By Isabel Alvarez Arata
Last year, The Wag Pack celebrated our 10-year anniversary in a way that I have always dreamt of celebrating: by hosting a Day of the Dead party to honor the lives of all the pets we have had the joy of caring for over the years, before they took their last breaths and made their way to the rainbow bridge.
We gathered employees, clients, family, and friends together at our office in North Springfield to admire a traditional Día de los Muertos inspired altar, dedicated to the memory of beloved animal companions that are no longer with us in life but will live on in our hearts forever. We feasted on traditional Mexican vegetarian and vegan dishes prepared by our former employee and founder of Cocolita Foods, Carla Mantecon. We enjoyed a delicious vegan cake and cupcakes from Out of the Bubble Bakery, which featured our beautiful logo made entirely out of fondant! We even had the pleasure of having our faces painted by the very talented Barb Scheeler of Let’s Make a Face. It was a joyous occasion and one that I will cherish as long as I live.
Animal lovers of all ages joined us including my son, Noah, only 13-months at the time and Beth’s daughter, Evie, a mere 5-months old. We listened to songs from the movie Coco, played games, and focused on the good times we had shared with all the pets that were being honored. Everyone had a wonderful time!
I truly wish we could have a Day of the Dead party every year – maybe one day we will make it an annual tradition – but, in the absence of an actual party this year, I want to take today to memorialize the precious souls that have graced our team with their love, kisses, and companionship by featuring our newly departed friends in photos below.
To all the families that have had to say goodbye this year, we see you and feel your pain. Losing a pet is traumatic and can be more painful than losing a friend or relative. The relationships that we have with our pets are profound and important. Our hearts ache alongside yours. We hope that you find peace in the memories you shared with your pets and in knowing that you gave them a beautiful life, one full of love, respect, and the best care you knew how to give.
May our animal companions rest in peace at the bridge and may the love they shared with us inspire love for generations to come.