Finding a story is an adventure. Even in unlikely circumstances.
A few months ago, my childhood dog, Sammy, passed away at the overly ripe age of 17. His life is a story unto itself. He was a 7 pound poodle born in 1998. He lived through three administrations, had a crush on Monica Lewinsky, bid farewell to the NASA Shuttle program, lived in three different homes, traveled coach more times than most people, peed on the snow on Mt. Charleston, snuck into countless restaurants and hotels along I-10 from Florida to California, experienced his adopted poodle brother deteriorate from diabetic ketoacidosis, performed and posed in countless photo shoots and parody videos, and despite a tiny belly, he was never full from eating beef spare ribs and blue cheese. He lived a full life.
When he passed I made the decision to keep his remains. And as part of that I had to sift through a catalog of urns, boxes and keepsakes that would house his ashes forever. I needed to choose the proper size, display, wood, design, that told his story, so that when you looked at that box, you knew THAT was Sammy. THAT’S his story.
For such a small animal, he had lived big.
So what should be chosen to best visually represent his story?
I found the perfect home for his remains that covered every corner of his life: a large wooden box, rich and deep in color. It had space for a photo and an embedded paw print. A large box, with the air of showmanship.
When it arrived with him inside, it could not have been more perfect. His remains were so small it was lost in the depth of the box. For a small animal with a full life, it was perfect. It is now full of all of his clothes, cards, and memories, so full that if anything else goes in, it won’t close. Just like his life. He lived as long as he could, and no more, almost perfect until the end.
And when you see his box sitting on the shelf, his story is very apparent.