Hopefully this will serve as a brief and relatively lighthearted coda to the whole sad story of losing Tessa last week (follow this link to the original post).
Out of curiosity, I spoke with someone at the vet's office today about what the incineration fee would've been had we used that service. For a 90# dog, he thinks it would've been $35. And if we'd wanted the ashes, that would've added another $100.
I laughed, and he laughed with me. "Do people really do that?" I asked.
"You'd be surprised," he replied. Some people really do keep the dog's ashes on the mantle. And it costs so much more because the incinerator guy has to fire the thing up with a single animal in it for several hours; usually, they burn about a dozen dead animals at a time in the chamber.
Keeping everything in perspective, I'm treating The Yeoman Farmer's DIY Funeral Pyre as a $135 down payment on a new Great Pyrenees puppy.
Or, for even more perspective: our family supports a handicapped orphan at a wonderful Catholic boarding school in India. The cost for all of his expenses for an entire year are ... $120. In other words, he could be supported for more than 13 months for the cost of burning and collecting the ashes of one dead dog.