s a long time to work through your stages of grief, and to develop doubts about having a 20-pound freeze-dried Shih Tzu in your living room.