Lily Mirandog by Diana Hansen

My friend Karyn had to say good-bye to her greyhound, Lily, on Friday. It’s always tough to part ways with a beloved pet, but Lily was  12 3/4 years old, very long-lived for a greyhound, and Karyn knew she was doing the right thing when the vet told her that Lily would never be able to walk again or be free of pain. The decision was quickly made, quickly enacted.

I’ve written about a great party Karyn threw for Lily’s 12 1/2 birthday, and Karyn wrote an obituary here on the Greyhound Injury Fund blog.

But as another pal, Roxanne Hawn, requested, I’m not here to make anyone cry again. I’m here to ask for suggestions for Lily’s final resting vessel, something to contain her ashes.

Painter, Karyn’s other greyhound, rests in a lovely Raku urn. But that’s not Lily’s style. She was flamboyant. Outgoing. Demanding. A diva and drama queen. And she deserves a resting place that fits her personality.

Something colorful — in the hot pink or magenta spectrum. Something flashy. She weighed 55 pounds, so Karyn’s thinking something the size of a cake tin, maybe, or a hatbox. Maybe a purse?

All suggestions — including pictures of the items — are welcome.

And Karyn and I would love to know what you did with the ashes or other remains of your departed pets.

28 thoughts on “Lily Greyhound, Departed Diva, Rest in…What?”

  1. First of all, I’m so sorry to hear of another loss, but indeed it sounds like Lily had a long and lovely life.

    We keep the ashes of our Dalmatian (Penelope Grace) in a black-and-white tin kind of thing on the top shelf of the bookcase in our kitchen. She was food obsessed, so it seemed appropriate.

    Now, the ashes from our lab-mix (Cody) are in a beautiful wooden box on a shelf in my office. We did some feng shui stuff and the direction behind me isn’t great, so I put him back there to watch my back. :o)

    1. I love the resting places you chose — and particularly like the fact that Cody is watching your back!

  2. I’m thinking a lovely box–maybe from India?–that is covered with tiles of mirror and exotic colors. I’ve seen such things in boutiques that carry Middle Eastern and Far Eastern curios. As Lily was such a glam dog, the mirrors are essential!

    1. Brilliant! Oscar has the same sleek look as greyhounds do and it would be a terrific tribute to Lily’s lifetime dramatic achievement.

    1. See also Carol’s suggestion, which I posted right before your comment came in — not only custom made but it’ll probably take a while to create so that’ll be really ideal, ie., you don’t have to think about it/cope for a while.

  3. I’m posting this for a mutual friend of mine and Karyn (well, I only met her a couple of times but we bonded over food, dogs, and booze) who reads my blog via email.

    What about a lovely stained glass creation with many colors and lots of bling? Karyn could choose the glass and add collected bling to it and it could be handmade here in Tucson. That way, if she has some favorite bright items from Lily’s collection of goodies, bits of those could be added.

    I have done stained glass in the past (although not recently) and did get a stained glass container for Francesca, my first grey I am going to personally make one for Ferrari, but have not done so yet. One of those “round-to-it” things.


    EJ: Sounds perfect to me!

  4. I am so sorry to hear of Lily’s passing but what a grand life she had with Karyn and Painter! My Bandit, who was my heart dog, was a lot like Painter (Karyn and I have talked about the two of them before) and his ashes rest in a beautiful teakwood box on my dresser. But that was him, quiet and proud and always dignified.

    When I lost Bandit, my Sweetie Pie got me through it. She was my rock. She is now 12 and 1/4 (as of last Friday) and she is a girl with her own style as well. Her personality is more in line of “The High Priestess of What’s Mine is Mine and What’s Yours is Mine too!” and “first inside” and “gets the best couch” and “bites the butt of those who annoy her”… and, well, I could go on and on but you get the picture! :))

    I agree that girls like this deserve a different type of final resting place more in fitting with their personalities.

    I have a good friend who had a girl like this who recently passed at 17-1/2. She was a little terrier mix who was rescued from a homeless camp as one very sick little puppy. My friend had Lucy for over 17 years… amazing. She wanted Lucy’s final resting place to be as special as she was, and after lots of soul searching finally decided on seeking out an antique trunk that had some flair of it’s own. She wanted to place not only Lucy’s ashes in the trunk, but her favorite things as well.

    When she gathered the strength to shop and walked in to the first shop that day, there it was… a small, delicate and very feminine antique trunk. It was painted pink with delicate flowers on it. It said “Lucy” loud and clear. It was perfect.

    I know that Karyn will find that perfect place for Lily as well.

    I hope the smiles replace the tears soon,
    Cyndi R

    1. Thanks, Cyndi. That’s a great story. It sounds like Sweetie Pie and Lily had a lot in common.

      Karyn and I were joking about Painter meeting up with Lily at the Rainbow Bridge. Although Lily definitely felt Painter’s passing — she no doubt missed bossing him around — she was soon very happy to be queen of the household. So we imagined Painter going, Oh, no, not her again…

  5. Cyndi and Carol,

    Thanks for those comments and ideas. They do make me smile.

    My friend Cynthia just called to say that she was thinking along the lines of a girlie lunchbox…more food for thought.

