Colleen Mihelich has a tremendous love for animals and an understanding of the deep grief associated with their death, something she remembered when she lost her quarter horse Pepper when she was 16 years old. Many of us have been touched by the loss of a beloved pet, and since she understands the heartache of that loss, Mihelich chose to devote her career to the concept of helping others honor the love they have shared and grieve the loss of their pets through her website company that offers pet memorials.
Although Pepper was gone, Mihelich knew that the love she felt for her horse would never go away. That’s why she decided that people needed a way to help keep their memories alive and created an online community, a pet memorial website. Here, grieving pet owners can choose handcrafted pet memorial products including custom pet grave markers, memorial pet urns, garden statue pet memorial stones, keepsake boxes, pet portrait and art and tribute paintings, glass art, burial boxes and more.
We’ve all found little nuggets of wisdom or inspirational stories that have helped us move on,” said Mihelich, founder of Peternity. Many of us found little nuggets of wisdom or inspirational stories along the way that have helped us move on,” said Mihelich, founder of Peternity. “Losing a pet is a difficult thing and grieving the loss is a very important step toward healing; just about as important to many people as the loss of a human being.”
Continually on the lookout for unique, handcrafted pieces of art to help her customers express their love, joy and memories, Mihelich believes that people wish to honor their cherished friends with elegance, dignity and honor, and that their pets deserve the very best. That’s why her company searches for the finest craftsmanship and quality.
Her company also provides grieving support, and people can find links to pet loss information and pet loss counseling websites to help them say goodbye to their beloved pet. This is particularly helpful for parents assisting children with the loss of a pet. Guests on the website can create virtual pet memorials via a living pet memorial to share loving memories and favorite stories about their pets with family and friends, including a written tribute, and dialog and photographs that honor their pet’s memory.
Bereavement counselor Marty Tousley says, “One of the biggest myths about the grief that accompanies pet loss is that it’s somehow different than grieving the loss of a human. When love is lost it does not matter if it’s a human or an animal, because we still feel grief.”
The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA) 2007-2008 National Pet Owners survey states that 63 percent of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 71.1 million homes, up from 56 percent in 1988. APPMA estimated the spending of $40.8 billion on pets in 2007 in the United States.
“It would be impossible to say how much we appreciate all that Peternity did in helping us with our stone for Buddy. It is just beautiful and we couldn’t possibly be happier with how it turned out,” said Alan and Stephanie Thomas.