So yesterday I carefully wrapped up the 2 urns and drove to Bedminster to deliver them to my client Ann. She is the dream client. She not only told me the golden words, “take your time,” she also added the unthinkable, “have fun.” I really wanted to do a good job for her. When I create funerary pet urns I want to see a picture of the animal, I want to know its name, and I want to hear stories about it. Ann sent me a picture of a beautiful dog with a big grin on her face, looking up. Ann told me Lola was a show dog, had a great sense of humor, and that Lola taught her to laugh and have fun. I could tell she really really missed her.
Handling the ashes of beloved animals to create the glaze always makes me wistful. I feel a reverence about them, and I fully realize the import of what I’m holding in my hands, how loved these animals were and how bereaved their owners are. I try not to waste a molecule of it, and I sift it to only use the finest grains (otherwise it’s a bear to sieve.) I always return the leftovers to the client and don’t put the ashes in the urns myself, I let them do it.
I drove to meet Ann at her job at a store called The Coach Stop in Bedminster, which is my favorite store on the planet. (High on my list are hardware stores, ships chandlery, chocolate shops, ice cream parlors, saddlery/tack shops and sporting good stores.) The shop is owned and run by Tierney Sullivan. It is more than a store and she is much more than a shop keeper. It is an epicenter for the equestrian world, a clearing house for animal shelters and not for profits, and the nerve center of the community. Tierney, just meeting me once, agreed to take all my horsehair work on consignment. Bless her sweet soul. In the few times I’ve been there she has taken my used dog beds, old but very nice boxes and given me really really great advice about my horse. The NJ equine world is very small and it seems we know so many people in common.
Anyway, I unwrapped the urns and handed them over. Ann seemed to really like them. She seemed so in control of things. I would have been a puddle. She didn’t even blink when I handed over the left over ashes. I told her to look at the bottoms of the urn where on each I embossed a message. It just struck me at the last minute to add “Annie loves Lola 2015” on the foot of each. She took a look and burst out crying, which set me off, then set off Tierney. A poor slob of a guy had the misfortune of coming in at that moment to buy something. The estrogen was palpable in the air.
I didn’t take any formal pictures of the urns (no time) and in no way would it have been appropriate to take images during the delivery. I asked Ann to send me images if she wanted to and will show you if she does.