  6. My Kuma passed away in January & I spent a number of tear-filled hours looking for something better than the cardboard box. Something that would never get shoved away in a closet. I finally found a portrait urn from, but still haven’t found the strength to open the cardboard box, look at the ashes & put him inside. So for now, he sits on the bookshelf in a basket I made, with his collar, a bunch of pictures, the cards people sent, and the snoopy book “Happiness is a Warm Puppy”.

    Best of luck finding the perfect urn for Lily……

    1. Yeah, I’ve got to say I have trouble dealing with the whole ashes thing – and that includes my mother, who asked for some of her ashes to be scattered (the rest to be buried next to my father). I told her I didn’t know whether I could deal with opening the box and, when it came down to it, I couldn’t. Luckily, she told me she understood, and that it wasn’t a problem.

  7. My friend poet Lily Bolero (aka Phyllis Janik) had a business where she would put the ashes of a loved one (human or pet) into a hand made blown glass sculpture for you, and also I don’t know if she did this, actually, but my other friend author Lowell Komie wrote a short story inspired by this that included glass skipping stones, so people used the skipping stones in a ritual to send them out over the water of Lake Michigan. THis was some years ago and I have intermittent communications with Phyllis – and don’t know if she was able to make a go of the business but it was certainly an idea that had potential, both imagistically and one would think, from a marketability point of view. I will try to locate her if someone is interested. nice question, Edie!

    1. I like that idea, Diane — and it’s intriguing not to know if this was a real business or the fictional idea of a business… The skipping stones image is lovely; of course finding a body of water in Tucson to skip them across may be a bit tougher!

  8. Jenifer
    It’s best not to put the ashes in the urn when you’re alone. When I did that, it was very moving and I don’t recommend. Best to have a good friend in the room who loved your pet too.

  9. Pardon my syntax in the above note – confusion reigning this last week – the glass blown sculptures were actually a business – that LilyBolero/Phyllis Janik, the poet/businesswoman called “art memorials” –

    The skipping stones were either also the business already or also only the contribution of Lowell Komie the storyteller/author.

    Sidenote. While many of your readers are in the Southwest and may already be aware of this, according to our Native American friends, they ask that memorial ashes should not be scattered on sacred places, especially tribal lands, including mountains and streams, and the moon, (remember: unsuccessful legal fight to stop ashes of astronomer who spotted last comet in 1998 being sent to moon) as they consider this a no-no .

    Diane recently posted “Waters of Babylon” at the Albuquerque Judaism Examiner, (haven’t figured out yet the commentluv function thank you 🙂 )

    1. Thanks for clarifying, Diane; I do remember the moon/ashes flap. And I’m glad you gave me the opportunity to mention “CommentLuv.” You just check the CommentLuv box which (I think!) appears at the end of each post. At least that’s how it worked on a friend’s blog, and I liked the incentive to add comments — and to read what my commenters where up to – so well that I added it to my blog.

  10. I have a brass urn I was going to use for Tsering, my Lhasa – it was the closest thing to his “home” in Tibet I could find, a brass replica of the buddhist stupa in Thailand. Then I found that all his ashes would not fit inside. That was a bit of a trauma at the time as were the artifacts that did not go completely to ash, so I think the suggestion to have someone with you is a very good idea. I suspect there were other animals with him, so he rests in his white smaller-than-a-cookie-tin container in one of the compartments in the bed’s headboard.

    1. I am completely charmed by the idea of the return-to-roots Tibetan urn, Mary — and also with your solution of putting Tsering into a compartment of your bed’s headboard. Inquiring minds want to know (but are too lazy to google): Where does the lovely name Tsering come from?

    2. Tsering is a Tibetan Name meaning “long life” in Sanskrit. (And Tashi is “good luck”) I love that Tibetan names have significant meaning in the culture. Our own has long forgotten the meaning of names, which is a loss I think. There is a belief that there is power in a name in more than one culture. Funny about Tsering – he did not fulfill his name’s promise, but packed more joy per moment into it…dogs teach us in so many ways. Always makes me smile! Thank for asking – this was a lovely memory;)

  11. I’m so sorry to hear about Lily. But, it sounds like she had a wonderful life with Karyn.
    Karyn said that Lily loved her shoes. Why not have one of her favorite shoes bronzed and mounted on a stand. It would have to be a boot type, so you could put her ashes inside.
    They could probably make a stopper to close the top.
    Just a thought.

  12. I am so sorry to hear that Lily is gone — your post about her party was a hoot, and she sounded like a wonderful companion.
    When our adored cats Atalanta and Grace finally ran out of lives, we put their ashes, and a bunch of notes about our memories of them, in two complementary lacquer urns from Thailand (they were sisters, but had very different personalities, so we wanted their urns to match but not match). Here’s one of them:

    1. That urn is lovely, Mary-Alice, and what a nice idea to honor them that way. Your literary/classicist roots are showing: Atalanta is a great name. Was she a huntress?

      1. That’s my husband in action (I married those cats — before them, I was strongly anti-cat). Grace was a beautiful long-haired white cat with an attitude, named after Grace Kelly, and Atalanta was easily distracted, hence the name. *My* pets had names like “Flower” and “Lady” up to that point, though my brother had a fine St. Bernard named Fafnir.

        1. Ha! Now I have to go google Fafnir. Along with Tsering, since Mary Haight didn’t clear up that mystery name for me…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *