Pet Ceremonies


Groaking, (not to be confused with croaking), is ‘the look a dog gives, when it watches you eat, wishing you would share.’ If you have a dog who is your best buddy, you will understand this word.
I miss my dog groaking so much.
For 13 years our spoodle dog, Kyra, sat by our chairs, stamping her front foot to the floor repetitively. She had been taught ‘manners’ when she was a pup, and knew that if she wanted permission to eat, she had to say ‘please’. The front foot stamp was asking it over and over. Kyra stamped for toast. And definitely for cheese. Anything, if we are honest, if it smelt. For years we never gave in to her groaking, but then my brother got very sick very quickly and 19 of my family members arrived to stay and house rules of; ‘no dogs on the bed or couch or eating from the table,’ dissolved overnight. And five days later when my brother died, the rules never reversed. Because then the earthquakes arrived in our city and shattered us all. And we wanted to have everyone in the family happy. Sweat the small stuff.
Our fluffy spoodle loved when we had guests in the lounge, with food on the coffee table, for when we left the room to farewell them at the door, the table was her height. There was no one in the room to groak at. It was free game.
She loved the challenge of sniffing out any food anywhere. Eating through bags to devour sandwiches and cake from school lunch boxes. One Christmas she chewed through the cake tin and ate most of the fruit strudel and had to have her stomach pumped.
But chocolate was her weakness. She ate cakes of chocolate, if she could, without adverse reactions. Springing up into cupboards as high as she could reach, jumping onto beds or grabbing it off a bench. She had learnt manners, but not rules.
This Christmas as I wrapped presents to leave under the tree, I felt strangely cheated that I could leave them on the floor unattended if they contained food and chocolate. Our beautiful spoodle, Kyra, had died in October. We miss her so much. We miss her welcome springing up at the door when she heard my car arrive. We miss her running to bring me her favourite toys to welcome us home. Miss her snuggles and her presence. We miss her unconditional love, and we miss her groaking.
We had a funeral to farewell her, inviting her favourite dog sitters, and we read poems written for her, stories about her, had photos of her to share around, talked about her many years of love and being together, and her groaking. Then we buried her Ashes under a Rosemary bush as our remembrance.

She is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are her life, her love, her leader. She will be yours, faithful and true to the last beat of her heart. You owe it to her to be worthy of such devotion.

My goal in life is to be as good a person as my dog already thinks I am.

Having had pets die, I would be honoured to help you with a Pet Ceremony or memorial.