Tuesday, March 1, 2016

I Need a Mailman - An Urn for Jeffie

I need a mailman!

Whenever either of us uttered those words, we'd hear a rapid answering woof and no matter where he was, Jeffie scrambled to go on a shipping run.

He took his responsibility as the Mail Man for For Love of a Dog very seriously in spite of absolutely hating to ride in the car.  Yes, the Mail Man would softly woof under his breath the whole way up our lane to the mailbox and even all the way to the Post Office and back home again.  He hated traveling so much that you would think he would not answer the call: I need a mailman.

He never missed a mail run.

I tell you this to explain Jeffie's final resting place.

We've always buried our animals.  This time - knowing the weather called for heavy rain for several days - we opted for cremation.  I spent a lot of time online shopping for an urn for Jeffie's ashes.   Some I saved to Pinterest, some are saved to my Etsy favorites.  Elegant urns, handmade wooden and ceramic containers, personalized custom urns and even some vintage boxes, cookie jars and cannisters.

Then the Dog Daddy came across an antique post office box front.  We've had it for many, many years and simply never gotten around to doing something with it.

It was meant to be.

I purchased a very cool set of vintage kitchen canisters.  Solid wood with lovely dovetail joinery, we sanded one and simply finished it with Briwax. Cut out the front to add the PO box front and ... viola!  

Fittingly, the canister we used for Jeffie is the one marked for sugar.

Suspended from antique brass chains are a collection of talismans or totems for prayers and remembering.  The word re-membering has a talismanic meaning. To member something means to bring together in a particular intentional way which is the function of a talisman and prayer. 

Jeffie's prayer talismans include:
  • Owl which is Jeffie's Spirit Animal. The owl is an old soul, a keeper of ancient wisdom and is deeply connected with wisdom and intuitive knowledge.
  • Butterfly which is a very powerful symbol for transformation and metamorphosis and is closely tied to spirits and souls.
  • Crow which is an omen of transformation, protection and spirit guide.  The Osage Indians believed that crows bring good news.
  • White rose symbolizes hope, joy and new beginnings and is often used to represent love, especially a love that is pure.
  • Teardrops acknowledge the loss of a family member or loved one and indicate healing and comfort, reassurance, and positive energy
  • Hearts symbolize love, unity, connections and compassion.
  • Dog bones are associated with spiritual development and represent one's helpers and family.
  • Angel a symbol of devotion, spirituality and faith. Angels also symbolize divine will and are the messengers of God.

I also included Jeffie's dog tags and some other charms, including two of my handmade dog breed charms - a Golden Retriever and a Border Collie - since these are the two dog breeds which made up our Jeffie.

Right now Jeffie is resting in good company.  The wonderful framed photograph of Jeffie was my favorite Christmas gift this year and came from my good (and very thoughtful) friend, Kristi.  It is engraved that brilliant Will Rogers quotation:  If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.

You'll also notice the cool personalized key chain and the Norman's memory candle from my sweet (and also incredibly thoughtful) friend, JoAnn.  Jeffie's favorite collars (one from JoAnn in Jeffie's KU Jayhawks colors) rest with him in addition to "Jeffie artwork."

I need a mailman!

And in my heart I hear the answering woof.


  1. I'm so sorry about your loss. He seems like he was quite the character. You created a beautiful memorial for him.

  2. You did an amazing job on this Sue, I'm actually crying again. So much thought and love went into this final tribute for your amazing boy...I swear I can hear the woof too.

  3. It is so beautiful, I am crying again too. I feel awful that I couldn't do (yet) what I said I was going to do.....I feel awful..........(((hugs))) DakotasDen

  4. Oh my what a beautiful tribute to Jeffie, so much better than a burial I think. But goodness my mom always just gets an urn that the pet crematorium provides not something as thoughtful and loving as what you did. I sure hope she does something like that for me. Love Dolly

  5. That is a perfect tribute and we all send you love and hugs.

  6. That is a wonderful tribute and final resting place for Jeffie. I love it. ♥

  7. That is such a wonderful dedication and remembrance for Jeffie! The mailbox couldn't be more perfect. We love how you have it all set up.

  8. A bond like that cannot be severed. Not by anything. Not by death of the physical body.

  9. Sue, this is such a beautiful post you have me crying again! The loss is so profound. I absolutely love how you've remembered him! I have so many treasures you've made and I have have Jeffie's mailman card right behind my jewelry tree so I see him every time I reach for a piece to wear! I agree with the quote, "I wanna be where they are"!

  10. Gosh Sue Jeffie's final resting place is just perfect! So thought out and just simply wonderful. I think the post office plate is very thought out and fits him well after hearing his story! I used to have to go get my mail as a kid to the post office and I had to open that type of box, I thought it was so cool to turn the little dial and get my mail. Such a neat idea! I just love all your memorials, I can tell you that all my memorials help me out so much with the loss I have felt in my life. Not just dogs people too. I have little displays all over my house that all have different meanings and they get me though each day. The gone are not gone as their spirit and soul are still surrounding us hugging us up and letting us know they are still here. Peace to you and your husband now that Jeffie has his final resting place! Hugs friend!!

  11. Oh, that's so perfect. How bittersweet. And perfect that he is in the "sugar" cannister. Miss that sweet boy. Hugs!

  12. That is so, so beautiful, Sue, absolutely perfect. What a wonderful memorial tribute to your very special boy. That post office box front! That was definitely meant to be.


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