Losing a beloved pet is one of the most difficult experiences someone can go through. When Garrett Gross of Detroit, Michigan lost his dog River, his loyal companion of 12 years, he wanted to honor her life with a special send-off. Garrett decided to hold a full funeral service as a meaningful way to pay tribute to River’s memory.
Garrett and River did everything together over the past decade, from daily walks to adventures hiking and camping. He adopted River from a shelter as a puppy and they formed an unbreakable bond from the start. She provided constant comfort, joy and friendship.
When River’s health started declining due to old age, Garrett made the hard decision to have her put to sleep. He was devastated, but began planning a memorial that would properly commemorate River’s life.
Garrett handmade a wooden coffin lined with River’s favorite blanket. He displayed photos and drew portraits of River, along with her collar and favorite toys. When the day arrived, Garrett transported everything to a beautiful forest clearing by the river, along with about 20 friends and family members.
During the funeral service, people shared stories and read poems honoring River. Garrett gave a heartfelt eulogy about the cherished memories he shared with his loyal companion. At the end, they lowered River’s coffin as attendees released balloons into the sky.
The funeral provided closure and emotional healing for Garrett. It was a moving final tribute to a beloved family member who brought him so much happiness. The care Garrett took in celebrating River’s life shows the depth of love between a person and their pet.