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A Living Memorial for a Beloved Pet

October 13, 1985

"Counselors Help Those Grieving Over Loss of Pets" (by Paul Dean, Oct. 4) struck a responsive chord in me. I have been grief-stricken over the loss of my beloved German shepherd, Heidi, who recently had to be put to sleep after living for 15 1/2 years with me, my constant loving companion in the several countries in which I lived.

Her last months were spent with hip dysplasia, a disease common to large dogs. The veterinarian did a singularly kind and sympathetic deed by sending a contribution in Heidi's memory to Cornell University's research program into diseases of older animals.

We had her cremated and her ashes buried in a container resting in a special corner of a flower garden created just for her. The newly planted geranium garden with a simple burial ceremony was the method that my husband and I chose--a living memorial. The sharpness of her death has now been blunted.

Heidi and I are still together and a corner of our property has been brightened. The love that we shared over the years has been converted to other living things. I recommend similar projects to others who may face pet loss.

CORA M. VIRAY

Los Angeles

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