Loyal Boxer Lady Patch was 14 when she died. Her epitaph records that "She Met the Mayor of Hamilton," Lloyd D. Jackson then. Dandylion is a rabbit remembered as "the greatest bun ever." There's Sarah, gone 18 years, a Saint Bernard who was the "Beloved Ambassador of the Hamilton SPCA." And Baby, "Poetry in Motion."

Sometimes Tom Chire officiates. The ex-Jesuit priest follows his own order of service, which includes a blessing, a eulogy and thanks to God for the life of the deceased. The essence of it is "We loved you in life, we will always remember you in death, and now we return you to your creator." It's a universal message, not dissimilar to those he delivers at services for humans, including last month's family farewell to former Ticat coach Ron Lancaster.
Back in the day, before pet weddings and dog yoga and diamond collars, a lot of people thought the whole thing was creepy. "A lot of people still think it's nuts," Collins says with a shrug.

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