Gut Check: Making simple sense out of life
By Lenore Skomal Erie Times-News staff blogger
Lenore Skomal is an award-winning author and veteran journalist in all forms of media. She is a weekly columnist and daily blogger for the Erie Times-News. She’s authored 17 published books, including an anthology of her columns, Burnt Toast available on her website   Read more about this blog.
Posted: March 4th, 2012
Freeze drying your pets when they die

Freeze-Dried Dalmatian. Photo Credit: Mike McCullough, Mac's Taxidermy

My great grandmother so loved her canary, that she had a taxidermist preserve the little yellow song bird when he died and attach him to a wooden swing inside a velvet cage.

I inherited the little stuffed birdie when she died. And while it kind of grossed me out, I was intrigued about the process of keeping a beloved pet forever at one’s side long after it died.

Apparently, this is coming back in vogue. But instead of using old techniques employed by taxidermists, a new method is being employed: freeze drying.

Traditional taxidermy involves skinning an animal and stretching its hide over a three-dimensional mold. Th result is, the unique creature that owners knew and loved become generic and don’t look like they did when alive.

Now, what are known as pet preservationists, according to an article in Live Science, “use freeze-dry chambers, which lower air pressure to the point that ice turns directly into gas without going through the liquid phase.”

The result? Your no longer alive pet looks exactly like he did when he was alive.

The process takes a long time. An 80 pound dog would take almost a year to freeze dry.

All my pets have been cremated. And I am not sure I don’t want it that way. What do  you think? Take our poll.


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One comment on “Freeze drying your pets when they die

  1. Sandee on said:

    We had a very loved Basset, Rufus, who we lost in 2001. He was so special that I always told my husband I wanted to have him stuffed so he could lay on the fireplace mantel. My husband would not go for it, so we had him cremated and I have his ashes and his collar and tag on the shelf in my library. Had I known this option was available I might very well have had it done because even though I have 2 more loving bassets, there is and will always be a special place in my heart for Rufus. I totally understand someone doing this.

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