As their beloved pet golden retriever passed away, a family in Australia transformed it into a taxidermy keepsake.
One of the toughest things you can go through is losing a pet, therefore many owners choose to save memorabilia as a method to help them get through the painful period.
One family, however, made the decision to go a step further and have their dog preserved as a pelt.
When Melbourne-based taxidermy business Chimera Taxidermy used social media to film the work, people learned about the odd request.
On the company’s Instagram post, it says: “Beautiful old golden retriever preserved as a pelt for his family. Finally ready to head home.”
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In the comments, it adds: “The pelt has been tanned and turned to leather so the fur won’t fall out.”
Maddy, the owner of Chimera Taxidermy, told Yahoo Australia that she completely understands why ‘it’s not for everyone’ and ‘respects their decision’.
She said: “Pet taxidermy has only really become more popular in the last five years or so, so it’s a very new thing to see for most people.
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“Some are more of a sentimental keepsake, others are on display resting in their beds however their owners wanted them preserved.
“Most of the requests I get are for full taxidermy mounts.
“Pelt preservation is less commonly asked for, but I still do quite a few pelts.”
The creator of the ornamental pelt advised that it be “stored on a shelf together with the pets ashes, collar, photos, etc. so they don’t require cleaning” despite the fact that animal pelts can be used as rugs.
The response has been mixed in the Instagram post’s comment section.
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One person added: “It’s beautiful. But I couldn’t deal with the pain of the dog I lost not being with us anymore. I lost my dog earlier this year, and I couldn’t imagine seeing her every day like this.”
Another person shared: “I’m sorry for your loss, I can imagine how the loss may feel. I wouldn’t be able to move on by doing this to my beloved. It’s not for everyone definitely.”
One user said: “Saw this on Facebook and the flood of backlash and had to come here and tell you how cool I think this is.
“People grieve differently and preserve their pets differently. I love it.”
Maddy once more took to social media after the taxidermy went viral to defend the family’s choice to have their golden retriever preserved into a pelt.
She penned: “I create alternative pet memorials for those that want to keep a physical reminder of their pet. Some people choose only part of the pelt, some people choose the entire pelt. Some people prefer to keep their pets’ skull and cremate the rest.
“Some people want to preserve their pet sleeping forever as taxidermy. The pets I preserve are not ‘floor rugs’.
“They are stored alongside ashes, photos, artwork, collars and whatever other mementoes the owner has kept. It’s the same concept as storing an urn on the shelf.”